Nobody drinks like the Irish, or so we’ve heard. So it comes as no surprise that there are a plethora of fantastic bars, pubs and clubs in the city. We’ve picked out the best spots for a quiet pint, a glass of wine or a craft cocktail.
Nightlife in Derry/Londonderry
If you’re partial to a bit of jazz and blues, Bennigans Bar on John Street should be your first port of call. They put on some huge gigs, with recent guests including jazz legend David Lyttle. Even if there’s no live music, the buzzy atmosphere is kept going by the welcoming locals.
Next up is Blackbird on Foyle Street. Cocktails and burgers are the names of the game here, and both are up there with the best in the city. It has a warm, welcoming atmosphere and is a great place to stop off when exploring the area thanks to its prime location just off Peace Bridge.
Just a few steps around the corner is Sandinos, a funky bar with a penchant for edgy ales and live music. Their stage is often filled with local artists and their taps are always filled with a range of local and imported beers.
For a glass of wine by the river, head to Quayside Wine Bar and Restaurant on Boating Club Lane. It’s an upmarket affair with a huge bar and mezzanine floor where you can enjoy fine dining and some superb wines and cocktails.
Bars in Derry/Londonderry
Pubs in Derry/Londonderry
If you’re on the hunt for a good pint of Guinness in Derry/Londonderry, you’ll find it at almost any bar or pub you come across. That said, our favourite pub in the area is Peadar O’Donnell’s. It’s a very traditional watering hole, with trinkets and flags hanging on the walls and beamed ceilings. The atmosphere is great, with the friendly locals often proving to be as quirky as the decor.
The second stop on our pub crawl of Derry/Londonderry is The River Inn. It’s the city’s oldest-cited bar, first opening its doors to thirsty locals in 1684. There are touches to remind visitors of its heritage, such as the stained-glass windows, but the pub has mostly moved with the times. If you’re planning on eating at a pub, this is a good place to choose thanks to their affordable and filling menu.
Calling all craft ale fans! Walled City Brewery, housed in the old army barracks on Ebrington Street, is the place to get your fix. They’ve done a great job with the decor and an even better job with their home-brewed ales and beers. If sampling them isn’t enough, you can learn all about the 9,000-year history of brewing by attending one of their beer masterclasses.
Our final pub recommendation enjoys a prime location between the city’s best theatres and shopping areas. Badgers Bar is an award-winning gastropub perfect for a stop-off pint or a hearty meal. They welcome children and cater to them with a kids menu. The bar is well-stocked with beers, wines and spirits.