Rí Rá Irish Pub


14 Reviews
Rí Rá Irish PubRí Rá Irish Pub

Type: Bar, Eatery

123 Church St
Burlington, Vermont, 05401-8415
United States

(802) 860-9401 | map

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Added by scottum

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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 31
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.51/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Rí Rá, if I'm not incorrect, is part of a chain of "Irish pubs",and if I am wrong, it's of little consequence as that's how it appears. And maybe that's fine for you, it is a good looking place, but I just prefer my venues to be a little more authentic. Of course it is a place that you could go for lunch with business colleagues or what not and still find something interesting to drink, as well as a decent plate of fish & chips - thus I think it's worthy to be listed here, but, on to the beer...

These days I don't consider Irish pubs to be "beer bars", although there certainly was a time when a handful of imports and no mainstream American lager would certainly have fit the bill! The difference here is that these guys pour local beers (Fiddlehead, Idletyme, 14th Star, Trout River, Switchback, Long Trail, etc.) and some other national craft brews. You won't get any special offerings, and it's just one tap per brewer, but it's something.

There are other options along or just off of Church Street where you could go with parents or business acquaintances, and even some that have outdoor seating in the summer as they do here, but it's not a bad choice - just don't go for a late dinner because it turns into a college bar.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.29/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Loud and raucous.
Often cold during winter as cold air pours in from the front double doors.
Quality of beer and food is ok. Nothing great not much local.
Service is meh, typical college kids servers.
Selection of beers is weak, food is better selection.
Overall, it's fine for what it is but doesnt have enough quality local craft beer.

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Photo of wfuqua
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Ri Ra is hit or miss and it really depends what you are looking for. It's a reasonably busy restaurant during the day. The food is good, if a little pricey, but they have half price burgers on Wednesday. The ambiance is exactly what you'd expect for a fake Irish pub, but I mean that in a good way. At night, it turns into a college bar, which is a bit odd given that there are much cheaper bars in Burlington. However, they have a DJ on Friday night and there's no cover. The beer list is alright, but pales in comparison to some neighboring bars. You can order whiskey from the menu of The Whiskey Room which is next door.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.43/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

A pretty decent Irish-style pub in the outdoor shopping mall on Church Street. There are much better places for beer enthusiasts extremely close by, but RiRa is still worth a stop on your pub crawl. Nice atmosphere overall, tidy decor. Crowd can get rambunctious, but what do you expect? Service is decent. Beer selection is okay, with your general British & Irish staples and a few micros. Food menu isn't extensive, but everything they have is tasty and well-made; typical Irish pub fare, as would be imagined. I particularly like the Kilcooly sandwich.

Again, there are much better places to explore when you're in town, and there are a few places I've yet to check out. But RiRa is still a good stop, perhaps for a quick lunch.

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Photo of Billolick
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

On the main tourist/pedestrain drag in downtown Burlington. Just a short walk from the much more interesting Amer.FlatBread and Farmhouse B & G..Go here for a burger and a pint of something mainstream. Dont ever expect anything too interesting on tap. Irish themed in a near Disney sort of way. A mess of flatscreans with the game on..Dull tap list, sole highlight was a selection from switchback...yawn...decent place for me to take my college student daughter to, cuz she likes the burgers, but not much else going on here, especially beer wise...you can see American Flatbread across the square from the rear of this joint....

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.83/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Good place for an early dinner, burgers and some more Irish foods, but at night it turns into a bad and they often have live music. They've always got all your regular Irish beers on tap - Guinness, Harp, etc. Usually a bunch of local craft and a few from the area. I'll usually get whats on special because they'll usually have something for $3 that's a craft beer (last time it was the Redhook IPA) that's fairly decent.

Once the band starts playing it gets a bit rowdy but it's a fun place especially if you're in the mood for a guiness.

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Photo of youbrewidrink
3.4/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

It's all been said before. This is your classic Americam/Irish Pub (chain). Basic beer selection with euro's & locals on tap. BMC and a few other bottles.They really do a good job with any of the slow pours that they offer.

The food is pretty good, if you sit inside the service seems to be better that out on Church St.

I enjoy sitting at the bar in the evenings when Michael is bartending, you'll know him when you see him. I think he is the main reason we keep going back here.

Ri-Ra is by no means a must visit, but you could do a lot worse.

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Photo of papat444
2.73/5  rDev -18.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

So yesterday we went to North Beach for the day with the family and some friends and then went shopping on Church Street. Supper time and i was suggesting Flatbread but since we were with non-beer enthusiasts, this is where we ended up.

Being with young children and it being a gorgeous day, we decided to eat on the terrace. Hard to gauge to atmosphere as it seemed slow but it looked nice. The inside is a polished American version of an Irish pub complete with fake signs and wood everywhere. It's nice but having been in real Irish pubs in Ireland i tend to be more critical since i know how they really look.

Service was pretty bad. He was fast to greet us but took a bit of time to bring our drinks. Selection was average at best (no Stone?). Typical Euro selections (Urquell, Carlsberg) with some locals (Magic Hat, Switchback & Long Trail seasonal) plus a few extras. I had a Dogfish 60 Min. IPA. Took our order fairly quick but it was about 45 min. to get our burgers! Good thing we didn't order the steak. Had to nurse my beer for awhile before food arrived. All of us were pretty upset about that. Plus, it took 30 minutes almost to get my daughter's grilled cheese. I went a few times inside to bring my daughter to the washroom and it was empty so there was no excuse at all to be this slow. Food was good but not great. I put prices at reasonable because the burgers were 50% off so the bill was pretty light.

Overall, not impressed at all. Average beer selection coupled with service that was very slow makes this one to forget. My gut feeling was right and i definitely won't be coming back here again.

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Photo of apresskibrewer
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Ri Ra's atmosphere is what you could expect from an american 'irish' pub. without getting to critical though, it does alright for itself on the overall feel. I love the guinness mosaic in the front entryway though.

The food is great, with the default pub fare, but also with some Irish dishes that aren't that bad of a representation... the best you can get in burlington anyway.

The service is variable, and the place is often very busy. If you treat the bartenders well though, they usually will make it right with you.

Beer selection is on par with any irish pub in America. the Guinness pours well, and is only 3.5$ on Sundays (or at least it was the last few sundays i've been in!)

The prices drive away the college crowd during the schooling parts of the year, which can be a huge plus.

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Photo of mltobin
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

The decore from the outside certainly stands out while strolling by on Church Street in downtown Burlington.
The atmosphere is very good, often busy at Ri Ra, a warm and cozy environment that is fairly typical of a nice irish pub, a place where the locals can gather.
The service is good, warm and friendly.
Beer selection is mediocre, vermont micros represented and some macros common in an irish pub, but that is about it.
Food is better than average, shephards pie is great, but the prices are a tad expesive for a "pub".

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Photo of plaid75
2.86/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

A nice sized establishment, good woodwork and glass and a nice bar. There is a good amout of tables near the bar and plenty of space to spread out. The beer selection was kind of a downer, considering you were in Burlington. A few Vermont craft beers and then the rest were imports and a macro or two.

The big screen tv is a good touch.

Nothing special. Just your run of the mill Irish pub. They are a dime a dozen in NYC, but i would imagine in Burlington it is something of a novelty. Way too crowded at night during the weekends, as it becomes more of a college bar/club. Line outside and all.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.05/5  rDev +21.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Walk into Ireland. On a cold March day I walked into a nice warm Irish pub called Ri Ra. The atmosphere is lively and fun with a beer selection thats decent,but not great. They have 10 taps with all the large Irish beers and some local Vermont micros, Longtrail,Magic Hat ,and Otter Creek. The bartender was quick and helpful with selecting food and beer. The food selection is deep with a wide variety of Irish foods. The sandwich and soup selection is also large. This is a nice place to hoist a few pints with some good food.

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Photo of scottum
3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Another solid bar in the heart of Burlington. Nice selection of brews. Always good to see Humble Patience on the nitro. Always better to see Jay Peak Tram Ale available in Burlington! Service is usually on. Great pours on the nitro, a sign of a top notch bar staff. Good place to stop and grab a pint or two when in Burlington. Sometimes they squeeze in live music too with a very small stage in the center of the place. Overall, a canned irish pub feel though. Go to Nectar's around the corner instead.

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Photo of ecoboy
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Have you been to a RiRa before? I waited a long time before visiting this particular outlet, having had less sparkling results in Providence. Then they erected one in Portland, which is pretty great. Rira's work hard on their "authenticity" but each location also seems to reflect the local area a touch.

My favorite thing about RiRa is my favorite thing about my favorite British and Irish pubs: the attempt to make it feel less like the existing structure in place before RiRa arrived. The bank that used to be there is unnoticeable. Instead, some of the nicest pubby chatty booths and tables. I tend to sit right near the front in this RiRa, preferring tables to bar only rarely. Warm in both temperature and atmosphere, I don't know if I've ever stopped in during the summer months. RiRa works better for me when the leaves change or fall completely off.

Servers are quite often of Irish descent with sometimes as few as zero generations since the trip over. As one might expect, Bass, Harp and Guinness are readily available every day. But Magic Hat is another good account. Then there's the trickle off through Sam Adams, Heineken, Corona (?!?!) yaddah yaddah yaddah.

Food is pubby and affordable (unlike the Portland location which can bring in entree prices over $20.)

Let's face it, Burlington is one great town for beer fans. RiRa is somewhere down the list for me, but it's definitely on there.

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Rí Rá Irish Pub in Burlington, VT
3.34 out of 5 based on 31 ratings.
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