Some might say Dublin is the city of poets and scholars — but did you also know Dublin has a great restaurant scene. We delve into 17 of the best currently open for business.
This is a regular haunt for actors, performers, theatre directors. “To some people,” says co-owner Robert Doggett, “the Trocadero is like a community centre”. Famed in Dublin for the well-known faces it attracts, the Trocadero is a venue with a hefty social life behind it. Over 300 actor’s names and faces line the walls. Down the road are Dublin’s main theatres, so the restaurant is popular among those looking for a meal beforehand.
2. The Vintage Kitchen
This venue is a true blast from the past. With a 1960s décor, The Vintage Kitchen cherishes Dublin’s old-world cultural heritage. They even have a vinyl player, open for customers to bring in their own LPs.
Owner Sean Durgan promises his customers that they eat well here. The food dares to please everyone, with crafty takes on Mediterranean vegetables (like the aubergine puree) and Irish beef, such as the sumptuous steak topped with pastry and truffle mash.
Fancy brunch in restaurants in Dublin Ireland? Wuff is your port of call.
This is a neighbourhood restaurant with a homely feel, providing a wide range of evening surprises, from crispy hen’s eggs to vegetable tajine with yoghurt.
But brunch is the speciality here. From chocolate crepes with a European edge to nicely balanced egg breakfasts, this cosy venue is for the casual diners. They even do traditional fry ups — and are nowadays enjoying better guestlist efficiency, so new customers can have top quality brunches in no time.
4. Mulberry Garden
Another cosy restaurant in south Dublin, Mulberry Garden takes a bit of work to get to — but is well worth it. Fish is a specialty, with caviar being a luxury. The menu is seasonal, dependent on the time of year guests visit. Whatever the weather, everyone is guaranteed a good evening. “It feels a bit like being on holiday,” The Irish Times happily reported.
This is a steakhouse that has gained national attention for its locally sourced food. Not only is it one of the best restaurants in Dublin city centre, Boeuf also features regularly on Best in Ireland lists.
The chefs are very careful about the quality of Boeuf’s meat, preparing each steak for at least a month, leading to excellent results. One reviewer even went as far to say that their meal was near life changing. “There are a few meals you have in life that leave you speechless . . . and tonight I had that meal!”
The team at Tippenyaki, located slap-bang among restaurants in Dublin’s best, is a cut above the standard neighbourhood sushi bar. There is a Western-friendly menu promoting Irish home-grown ingredients, cooked in excellent Eastern styles. Grilling techniques are at the forefront of this restaurant’s style — and it’s in the name, as “yaki” means grilled, referring to a long tradition in Japanese national cuisine.
Next, for some of the more devoted fans of Japanese cuisine, Banyi is the answer. Serving authentic Japanese dishes from Ramen via splendid soya broths to assorted sushi specialties, Banyi’s cooking roster is both tasty and eye-blazingly beautiful. Check out their Instagram, one of Dublin’s best restaurants.
8. 1900 Bar
Continental cuisine is the name of the game here. 1900 Bar prides itself on a French connection, bridging Dublin’s city centre restaurants to cross-channel ways of life. Suffice to say, the menu takes heavy inspiration from French dishes.
1900 Bar also has a great look indoors: bottle-green tiles with red leather matinees, even a luxurious grand piano in a front part of the restaurant.
51B Dawson Street is playing host to another tremendous Dublin steakhouse: Featherblade. Shoulder-to-shoulder with the best restaurants in Dublin city centre, this is a top spot for red meat favourites. (The name itself refers to shoulder-cuts from livestock.)
At first sight, a terse, short menu may fail to promise much — but don’t be put off. Featherblade seems to surprise everyone.
10. Terra Madre Café
Simple and uncomplicated is this small owner-run café’s slogan. Escape the more traditional tastes of Ireland and step into the North Quay of Dublin’s river Liffey. Terra Madre is riveting. Its style complements the city’s multinational cuisines with its own selection of regional dishes from provincial Italy.
Open every day, make sure to read about Terra Madre Café’s five-star reviews, from special mentions in national restaurant guides to top commendations from some of Ireland’s most revered food journalists.
For a real gastronomic treat, head to Etto, a dinky Michelin-star restaurant on 18 Merrion Row. The menu — for lack of a better term — is cute (who else would call their starters “nibbles”?). And of course it is in the name: Etto means “little”. With a focus on Mediterranean cooking it is sure to please any palette.
12. Chapter One
Heading up to restaurants in Dublin north, Chapter One is the ideal night out. The Michelin Guide has called its team “charm personified”; we call Chapter One a gorgeous venue with a big heart. Take for instance Finnish chef Mickael Viljanen and his fantastic work with international charities. Suffice to say, the French-inspired dishes are made with careful, loving hands.
For a full-hearted Irish tasting experience among restaurants in Dublin south, head to Richmond in the Portobello district. Everything comes from Irish sources, including meat from a local family-run butchers on the outskirts of the city.
Richmond is so good that the Irish Times have even witnessed chefs eating out there on their nights off. The tasting menu never repeats, so newcomers are always in for a surprise when they dine out here.
14. The Pepper Pot Café
Take a stroll through Powerscourt Town Centre and your nose will meet the smells of baked bread, crispy crumbs, and coffee, swimming in the air. The Pepper Pot is more for the lunch-lovers, specialising in sandwiches (the pear, bacon, and cheddar Danish is apparently a star foodie attraction).
15. Gaillot et Grey
Bakery by day, pizzeria by night, Gaillot et Grey inhabits two worlds. They do takeaway trade but also serve indoors with a great bring-your-own-drinks policy. The Headline Bar, crafting independently made beers, is conveniently placed a few houses away up the street.
The team here are masters of their craft. A classy tasting menu mixes modern cuisine with local tastes, offering juicy squash-based salads and tremendous seafood, such as the market fish, darkened squid, and wild garlic. A menu, in other words, to hypnotise anyone looking for restaurants Dublin best.
17. The Fumbally
Ten years in the making The Fumbally is now one of the best-loved eateries in the whole of Dublin. The owners both sourced their ideas for food and dishes from years spent in a variety of hospitality settings, from the hustle-and-bustle of food festivals to the high-stakes environment of restaurant kitchens. Precious on local sourcing, they double as a restaurant and local shop. Check them out!
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Also on the island of Ireland: Belfast!