Busker's Irish Pub and Restaurant

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Busker's Irish Pub and RestaurantBusker's Irish Pub and Restaurant
18 Ratings
Busker's Irish Pub and RestaurantBusker's Irish Pub and Restaurant

Type: Bar, Eatery

178 Thames St
Newport, Rhode Island, 02840-6616
United States

(401) 846-5244 | map

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Added by mschofield

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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of jmdrpi
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Hung out here on a Friday night in the winter for a few rounds of beers. The decor a little better than your generic "Irish pub", as there seems to be some legit Irish sports swag. The bar seats about a dozen people, and there are other tables around. I think there was more seating upstairs. The vibe was lively, with some live music and big crowd. Good amount of draft beers available, your typical lineup of British imports, and then a handful of New England craft beers. It was a little difficult to flag down the bartender for each new round, but it was crowded. Didn't have any food.

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Photo of Charvey02
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

some good Irish fare...reasonable beer selection

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Photo of PaleAleWalt
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of AnneReed
2.25/5  rDev -38.9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 2

Buskers has changed ownership. In 2012 Malt was opened by the former managing partner of Buskers. So the Buskers that is being reviewed below is no longer.

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Photo of lehows
4/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in with a few friends while the ladies hit the shops. The place was cozy and dimly lit which was quite a contrast from the sunny spring afternoon. Lots of wood paneling typical of Irish pubs, there was a plethora of patches and badges from various police and firefighter units around the country. The female bartender and patrons were all very friendly. The beer selection was good, the most notable being Old Thumper on cask, along with Belhaven and Murphy's on nitro. Definitely a step above your typical Irish pub with a fairly extensive bottle list. A great pub to while away the afternoon or evening. Stop in when you're in Newport.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.68/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

First stop of the night on my brother's birthday pub crawl in Newport. We started here because his wife had booked the upstairs function room for us. Fun, cozy Irish pub feel to the place. Nice small space upstairs, with some tables and a small bar. The service was good and all the apps we snacked on were decent. Our bartender poured some mean shots of Black Bush for us. After a few rounds of beers, someone told us that we should go downstairs to the main bar to see all the beers they have down there. Much more expansive selection in the main bar. They had all the standard Irish bar drafts, and Franziskaner, plus a few on nitro: Murphy's Stout, Belhaven, and Kilkenny Red. They had a hand pump beer engine with Old Thumper, which tasted great. A few local micro taps like BBC and Newport Storm. Bottle selection was good. Dale's, Brooklyn, Victory, Smutty, etc so a lot of craft. They also had a few Belgian bottles: Palm, Westmalle, Chimay, Rochefort. Prices were really good, with bottles and drafts ranging from $5-6. I really liked Busker's, because the beer selection was definitely a step above the usual Irish pub fare.

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Photo of Pabs311
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This place was pretty cool. Me and my cousin stopped in to grab a couple pints here while the girls where out shopping along the wharfs, smart choice for us. The bar where we sat was small, only about 10 or 12 seats around the top. It was realatively slow so we had service right away and the staff was very talkative and helpful. The bartender there was happy to talk about the various beers they had on tap, giving us a little infor on some of the local brews and what not. They had a few local Rhode Island beers as well as some nice micro & imports available. I went down the line and tried a few newport storm beers as well as some others i hadnt had before. They had Old Thumoer on tap, but it was and old school tap system without the CO2, so they had to hand pump it. That was very cool. We had some oysters and some finger foods while there but nothing really to base the quality of food off of. I'd recomend this to anyone lookin to stop in for a beer while shopping, or while waiting for others to shop.

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Photo of FishGetter
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

While planning a trip to Newport, I searched BA's directory for some nearby pubs to visit. Buskers seamed like a cool pub so I gave it a try.
The atmosphere was dim with alot of Irish soccer and liquor botttles on the walls. Felt like an underground pub straight out of Ireland.
Both beer and food menu had alot to offer. Mostly Irish selections on both menus but a few domestics as well. Tried the Busker fries, which are streak fries with melted cheese and beef gravey, for a appitizer. Very similar to Canada's poutine. A must try! For the main coarse, tried the corned beef dinner. Excelent! My wife had the shepard pie which was also good. Didn't have it but the Murphy's Irish stew was HUGE! But for $14ish was a little much for soup.
Service was great which is sometimes hard to find. Didn't have to ask for things twice.
It was alittle pricey but hey, your in Newport.

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Photo of kevd193213
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Went here for my surprise 30th after touring the Coastal Extreme Brewery (Newport Storm). Many good UK ales on tap: Boddingtons, Newcastle Brown Ale, Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks, Murphy's, Beamish, Bass, along with Newport Storm and some of the larger micros, Sierra Nevada, Old Burnside Ten Penny Ale, a couple of Sam Adams. Limited bottle selection, as the other reviewer stated it consisted of all macros.

We had the entire upstairs room to ourselves with our party of 20 or so, which meant the bar also was all ours. I was impressed with the wait staff, we were treated like royalty. Great jukebox too, which is big for me. Great food and reasonable prices. Good location too, next door is Brick Alley Pub which has a few more beers available. Probably my favorite birthday gift, just a great place.

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Photo of Roberts1892
3.24/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Originally went to Pour Judgement but as 3pm the place was closed. Hence stopped into Buskers for a quick beer while visiting Newport for the day on a cruise ship. Selection fairly standard and as we're from the UK didn't go for the 'Old Thumper' which I can get at home.

Typical Irish pub feel with a fairly average selection of taps. Wife went for a wheat (think it was the ubiquitous Blue Moon) which was ok but my Samuel Adams 'Seasonal' turned out to be very old 'Summer Ale' which wasn't exactly clear and tasted old.

This was our only stop during two weeks US/Canada visit where we didn't pick our drinking establishment due to Beer Advocate reviews and the only 'bad' beer I had.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Saturday, September 20, 2008:

Waltzed in here while visiting Newport... Thoroughly Irish pub with a decent tap selection... Most of the regulars... Was surprised to see Belhaven's Scottish Ale on-tap... Guiness, of course, was on-tap... The food menu looked pretty impressive, although I didn't try anything to eat...
Packed, cramped quarters inside, yet a pretty young, 20-something crowd... Quite rowdy inside when I went in the late afternoon, so I'm assuming the night atmosphere would be great as well...
Definitely one of the better stops in Newport...
Worth a try if you're in the area...

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Photo of rousee
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Not much more than another Irish bar in your touristy area. Comfortable atmosphere but it sure can get packed in the middle of the Summer. The beer selection is pretty average but it did have a few craft offerings w/o being completely macro oriented.

It was relaxing hanging out in here and we did try a stuffie (stuffed quahog)--it was maybe a tad better than your average one so I would say my impression of the food is favorable.

The prices here are reasonable for the neighborhood--not necessarily reasonable if it were located somewhere else.

Service was pretty average or below but they were pretty busy. I would hit this place again for sure if I am walking through the neighborhood but there is really no sense in making it a destination--certainly not a beer destination anyway.

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Photo of paddyfitz
4.65/5  rDev +26.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've read the prior reviews and it seems they are understating the highlight of my trip to Busker's:


Yes, they have the usually suspects, Guinness, Smithwick's, Bodddington's, SN, Otter Creek, and other available crafts, but if I'm going to Busker's I'm ordering Cask and I'm drinking Cask all night long, so as long as the cask engine is running, it really doesn't matter what else they have. The Old Thumper on cask was phenomenal and reminded me of being back in London. Your standard Irish/English pub atmosphere, no surprises, so if you like that atmosphere you'll like this place.

I had the fish and chips and it was great, a big portion of beer battered fish not overly battered, and hand cut chips with malt vinegar.

I'm cool with giving this 5 stars due to cask, a great atmosphere, and a couple of hi def tv's to watch the B's and Sox win on a saturday night.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Busker's Irish Pub

Stopped in here a few times for drinks and fries over a 4 day vacation in Newport.

Atmosphere- Laid back with plenty of regulars and tourists sitting, chatting, and watching the RedSox game. Everyone was very friendly.
Service- The bartender was friendly and chatty served us immediately and was on top of everyone's drinks and conversations with people.
Food- Only had fries so I can't review the food. The menu looked like a big list of American cuisine type food. (Burgers, Chicken, Seafood, etc...)

Overall- A nice little spot to stop in for a few beers. Place gets a little tight on the weekend in the evening.

Spotted on tap were; SeaDog Bluebery, Harpoon IPA, Redhook IPA, Guiness, Harp, Stella, Newport Storm, and I think a SmuttyNose. A real mixture of macro and a few decent regional micro's.

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Photo of shamrock7
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I’ve been to Busker’s several times and I’ve enjoyed each visit. Although I did not sit at the bar this last time, from what I could tell they have approximately 16 taps and a decent selection of bottles. The beers on tap included Magic Hat #9, Smithwicks, a couple of Newport Storm brews, Guinness, Bass, Harpoon IPA, Sam Adams seasonal and Newcastle. Nothing outstanding, but a decent enough mix.

The food was very good, as usual. The Irish Stew is delicious, fish and chips where tasty and not greasy at all - the fries are fantastic. I haven’t been disappointed yet.

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Photo of ybnorml
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I have been here a couple of times just for a beer and then on to someplace else. The beer selection is OK. But the beer menu claims there is a rotating tap beer. There is not! When I questioned the waitress about the rotating tap she claimed the Sams Octoberfest was the rotating line. I then pointed out to her that Sam's Seasonal was clearly marked as a separate choice. We went back and forth thru three more beers with the same result, before I relented and went back to my meal. The meal which was a simple burger was greatly inhanced by the option of having a curry sauce with the fries. The heck with the fries I poured it on my humble burger and had a kingly treat. My companions were all more than satisfied with the quaility of their meals. Nice old dark wood high back booths are an excellent addition to any pub.

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Photo of mschofield
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Long thin downstairs (street level) bar with a restaurant upstairs, bar runs the length of half one wall. Booths with high backs topped by stained glass, along the other, tables made from barrels fill out the rest of the space.
Pretty good selection, combination of locals, regional crafts and some european (all Interbrew I believe). Guinness, Bass, Stella, Carlsberg, John Courage, Boddingtons, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, the highlight is Newport Storm.
The service was good and quick, but being on the waterfront I'm sure this place gets crowded in season, and may not be as good then.
Typical bar food, not even pseudo-Irish, it's chicken and burgers. The one pseudo-Irish item was the Irish fries and they were disappointing (underdone)

I should note, this is still a new establishment, and they do plan on adding to their selection

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Busker's Irish Pub and Restaurant in Newport, RI
Place rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 18 ratings