Go to almost any city in the world, and odds are you can find a pint of Guinness at a bar calling itself an Irish pub. As Bill Barich told us earlier this week, the worldwide pubs don’t necessarily bear much resemblance to the real Dublin thing, but they’re second only to Chinese restaurants in the reach and scope of their worldwide distribution. So, we thought we’d try to find some of the world’s unlikeliest Irish pubs, and calculate their distance from Dublin (as the crow flies, assuming he hasn’t had one too many).
1,736 Miles from Dublin (MfD)
Moscow, Russia: The tiny Silver’s Irish Pub opened in 1997, and in a city (and country) awash with vodka, has been a beery haven for the city’s expat crowd ever since.
Baku, Azerbaijan: The capital of Azerbaijan is home to at least five Irish pubs, including The Tower, The Corner, Finnegan’s, Shamrock, and O’Malleys, alongside a bunch of other British pubs, like the Caledonia and Britannia, kept in business by the city’s large population of Scottish oil workers.
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Lagos, Nigeria: More Guinness is drunk in Nigeria than in Ireland, and ever since the company opened a brewery in the heart of Lagos in 1962, the dark drink has become such a part of the country’s culture that you’d have a hard time finding a bar without the the 7.5 percent alcohol local variety. Curiously, the fact that you can get Guinness (albeit in a bottle) everywhere means that there aren’t any Irish pubs in the city. A 2009 article on the Global Post interviewed the 43-year-old Abigola Williams, who called himself “a confirmed Guinness drinker” but had never heard of St. Patrick’s Day. And as Bill Barich noted, it’s popular in Nigeria not just for its flavor but also for its supposed (positive) effects on a man’s sexual prowess.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: The Grand Khaan Irish Pub looks more like a mini-mall than a hole-in-the-wall, but it’s still got Guinness. Unfortunately, that Guinness only comes in cans (!), according to a recent TripAdvisor reviewer, who also called it “the place to be if you are doing business in UB” and noted that they have “good pizza”.
Kathmandu, Nepal: The Himalayan city is home to not one but two Irish pubs, the Everest Irish Pub and Irish Pub Lazimpat, making sure that would-be Sir Edmund Hilarys are well-supplied with pints before their ascents.
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Lusaka, Zambia: Like many other cities that were once under British colonial rule, the capital of Zambia has at least two Irish pubs, McGinty’s and O’Hagan’s, the latter of which has been making some weird jokes on Facebook about Barack O’Bama visiting on St. Paddy’s.
Osaka, Japan: Murphy’s Irish pub claims to be the oldest in Japan, nestled on the sixth floor of a downtown building that looks a lot like a ’50s-style rocketship. This bar was, believe it or not, actually the first place where I ever ordered a Guinness, when I was 16 years old and traveling alone in the Kansai region. I was there to try to make some expat friends and watch the hilariously bad North Korean Godzilla rip-off Pulgasari. The pint tasted great.
Gili Trawangan, Indonesia: This small island off the coast of the island of Lombok, in the Indonesian archipelago, is a popular tourist destination for those who want to get fairly far away from it all. And of course, there’s an Irish pub called Tir na Nog, named after the mythical Irish island of the gods, right on the beach.
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Ushuaia, Argentina: This is the world’s southernmost city, down at the tip of Tierra del Fuego, and (no surprise) it has a bunch of Irish pubs! There’s the Dublin, the Galway, and the not very Irish sounding but very Irish looking Bar Ideal. And according to a sign in mangled English (the best kind of English, some Irishmen say) that one traveler found at one of those three (or possibly yet another!) you can “taste, of our fast meals, drinks and beers watching the Channel of Beagle and the Port of the Aim of the World, listening most exclusive music.” Sounds great.
Dunedin, New Zealand: New Zealand might not seem as wacky as some of the other places on this list, but given that the circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles, this college town on New Zealand’s South Island is actually the farthest you can possibly get from Dublin without being on a boat. We don’t doubt that some mad soul has installed a kegerator and a bunch of wood paneling in the cabin of some cargo ship, but as far as non-floating pubs go, Dunedin’s very well-reviewed Bog Irish Bar is likely the absolute farthest pub in the world from the Guinness Gates. And yes, they have it on tap.