Where: 435 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 561/620-2540
The lowdown: Downtown Boca is thriving with bars and restaurants of all sorts, but locals love the authenticity of the traditional Irish-American pub atmosphere at the Dubliner in Mizner Park. The inside may be small, with the bar and stage area taking up most of the space, but its outdoor seating area makes it appear much larger.
Sporting events and holidays bring big crowds to Dubliner, especially soccer season and the obvious St. Patrick’s Day. Named one of the top ten places to celebrate the luck of the Irish, the Dubliner takes over Mizner Park with outdoor tables and tents, a prefix menu with all the traditional St. Patty’s Day favorites and live music all day and night. It’s a sight to see and definitely the place to be on this day of the year.
The Dubliner attracts all kinds of people. College-aged kids, adults and even Boca’s finest elders enjoy the Irish-American fare, fully stocked bar and late special events happening every night of the week. The long wooden community-style tables and stools make it easy for big groups to meet up for drinks. Even if you’re just there with one or two other people, you can bet you’ll be friends with everyone at the table by the time you leave. The majority of the crowd tends to be on the younger side, especially as it gets later into the night. But don’t be surprised if you walk into a packed bar and lots of people standing around, no matter what time of day or night.
The intangibles: Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. All drafts, house wine and call liquor selections are half off, and Dubliner favorites such as the Irish Fondue, Scotch Eggs and Boxty Pancakes are only $5.
Guests should definitely stick around even after Happy Hour ends because every night at Dubliner is jam-packed with something going on. Anyone and everyone is welcome for karaoke on Monday nights starting at 8 p.m. — there are more than 30,000 songs you can choose from. On Tuesdays, gather together a group of your smartest friends for the Trivia Challenge at 8 p.m. After you’ve won, plan to come back the following night to celebrate during Whiskey Wednesdays. You can try whiskey from the extensive collection for only $5, plus get discounts on old and rare offerings. The stage gets even more use during the rest of the week, with live entertainment Thursday through Saturday starting at 10 p.m.
Dubliner has also joined the rest of South Florida in offering great deals on Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can get the ever-popular bottomless mimosa, or spice things up with bottomless Black Velvets, a champagne and Guinness mix, instead.
Hours: The Dubliner is open Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m., Saturday from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
For more on bars in Boca Raton, click here.