‘Best Irish Pub in the World’ competition entry: The James Joyce, Zurich

A distinguished establisment in the heart of the financial district combining Swiss efficiency with a a warm Irish welcome

The Irish Times' Generation Emigration project is on the hunt for the best Irish pub in the world outside Ireland. The following is one of the entries we've received so far. To read more, or find out how to nominate your favourite Irish pub abroad, click here.

The James Joyce is a rather large Irish pub on the PelikanerStrasse in the financial district of Zurich, within walking distance from the many office buildings and hotels nearby. The entrance is a small glass door, and could almost go unnoticed.

The interior decor of this pub consists of a full-length hand-crafted oak bar and equally beautiful wall-to-wall mahogany backpiece with a huge mirror behind the shelves for storing and displaying the drinks. This furniture was the original bar in Jury's hotel on Dame Street and was purchased and brought to Switzerland by UBS in the 1980s when the hotel was refurbished.

The eating area is quite large with lots of room for waiting staff to move around. Everything is spotless, and most of the tables are placed in front of black leather booths, which are just under the multicoloured stained glass windows, one of which has the image of a parrot in memory of the real one who was a feature of the original Jury’s.


So the atmosphere is light and airy, yet cozy and quiet, very conducive to intimate conversation. Food is typical pub fare: fish and chips, sandwiches, with some Swiss specialties (pickled veal in cream sauce), and their hamburger is considered the best in Zurich. Service is punctual, provided by busy waiters dressed in a classic dark outfit and long white apron.

This is a distinguished drinking establishment, almost a museum, which portrays an image of class and Swiss efficiency, yet one which retains the warmth, and casual friendly setting of a typical Irish pub.

Think your favourite Irish pub abroad could claim the title of Best Irish Pub in the World (Outside Ireland)? Tell us about it by entering the competition here.