Ballina is Mayo’s largest town sitting on the banks of the River Moy, and great pubs are aplenty. Whether you’re after a quiet pint at the bar, an evening of live music and dancing or some classic pub grub, Ballina has got you covered.
There’s nothing better than sitting in a cosy pub with a pint of your choice and a bag of Tayto, but it sometimes it can be hard to find the good ones. That’s why we’ve done the (very difficult we know) work for you and compiled this list for you.
While some of these pubs might not impress from the outside, take our advice and don’t judge a book by its cover. You’ll have a night you won’t forget.
5. The Cot and Cobble
This is a lively pub in the heart of the Ballina and is one of the town’s best late night and party venues. With two big screens taking up permanent residency in the bar, you’ll be in the centre of all the sports action. This is the best place to be in Ballina on match day and on into the night as you celebrate the victory or drown your sorrows.
The bar offers a heated beer garden and smoking area as well as a delicious cocktail menu and a selection of craft beers for those too cool for cocktails. They also have a dance floor, live DJ’s and regular live music.
If all that music and sport has you hungry, food is available in the form of a carvery at lunch or dinner from their select evening menu.
Address: Clare St, Abbeyhalfquarter, Ballina, Co. Mayo, F26 22V5, Ireland
4. Harrisons, Garden Street
This is a traditional old-world Irish bar with lots of character, both on the inside and out. The quaint and traditional pub front might not grab your attention straight- away, but a closer inspection reveals the true character of this unique little pub situated in an old 19th-century building on Garden Street.
This pub is best known for it’s a warm and friendly atmosphere, its equally warm and friendly staff and many claim it serves the best pint of Guinness in Ballina. You can snuggle into a corner and indulge in some people watching or prop yourself up at the bar and get to know some of the local characters.
A word of warning, this pub is cosy (small), so it’s worth getting in early in the night if you want to get a seat.
Address: Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland
3. Paddy Mac’s, Garden Street
This is another gem in Ballina’s long list of pubs that showcase some of the best local and national traditional Irish music talents. Paddy Mac’s have live music 4 nights a week and boasts a friendly, warm atmosphere. Definitely not to be missed on your Ballina pub crawl.
This pub is centrally located beside plenty of shops and restaurants and offers large tv screens for all your sports needs. It is popular among tourists and locals alike which is always a good sign!
Address: Tone St, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland
2. The Auld Shebeen/An Sean Sibín, Abbey Street
This is a truly traditional family-owned Irish pub in the heart of Ballina, and there is no better place for a drink or two. An Sean Síbín in Irish literally translates to ‘ the old drinking den’.
If you ask us, this is probably one of the prettiest and eye-catching pub fronts in Ireland. Be sure to take a few pictures with the classic red shutter windows and the whitewashed wells before stepping inside to the quaint old-fashioned décor. There is a fantastic collection of antiques, old signposts and unusual ornaments inside as well as a traditional old fireplace with a big stove that will keep you nice and warm.
The Sean Síbín hosts plenty of live music sessions throughout the month and is a great place to go if you want to sample some traditional Irish music.
Address: Abbey St, Carrowcushlaun West, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland
1. Dillon’s Bar and Restaurant, Dillonterrace
This unique bar is well deserving of the top place on our list, mostly due to its special location in the atmospheric Dillon terrace courtyard where it is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the town.
The bar and restaurant really come alive in the summer when the courtyard fills with tables and chairs and visitors enjoy delicious food and drinks. You’d almost think you were in a small Mediterranean village if it weren’t for the three coats you were wearing!
If you’re feeling the chill outside, head indoors to their lovely open fire where you can sit and enjoy a drink. Check out their facebook page and website for more information about their fireside music sessions and other events.
Address: Dillon Terrace, Abbeyhalfquarter, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland