A Guide to the Irish Pubs in Madrid
Rowdy, raucous, frothy, fun…of course these are all words you can use to describe Madrid’s Irish pubs. But disco pub? Que dices? This guide to the Irish pubs in Madrid completes the picture.
Yes, to the uninitiated it may sound strange, but many of Madrid’s Irish pubs are lovingly referred to as “disco pubs” and tend to cater to Spanish tastes: where beers can be ordered in the quintessential 20 oz. pint form or in the smaller caña form and pop music with flashing lights usually kicks in at about 11pm. You’ll find the majority of these pubs sprinkled in the city-center where hostelers and backpackers can find them with ease, but don’t write these spots off completely as they can lead to a great night out – wether you’re just passing through or a native madrileño.
Now in order to truly experience Madrid you should most likely avoid these spots and instead elect to eat, drink, and dance at places more, well…Spanish. But as a traveler in a foreign land there is something ultimately reassuring and comforting about walking into an Irish pub – once you cross the threshold of the front door you’re somehow safer – now in a no-man’s-land of sorts where English is spoken freely and you order a beer by saying the word beer. For many teachers, travelers, and expats, that Irish bar isn’t just a bar; it’s a hangout, a hideout, and a haven for meeting others alike.
So whether you’re an English speaker looking to hear a bit of your mother tongue, a Spaniard trying to practice their English, or just somebody looking to get royally messed up as only the Irish can do, here’s a rundown of the top Irish pubs in Madrid:
Dubliners – Perhaps the most well known in all of Madrid, this rockin’ Irish pub can be quiet during the afternoon when expats catch a game on TV or sip a beer, but come 11pm this place is packed with tourists, locals, and seasoned university drinkers. Located on one of Madrid’s wildest streets, check for promoters on side streets passing out tickets offering 4€ pints of beer with a FREE shot! (Take my advice, elect for a shot of Fernet Branca, the minty smooth shot of liqueur, famous in Argentina and San Francisco.) Who you’ll find here: Backpackers, English Teachers, Study Abroad students, and everyone else. Cost: Pint 4.00€ , Copa 6.00€ . Near metro Sol. Calle de Espoz y Mina, 7, 28012 Madrid, Spain http://www.irishpubdubliners.com/
James Joyce – Set up from Cibeles on calle Alcalá and in the upscale barrio Salamanca, this is one of the more laid back and “traditional” Irish pubs. The location and the slightly elevated prices seem to keep out any rowdy riff-raff. Who you’ll find here: International business folk, expats, and uppity Spaniards. Cost: Pint 4.80€, Copa 8.00€ . Near metro Banco de Espana. Calle de Alcalá, 59, 28014 Madrid, Spain http://www.jamesjoycemadrid.com/
O’neills – Set on the adjacent (and slightly quieter) street to Dubliners, this massive Irish pub has two levels and at least 4 or 5 different seating areas. Large nooks, dark lighting, and giant bookcases make one feel as if they’re working on a nice buzz while attending Hogwartz. Who you’ll find here: Expats, English speakers, and Spaniards who love a good pub. Cost: Pint 5.00€, Copa 8.00€ . Near metro Sol. Calle del Príncipe, 12, 28012 Madrid, Spain http://www.oneills.es/
La Fontana de Oro – You know the scene in Star Wars when Hans Solo is hanging out at the seedy local tavern on Tatooine, this bar is somehow like that, only for backpackers. The disco pub name aptly applies here where disco lights flash, drinks are flowing, and everything from Shakira to Ai Seu Eu Te Pego blasting. This is one of the only pubs that stays open past 3:30am, closing closer to 7am. Downstairs you’ll find large booths and almost no one seated while the main level is packed with pints and smiles. Who you’ll find here: Backpackers, pub crawlers, everyone else who didn’t go to a club. Cost: Pint 4.50€, Copa 8.00€. Near metro Sol. Calle de la Victoria, 1, 28012 Madrid, Spain http://www.lafontanadeoro.es/
Molly Malone’s – One of the most authentic Irish pubs in the city, Molly’s was supposedly used to film a Louis Voitton ad starring fútbol greats Zidane, Maradona, and Pelé. Once you walk in you’ll notice the dark, rustic, Irishy feel you’d expect to find and appreciate plenty of cozy seating, open space, and a second floor and bar located downstairs. You can find this bar in the lively Malasaña neighborhood and should try to stop by when truly in need of a Guinness. Who you’ll find here: Travelers, Study abroad students, and Spaniards who like these types of bars. Cost: Pint 4.50€, Copa 8.00€ . Near metro Bilbao. http://www.malasaña.es/mollymalones/mollymalones/inicio.html
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