Brazen Head

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Words by Simon Difford on 30-May-2015

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Address: 20 Bridge Street Lower, Dublin, County Dublin, 8, Ireland (Eire)
Tel: +353 (0)1 677 9549
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat 10:30am-12:30am, Sun 12:30pm-12:30am
Door: Open door
Style: Pub traditional
Recommended for: Alfresco, Historic interest
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Established: 1198


Dublin's oldest pub sits behind a castle-like facade creating a cobbled stone courtyard with an almost medieval feel. Indeed there has been a tavern on this site since at least 1198 and the only crossing of the Liffey before 1670 led to Bridge Street so ensuring patronage. The present building dates back to 1668 when the original tavern was replaced with a coaching inn. It was extensively restored in 1988.

Inside, the Brazen Head consists of three small rooms with low ceilings and walls covered with historical references to the pub. Live bands play here every night with food such as traditional Irish stew and steamed Irish mussels served in the restaurant or in any of the bars.

Brazen Head is featured in James Joyce's famous book 'Ulysses'. Its history and proximity to attractions such as the Guinness Brewery make it a popular pub with American tourists and their dollar bills plaster the bar's walls. However, it retains plenty of Irish charm and even the Guinness seems to be served quickly by the bartenders who remain friendly even when busy with Americans asking for "light beer".

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