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Limerick, Ireland is a beautiful city set on the banks of the Shannon River. There’s so much to see and do during the day, and at night the Medieval Quarter is where it’s at for delicious gastro pubs and live Irish music and dancing.
Pubs aren’t just for drinking!
Naturally, when visiting Ireland you’ll want a true Irish experience so, of course, you need to hit up a local pub! On my recent trip to Ireland everyone in my traveling party didn’t drink (#imamormon). It would seem that visiting an Irish pub would be an experience we would have to pass on, but the Irish blood runs deep with my crew and we were eager to check out a pub and see what all the hubbub was about!
Before our trip to Ireland my sister-in-law and niece did quite a bit of Irish genealogy. They discovered that I had an ancestor who was married at Old St. Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick! While in the area we decided to check out the church and then grab a bite to eat.
Before we headed to St Mary Cathedral, I checked my phone for places to eat in the area, and since it was a Saturday night we were hoping to happen upon a pub that was playing Irish music and had some dancing. Man did we hit the jackpot! After visiting St Mary’s, we hit up the pub directly across the street, The Locke Bar!
Our favorite pub in all of Ireland – The Locke Bar in Limerick, Ireland
We heard lively Irish music as we entered The Locke, and once inside it was almost shoulder to shoulder people! In the center of the room were 2 men playing instruments while another man danced an Irish jig. It was mesmerizing to watch him dance about while live, Irish music played. My sister-in-law, Beth would have loved to get out there and dance too but her teenage daughter would have left her there, never too return, so she settled for toe tapping and video taping.
We must have looked the part of confused tourist as a host asked us if he could help us find a seat. The Locke Bar had an upstairs area which was a lot roomier and had the feel of a restaurant, with larger tables and padded booths. We were seated in a little area tucked near the back of the pub, and we were a little disappointed that we could no longer see the live entertainment being enjoyed downstairs. This disappointment soon disappeared as the live music and performer came upstairs! Woot, woot!
The ambiance was amazing, entertainment was riveting, and I shouldn’t have been surprised that the food was delicious, too! The Locke Bar is an award-winning gastro pub situated in Limerick’s Medieval Quarter where the Abbey River and Shannon River meets. The Locke is on the original site of Limerick’s oldest pub that dates back to 1724! It’s located within walking distance to some of Limerick;s top tourist destinations: St. Mary’s Cathedral, King John’s Castle, and the Hunt Museum. It doesn’t matter what day of the week you visit The Locke, because they operate two sessions of live music and dancing every single day. The first session is from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM and the second is from 9:00 PM until midnight.
The Food at The Locke Bar in Limerick, Ireland
Between the three of us we enjoyed, broccoli cheddar soup, potato leek soup, onion rings, baked potato, brown bread with butter, hot chocolate and even some virgin drinks, which included a non-alcoholic beer. Once we got a glimpse of the dessert menu we knew we had to save room for desserts so we ordered a bit on the light side!
Everything was so tasty, except for the non-alcoholic beer – that was sampled by all of us but was not polished off as the rest of our meals were! After our main meals we ordered two rounds of Irish Sticky Toffee Pudding and a brownie sundae! Sticky Toffee Pudding is a dessert worth making the trip to Ireland for! It’s made primarily of a sweet version of Ireland’s famous warm brown bread, and the bread it’s swimming in sweet, warm, mouthwatering toffee and a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. We all dream of this dessert…and I hope to have my own recipe coming to the blog soon!
We did eat many of our meals in pubs on this trip but The Locke Bar was a definite favorite of the group! We’ll always remember the Food, Folks and Fun that was had here! If you’re ever in the area, the Locke is the place to be for some dinner, and lively Irish music and dancing!
Below is a video of me taking my first swig of Non-alcoholic beer…Let’s just say it’s not going on my list of favorite beverages anytime soon!
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I still dream of that pub! Love, love, loved everything about it!
I know, right?! I need to get on a sticky toffee pudding copycat recipe stat!
Jillian, I loved the article. My husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland in the near future as I am half Irish!
Yay! I’m so glad you liked it! You’re going to love Ireland!
Maggie Cooper says
I have Irish roots and would have loved going on
your trip. Hope you get to go back soon.
I hope so, too! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
I am so happy that you got to go Limerick . I would love to go there someday. I love the music from there. The food looks amazing too.
It is such a fun and lively city! I hope you get there one day, and soon! 🙂
I LOVE Limerick! SO MUCH FUN!
Me, too! Such a fun time there!
I stumbled across your page and have been to Ireland but tried to do everything by rail/tourist bus, taxi and of course, there is never enough time to see and do it all. I am curious, did you rent a car and drive? How did your group get around? I’ve been to Europe probably a dozen times but have never gotten brave enough to drive. I’ve seen Groupons for the Ashford Castle before but it seemed remote and transportation was a concern, I didn’t want to end up paying $200 for a taxi to get there! Any suggestions on getting around?
Hi Penny. I was traveling with my sister-in-law and niece and I rented a car. I also rented a wifi device from the rental car company and this enabled me to use GPS on my phone. I *HIGHLY* recommend some sort of Wi-Fi device or UK SIM card so that you can have data on your phone for navigation because a lot of the roads in Ireland are not marked, especially out in the countryside!
We drove ourselves and were completely self-paced. I personally like this method over tour groups and public transport. I’ve lived in Japan for 2.5 years and have gotten used to driving on the left side of the road. It is a bit unnerving at first, but you get the hang of it rather quickly. Definitely take it slower on the back roads in Ireland because many of them are small.
If you rent a car then I definitely recommend Ashford Castle. While it is a bit remote, I love that it’s a resort-style hotel with many activities to take part in on the property. Its a nice place to take a breathe in the middle of your time in Ireland.
Also, if you rent a car in Ireland and don’t pay for the extra insurance, chances are they will put a $4000 hold on your credit card (which will be released a few days after you drop off the car).
I hope this info helps, and let me know if you have any further questions!
Loved all of these had the two year old we watch make it and bring it home for leprechans. Loved reminiscing as I read your trip to limerick. We got snowed in jon and I and spent two extra days in limerick and shannon. I took series of doors of shannon that i still have
I just LOVE Limerick and Shannon, such a beautiful part of Ireland. Thanks for stopping by to share your experience. 🙂