Top 10 best bars in Cork for live music and good craic, RANKED

The city of Cork is the place to go when it comes to having some of the best hot spots for live music and good craic. So, here are our top picks you won’t want to miss.

Cork is one of the most vibrant cities in Ireland, home to a host of excellent pubs that are sure winners if you are in the mood for some live music, good craic, and Irish culture.

So if you are a beer lover keen to hit up a trad music session or are seeking the ultimate pub in Cork to fill your belly with some Irish pub food, then make sure to jot these firm favourites down.

So, let us tell you about the ten best bars in Cork for live music and good craic.

10. The Corner House – known as Cork’s house of music and one of the best bars in town

The Corner House is one of the best bars in Cork for live music and good craic.
Credit: Facebook / @TheCornerHouseCork

One of the best bars in Cork for live music and good craic has to be The Corner House. This is a cosy and welcoming spot where you can enjoy the talents of local musicians and a classic beer selection.

With regular music events scheduled daily and an extensive collection of craft beer to keep your thirst at bay, there are many reasons to choose this popular spot in Cork.

Address: 7 Coburg St, Victorian Quarter, Cork, T23 FW10

9. Charlie’s Bar – one of the key music venues in town

Charlies is a one-stop shop for live music, making it one of the best bars in Cork for live music and good craic. 

With a host of local and international acts regularly showing their talents and traditional music sessions to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon, you’ll no doubt have a great time here.

With a lovely atmosphere and friendly bar staff, it is undoubtedly one of the brilliant Cork pubs you need to check out.

Address: 2 Union Quay, Ballintemple, Cork, T12 A376

8. Dwyers of Cork – one of the key music venues for dancing all week long

Dwyers of Cork is one of the best bars in Cork for live music and good craic.
Credit: Facebook / @DwyersOfCork

With an epic location, just a few minutes’ walk from English Market, Dwyer’s is a brilliant spot for live music. It is a great music venue hosting performances from a regular lineup of the best bands in town.

You can expect to enjoy live music seven nights a week and their live house band, The Big Swingin’ Mikeys, every Sunday night. Alongside the friendly staff, lively dance floor, and great collection of beers, you will be kept thoroughly entertained.

Address: 27-28 Washington St, Centre, Cork, T12 WC93

7. An Brog Bar – the place for a fun night and alternative music in Cork

You'll certainly have a fun night at An Brog Bar.
Credit: Facebook / @anbrogcork

For those looking for live music with a twist, then this bar on Oliver Plunkett Street should be the spot to hit up when in Cork City Centre.

Known for its eclectic playlist, which appeals to all music lovers, An Brog is also a fantastic place to have the craic, and the attentive staff there will do their best to make your night memorable.

Address: 74 Oliver Plunkett St, Centre, Cork, T12 FP28

6. The Crane Lane Theatre – an award-winning bar and music venue in Cork

The Crane Lane Theatre is one of the best bars in Cork for live music and good craic.
Credit: Facebook / @cranelane

One of the best bars in Cork for live music and good craic is The Crane Lane Theatre, which was, in fact, a former Gentleman’s Club in a previous life.

These days, it is a go-to spot for Irish beer, music, and entertainment, with various live music events happening seven nights a week.

Address: Crane Lane, Phoenix St, Centre, Cork

5. Costigan’s Pub – the perfect spot for live music and amazing beer

Costigan's is a great spot for live music.
Credit: Facebook / @CostigansPub

For a lively yet charming pub, which hosts regular live music, you need to head to Costigan’s. It boasts plenty of history, having been around since 1849.

This historical Corkonian pub has a story to tell. It is the kind of place you could sit for hours and have the craic with the locals.

Address: 11 Washington Street West, Centre, Cork, T12 N768

4. Sin É – for trad music seven nights a week

Sin É is on our list of the best bars in Cork for live music and good craic.
Credit: Facebook / @sinecork

With a name taken from the funeral parlour next door that means “that’s it”, you can enjoy draught beers and traditional Irish music at one of the most beloved pubs in Cork City.

This classic pub has served the public since 1889. It is your go-to spot for some of the best music in town and a great selection of beers seven days a week.

Address: 8 Coburg St, Victorian Quarter, Cork, T23 KF5N

3. The Oliver Plunkett – the hub of craic agus ceol in Cork

The Oliver Plunkett is a popular spot among locals.
Credit: Facebook / @TheOliverPlunkett

From Wednesday to Sunday, you will see this fantastic bar come alive with live music sessions to get you in the mood.

With your feet tapping and a creamy pint in your hand, you won’t regret an evening spent here. Don’t miss out on their amazing food menu, which will keep you satisfied.

Address: 116 Oliver Plunkett St, Centre, Cork, T12 P957

2. Coughlan’s Bar – one of the Cork’s longest running pubs

Coughlan's Bar is one of the best bars in Cork for live music and good craic.
Credit: Facebook / @coughlansbarcork1

Coughlan’s is one of the best bars in Cork for live music and good craic.

It is renowned for having regular music and comedy events. Coughlan’s boasts a friendly atmosphere, a considerable gin selection (the biggest in the country), and excellent service.

This epic bar and award-winning music venue is a firm favourite with the locals who know how to have a good time.

Address: 7 Douglas Street, Ballintemple, Cork, T12 DX39

1. Rearden’s Bar – known all across Ireland for its lively atmosphere

Rearden's Bar is known all across Ireland.
Credit: Facebook / @reardenscork

Known the country over as being the best bar in Cork City for live music and good craic, Rearden’s has made a name for itself since it opened its doors in 1835 as a bar that attracts musicians from all over Ireland.

So, grab yourself a cocktail, a pint, or some delicious pub grub and enjoy what Rearden’s is all about.

Address: 26 Washington St, Centre, Cork, T12 WNP8

Notable mentions

Sober Lane is one of the best bars in Cork for live music and good craic.
Credit: Facebook / @soberlane
  • The Hi B Bar: This tiny bar is the place to have the craic. It is also known as Cork’s friendliest bar because of its size. For friendly staff, a delightful drinks menu, and a longstanding tradition of music, Hi B Bar is a must.
  • Old Oak: This late-night bar can’t be overlooked if you search for mid-week live music and weekend sessions. This cosy spot offers a fantastic platform for musicians to show off their craft.
  • Sober Lane: This quirky music venue and bar is a popular place for live music. They also have great Irish food options and a lovely atmosphere. 
  • The Gables Bar: For an authentic traditional Irish experience with fiddles, bodhrans, and the works, head to the Gables for an epic music session.
  • Franciscan Well Brewery & Brewpub: The Franciscan Well Brewery & Brewpub is an award-winning brewery and pub with music playing.
  • Mutton Lane Inn: One of the oldest bars in Cork City, you can enjoy a great selection of pub food, beers on tap, and live music at the Mutton Lane Inn.

FAQs about the best bars in Cork for live music and good craic

What Cork pub hosts live trad sessions?

Sin É, Charlie’s Bar, and The Corner House are great spots for traditional music.

What are the best bars in Cork City for food?

Dwyer’s Pub and Rearden’s Bar have excellent food.

Does Cork have good nightlife?

Cork has incredible nightlife, with something to suit everyone, from traditional pubs to late-night bars and nightclubs.

So, for an epic night of music, pints, and meeting the locals, be sure to head to one of these ten best bars in Cork for live music and good craic, which will not disappoint.

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