Bar & pub food 04 447 0219 Madinat Jumeirah

What is it about Irish pubs making great sports bars?

There are myriad reasons, but this popular haunt in Jumeirah Lakes Towers has it spot-on.

Highly Commended in the Best Sports Bar category at our 2018 Music & Nightlife Awards, this always-heaving spot from the global chain has so many screens you’ll barely know where to look.

Generously sized TV screens line your every step at this bar, whether you’re inside, loitering around the circular bar, playing a spot of pool, chilling out in The Baggot annex function room, down in the thick of it by the stage area, or sitting in the sprawling terrace/garden area, which now the weather is cooler is the perfect place to unwind with your pint.

It’s great for kick-off (for Premier League fans), but McGettigan’s also excels in rugby and, rightly so, prioritises Irish sporting endeavours.

But it’s not all about the sports. This friendly pub has a regular crowd that return for the warm vibe and the plethora of deals. Mondays mean a chilled-out ladies’ night with four free drinks, while there’s also a cracking happy hour every day from Saturday until Thursday from noon until 8pm where you’ll get up to 40 percent off. You can’t do much better.

Add to that brunches and comedy nights (see below for this week’s), there’s a heap of reasons to keep coming back.

WHAT IS IT...
A popular. chilled-out Irish bar in JLT

WHY GO...
For the sports – and the eight-hour happy hour

British +971 4 4542638 Emirates Hills

A bona fide family-friendly Dubai institution, Reform Social & Grill is that rare thing – a community pub.

Set in The Lakes, Reform is perfect for a weekend meal with a few drinks – mum and dad can chill out in the garden and let the little ones go wild in the small playground, as well as the makeshift football pitch that goes along with it.

During the week this place also gets rammed with people popping in for a pint and bite to eat on the way home after work. And those bites are very good, by the way, hence the award.

Pâtés, steak tartare and salads pepper the starters – and the pear and Stilton tart is a corker, too. Meanwhile there are four packed sharing platters to choose from, top grills good salads. A special shout out to the burgers as well. Juicy and fat. Just as they should be.

Weekends also mean special roast dinners, see right, with options including chicken and beef – as you’d expect. There’s also a properly authentic bangers and mash on the menu, too, and that will keep you coming back for more, as all the dishes here do.

There are good brekkies at this place, too. This is a real top choice for grub that we wholeheartedly recommend.

04 4383100 04 438 3131 Business Bay

This won our Best Pub Food gong at this year’s Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards, so it’s fair to say we’re a fan. The Eloquent Elephant is a majestically classy pub in the Business Bay end of town, with some of the greatest interiors in the city – all cool lighting, top quality furniture and a curvy, metallic bar dishing out exceptional mixed drinks. The food is stunning, too. The burgers are brilliant, the curries delicious (it is set in an Indian hotel, after all), the gnocchi is infused with truffle and the grilled smoked paprika octopus with padron peppers and turkey chorizo is one of the greatest flavour combinations you’ll find in Dubai. Small bites include crunchy, soda-battered onion rings, triple-cooked, chunky hand-cut chips and Thai-spiced chicken crackers. And the sticky toffee pudding to finish is the stuff of hazy, nostalgia-filled dreams. Simply superb.

British 04 428 3084 Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)

There’s something a bit New York in the roaring ’20s about this place – exposed brick walls dimly lit by low-hanging bulbs, smooth music playing in the background and a feeling in the air that everyone is having a ball. On the ample menu is a blend of European pub classics and more refined protein-heavy dishes. A generous portion of foie gras is a super starter, and make sure you ask the good-humoured waiters for some extra bread to wipe your plate clean. The pub’s readiness to cater for the most carnivorous palates may explain why the octopus and monkfish are distinctly meaty – tasty but they take a lot of chewing. Putting the “gastro” to rest, the pub really is the heart and soul of the venue, backed by décor that mimics the speakeasy bars of the US in the Prohibition Era as much as the modern obsession with all things stripped back. International hops and shorts fill the menu, many of them hard to come by elsewhere in Dubai. JB’s is a feel-good spot at which to share laughs and decent food in stylish surroundings with friends and family.

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