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08th Nov 2019

10 Cosy Galway Pubs That Are Perfect For A Gossip And A Gargle

Sarah Finnan

During my final year of college, it became a weekly tradition that I’d meet one of my friends in town after work on a Sunday and we’d catch up over pints.

It was fun year-round, but especially in the colder months when we had the added luxury of a real roaring fire…something we could never afford in our own dingy student houses.

Galway has earned itself a pretty formidable reputation as the graveyard of ambition. It’s so much fun that people (*read students, mostly) lose the run of themselves and forget about any get-up-and-go they may previously have had. The number one reason being the pub scene is so good. Luckily Galway is just full of them and I managed to frequent most of them at one point or another. Should I be proud of this? Maybe, maybe not.

Any day of the week, any time of the day (Donegal Tuesday sees queues out the door before 8 a.m., yes you read that correctly), there’s always time for a gossip and a gargle.

Here are ten of the cosiest spots. Can I pull you for a chat?

The Front Door

I’d consider The Front Door to be my second home, I’ve spent enough time there over the years for it to qualify as such. Everyone knows this spot is great for a night out but what they don’t know is that it’s just as good for an earlier evening sesh. Sunday evenings are best spent by the fire with a lovely friend and a pint of Guinness in hand. And I spent many a Sunday evening here deep in conversation.

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Tigh Neachtains

Tigh Neachtains have the best pint of Guinness in Galway. Maybe that’s controversial, but I stand by my opinion. A true cultural institution, this place has been around since 1894. You can’t go wrong with a drink here; sit outside in the summer, nestle into one of the cosy closed-off booths in the autumn. Its proximity to Pizza Napoli is another winning factor. Pints then pizza. Dreamy.

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Don’t stop the party-Pitbull et al.

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The phenomenon of the so-called ‘old man pub’ has enjoyed soaring popularity in recent years and if nothing else, it’s the perfect place for a chinwag. And Taaffes is just about as old as they come, the building itself is 400 years old. Right on Shop Street, it’s quite popular so not ideal for a quiet natter but definitely one for the nights when you need a lively atmosphere to complement an even livelier tale.

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The King’s Head

Hard to miss the bright red exterior in the heart of the Latin Quarter. This is one of my favourite spots for its fireplace alone. Located in the Mayor’s House, otherwise known as the Front Bar, it’s kept generations of Galwegians warm over the years. This place is also good for when you need something to line your stomach. Don’t believe the hype – eating is not cheating.

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Tig Choili

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m definitely partial to a bit of trad and Tig Choili is my go-to for a good session when out west. The saying ‘great minds think alike’ certainly rings true here as this place is usually so packed that it seems that all of Galway has had the same idea to call in for a social scoop. But not to worry, the atmosphere and camaraderie here are second to none and the music is just enough to mask any secrets being shared between friends.

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I mean even Dáithí loves it.

Murty Rabitt’s

One of Galway’s oldest pubs. Is it just me or do all Galway’s pubs seem to be quite old? I guess that just proves pints have always been a thing. I digress. Murty’s gives you the proper pub experience. Free-flowing drinks and relaxed atmosphere. It’s just off Eyre Square, slightly sheltered from the madness, so head here if you’re looking to settle in for the night. The large wooden thrones, while not exactly the comfiest choice of seating, certainly make you feel very important.

The Quays

A quintessentially Irish pub with a surprisingly chic interior. The light-up dance floor here reminds me of good old Spiral Tree in Longford with its similarly coloured tiles. Oh, the glamour! I love sitting out here in the colder months, wrapped up to the nines, perched under the outdoor heaters. The number of pints I can manage outside is in direct correlation to how numb my nose goes…in other words, it’s usually not long before I admit defeat and move inside to continue talking rubbish.

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The Roisin Dubh

The gem of Lower Dominick Street, though a slightly grubbier, grimier, more hipster gem than you may be used to. Come here of a Tuesday for the silent disco, a staple of Galway college life. Pints and chats in the Roisin generally came about after a well-intentioned plan to go elsewhere for tea and chats. But passing by often proved to be too difficult and, well, I’ve concluded that it would be rude not to call in for one. The dark inside helps you lose track of time so it’s a grand job for when you feel as if you could talk for Ireland.

The Skeff

One of my brother’s pubs of choice when in Galway. He’s fond of a frozen strawberry daiquiri or two. The multi-level, somewhat maze-like interior is ideal if you’re trying to go unnoticed. Maybe you’re on a secret date and you don’t want to be seen. Maybe you’re gossiping about your housemate’s latest passive-aggressive outburst. Whatever the case may be, the Skeff is great for a private convo.

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Board games make for the perfect accessory to any long-overdue catch-up. There’s a massive craft beer selection on tap for when you’re feeling adventurous, a change might be welcome if you’ve made it through the above nine pubs. This place does casual like no other. Galway’s answer to Dublin pubs like Blackbird, Cassidy’s and P Mac’s, it has the same characteristic candlelit charm as the others.

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Now if that hasn’t convinced you to finally follow through on your ‘oh we must meet up soon’ plans, then I don’t know what will.

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