Very odd to have a cash-only bar these days, yet, that's what you have with Bruxelles. Leaving that aside this is an old pub - but not Old as in a bit 'Orish' and traditional, more old as in it has been around for a very long time but has always managed to be one of the slightly cooler (read: rock) bars in the city - it has a slightly alternate vibe and (for the most part) clientele.
Great place to hang out with a reasonable (not brilliant, but reasonable) selection of beers on tap. wine served is of the quarter bottle, don't-ask-for-anything-more-than-red-or-white, variety.
It's wednesday evening, it's late, and I'm walking down a dark and surprisingly empty grafton street, as we turn the corner towards Bruxelles. There's a variety of people outside having pints, from people in their work clothes, to tourists, to guys who look like they belong in a punk rock band. We slide through the people, and sneak down stairs (ok, we didn't sneak... we just walked down the stairs).... and BAM, IT'S ZODIAC SESSION TIME!
From what I've been told, I think they only do Zodiac sessions on Wednesdays, but I highly recommend going! It's like an open mic night... ok, well it IS an open mic night, ha ha. Each group/person/band goes up and is allowed to play three songs. Then you have a short break as the next band starts up. It was a really great way to see a variety of musicians and differing types of music. The venue is really neat as well. Because it was Wednesday, the basement where they were performing wasn't particularly packed, so there was a seat for everyone. I was very happy about this after having worked all day. They also have speakers well placed so even if you can't see the stage, you can clearly hear what they're playing. And you seriously get a very good mix of people, which makes it so interesting!
The only thing I would change, is that it would be nice if there were two nights a week they offered it, even if it was on a Sunday. It'd be nice to go in and listen to music when I wasn't so tired after working. Either way, will definitely be back again in the future. Great way to hear new bands, and do something a bit different then just sit around on Wednesday.
Great food great service. Loved it here. Brown bread and mussels and cobble was delicious. Guinness was cheap! Would highly recommend
Zodiac Sessions on a Wednesday - amazing singer song writers !
Such a good night there last week will be making this a regular thing for sure. It's an open mic night so lots of young new talent. The quality of the acts was amazing and Jazz who organises it does a brilliant job. Great to see new raw talent getting a platform. The basement in Bruxelles is also the perfect place for this not too big and you can pop in and out for different acts. Highly recommended.
Great place to grab a few drinks on a weeknight. Great outdoor patio with outdoor heaters as the nights cool down. If you're out for the night on a weekend, it has 2 bars on the lower level. A bit pricier than other bars in Dublin but if you're out for the atmosphere, this is a great place!
Annnd, they have Hoegarden on tap :)
This was one of the places I normally stopped by when I went out with my colleagues. We started somewhere else, we ended up in Club 38 or Cafe En Seine and in between we were in the Bruxelles at one time. It is nothing very special, but it is not bad. So... way better than most of what you can find in Temple Bar, but probably not as good as Castle Lounge or Grogans.
€6.80 for a glass of white wine? And it can't be said the price reflected the quality of the service.
They don't take laser? Or perhaps it was just on the night in question. Surely a place which charges a mint for their alcohol can afford to install a credit card machine.
Normally I carry cash. Turns out the cash in my pocket didn't cover the prices in this pub!
€5.50 for a pint of Guinness after 11 O'Clock. thieves!!!! Won't be here again.
In fairness the music is great, but getting pushed all over the place because the pub is too small, plus the fact that they have the cheek to raise the price of drink after 11 o'clock, adds to my disgust of this pub.
Perfect spot to grab a pint and watch the foot traffic of Grafton St. go by. This is one of my favorite places to meet friends for an early evening pint since it's very centrally located and you can easily hope from pub to pub from here.
On certain nights they have music down stairs for the "Zodiac Sessions" and it can get a little crowded but it's well worth it. I was a little sceptical at first when my friends brought me downstairs but the quality of the music really impressed me.
Out on a Saturday, we had one pre-dinner drink and then fair few post-dinner drinks here.
We started off in Flanders Bar where the music went from classic rock to very heavy to mainstream rock. A bit for everyone here.
We then moved to the Zodiac bar as it had become a tad too loud for our conversation to be heard when the DJ started his set in Flanders Bar.
Here the music was recent mainstream indie rock and at an easier level. It was also very comfortable and not jammed with people.
In the Zodiac bar, the guy working the floor was on the ball and kept all the tables cleared of empties. He also jumped in quick when a pint was spilled. All this and he still had a smile on his face. The bar staff were good too, efficient.
Toilets could be a bit nicer though.
All in all, Bruxelles has a bar type for most people.
Is it fair to judge Bruxelles merely by its open mic night? I say it is-- if they have a truly crappy open mic night, and then constantly invite the public to suffer through it.
I read about Bruxelles' open mic night in every single city guide, events magazine, and guidebook that crossed my path. Coolest indie bar in Dublin. Up-and-coming soon-to-be-famous acts playing at the amazing open mic night. OK fine. I have nothing better to do. I'll go. And I'll drag my husband along with me.
Crappy Music: The guitar-playing singer/songwriter guy who seemed to run the whole show was the only one with decent songs and a decent voice. The rest of them were very, very, very bad. All of the worst, self-indulgent things you hate about open mic shows: Long sets. Self-imposed encores. Song explanations. Deep, meaningful pauses. Gag me. It was like Sarah McLaughlin had horrible children with Dave Matthews.
Crappy Drinks: Slushie what? A shot made of more than 3 alcohols? Wait a second...am I at a frat party in Missouri?
Crappy Bartenders: Hey. HEY. HEY!!! Sourpuss the bartender must have forgotten he was actually at work...you know...tending bar...instead of sitting at Bruxelles enjoying the open mic showcase. At least somebody was.
Just a short stroll from Stephen's Green, tucked away off Grafton Street lies a Bruxelles.
It's a great spot to say the least and in an ideal location.... and not just because college is just around the corner. Needless to say there have been classes skipped in the past to satisfy the thirst.
It's a warm and cosy little place which is uncommon given you're in the heart of the city center. Myself and my friends are particularly fond of a little nook in the very corner of the ground level bar, charming and intimate. If hunger sets in after a few cold ones, the bar menu is extensive, and coy. However, prices are a little extortionate for what it is. Chicken nuggets setting you back €7.00. Having said that, the fare is wholesome and hits the spot.
We've all been there, you promise yourself "Just one or two, then I'll head home." 9 times out of 10, you don't follow up on your promise. Bruxelles has two other bars located in its underbelly. As you descend the stairs, you're presented with two options, left or right..... both lead to more drink. One 'rock' bar that plays old school rock tunes and a word of warning; it can be a bit on the heavy side. However it's smiles all around as it offers pints and other drinks for €4 after 9pm. Turn right and you're into a more chilled out room where they feature live acts, though I do believe this is only some nights.
All in all, I would highly recommend Bruxelles. On a footnote, it's one of the few places in Dublin that pour a really good pint of the black stuff.
Go for two, stay for a few....... more!
Kilkenny AND Beamish on draught.
That's really enough, but Bruxelles also offers:
A fantastic location right off Grafton Street.
Outdoor seating AND a funky downstairs space.
A continental vibe on the main floor, a nice change of pace from a classic Irish pub.
Pretty friendly service. My first Guinness in Dublin went down very well. For a starter, I had the veggie soup served with soda bread. Soup was ok. The soda bread with butter was amazing. Very simple, bread was really tasty. For my main, I had the smoked salmon plate. It was good, just too much smoked salmon. I did not think salmon croquette were very good. Maybe a little strange. Nice little place to enjoy a pint off Grafton.
In town on a cold but sunny day and was walking past this pub when I noticed they had Mussels on the menu for lunch. How could I by pass that?
Sat outside as I had the dog with me and placed my order. The staff were great and even offered water for the dog. The Mussels were great and I throughly enjoyed every single one.
Slight problem as the weather changed and it started to rain BUT as their outside seating area is good with awning I was able to position myself to avoid most of the drips.
By the time I had finished the sun was out again - life is good.
The extra star is for them offering water for the dog.
First night in Dublin awhile back, my brother and I popped in here after walking around getting a feel for the city. Watched some sort of charity soccer match on TV, had a couple beers and figured out after the third or fourth there's no tipping the bartender an extra dollar or euro per drink in Ireland. Nice.
Week later, back in Dublin. Watched the England v. USA World Cup match at The Bleeding Horse, met a couple Swedes who suggested we go to a great place for some "real American music". Took me to Bruxelles (in a city of so many pubs of course they bring me to the one I'd already been to) and downstairs to the vaguely clubish portion. I remember people being very excited for some classic rock, drinking Guinness with a straw and...
Four stars for nostalgia, but otherwise unremarkable. One of the closest pubs to Grafton Street from what I remember, so a classier joint than those in Temple Bar and the prices reflect that.
Unless you're having a pint outside on a sunny day, walk right past the dreadful upstairs pub into the basement. Turn left, and you find yourself in a dark metal bar, the jukebox blasting everything from classic Sabbath and Maiden to Slayer and weird Scandinavian bands that might give you nightmares.
Turn right, and it's a completely different vibe. Sleek, modern decor straight out of SoHo (either one will do) and indie music.
It seems weird at first, but when I lived in Dublin this was one of my mainstays, since I could walk back and forth between the rooms, chatting with friends and listening to great music.
Great little pub right off Grafton street with warm welcoming staff. The food was incredible - especially the beef and Guinness stew which is our pub staple. Two small thing prevented this from 5 stars...I found it odd that even though they are names after Brussels they had no Belgium beers on tap and they don't clean the barnacles off their mussels.
Perfect place to grab a pint and nibble after shopping Grafton Street. Patio seating available.
Bruxelles is many things rolled into one, meaning that it appeals to different people for different reasons. Located off of upper Grafton Street, a lot of Dubliners will be familiar with this spot. Some shoppers come here during the day to relax outside in the terrace with a cool drink. Others, like the older generation maybe, prefer to sit inside where the ambiance is more traditional pub. Music lovers might choose to go upstairs or downstairs depending on what they want to hear. The top floor puts on classic rock and jazz shows while the basement caters to metal heads.
The downstairs comes to a bit of a shock if you've wandered down there to use the toilets. It's very dark and hardcore head banger. Someone once compared it to a scene from Wayne's World. I think that sums up the atmosphere nicely.
On a night out, there's always one person who's a bit finicky. I'm very aware that I'm being polite towards the person who complains the whole night unless you bring them to their favourite pub which inevitably turns you into the complainer.
I've got a friend who is one such person. To add to it, he loves Metal. The thing is, unless the location has an area where the music involves drop-tuned guitars and vocalists who sound like washing machines that have spent the afternoon cleaning bricks, my friend will spend the evening complaining.
I'm serious! We can't take him anywhere nice because to every pubs' shame they don't have a metal bar or an area where the dress code revolves around black t-shirts and jeans. Then, if we allow him to pick the pub, inevitably it's some complete dive!
Now, Bruxies is not what I'd call my favourite pub in the world. The drinks are poured quickly and often times you're amazed that the beer is still in the glass after they fling it in your general direction. However, that's all forgiven because of the metal-bar in the basement.
I discovered this place a few years back. I literally spent the entire week tryign to figure out a place we could ALL go and not have to endure any complaints from anyone. Bruxelles sorted this all out! Now if my Metal-head friend is out for the night, we've got a place we can bring him where everyone's happy. There's the metal-bar, the ground floor bar where the music is a bit more mainstream and a decent enough smoking area.
4-stars go to Bruxelles because they managed to sort out the problem I mentioned above and have continued to do so!
Popped into Bruxelles yesteraday as it was sunny and they have a grand seating area outside. When it got chilly we went downstairs for a game of pool.
While I dragged up some OLD heavy metal on the impressively stocked juke box, I was bought a JD and coke slush puppy which tasted like coke. The Guinness was sound and the music was great. Anyone we played against was a good laugh and the barstaff looed.....like barstaff in a rock bar... Pissed off. Very funny.
It loses a star because we were a bit bleh by the couple (Courtney Love look-alike and some feckin eejit) nearly doing the full gonky at a table near us. Get a room, Jesus.
All in all, if you love good rock, its a great little bar downstairs and don't forget the statue of Phil Lynott for photos outside, bring a rose for Philo
Bruxelles is just off Grafton St and (on first impressions) one of the most laid back bars in this area of town.
Visited Bruxelles midweek and got the feeling it was quite a chilled out bar, free of gimmicks. Felt totally at home in here, and it's just like the places I love drinking in back home. Good mix of music, cosy, looks quite old school, good mix of people and good banter. Great for a quiet one after work and a decent enough selection of booze behind the bar. Drink isn't the cheapest but being situated in the city centre, the prices are what you'd expect in this part of town. Lots of people were ordering food and, due to its laid back vibe on the upstairs floor, a lot of couples were coming in for a quiet meal.
Wasn't here for a gig, didn't go downstairs and wasn't here for the weekend regrettably, but I get the impression they throw a good party depending on which night you're there. My pal is into the kind of music they play downstairs, so if you're into rock music it might be worth a shout on a Friday or Saturday. I just liked it because it wasn't self conscious, and was a great place to visit if you wanted a chat with your pals with some good tunes in the background. If I'm ever back in Dublin, this would be one of my regular haunts.
Bruxelles which is just of Grafton Street to me is what a typical Irish pub should be a place you can for a pint or 10 and just be in surroundings where it is comfortable, warm and inviting and full of typical Irish banter which to me is a rare and beautiful thing.
During the Day time Bruxelles does absolutely beautiful food anything from a traditional Irish stew to Sea Food etc... and the staff are warm inviting and friendly always up for a laugh and a joke and some great banter between themselves and the customers which really adds to the experience.
At night is when Bruxelles really comes alive with three bars on the premise the main bar up stairs and two other bars down stairs the drinks flow and the banter ensues always great fun to be around like minded people who are there for a good time and just to enjoy themselves. I've never seen a fight in Bruxelles in all my times being there which is a testament to its reputation as just a great place to enjoy yourself have a few pints and talk to and meet like minded people in a superb setting. Long may Bruxelles remain just how it is a wonderful and incredibly enjoyable establishment.
Nice place, but a bit of a kiddie disco in the weekend.
A metal disco, yes, but still a kiddie disco.
Bit expensive, like most bars south of the river.
If, like me, you're into loud music, it's worth a visit.
Given my metalhead for life stature, I should be in here on a regular basis, but somehow I come here about twice a year.
Had a bite to eat here on Friday last. OMG it was fabulous. Very very tasty traditional irish grub. My friend from Boston had Bacon, cabbage n'mash with parsley sauce, two of the group had shepherds pie with side salad and two others had fish n'chips. There wasnt a sound as we munched happily on our food with words of 'god this is soooo good. Portions were plentiful and a couple next to us raved about their meal of coddle and mussels. A must for visitors from overseas who want to get a flavour of good aul' Oirish grub. Gets a thumbs up from me. Oh and the service was fast and very friendly
Really busy on a Friday night, but service is quick, typical Temple bar prices, death/black metal bar downstairs is a tad heavy for me but had a pint in there when it mellowed to Motorhead,other rooms are a bit more melodic but the talking is louder.
I've been drinking there since I was.......well old enough to drink ;) Love the place, always a great pub to start your friday night. We used to always drink downstairs in the 'Mod' bar, but they modernised it a good few years ago, so now we just drink upstairs. Friday gets packed with the after-work drinkers, but it's well worth cramming into a spot, especially when the DJ starts playing all your favourite classics !
Friendly and fun, thankfully close to most major hotels so you can easily stumble home! Lots to do here, whether listen to live music downstairs, watch a game and people upstairs, whatever. The only drawback is that it gets super crowded, and really hard to make your way from one side to the other in the upstairs area.
I was in Dublin for a week and found Bruxelles by chance one Saturday night. It was by far the best music bar that I had been to in Dublin. There was just such a great vibe there. Everyone was really friendly, the pints were tasty and the music ROCKED! It was soo good that I went back one more time - and still had a fabulous night. The next time I am in Dublin, I will definitely be making an appearance at Bruxelles.
This is one of my favourite pubs in Dublin. There is always a good crowd here, and they play good music. Don't expect that stuff you hear on the radio - they have a very alternative crowd here most nights and play lots of good alternative/indy/metal/goth tracks. One of the best things that makes this place a Dublin landmark is the fact you can park your bike (motorcycle) right out front and you're just a few metres from Grafton street. I hit this place at least once a week and any time I am driving up to Stephens Green. The staff are brilliant (many are bikers themselves) and the atmosphere is brilliant.
noisy, busy and very entertaining place. they have 3 sections, a room upstairs which is sort of for tourists and watching football matches and 'normal' people, while downstairs is for rock/heavy metal (can i call it that?) and mixed music
the only bad thing is that it can get so packed that you will only get standing room and it can be hard to get to the bar.
its not really a place to take your posh friends as its pretty much down to earth. i like the music downstairs to the left as they play from 80s right up to present day music.
Great little pub, just off of Grafton Street where you can dine in, or on a nice day like today, you can sit outside and watch the people go by while you enjoy a pint or grab a bite to eat. Today, we did both! We live in Dublin for a work assignment and since we are from the States, we like a good club sandwich. Can I say that Bruxelles, hands down, makes the best club sandwich in Dublin, and believe me, we've tried many! Today, my husband had the salmon platter with three kinds of salmon...BBQ, salmon cake and smoked with a lovely salad served alongside brown bread. I, of course, had the club and it was a generous size, filled with egg, "crispy" bacon (hard to find in Ireland), turkey, tomato and lettuce served with cole slaw and a sprinkling of fries. My husband enjoyed a couple pints of Guinness, not a bad pour, and I had a Recorderlig cider. This place never let's us down from their delicious soup, salads, mussels, and toasties, we are always satisfied and today being able to eat outside in the sunshine was just another benefit of going to Bruxelles!
Great buzz yesterday evening in Dublin supping a few pints of the black stuff outside Bruxelles watching the world go by. What more could a man want.
Used to play shows there with The Mary Stokes Band .. always a good time! Great atmosphere and the perfect corner on Grafton @ Henry St. .. I always send people there from the States! XO!
Excellent rock club downstairs with good crowd and lots of regulars so fun friendly atmosphere! It can get very crowded down here but it only adds to the fun feel of the place!
Charming pub in town would go there anytime :-)
so your walking down Grafton street and you have a thirst for a pint, into Bruxelles you go, a lovely old looking Irish pub with long windows and benches underneath them. the bar almost covers one length of the room which gives it a lovely old school feel. its a sunny day so you have another pint out side, you are protected by a big awning and fency things but you still feel like your part of the pub and part of the street at the same time.
anyway you have had two pints at this stage and your bladder is calling for an enptying so down the dark stairs you go into a totally different world of rockers and long hair, black clothes and leather, you quickly do your business and run up the stairs again before your swallowed by the scary basement!
now i realise that all the other reviews say how great a place it is downstairs but rock music has never appealed to me really, i find it a bit scary! but im sure that it is a great place, i just like light and sunshine and happy music!
This is a brilliant rocker bar. Anyone who is into any type of rock music would love this place. It's not exactly the most attractive pub, but it's a place so filled with character and such an established atmosphere. The staff are wonderful and helpful, and the people who frequent there always seem really happy to be there. I definitely don't go here as often as I would like to. Overall, the prices aren't too shabby, the music is brilliant, the drinks are great, what more can you ask for? (Also it was considered one of the top 100 pubs in Dublin according to a book I saw in Eason's! I agree.)
The Bruxelles had been my first port of call after I moved to Ireland, especially due to the metalheads that frequent this no-frills establishment off Grafton St. A nice basement club that's divided into a Heavy Metal- and an Alternative/Rock-area welcomes the (sometimes underage-)rockers on the weekend, and there's a classic pub with late licence on the ground floor. Oh, and the Phil Lynnot-statue is directly in front of it.
This cafe bar and lounge is awesome and definitely well worth a visit. Downstairs has a dancy feel and upstairs is a little more relaxed. Cocktails are a definite "must have" here and if you are lucky the bartender will do a little bit of a show - kinda like Tom Cruise in the film "Cocktail". Great night out!
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