Restaurants in Dublin have changed so much over the years. I know because I was recently blown away by food in Dublin. It was dynamic, modern, interesting but also reflected its heritage and supreme quality of ingredients.
Call me a believer.
I originally wrote this post about Dublin restaurants in 2013 when I was strapped for time. I enjoyed my time in Dublin but the food in the city didn’t make much of an impression on me. It was good, but not particularly memorable.
I updated this post a few years later with Dublin restaurant suggestions from bloggers I trusted. I wanted to share more useful information and I hadn’t returned.
But thankfully I was able to return to the city in 2019. This time a bit more informed and on a press trip to discover modern Dublin cuisine.
Interestingly, the best restaurants people suggested the first time I visited still exist and have maintained their reputation.
And so this post featuring food in Dublin is in three parts: my initial visit, my most recent visit and what others recommend. They all continue to exist and are held in regard.
If you have more suggestions please let me know in the comments below. After my last visit I know I will be back!
Best Restaurants in Dublin – The First Visit
With only three days in Dublin, I decided not to wait in line to see an old book but to search for the best restaurants in Dublin. I hadn’t researched traditional Irish food so I asked on Facebook for suggestions of what I love most – what and where should I eat in Dublin?
Guinness Irish Beef Stew
To be honest. I didn’t get an overwhelming response.
It seemed that people weren’t quite excited about Dublin restaurants and suggested I eat champ and soda bread.
There must be more to food in Dublin that mashed potatoes and bread?
The Winding Stair
To this day I am thankful to Helen for this recommendation. The meal at The Winding Stair was amazing. And even though six years have passed, it is still considered to be one of the best restaurants in Dublin.
When I discovered my server Colin was a fellow Canadian I asked his advice on where to eat in Dublin.
He also mentioned the best restaurant in the city was The Greenhouse.
Although Greenhouse was considered to be the best in the city I hadn’t brought anything more than jeans and tights. Not wanting to feel dressed inadequately for fine dining I opted for his sandwich recommendation at Oxmantown.
At Oxmantown I met Connor who leads a kitchen with incredibly hearty sandwiches that are ridiculously low priced for Dublin standards.
After I had his delicious pulled pork sandwich I decided to continue to trail and ask him about restaurants in Dublin. If a man can make food this tasty, surely he knows where else to eat.
And he does.
And when I asked him where he ate in his spare time he admitted he had little but enjoyed the ribeye steak at L’Gueleton French bistro.
I decided that would be my last stop but I made the mistake of having the braised venison instead as I adore venison. It was…okay. I should have tried the ribeye.
Note, if you’re traveling as a family these may not be right for you. I’d recommend Karen’s post on things to do in Dublin with kids.
But overall it showed me that there are interesting restaurants in Dublin. Perhaps I didn’t try the most traditional but I knew I’d be back someday – although I didn’t think I’d wait six years to return. But I knew I’d like to stay longer and see more of the country, especially after reading about this Ireland road trip.
Best Restaurants in Dublin 2019
Some people say they travel to eat, but I really travel to eat. Tourism Ireland, in partnership with Failte Ireland and the Restaurants Association of Ireland invited me on a 4 day food press trip.
I flew across the Atlantic Ocean from Havana to Dublin just for the opportunity to eat in Dublin and Ireland for 4 days and then to fly back.
It was worth every bit of jet lag I suffered. I saw a new side of Dublin, one that is more than champ and stews. I’ll be sharing more of that in a post on traditional food in Dublin.
But here are six restaurants in Dublin I really enjoyed:
This classic French-style bistro in the heart of Dublin serves a multi-course lunch and theatre menu making it great for groups.
While I sat in the dining room the front area with the bar is really lovely and great if you’re looking for a quiet lunch.
The menu includes local products such as these gorgeous Roaring Water Bay scallops with nduja, sweet corn and sour dough bread.
Read Reviews Here
14-15 Trinity St, Dublin 2, Ireland
We sat in the bar before beginning the tasting menu and I loved seasonal approach to cocktails. While there is a list of popular cocktails, I chose the Can’t Beat a Bramble with lillet, chambord, St.Germain, Blackberry Syrup and beetroot.
It was created to reflect the first dish on the menu of Irish beetroot, charred baby cucumber, watermelon and goat’s cheese.
And while a beet and goat cheese salad doesn’t sound dynamic enough for a Michelin starred restaurant, it was one of the most memorable dishes.
Chapter One opened in the northern part of the city thirty years ago when people wouldn’t think of even going there. But they came for the food.
In 2013, I asked my server at The Winding Stair where he recommended eating and he said Chapter One was one of the best in the city.
Today that is still true. And I think much of it is because of Chef Ross Lewis. He invited us into the kitchen to have a peek. There’s also a gorgeous chef’s table here for those wanting to have a truly unique experience.
But what really stood out was his commitment to his staff, getting them proper training and looking at the long term instead of chasing “Best of” lists. The dining room is minimalistic, much like Osteria Francescana in Modena. And yet it doesn’t feel too austere.
After 30 years you will still Chef Lewis present nightly. Most people don’t realize this but in so many cases once a restaurant makes the list the chef checks out for celebrity television. But it’s different here, the only thing that has changed was the splurge on the kitchen renovation in 2007.
Read Reviews Here
18-19 Parnell Sq., Dublin, Ireland
I’m not going to lie. When I saw that we were eating at a Spanish restaurant in Dublin I had my doubts. Deep doubts. I mean if I want to eat Spanish food I’ll go to Spain, right?
But Uno Mas tells the food story of Dublin. When the recession hit many young people left the country to work.
Not only did cooks and chefs expand their expertise abroad, but a new generation of Irish expanded their palates.
Locals are now eating food influenced from around the world. But what hasn’t changed is the foundation of Irish cuisine, which is a rich base of amazing agriculture and producers.
Lunch at Uno Mas was spectacular. Dishes used local Irish lamb, crab produce and gorgeous presentation. It’s already a hot spot in Dublin, which is not surprising as its sister restaurant Etto is considered one of the best in the city and mentioned in the Michelin guide.
Read Reviews Here
6 Aungier St, Dublin, D02 WN47, Ireland
Owned by a husband and wife, this Michelin starred restaurant has been around for 30 YEARS. Even on a Wednesday evening the chef is in the kitchen which is not common, and it continues to serve incredible food.
Chef Derry Clarke stopped by the table and again I was struck by his absolute sincerity and friendliness. Perhaps it’s my jaded North American tendencies but I’ve met so many crazy, angry or egotistical chefs. And sometimes all three. To have someone work in the industry for so many years and appear to be a lovely person is wonderful.
It’s apparent that this is one of the best places to come for special occasions and we were sure that we’d see an engagement in the room. Sitting in the spacious dining room I was initially perplexed but the elevator-style Musak but quickly forgot about it as soon as our attention was devoted to the food.
The tasting menu includes classic Irish flavours, including sika deer, Castletownbere scallop and local turbot.
Read Reviews Here
109A Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2, D02 V580, Ireland
Not quite a restaurant, I think Loose Canon deserves to be mentioned as somewhere to stop in for a bite and a drink. I discovered it while taking a Dublin food tour with Fab Food Trails – which I adored as it really helped me understand the history of food in Ireland and interesting food shops that most tourists miss.
Owned by the duo who also runs the popular Meet Me in the Morning cafe, this natural wine and cheese shop was inspired by Spanish bodegas. You can stop in for wine by the glass and some local cheese or charcuterie.
Again I was most stuck meeting co-owner Kevin Powell who shared the way they help producers in their businesses.
Instead of asking fruit and vegetable producers to send a bill, which will be paid in 30 days they instead give their producers money towards a tab. Once it’s up they send more money. They do this because farmers often have a difficult time managing finances while they are waiting on 30 or 60 day payment terms.
At Loose Canon they have an open agreement with producers to simply send them whatever they think is interesting along with the bill. So a cheesemaker doesn’t need to come into Dublin for a formal tasting to sell their product. Loose Canon will sell whatever they are sent, because they have confidence in their partners.
Having some experience owning a restaurant I can tell you this is very unusual. They’ve taken on all the risk, which is usually put on suppliers. It’s such a strong commitment to supporting smaller artisan producers.
Read Reviews Here
29 Drury St, Dublin Ireland
KLAW Seafood Cafe
Just a block away from tacky, tourist-ridden bars on Temple Street is a great spot for seafood. KLAW is owned by Niall Sabongi, who is also responsible for
I giggled at its tagline of “Bringin’ Crabshack Style Dining To The City” because it’s a bit more sleek than that and actually a great spot to stop for a glass of wine and local oysters.
Food here is simple, just fantastic local, sustainable seafood. You can try a number of local Irish oysters from Galway Bay, Waterford, Dooncastle and Flaggy Shore. I prefer them served bare, just shucked with a bit of lemon on the sude. But you can also get them dressed or torched…literally with a blow torch for their take on Oysters Rockefeller.
They have a daily happy hour from 5-6pm with oysters for €1.50. They are as briny and delicious as you want an Irish oyster to be. I had some with a glass of Picpoul de Pinet and it made my afternoon.
Read Reviews Here
Unit 11, Sprangers Yard, Fownes Street Upper, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 EC60, Ireland
Top Restaurants in Dublin as Chosen by Travel Bloggers
I asked the travel blogging community to share good restaurants in Dublin that they enjoyed. I love these choices as they are all over the city and at a variety of different budgets.
Located mere steps from St. Stephen’s Green on Dawson Street, Beanhive is one of those tasty Dublin restaurants that it’s easy to end up at again and again.
Tiny and adorable, with only a few tables inside and picnic tables spilling out onto the sidewalk, Beanhive serves up delicious coffee, homemade pastries, some truly delectable breakfasts in the morning, and tasty sandwiches in the afternoon.
Those interested in coffee art will find plenty of unique options to go around here, but the food is far from an afterthought at Beanhive.
With vegetarian and vegan options available, as well as plenty of more traditionally Irish ones (in other words, heavy on the meat), everyone will find a tasty breakfast or afternoon snack to tuck into a Beanhive.
Beanhive is cozy and casual, with a slightly overcrowded feel inside that only adds to its charm, but if you’re headed for breakfast and hope to sit inside, be prepared to show up early before the tables are grabbed (doors open at 7:15 AM on weekdays, 9:00 on Saturdays, and 9:30 on Sundays).
Beanhive is the perfect way to kick off a couple of days in Dublin: stop in for a hearty breakfast, a tasty cup of coffee, and an excellent location that will make it easy to stroll to popular spots like Trinity College and Dublin Castle as soon as you’re finished.
Read Reviews Here.
Dawson St, Dublin 2
By Kate at Our Escape Clause
Opened by Michelin-star chef Oliver Dunne, this stylish restaurant just a stone’s throw from Temple Bar is a must for meat lovers.
Its cleaver-themed interior is bold and to the (razor-sharp) point: they know their meat. The menu comprises Irish like lamb sirloin and pork belly with international fare such as steamed duck gyoza dumplings and chilli lime glazed chicken wings.
Prices are on the high end with starters around €10 and mains between €20-30. But fear not, the dishes are worth every penny.
If there’s one thing Oliver Dunne is known for, it’s his penchant for quality locally-sourced ingredients. Flavours that you might not expect paired together somehow work perfectly from sharp and smoky to bitter and sweet.
Dessert is a reason to visit Cleaver East alone thanks to the mind-blowing selection of sweet treats. Opt for yoghurt and vanilla bean panna cotta or why not coconut and cacao ganache tart? If you end up spoiled for choice, opt for a 5-course tasting menu and sample some of the chef’s favourite dishes.
Rather than a boozy brunch, Cleaver East offer a boozy supper club: sip on bottomless bellinis or Prosecco as you make your way through three courses. Heaven!
Read reviews here
6 Essex St E, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
By Rose at Where Goes Rose
Sophie’s is a beautiful glasshouse restaurant known for its panorama views as well as its exquisite fining dining menus. Located in the heart of Dublin in the Saint Kevin’s neighborhood, Sophie’s is located on top of the iconic boutique hotel, The Dean.
The atmosphere changes with the flow of the day, from a laid back sunrise through to a buzzing night sky. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the amazing view of Dublin while enjoying high-end meals cooked by world class chefs who only use locally harvested ingredients.
The menu at Sophie’s have three main styles – New York, Italian, and Irish dishes. Its most popular dishes are the seafood linguine, garganelli and the potato gnocchi.
The best thing about Sophie’s is really the diverse array of menu dishes that can suit anyone’s taste buds depending on their mood. Its dessert menus, especially the tiramisu slab and the vanilla gelato, are renowned among Dublin locals who frequent the beautiful venue.
All in all, the Sophie’s is a perfect place for a special occasion dinner, or a romantic night out with a partner. Their service staff is also known to be very friendly and accommodating for any guest needs.
The visit to the Sophie’s is a must-do for anyone looking for great fine dining opportunities in Dublin.
Read reviews here.
33 Harcourt St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2, Ireland
By Andrew at Road Goat
If you follow a vegetarian, vegan, or healthy diet, head directly to Cornucopia. It’s Dublin’s first vegetarian restaurant, which opened back in 1986. Cornucopia is a casual dining establishment, catering to vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, plant-based, sugar-free, and raw diets.
If you have any allergies or restrictions, you’ll likely be able to find an appropriate meal at Cornucopia.
Cornucopia is right in the middle of all the action in the city centre on Wicklow Street. The place is always packed with diners, no matter what time of day. I suggest heading up to the second floor for a quieter atmosphere. Snag a spot near the window if you can for views of the street below. You’ll order your meal at the front counter.
Every day, there are five main courses, ten salads, hummus plates, wraps, and two soups. Each meal is clearly marked with allergen information and whether it is vegan or gluten-free. I ordered a pastry pocket with eggplant, chickpeas, mushrooms, beets, and peanuts.
Main courses come with two side salads, so I chose the garlic potato salad and an Asian noodle salad. My dining partner enjoyed a completely different meal. It consisted of a tofu, cauliflower, and fennel pie, along with two side salads.
You can’t go wrong with ordering brownies for dessert as they were delicious! Dublin is very friendly for vegetarians, vegans, and the veg-curious. Here are more Dublin vegan restaurants that offer yummy plant-based meals.
Read Reviews Here
19-20 Wicklow St, Dublin
By Lauren at Justin Plus Lauren
Boxty House Temple Bar
For those that don’t know boxty (Irish: bacstaí) is a traditional Irish pancake made with mashed or raw grated potatoes. Boxty is an unleavened patty and it is a tradition that goes back generations in Ireland and is also known as farls, potato pancakes, fadge, or poundies.
The Boxty House in Temple Bar is raising the profile of boxty to another level. In 1988 Padraic Og Gallagher used his grandmother’s recipe to develop the Leitrim Boxty which retains the traditional 70% potato content. The Boxty House in Temple Bar is the place where Padraic features this fabulous Boxty.
Padraic also grows his own potatoes which you can see in the boxes high above the front of the restaurant. He is also working to establish Boxty as a regional specialty like Champagne and Parma Ham by obtaining EU Protected Geographical Indication Status (PGI). The theme for the Boxty House is “the humble spud made beautiful”.
At the Boxty House, which is very casual and authentically Irish you can have the traditional boxty with a full Irish breakfast but you have to try the boxty fries they are simply addictive. Did I mention the boxty dumplings?
Dishes featured here include traditional with a twist Irish stews, beautiful smoked haddock with boxty dumplings a superb vegan chilli with boxty crisps that is off the charts.
Read Reviews Here.
20-21 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
From Faith at XYU and Beyond
The Woollen Mills Eating House
If you’re looking to eat some delicious modern Irish cuisine in a trendy, yet casual setting, then look no further than The Woollen Mills restaurant.
Overlooking the Ha’penny bridge, The Woollen Mills is located in a historic building where iconic author James Joyce once worked. Not only is the building and location absolutely lovely, but the food is fantastic as well.
The Woollen Mills is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food they serve is of high quality no matter what time of day you visit. If you go for breakfast, you can choose between an authentic fry-up or more modern morning options. For lunch, there are numerous soup and sandwich combinations to choose from that are sure to hit the spot.
The best time to visit The Woollen Mills, however, is for their early bird special. In a city that is known for being quite pricey, The Woollen Mills offers a great set menu from 5-6:45PM during the months of January to November.
During this time, you can get delicious 2-course meal for €28 or a 3-course meal for €33. The top notch cuisine at an affordable price is an attractive option for those who are looking to visit Ireland on a budget. The food and service is also always of great quality. You are sure to love the delicious modern Irish cuisine
42 Ormond Quay Lower, North City, Dublin
From Maggie at The World Was Here First
The Market Bar
Dublin is filled with wonderful restaurants. However, they can be hard to find when you are traveling and don’t have some good leads.
Walking around in Dublin 2 when hunger struck, my husband and I decided to just stop in a busy pub and order something to go with a pint. It’s often a great way to enjoy an inexpensive meal.
We chose the old-school Long Hall on Great George’s Street and managed to find a table. It even had an extra chair for my purse. We settled in only to find out that though they do serve a potent gin and tonic, they don’t serve food.
Fortunately, some friendly folks at the next table offered up the name of a place they liked that was about a block away. We gathered up our things and headed out for dinner at The Market Bar.
Located down a side street, within an open room in a gigantic repurposed warehouse, The Market Bar is casual and fun and positively buzzed with excitement. We were seated at a back wall on a high banquette, where we had a great view over the space.
The tapas-style menu offered items in two sizes. We discovered from watching other tables that even a small serving was large for two people. We ordered marinated olives, feta and chorizo salad, stuffed and roasted little red peppers, and more.
Still, we had leftovers, which we packed up and gave to a homeless person we encountered on the way back to our hotel. All this and free WiFi, too!
Read Reviews Here
14A Fade St, Dublin
By Carole at Travels with Carole
The Blind Pig Speakeasy
Hidden bars known as “síbín” in Irish have been popular around Ireland since the Prohibition era. Today, drinking is legal in Ireland, in fact the Irish are famous for craic. People travel from all around the world to party in the home of the famous pubs and brands like Jameson Whiskey and Guinness Beer.
When in Dublin head to The Blind Pig for a tasting of their seasonal menu and world class cocktails. The speakeasy in located in an underground intimate wine cellar. It is only open to guests who make a reservation and are over 23.
First, make an online reservation then you’ll receive an email with clues about finding the bar and restaurant. The clues will lead you to a bookshelf with an amazing bar hidden behind it. Upon entry guests receive a bible with rules like please don’t ask for a strawberry daiquiri and the customer isn’t always right.
Adventurous guests should tell the bartender what types of drinks they usually like to give him a sense of your preference in flavors. He then whips up a custom selection.
Read Reviews Here
18 Suffolk St, Dublin 2
Queen of Tarts
The food scene in Dublin is to die for, but one of my absolute favorite spots is Queen of Tarts, a positively sassy cafe and patisserie.
It’s more than earned its reputation as one of the best casual weekend brunch spots in Old City. If you find yourself on Dame Street, you simply must pop in!
I’m partial to their soups. If you’re an adventurous spirit, try their soup of the day and pair it with some of their delicious homemade bread. This is an especially wonderful treat if you’re visiting during the gloomier months. Nothing warms you up quite like hearty Irish soups!
If you want to indulge in a decadent afternoon tea while in Ireland, you’ll be happy to hear that the Queen of Tarts has been recognized as one of the best tea spots in Ireland. Though if you prefer wine to tea, their wine list has earned them quite a bit of praise as well.
Of course, with a name like Queen of Tarts, you might be tempted to focus your attention on their desserts and pastries. Scones, cakes, and fruit tarts are made daily, so everything is as fresh and light as possible.
So whether you want brunch, lunch, or afternoon tea, you’re covered! In fact, when packing for Ireland, leave a bit of room to sneak a few scones back home with you (or at least keep a few in your carry-on for the flight).
Read reviews here.
Cow’s Ln, Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin
By Stephanie at History Fangirl
BoCo Bar + Oven
Located in a former chemical factory turned bar in the city centre, but away from the tourist trail, BoCo offers some of the best pizza in Dublin.
Not just any pizza, but wood-fired pizza with a light texture, that is crisp and chewy. There are around 15 different kinds of pizza to choose from with vegan and gluten-free options.
The entire place is spotlessly clean and there’s a lovely, relaxed atmosphere. What I like is that the ingredients, although simple, are fresh and make for good flavour combinations and generous portions.
The drink selection is top notch, including frozen Irish coffee, craft beer, wine, homemade lemon-limeade, and a great mix of cocktails and gin. What really sets this place apart are the friendly staff.
It is recommended to make a reservation, especially during weekends. I would also leave room for the wood fired spicy chicken wings, with a crispy and spicy skin that never disappoints.
Read Reviews Here
57 Bolton St, Inns Quay, Dublin 1
By Rai at A Ray of Light
Map of Where to Eat in Dublin
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