What are the Best Sports Bars in Cork?

Cork, a vibrant city in the Republic of Ireland, is renowned for its enthusiastic sports culture and the variety of sports bars that cater to fans. Whether one is looking to catch a rugby match or a football game, there is a range of bars offering live broadcasts on multiple screens, a lively atmosphere, and a selection of beers on tap. Establishments like the Thomond Bar and the Woolshed Baa & Grill are among the popular haunts where locals and visitors alike can enjoy sporting events in a dedicated and welcoming environment.

Need Help Beating the Bookies?

Our expert betting tipsters have been taking cash off the bookies since 2014! If you need a helping hand with winning then why not check them out?

Browse Our Tipsters

Not only do these bars provide a place to watch the game, but they also contribute to the local community by creating a gathering space where people can come together to cheer on their favourite teams. Amidst the selection of Cork’s sports bars, each brings its own unique charm, providing both Irish and international sports coverage, along with essential amenities that heighten the viewing experience. To plan an ideal visit, researching the featured sports and league coverage, along with any special events like all-you-can-eat buffets during games or early openings for breakfast during morning matches, is advisable.

Key Takeaways

  • Cork offers a diverse array of sports bars for watching live sports events.
  • The best bars combine great viewing options with community spirit.
  • Planning a visit should consider specific sports coverage and additional amenities.

Top Sports Bars in Cork

A bustling sports bar in Cork with large TVs, cheering fans, and a lively atmosphere. Tables are filled with drinks and snacks as patrons watch various sports games

Cork boasts a variety of sports bars where locals and visitors alike can enjoy a vibrant atmosphere, an array of beers, and live sports events on big screens. Here’s a look at some of the most popular sports bars in the city centre and beyond.

The Woolshed Baa & Grill

Situated on Sheares Street, The Woolshed Baa & Grill is renowned for its international vibe and an extensive selection of beers. This Australian-themed bar is a go-to destination for sports fans, offering multiple screens and a large beer garden where patrons can watch everything from the Premier League to NFL games.

Rearden’s Bar

Rearden’s Bar, a staple in Cork’s sport pub scene, provides fans with an immersive sports viewing experience. It features high-quality screens throughout and is a favourite for those looking to catch GAA, hurling, and Gaelic football matches. The bar also offers a vast array of beers and a lively atmosphere.

The Old Oak

The Old Oak stands out as a lively joint with an impressive array of live music events complementing the sports screenings. Here, football and rugby fans gather to watch their teams play on large screens while enjoying the local Cork atmosphere.

Mardyke Bowl

Not just a spot for bowling, Mardyke Bowl also draws sports enthusiasts who are keen to view the latest matches. With a variety of screens and events, this venue caters to a diverse clientele. The food menu adds an extra appeal for those spending an evening out.

The Rob Roy

With a more local and traditional feel, The Rob Roy offers a warm Cork welcome. This pub is ideal for watching sporting events with a community of dedicated fans. The Rob Roy regularly features soccer, rugby, and GAA matches on its screens.

The Corner Flag

The Corner Flag is a smaller venue where fans relish a more intimate setting for sports viewing, especially for soccer and rugby. Nestled close to the city centre, it’s a welcoming spot with plenty of seating and heartening pub food.

The Castle Inn

Lastly, The Castle Inn is another must-visit Cork sports bar that melds the charm of an Irish pub with the excitement of sports. This bar is a hotspot for Bundesliga and La Liga fans. It has a cozy interior that’s perfect for both large groups and individuals wanting to enjoy a match on the big screen.

Essential Features of a Great Sports Bar

A lively sports bar with multiple TV screens showing various games, a long bar with a wide selection of drinks, and comfortable seating for patrons to enjoy the action

Identifying the best sports bars hinges on several non-negotiable features. From the beer on offer to the quality of the screens for match day, every aspect contributes to the making of a memorable venue for fans.

Quality and Variety of Beers

A great sports bar should have an extensive range of beers, tapping into both local brews and international favourites. Patrons expect a selection that includes crisp lagers, robust ales, and everything in-between to ensure that their palate is fully catered to.

Food Menu

The food menu ought to complement the beverage selection, offering a mix of classic pub grub and more substantial meals to satisfy hunger throughout the event. Options should include both hearty and lighter fare, accommodating the diverse preferences of a sports bar’s clientele.

Viewing Experience

The main attraction of a sports bar remains the viewing experience. Multiple large screen TVs strategically placed around the bar ensure unobstructed views from all angles. Additional screens may cover less mainstream sports to cater to all fans’ tastes.

Seating and Comfort

Comfortable seating is vital, be it high stools at the bar or plush sofas for groups. Adequate space and a good view of the screens are paramount, so patrons can settle in for the duration of the match without frequent readjustments.

Atmosphere During Events

The atmosphere during live events should be electric, capturing the collective excitement of fans. A sports bar achieves this through careful planning of events and promoting an environment where cheering and lively banter are part of the experience.

Sports and Leagues Featured

Cork’s sports bars cater to an array of international and local sports enthusiasts, offering live broadcasts of major tournaments, leagues, and games across various sports. Fans can revel in the electric ambience as they watch their favourite teams and sports.

International Football

In Cork, sports bars frequently showcase international football matches, particularly from leagues such as the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1. Enthusiasts have the opportunity to watch marquee matches amid a passionate crowd, often with games projected on large screens for an immersive viewing experience.

  • Premier League: Highly prioritised with live coverage of all the exciting fixtures.
  • La Liga: Featuring the best of Spanish club football, presented with avid interest.
  • Serie A: Italian football matches are regularly screened, especially focusing on top clubs.
  • Bundesliga: German league games, well-liked for their fast-paced football, are also a staple.

Gaelic Games

An intrinsic part of Irish culture, Gaelic sports hold a special place in the local sports bars of Cork. Patrons can enjoy GAA matches, including both hurling and Gaelic football, with the venues often supporting local teams and offering a community feel during the games.

  • Hurling: Matches are broadcasted, highlighting the speed and skill of this ancient sport.
  • Gaelic Football: With a blend of football and rugby elements, these matches are a fixture.

Rugby Union and League

Rugby, both union and league, garners significant attention in Cork’s bars. Major tournaments like the Six Nations and domestic club games draw in crowds, demonstrating the sport’s popularity and the passionate following it enjoys within the local community.

  • Rugby Union: International and club-level matches receive comprehensive coverage.
  • Rugby League: While less prominent than union, key games are also screened.

American Sports

The American sports scene, including the NFL, has made substantial inroads into the Irish sports bar culture. Cork’s sports bars adhere to this trend by broadcasting NFL games, satisfying a growing base of American football fans.

  • NFL: Selected matches, especially during the playoffs and Super Bowl, are featured prominently.

Sports bars in Cork provide a comprehensive experience for sports fans by offering live action from around the world, appealing to a diverse and passionate audience. Whether it’s the excitement of a Premier League goal, a sensational try in rugby, or the thrill of a Hurling championship, these establishments bring fans closer to the sports they love.

Planning Your Visit

When selecting the best sports bars in Cork, considering each venue’s location, opening hours, and booking policies ensures a seamless experience. These factors help visitors maximise their enjoyment when attending live sports events in the city.

Location and Accessibility

Cork city centre boasts a number of sports bars that are highly accessible to both locals and tourists. Thomond Bar, for instance, is located within easy walking distance from main transport hubs. This makes local sports bars ideal for visitors who are looking for convenience as well as a vibrant atmosphere. Most venues are situated within a few kilometres of central landmarks, ensuring they are easy to find.

Opening Hours and Peak Times

Popular sports bars in Cork generally open at 11:00 AM. For example, Thomond Bar and Woolshed Baa & Grill start welcoming guests from this time. Peak times often coincide with major sporting events, so it is advisable to plan visits around match schedules to secure the best seating. Visitors should keep in mind that European and international match days could result in earlier opening times and extended operating hours.

Reservations and Group Bookings

For groups planning to enjoy a sporting event together, many sports bars in Cork accommodate reservations. In light of the demand during significant sports events, booking in advance is highly recommended to ensure adequate seating for the entire party. Establishments like Woolshed Baa & Grill encourage group bookings, making it a suitable option for those who prefer certainty over spontaneity.


Cork boasts a vibrant sports bar scene that caters to diverse preferences and sporting events. Among the most highly regarded establishments are Thomond Bar and Woolshed Baa & Grill, both known for their energetic atmosphere and ample television screens, ensuring patrons don’t miss any sporting action.

Thomond Bar is celebrated for its traditional Irish vibe and has been well-received by locals and visitors alike, offering a broad selection of beers on tap. Its favourable reviews highlight the bar as an ideal location to enjoy popular games across a range of sports.

Woolshed Baa & Grill differentiates itself with not only its international array of sports broadcasts but also by its unique blend of sports bar and grill elements, featuring a Mexican-inspired menu. This venue is often recommended for its large screens and comfortable viewing setup, especially when major events are shown on the ‘fan’s terrace’ at the back.

For those looking to combine early sports fixtures with a hearty meal, certain pubs like Dwyers of Washington Street open early and serve full breakfasts during significant tournaments, enhancing the sports viewing experience with a culinary touch.

These bars epitomise the best of Cork’s sports-oriented hospitality, with each offering distinctive qualities that cater to different tastes. Their commitment to providing a comprehensive sports viewing experience is evident and has established them as top destinations for fans to come together and share the thrill of live sports.

Contributing Back to the Community

In Cork, sports bars serve as hubs of social interaction and local support, fostering a sense of unity by actively contributing to the community fabric.

Supporting Local Teams

Many sports bars in Cork display an unwavering commitment to their local teams, frequently featuring matches from local GAA clubs on their screens. This practice not only enhances the viewing experience for patrons who are passionate about Gaelic sports but also reinforces the bars’ dedication to the community. The engagement with local sports extends beyond just airing games; these establishments are known to sponsor teams, host post-match events, and create an inclusive atmosphere where fans and players alike can celebrate the spirit of local sportsmanship. By bolstering local teams, these sports bars cultivate a loyal customer base and contribute to the local economy, reinforcing their role as important community players.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cork is bustling with venues that cater to sports enthusiasts. From live rugby to NFL games, each sports bar has its unique flavour and offerings.

Which Cork city centre spot is ideal for watching live rugby matches?

The Thomond Bar is recognised for rugby viewing with its numerous TVs and a good selection of beers on tap, making it an ideal location for rugby fans.

Can you suggest a popular bar in Cork for catching NFL games?

Woolshed Baa & Grill is a popular destination for NFL supporters, known for its atmosphere and American football broadcasts.

Where in Cork City is the best place to experience F1 race broadcasts?

For F1 racing enthusiasts, the Woolshed Baa & Grill provides an immersive environment with their extensive coverage of racing events.

Are there any notable venues in Cork renowned for their sports-filled atmosphere?

The Thomond Bar and Woolshed Baa & Grill both have a reputation for a sports-filled atmosphere, showcasing a variety of live sporting events.

What locations in Cork offer a vibrant environment for watching major sporting events?

Both the Thomond Bar and Woolshed Baa & Grill are known for their vibrant environments, regularly attracting crowds during major sports broadcasts.

Which establishments are known for showcasing a wide variety of sports in Cork?

Venues like Woolshed Baa & Grill are loved for their wide-ranging sports coverage, from golf and hurling, to football and rugby.

Leave a comment

Free Betting Tips, Direct to Your Inbox

Sign Up Today to Join Betting Gods for FREE and Receive Betting Tips Direct to Your Inbox Every Morning

Not Sure Who to Join?

These are the Top Performing Tipsters in April

Premier Greyhound Tips

1,074 Winners Since October 2014
Total Profit:£34,745.10


Per Month


Win Rate




This Month

In Form

Racing Rundown

332 Winners Since August 2022
Total Profit:£8,232.00


Per Month


Win Rate




This Month


Just Winners

80 Winners Since October 2023
Total Profit:£4,065.25


Per Month


Win Rate




This Month