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Where Are The Best Irish Pubs in Canberra?

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by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun! Find me on instagram: @australianrecipesbythebay
Published October 13th 2017
Irish pubs are always popular venues to go for live music, good food, lively atmosphere and a good time until the wee hours of the morning. Here in Canberra it's no different, with 4 options to visit around the Capital that fit the bill - and more. Although many of Canberra's traditional pubs are found in the suburbs north and south of the CBD, close to where the locals live, there is a popular Irish pub in the heart of the city called King O' Malley's Irish pub. This local's favourite easily comes in at number one in Canberra, for its proximity to the city, friendly staff, good pub grub and quirky interior. It is particularly renowned for its St Patricks Day celebrations and cosy pub atmosphere - just oozing with Irish charm and character.

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The cosy and castle-like King O'Malley's...

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...with several areas to sit, as well as an outside beer garden (photos taken at a rare quiet moment at opening time)

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This is what it looks like the rest of the time! Source: Individual photos from King O'Malley's Facebook

The name of the pub is actually a sly jab at the original King O' Malley, the Australian politician and Minister for Home Affairs who pushed for alcohol sales to be prohibited in Canberra, which resulted in the ACT being a "dry state" between 1911 and 1928. As a teetotaller himself, his reasoning was that he didn't want the local workers, who were constructing the city at the time, to be influenced by alcohol during the build. As you can imagine, this was a highly unpopular decision, so Canberra locals would travel over the border to Queanbeyan to have a drink at one of their 5 pubs that were open at the time.

Not anymore however - as we now have our own King O'Malley's watering hole located right in the heart of the city - thumbing its nose at the old laws and selling pub grub, Irish beers on tap and hosting regular live music. It is the perfect nightspot for dinner and a night out in the heart of the city. See here for details.

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This wasn't allowed for 17 years, thanks to King O'Malley! Source: King O'Malley's Facebook

The other Irish pub in the city is PJ O'Reilly's, which is located a short walk away on Alinga Street. This traditional-looking pub has the same relaxed vibe and character of an Irish pub and is particularly popular with local workers for after-work trivia nights. It also has the added bonus being walking distance from King O'Malley's above, so it is worth the short walk to compare the two. See here for details.

Just to confuse visitors, there is also a PJ's O'Reilly's Irish Pub Tuggeranong, located 20 minutes south of the CBD in Greenway. This traditional pub has an old pub feel to it and is popular with local workers during the week for lunch at the Dublin Grill and after-work drinks and games of pool. It can be found right in the middle of Tuggeranong Town Centre. See here for details.

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Enjoy after work drinks at PJs O'Reilly Tuggeranong

My pick however, after King O'Reilly's, would have to be the Canberra Irish Club in Weston Creek, 15 minutes south of the city. This small club is big on personality, with friendly staff and a real community feel as soon as you walk in the door. It costs just $7 to be a member for a year and then you can return time and time again, to become a regular. Get up and sing at karaoke or have a family meal at the small but popular Molly's Bistro. If you are Irish and miss the flavours from home, they also sell Guiness Pie, Bangers and Mash and a tasty serving of Lambs Fry. This small club has been serving the local community and the Canberra Irish community for decades and it shows - their friendly atmosphere will ensure you go back. See here for details.

It doesn't matter which pub you choose, all of Canberra's Irish pubs are all full of happy patrons who enjoy a craic, a game of darts and having a good time.

Why not meet up with some friends and have a Guinness or two at your local Irish pub this weekend?

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The Irish always know how to have a good time! Source: Original photos from Canberra Irish Club website

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