Davy Byrnes has been an integral part of the Dublin social scene forever. Immortalised by James Joyce in Ulysses, its central location just off Grafton Street and its great service and good food have made it on eof Dublin's most famous pubs. There are rarely times you won't find it busy with an eclectic group of customers ranging from older regulars in for a pint, to tourists and plenty of bright young things from the businesses around.
Davy Byrnes décor is original, authentic and pre-Second World War in theme. Boasting an excellent art collection, visitors can appreciate the three educational murals of Joycean Dublin by Liam Proud, the priceless murals of the 1940’s by Brendan Behan’s father-in-law, Cecil French Salkeld and the fine sculptures of Eddie Delaney and John Behan.
When the premises are not too busy, visitors inspecting the murals will notice the man who first came to this spot one hundred years ago, Davy Byrne himself.
Food has always been a thing here, even since Leopold Bloom ate his Gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of burgundy, and seafood is the speciality. Half a dozen, or indeed the whole 12 of oysters with a pint of Guinness are always a good idea, and a special treat when bringing visitors for a treat in town. Smoked salmon, fresh fish of the day and a seafood platter with all manner of aquatic creatures always figure on the menu.
The hot food selection is varied and includes homemade palms sausages with gravy, and steak, homemade burger or fish and chips. Prices are very reasonable, with starters mostly €5-7 and most of the main courses coming in the early teens.
I find it hard to pass a proper prawn cocktail, and the one in Davy's is hard to beat. It's served in a short glass with fresh brown bread and comes with a teaspoon, which makes it easy to spread the prawns and Marie Rose sauce on the lovely bread and make your own open sandwiches. Delicious.
Beer battered fish and chips are always a good idea and this dish was generous and was depressed with a side salad. Crispy batter, fluffy chips and nicely cooked fish led me to some Christmas pudding and cream, for the season was in it. A lovely early dinner and a pint of plain and I was off once more into the throng of Christmas shoppers after a lovely sojourn in one of Dublin's finest hostelries.
If by some miracle you live here and have never been, rectify the oversight. For tourists and visitors it's a must. Enjoy