Off on a road trip along the incredible Causeway Coastal Route? Make sure to stop off at a few of these lively pubs for a few scoops or some delicious pub grub. 

No weekend away is complete without a trip to a cosy pub. And boy does the Causeway Coast deliver them in abundance. Offering everything from traditional Irish pubs to more upmarket bars, the nightlife along the Causeway Coast will certainly not disappoint.

Here is a roundup of some of our favourite bars along the stunning Causeway Coastal Route:

1. McCollam’s, Cushendall

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This family-run traditional Irish pub is the ideal spot for music lovers. Located in the centre of Cushendall village in the beautiful Glens of Antrim you can expect traditional Irish music, folk, ballads, blues and lots more. With cosy open fires, friendly staff and a homey feel, you will never want to leave this place!

More info: McCollams

2. Mary McBride’s, Cushendun


Step back in time at Mary McBride’s in the heart of Cushendun. Enjoy a whiskey tasting in the original 5 x 9ft bar at the front of the premises while owner Cormac tells you stories of former landlady Mary McBride. Or alternatively, you can cosy up in front of one of the turf fires and enjoy a spot of pub grub. There’s the added bonus of live music on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Many of these have turned into a singsong long into the night.

More info: Mary McBride’s

3. The Central Bar, Ballycastle

The fact that this place has a wood burning stove right in the centre of the bar says it all. It’s warm, cosy and welcoming. And on the weekends it’s great craic to boot thanks to an impressive line-up of live music acts. And as if that isn’t enough to entice you, the food is pretty epic too. We gorged on smoked cod straight off the boat, braised beef and oozing chocolate fondants as we made our way through the extensive and utterly delicious cocktail menu.

More info: The Central Bar

7 of the Best Cafes on the Causeway Coastal Route

4. The Fullerton Arms, Ballintoy

Causeway Coastal Route pub

Overlooking the picture-perfect Ballintoy Harbour, the Fullerton Arms is the perfect place to end an action-packed day. Offering accommodation, a restaurant and live music in the evenings, this place feels like a warm hug when you walk in the door.

More info: The Fullerton Arms

5. The Bush House, Bushmills

Causeway Coastal Route pubs

The Bush House in the heart of Bushmills has been dubbed by many to serve the best pint of Guinness on the north coast. With a cosy front bar and more spacious lounge, it’s great for casual drinks with mates. This is a traditional Irish pub in the best sense of the word.

More info: The Bush House

6. The Harbour Bar, Portrush

the Causeway Coastal Route

The Harbour Bar is the perfect combination of old and new. The traditional front bar on the ground floor offers a mean pint of Guinness and a warm welcome. In contrast, the Gin Bar on the first floor offers an impressive range of premium gins and spirits, wood-fired snacks, and live entertainment.

More info: The Harbour Bar

8 of the Best Restaurants on the Causeway Coastal Route

7. Kiwi’s Brew Bar, Portrush

Causeway Coastal Route pub

Beer lovers will be spoilt for choice at this quirky bar. It offers a wide range of craft beers alongside some well-known beer brands. The vast bottled beer selection can be perused through the doors of several chillers situated on both sides of the bar. Don’t worry if you don’t like beer though. There there are local craft ciders, gins and even prosecco on offer too. The evenings in this Kiwi-inspired bar are lively with local music talent playing long into the night.

More info: Kiwi’s Brew Bar

8. The Anchor Bar, Portstewart

Causeway Coastal Route pub

Located just off the pretty promenade in Portstewart, the Anchor Bar has been the hub of the town since 1898. With a trad music session every Thursday and a lively atmosphere every night of the week, there is always great craic to be had at the Anchor Bar. Those looking for food are also well catered for in the adjoining Anchorage restaurant.

More info: The Anchor Bar

Getting to the Causeway Coast:

Just a two-hour jaunt up the road from Dublin, Belfast is really easy to get to thanks to the brilliant M1 motorway. Or alternatively, you can catch the train which takes just over two hours from Connolly Station in Dublin. If you leave your desk at 5pm you can have checked into your hotel, showered and be sipping a delicious cocktail in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter by 8pm. It really is that easy. You can also head straight on up to the Causeway Coast from Belfast. Another 40 minutes will have you in the Ballygally Castle Hotel admiring the epic sea views!

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By Orla O'Muiri

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