When it comes to restaurants and pubs, this is Kilkenny Central. A landmark since the 1940s, Langton's is a labyrinth of interconnected bars and eateries. Most of the seating areas, all with open fires, have different personalities—from the leather-upholstered gentlemen's club in the Horseshoe Bar to an attempt at art deco in the spacious dining room. Up front is one of Ireland's most famous "eating pubs," often crammed with punters to the rafters of its low ceiling.
For more tranquil environs, head out back, where you can chow down in a neo-Gothic garden framed by a stretch of the old city walls. The main restaurant offers well-prepared traditional dishes, including (of course) Irish stew and a mean cod in beer batter. There are 30 art-deco-style hotel rooms upstairs.