Looking for a pub in Guelph? You’ve come to the right spot! Beth and Ryan have probably been to every pub in Guelph, so they can help guide you! The intent of this blog is to be a guide for anyone looking for a pub in Guelph.

We will revise and update as we need to! This blog post is also part of our larger Best of Guelph series to bring focus to many small businesses and services in Guelph.

Jump links:

The Wooly Pub

Shakespeare Arms

RU Serious

Baker St Station

The Fat Duck

McCabes Irish Pub

Bobby O’Briens

Standing Room Only

The Wooly Pub, 176 Woolwich St

Although actually called The Woolwich Arms, “The Wooly” is what you call it if you’re a local. Located in downtown Guelph, The Wooly has been in the same building since the late 80’s.

It’s Beth and Ryan’s favourite Guelph pub, so it gets the #1 spot.

Inside the century old building that houses the Wooly, you feel like you’re inside someones living room. There’s nothing fancy about it and that’s part of the charm. There are 4 main rooms to the Wooly with one of them being a traditional bar. It’s not big, but it makes you feel as if you’re in a scene from Coronation St.

The Wooly has a back patio too, that’s covered and heated. During COVID this was a nice escape for those who wanted to get out, even in the heart of winter. There’s also the front porch where you can overlook Woolwich St on warm summer afternoons.

The only downside we see to the Wooly is that it’s not really a sports pub- they only have one TV mounted in one room.

The Wooly prides itself on being local, with local sourced ingredients and local beer on tap. Although there are a few exceptions, this local inspired menu resonates well with many.

You can make reservations at the Wooly right from their website mentioned above.

The Shakespeare Arms, 35 Harvard Rd

Across town from the Wooly, just outside the Old University neighbourhood is another English style pub that is also quite popular, The Shakespeare Arms. Locals know it as “Shakeys”.

Shakeys looks and feels like you’re in a small town in England with it’s décor and setup. It’s been in this location in the Harvard Plaza for many years.

The demographic of the Shakespeare Arms is diverse. There are many die-hard locals who frequent the pub. With it’s proximity to the University of Guelph, you’ll also find a healthy crowd of students at times as well.

The food at Shakey’s is definitely traditional pub fare- burgers, fries, fish, wings, steak and mushroom pie. They also have a nice patio for summertime and has ample TV’s inside for sports.

The beer tips into the English style with Guinness, Caffreys and other English options.

R U Serious Bar and Grill, 130 Silvercreek Pkwy N

Yes we’re serious, that’s the name. This favourite pub in West Guelph has been around for thirty years now. Initially it was part of Willow West Mall, but eventually moved to a smaller, but stand alone building across the street. RU Serious is often regarded as the home of Guelph’s best chicken wings.

R U Serious is a family run location that is less of an English pub and more of a sports bar. No matter what time of day you’re here, some sporting event is going to be on one of the many TV’s. It’s easy to see why they have so many regulars; the staff is so inviting and people are very friendly.

It’s worth noting that this location is not big and has a very loyal following of regulars. Depending on the day and time you’re planning to visit, you should call ahead or have a back up plan.

The food is standard pub fare and the beer choices are mostly standard beer options.

On another note, this pub is benefiting from what we believe is neighbourhood gentrification happening in West Guelph. Who knows, maybe a Starbucks will be on the way!

Baker St Station Pub, 76 Baker St

Located on Baker St, this aptly named pub has a great upper and lower patio that is a favourite of many in warmer months.

Baker Street Station, established in 2011 is a mix of English pub meets modern style. Downstairs feels more pub-like, with its bar and bar seats and little room at the back. Upstairs, it feels a little more like a fancy restaurant. The food here is also a little higher end than pub grub.

Personally, this is one of Ryan’s favourite pubs for World Cup Soccer on the upstairs TV.

The beer selection are rotating local taps with a wide variety of options, some more rare than others. If you’re looking for unique beers, Baker St Station may be your spot.

The downside here is that parking can be an issue, especially right now as the Baker St lot is being re-developed.

The Fat Duck Gastro Pub, 210 Kortright Rd W

This popular South Guelph pub is located in a strip plaza at Kortright and Edinburgh in the popular Kortright West neighbourhood. Like the others, the Fat Duck has a very loyal following from many within the area, as well as others coming from all over town.

The Fat Duck offers global dishes from poutine to curries, plus draft beer and cider from international brands to local offerings. The atmosphere here is cozy and welcoming. There’s also a big patio for the outdoor months.

The Fat Duck is also a hang out spot for those interested in Premier League Soccer, European sporting events and The World Cup. If you plan on attending the Fat Duck for one of these, be sure to get there early!

McCabes Irish Pub, 9 Wyndham St N

Located in the heart of downtown Guelph, McCabes Irish Pub is a great people watching spot in the warmer months. They have giant windows that roll up and let in a nice summer breeze. They have TV’s that are always playing a baseball, football or hockey game.

In recent years, this pub has had the benefit of the summer downtown Guelph patios season that extends into the roadway. Even without this, the bar has great seats along the windows. There’s also a long bar that you can sit if you’d like.

Most would consider food here to be pub grub: chicken wings, burgers, fries (even irish fries) and many traditional fried foods. Beers and ciders are a mix of national brands and some locals.

Bobby O’Briens Irish Pub, 90 MacDonell St

Just up the street from McCabes is Bobby O’Briens. The fact that two pubs that are somewhat similar goes to show the support that this pub format has.

“Bobby’s” is a popular spot for recreational sports teams after a game and for those who want to watch sports on TV. Crowds really get large for Super Bowl and St Patricks Day. It’s also a popular spot for University of Guelph students. A word of caution that they have a wing deal before Guelph Storm games, so it can get busy!

Like most other pubs, most would consider food here to be pub grub: chicken wings, burgers, fries and many traditional fried foods. Beers and ciders are a mix of national brands and some locals.

Standing Room Only, 60 Ontario St

The newest addition to Guelph and this list is Standing Room Only (SRO). This bar joined the others in January 2023 after the conversion of the former Bradburn’s Pre-Sixty’s Auto .

At just over 140sf and a 9 person max capacity, this bar is a novelty for anyone either in Guelph or visiting. The aim is to put more of a focus on Guelph, including bringing in craft brews and local liquor.

Customers can walk in from 4 p.m. to midnight Wednesdays to Saturdays, a schedule that may change depending on demand as time moves on. You can check them out on their Instagram page

Note: if you’re looking specifically for Guelph restaurants, you can read that popular blog here.

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