I read an interesting article in the excellent Daily Edge this week on the eleven best first date pubs in Galway. First dates do require a lot of strategic planning, there’s plenty you cant control so its vital to get the basic’s right, attire, conversations and of course location. Given the fact that I’ve been in every pub in Galway and been on countless dates in the city he’s my list
1 O Connors in Salthill; If you’re looking for warmth, personality and character this pub certainly has it even if your date doesn’t. No pub looks better at Christmas believe me. This pub is lovely and chilled out, you’ll both feel relaxed and comfortable here and the décor will give plenty of ammo to prevent awkward silences.
2 The Quays Late bar seven nights a week always a crowd and great live music. Popular with tourists the soft lighting and layout are perfect for first dates. A traditional interior in the heart of the Latin Quarter, perfect if she’s from abroad.
3 The Dail; This is a modern venue with open fires which always add to the atmosphere particularly on cold winters nights which are generally ten months a year in Galway. The Dail has a tasty menu if you want nibbles or something more substantial. The cocktail menu is also worth a look if that’s what you’re into but if it’s a more casual affair they have a good selection of herbal teas and coffees.
4 The Front Door; The sister pub of the Dail bar is one of the most popular bars in Galway with good reason. The lighting and cosy seating make the Front Door perfect for dates. With live music and a Dj seven nights a week you’re guaranteed a crowd and worst case scenario if the date goes pear shaped you could meet someone else if you decide to go for a lap.
5 Taffees; The places is always hopping, if you can’t get a seat you’ll be able to enjoy top class trad music and great drink at your own leisure. If you’re standing up fear not it’ll allow you to get up close and personal faster if things are moving in the right direction.
6 The Kings Head; At the bottom of Shop St is one of the best known pubs in town. Ticks all the boxes warm, soft lighting, busy and cosy. Very lively at the weekends but ideal for a midweek meet up.
7 The Skeff; Overlooking Eyre Sq the Skeff is always a safe bet for a first meeting. The Skeff calls itself Galway’s meeting place with plenty of justification. Ample drinks selection and close to the bus stops to save your dating having to negotiate the high heel unfriendly cobbles of Shop Street.
8 An Pucan; Since its renovation last summer the Pucan has gone from strength to strength, with friendly staff and good music the booths in the front bar could have designed for dates. The food menu has something for all tastes including a number of Oyster dishes to get you both in the mood.
9 The Gaslight Brassiere in the Meyrick; Again in Eyre Sq for comfort this place oozes class and sophistication without trying too hard, the venue is very spacious and has terrific views of the heart of our city. Taking a date here shows thoughtfulness and planning, the outdoor hottub on the roof can also be fun talking point.
10 McSwiggans; A top spot for food McSwiggans is also perfect for a date plenty of alcoves and quiet areas for you to meet and talk the usual nonsense that accompanies first dates.
11 Massimo; The West has a few great pubs but the best for a first date is definitely Massimo. The interior is first class, sophisticated and extremely cool, the vibe here is generally pretty laid back so should help set the tone for your evening. The menu is extremely cool too
This is not a list of my favourite bars in Galway, simply places I have been and find suitable for the occasion. Any list of first date pubs is obviously subjective, it depends your personality and your date. Galway has an amazing nightlife and as I compile other lists I’m certain other venue will feature.