The very best Irish pubs in Manchester city centre

Irish bars are just the best, aren't they?

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 15th March 2024

Be it picking out the best places for Paddy’s Day, finding a green-tinted gem that pulls a proper pint of the beloved black stuff, or just wanting to find an authentic Irish boozer that reminds the ex-pats amongst you of home, Manchester has pubs to meet every requirement.

There’s been a big Irish population in 0161 ever since the 1800s and with nods to our neighbours in Manc corners like Little Ireland and countless drinking spots in particular all over the city, there is a lot of love for all aspects of the green and gold culture, but especially the pubs.

With that in mind, we thought we’d round up some of the very best Irish pubs in central Manchester and while there’s only a handful here in the city, the good news is that you can make your way through all of them quite easily — and we highly recommend you do.

Let’s not waste any more valuable drinking time, shall we?

Top five Irish pubs and bars in Manchester

1. Mulligans – Deansgate

Where else to start other than the holy grail? Famous not only for the greatest Guinness in Manchester but renowned up and down the country for one of the very best pints of the black stuff you’ll find outside of Ireland full stop, Mulligans of Deansgate is pretty much the undisputed GOAT of Manc Irish pubs.


Located just off the main strip and over the road from Spinningfields, Mulligans is no stranger to a queue (especially on St Patrick’s Day) fight nights or other big events — and is always packed to the rafters but in the best way possible.

With the full range of sports on the box at all times, live music every night and some seriously good beer and whiskey on offer if you’re not a stout person, there aren’t many things we love more than stomping our feet and slapping tables as we sing along to Irish classics all night.


2. O’Sheas – Central

Speaking of dancing like prats well into the early hours, there aren’t many better pubs to enjoy a proper Gaelic reel or a few belting covers than O’Sheas Irish Bar on the corner of Princess Street. A proper stage and plenty of room for all of our terrible moves certainly helps.

With regular live music from the likes of Joe Keegan — who’s been at the forefront of the Irish music scene in Manchester for years now — as well as the usual live sport, a really great all-day menu with proper filling portion sizes and even Taytos crisps behind the bar, it’s always a good time here.

A decent pint of Guinness too, of course, but they’ve also got their sister site and sun trap beer garden over in Mayfield which is the perfect spot for big tournaments and big parties. A great Irish pub.


3. Kiely’s Irish Bar – Great Northern Warehouse

From one local favourite to another, Kiely’s over on Great Northern is comfortably one of the best Irish pubs anywhere in Greater Manchester for our money, let alone in the city centre. Also, when the barrels outside the door are painted like big chunky pints of Guinness, you know they put effort into pouring it.

Always boasts a great crowd on matchdays and with plenty more seating towards the back of the bar, as well a lovely feel to the place with the fairy lights and old sporting memorabilia hanging from the walls, it’s no wonder people pile in to soak up the live bands and the black gold in here for hours on end.

It was Manchester’s first new Irish bar in 10 years when it opened back in 2017 but has very quickly become a go-to for many punters on a night out and it feels like it’s been around for well over a decade in its own right. Time flies when you’re having fun, as they say.

4. O’Neill’s – Printworks

Next up is one of the biggest chains of Irish bars in the UK for a reason: it’s always a good time. We’re of course talking about O’Niells over in the Printworks which also opened up back in 2017 but feels like it’s been around forever now.

With the legendary Waxy O’Connors having closed its doors after nearly 20 years back in 2021, O’Neills is now the only Irish pub located within one of Manchester city centre’s most popular and best-known entertainment and leisure destinations.


A very solid pint of Guinness, plenty of room with lots of tables, benches and booths for groups of all sizes; there’s nothing to moan about here. The huge multi-screen set-up in the middle is perfect for watching the game too and with a boozy pop-up or two throughout the year, it’s always a good time.

5. Lass O’Gowrie -Oxford Road Corridor

Quietly one of the best pints of Guinness in Manchester after Mulligans, the Lass O’Gowrie on Charles Street and just off Oxford Road is one of the most beloved boozers anywhere in the city centre and popular with everyone from old boys and after-work regulars to the uni students and out of towners.

Appearing on maps as early as 1844 and having undergone a serious six-figure refurb back in 2022, this place caters to everything from quiz, comedy and open mic nights, to anyone just looking for a proper pub grub meal and even now has a mini-cinema that can seat up to 20.

While not technically an Irish pub having been originally opened by a Scotsman (we won’t pull anyone up if you don’t), it’s still one of our favourite places to watch the footy or just chill on the balcony terrace which hangs gracefully over the River Medlock. A truly top little pub — with great Guinness too.

Honourable mentions

Last but not least, while they may not have made our top five, we couldn’t do an article on the best Irish pubs in Manchester city centre without giving a nod to some other strong contenders.


The likes of Bar Eight over in Castlefield might genuinely be our go-to beer garden spot these days when the summer rolls around given how big the patio is, not to mention the takeaway pizza and the mobile cocktail bar, we can’t not big it up.

A similarly well-deserved shout-out goes to the likes of The Corner Boy over in NQ, still one of the best venues for a boogie in town; ditto too for The Freemount which will always be a great spot for a few drinks and live music — that’s if you can survive the usual queue, of course.

And if you disagree with any of our picks or feel any other Irish pubs and bars have been missed off the list, then please feel free to argue your case in the comments. These lists often change and we’re more than happy to go and do more ‘research’ if it involves going for a bev and drinking in the culture.

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Featured Images — The Manc Group