Rí Rá Irish Pub
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
I like Ri-Ra and yes, I know it's a chain ... a small chain. But the Ri-Ra in Portland is just really nice. The beer selection is decent -- Maine craft beers and seasonals as well as the expected Guinness, Smithwicks, Boddie's, Stella, etc. (sometimes Murphy's is on tap, too -- which is what I prefer).
They have Jameson's, Jamesons's 12, Bushmills, Blackbush, Bushmills single malt, Powers and Tullamore Dew as well -- all fine Irish whiskeys and much appreciated.
To me what sets Ri-Ra apart, though is the service. In my experience it has always been outstanding. Every. Single. Time. The bartenders -- no matter who is on, no matter how busy, no matter how quiet -- they are fantastic. Attentive, friendly, and professional. They're among the best I've encountered in any city in North America.
The waitstaff is good, too, in the same way. And the food is pretty darned good. (Try the Sunday brunch upstairs!)
There are three distinct rooms: the rustic country pub, the 2-level Victorian-style pub, and the upstairs dining room. The rustic country pub is my favorite and feels like many country pubs in County Clare. The Victorian pub room looks and feels exactly the the Sliken Thomas pub I visited in Kildare, Ireland and attracts a lovely looking crowd. The upstairs is my least favorite, but it has killer views of Portland Harbor (not really a pub).
I like Ri-Ra a lot. Try it!
04-09-2009 00:05:40 | More by zamboni1
4.2/5 rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Right at the waterfront and close to downtown hotels, RiRa is a great place to have a sandwich and a few pints o' the black. They'll pour you a Guinness correctly, and will even draw the shamrock on top for the tourists.
The place is decorated like a Olde-World style pub, with lots of kitsch scattered around to make it look more authentic, perhaps contrived, but scattered about are glaring hints (glossy, professional adware and printing, 'uniforms' that look casual, but aren't, etc.) that there's corporate money backing this charming "little" pub.
So it's a chain. So what? It was close to our hotel and really saved the day.
06-09-2008 20:59:38 | More by cvstrickland
4.18/5 rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $
Ri Ra Irish Pub is one of our favorite places to go to whenever we make it to Portland Maine. A great Irish bar, with a great beer selection, if you want to try some of the local Maine brews, there's no better place than Ri Ra.
Ri Ra offers live music on the weekend, a great menu, and plenty of TV's to catch the game on.
Beers are served in their proper glassware. Be sure to order a Baxter Beer so you can try Baxter's cool glass that's shaped like a beer can.
There's lots of options in Portland, but be sure not to skip Ri Ra.
08-17-2012 18:01:58 | More by Larrydoherty
4.18/5 rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Located in an old building in the Old Port, you'd never know that this is a chain. Typical pub. Clean, with adequate seating. Nice bar.
Good rotating Irish brew and local tap selection, and plenty of cans/bottles.
Service was great. Server was actually brought over from Ireland (for atomsphere?), and she was terrific.
Food was great. Big portions. Potato cakes, Guiness stew, and fish and chips were very tasty. Great brunch menu.
Prices are very easy as well. Reasonable for pints and grub. I'd go back.
11-14-2011 14:03:36 | More by OtherShoe2
4.05/5 rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
A nice Irish pub near downtown Portland. There are two levels of this pud, an upstairs (more of a restaurant feel) and the downstairs (more of a pub), I recommend the pub for the atmosphere.
As you walk in there is Irish memorabilia all over the walls, old Guiness and Jameson mirrors and wall hangings. Easy to notice what was on tap; Guiness (x2), Harp, Murphy's Stout, and Smithwick's (a rare find here across the pond). The menu was full of Irish specialties; rashers, mashers, Brown bread, etc.
The service was good, always willing to bring another pint or give us more time to eat, howvever it was a slow day it appeared. I would reommend this to anyone looking for a good, traditional Irish pub.
07-05-2005 13:48:05 | More by HoorayBeer
3.93/5 rDev -1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
Been to a RiRa before? This is my favorite, not the least reason being its size and scope. Located on the water near the ferry to Casco Bay islands and right across from a Maine Beer and Beverage location, this is a good spot to mix tippling and tourism in Portland's Old Port. All seasons seem to be comfortable at this RiRa.
On tap: the Maine usual suspects and Irish and British usual suspects: Guinness with a shamrock pour, Boddingtons, Harp, Newcastle, Bass, Shipyard, and light American Macros. The selction is the weakest feature. The staff is never gruff and understands the importance of pride in service. Nicely dressed, often first generation Irish immigrant, they're good people.
But! Three distinct rooms/areas/atmospheres to choose from. Watch worldwide "footie" in the worn, comfortable front bar that looks out onto the street. Lots of open area between a few tables and benches. Perfect for a quick beer with no food. Then there's the multi level "pub" area with lots of sight lines to see and be seen. Fireplace, live music every few nights, beer promo happy hours every few nights, trivia contest on Tuesdays. Just a swell place to meet and talk, and the opportunity for a quick bite from the menu. If youo're looking for a better view or a more sumptuous meal, you can go to the top level restaurant where the grub turns into cuisine ($18.95 will get you a fine leg o' lamb,) and I've never felt comfortable in shorts. The room is glass on three sides for a neat view of the working waterfront: fishing vessels, ferries and the Portland Fireboat are all docked there. Watch for curious seals in the water!
11-11-2003 17:29:22 | More by ecoboy
3.88/5 rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Ri-Ra is a chain so don't go thinking this is a real authentic "oirish" pub. There is one in Boston and one in Burlington, VT as well...however none of them have the location this one has...right on Commerical St. and righ on the water in the Old Port in Portland.
Decent food, 1/2 price burger specials on Tuesdays when I used to go. Never had a bad meal there so no complaints on that end.
Beer selection is sort of heavy on the import side...Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks etc...but they do usually have a Shipyard Seasonal, Geary's Pale as well as Allagash White.
This is not a beer bar but a pub that happens to have an ok beer selection.
Go to Trivia Night, that is awesome.
03-21-2009 02:23:38 | More by indiapaleale
Rí Rá Irish Pub in Portland, ME
90 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.