Blog by UCC Student Ambassador Megan Daly
If there was any pub I wish I could go to every single day for the rest of my life, it would be Sin É. It is the most idyllic Irish pub. The walls are covered from floor to ceiling with random items ranging from New York City police badges, concert tickets, to tickets from the tube in London. You could spend hours staring at all of the things on the wall and always find something new. They pour such a good pint of Guinness, and honestly any drink for that matter. It gets crowded downstairs, but it is full of older Irish men that will strike up a conversation with literally anyone. My favorite thing about Sin É is that there is trad music literally every. single. day. And everyone who plays is insanely talented. Getting a seat next to the players is one of the best things in life. All classic Irish pubs are really warm on the inside, so it might be useful to bring lighter clothing. It’s great for a casual night out. This is a Cork must-do!
Right on Washington Street, Costigan’s is a great hangout spot. They have a massive screen and usually have some game on. One of the highlights of my semester was going to Costigan’s to watch the Cork vs Tipperary Hurling match! There are a bunch of different rooms you can hang out in as well. It’s located in a great part of the city and no matter the time, it’s always a great time to grab a pint there. Overall, just a fantastic place to grab some friends and hang out.
Similar to Sin É, Mutton Lane is what you’d expect an Irish pub to be. It is the oldest pub in the city and its sort of hidden down this alleyway on St. Patrick’s Street. There is a really cool mural outside and it is all about Cork. It is typically not a young crowd, but another great place to just go to hang out and grab a pint.
If you want to watch any sporting match, go to Reardon’s. The only difficult thing about Reardon’s is that they can be strict about age (over 21’s,) but if you can get in at night, it is an awesome atmosphere for a game. During the daytime I’ve heard they’ve great food as well. It’s on Washington Street so it could be your night out or a hangout spot. I believe some nights they have live music too. Right across the street is Washington Inn (The Wash) which is a very popular place for all Cork students to go, but I have never gone. Right near Reardon’s too is Chambers which is a LGBTQ+ bar. Wednesday nights are “straight nights” so I went once and it was absolutely amazing. Definitely recommend!!
If you study in Cork, you will most likely end up here every time you go out. It is a bar with a great cocktail list and the coolest atmosphere. There is an old VW van in the dance floor where the DJ is, and behind it there are pool tables and foosball. Every night has a different event (trivia, beat the keeper, roll the dice, etc.) The music is a mix of throwbacks, rock, punk, alternative, and some pop, so there is something for everyone! The age range varies too but it is pretty much a younger crowd. No one ever really calls it An Bróg either, just usually “The Bróg.” If I remember correctly, it doesn’t show up when you type it in on Google maps. It is on Oliver Plunkett Street right off of Grand Parade and there is a sign with a boot (because in Irish, An Bróg means “the boot.”) The Bróg is probably my favorite bar in the world.
Owned by the same people that own The Bróg, Voodoo is right above it. It is a three-story nightclub and it is probably my favorite place for a night out. Student nights are Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, and the other nights are over 23’s. There is a cover to get in, but you get a discount with your student card, and I believe the cost was only a couple of euros. The first floor is just a chill dance floor, usually not that busy (unless you go on a themed night or important student night like elections results.) The second floor is the main floor and has a huge dance floor with lights and a disco ball. The bar is right next to it and it is a must to go on Wall Street nights. The prices of the drinks mimic Wall Street stocks, and when the market crashes a bunch of the prices in drinks either increase, stay the same, or decrease-and it’s so cheap. There is a DJ on that floor too. To the right/upstairs (kind of) is another room and it used to have a tiki bar atmosphere, but they just renovated it to be “the afterlife.” The rooftop would be open sometimes and everyone goes there. One resident performer is Bongo Steve and he is incredible. We would usually go to The Bróg at the beginning of the night and then Voodoo after! 100% worth the wait, the cover, and the money spent.
Further down Plunkett Street is Old Oak. Old Oak is a younger crowd, like people who just turned of age, but it is such a fun night out. It can be kind of hit or miss, but when it’s a hit it’s amazing. I loved Old Oak because they played more “American” music and they have a good-sized dance floor. The place is huge so it’s fun to roam around too. The International Student Society hosts a lot of their events here and in the upstairs bar, Cyprus Avenue. Go make some friends and get some great drink deals!
Other side notes:
- Franciscan Well has GREAT pizza (coming from a New Yorker) and GREAT beer. Find out if you’re a rebel or a chieftain!
- There is a kebab place next to Voodoo and The Bróg and they are great after a night out.
- You cannot go without ending a night at Hillbilly’s. The garlic cheese fries are to die for.
- The two local beers are Murphy’s and Beamish. It is fun to get Guinness, Beamish, and Murphy’s and blind taste test them with friends and decide which stout is your favorite!
- Jackie Lennox has the best fish and chips in the world and if you end your night early enough (closes at 1am) you could go to the chip shop!
My name is Megan Daly and I studied at University College Cork in the spring of 2019 through IFSA-Butler. I am now a senior at the University of New Hampshire where I study Exercise Science and Spanish. I am the president of the Association of Exercise Science Students, Captain of the Women’s Club Lacrosse team, a study abroad ambassador, and a nursing assistant at a nursing home. While I was at UCC I joined the International Students Society and the Women’s Lacrosse team. My favorite place in Ireland is Connemara in County Galway and I backpacked for two weeks during spring break. I went to Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Munich, and Prague. My favorite places in Cork are Fitzgerald’s Park and Richmond Hill.