Eating out in Dublin
Dublin has a wide range of good quality restaurants. Many are overpriced by European standards, however, tougher economic times have given rise to a new wave of stylish but casual, low priced eateries with great food. Wine in restaurants is generally marked up from its already expensive retail price by a factor of at least two and three times retail price would not be uncommon. Look out for "Bring Your Own Bottle" options.
There are many excellent value Indian restaurants around the South William Street area, parallel to Grafton Street. These often have reasonable priced lunch and 'early bird' deals, offering three course meals for around €10.
A similar multi-cultural hotspot is Parnell Street in Dublin 1 (O'Connell Street-Gardiner Street), which has a dense concentration of Chinese and Asian restaurants extensively frequented by the ex-pat communities.
Image: Eating & drinking in Dublin
Recommended places to eat in Dublin
There are hundreds of restaurants in Dublin and our intention is not to list them all here. Instead, we have selected a handful of restaurants that people are talking about for all the right reasons.
Amuse, Dawson St - Ideally located on Dawson Street, just a stones throw from St. Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street, Amuse Restaurant is owned and operated by Conor Dempsey and his wife Joanna. Nestled within the hustle and bustle of one of Dublin’s busiest streets a relatively small dining room by Dublin standards, sets the stage for the kind of cooking you will not find anywhere else in Ireland. Conor’s formative years as a chef were spent firstly in London where he worked in the “Oak- room” the famous 3 Michelin starred Restaurant owned and run by Marco Pierre White. After London, he travelled to France where he worked in Burgundy in the 3 star Michelin Restaurant “La Cote Saint Jacques”. It was here while working along side Japanese chefs, he began to learn about Asian flavours and techniques, the essence behind the cuisine of Amuse Restaurant - Visit website
Ananda, Dundrum Town Centre - Ananda’s décor redefines customer’s expectations of Indian restaurants. The dining room features a number of striking design statements, which are quietly opulent while complementing the comfortable welcoming warmth of design theme. The eye is drawn up to the glowingly rich, honey-coloured, water lily inspired chandeliers, while aubergine, lime and cerise velvet upholstery adds vibrancy and life to the seating - Visit website
Bastible, South Circular Road - Bastible is a contemporary neighbourhood bistro stationed on Leonard’s Corner in the heart of Dublin 8 - Visit website
Brioche, Ranelagh - A casual neighbourhood restaurant serving the freshest of in-season Irish produce - Visit website
Brother Hubbard, Capel Street & Harrington Street - Simple, pure, interesting food, made entirely from scratch. Lots of Awards & Recognition - Visit website
Chameleon Restaurant, Temple Bar - Award-winning food, inspired by Indonesian culinary culture and tailored for an Irish diner. Everything, from pastes to desserts is made from scratch. Included in this year's Sunday Times / McKenna's Guides 100 Best Restaurants for the third year in a row - Visit website
Chapter One, Parnell Square - Michelin Star Awarded since 2007 and numerous other rewards. What you see on a plate in Chapter One is an expression of many artisans, many landscapes and much hardworking talent. And all that happens long before the cooking even begins - Visit website
Delahunt, Camden Street - Delahunt is a modern Irish restaurant and bar situated in an historic Victorian building on Dublin’s Camden Street. The Head Chef, Dermot Staunton, has been there since opening day. In less than a year at Delahunt the team was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand 2016. Chef Staunton has worked at some of Dublin’s best restaurants, including Locks Brasserie, Venu, Town Bar and Grill, and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud - Visit website
Dunne & Crescenzi, South Frederick Street - Located in the heart of Dublin city, and one of the foremost Italian restaurants in Ireland. Owned by Eileen Dunne Crescenzi and Stefano Crescenzi, they brought the traditions and values of Italian cooking to the Irish people. Dunne and Crescenzi has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years - Visit website
Etto, Merrion Row - Etto is an award-winning restaurant on Dublin’s Merrion Row. They offer a daily changing, seasonal menu, served in a relaxed and informal environment. Dishes are honest and simple, using ingredients from local producers and suppliers where possible. Wines are carefully selected with a focus on interesting grape varietals and small producers. Awarded a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand in 2014 and 2015 - Visit website
Forest Avenue, Sussex Terrace - Forest Avenue is a neighbourhood dining room situated on Sussex Terrace, Sussex Road in Dublin 4. The restaurant is run by passionate husband and wife team John and Sandy Wyer. It is named after the street where Sandy grew up in her native Queens, New York. They serve modern food using excellent seasonal ingredients in relaxed, informal surroundings - Visit website
Kinara Kitchen, Ranelagh - Award winning Pakistani restaurant serving tantalising traditional food paired with delicious cocktails and fine wines. While the room above houses a Vintage themed 'secret' cocktail bar with a roof terrace, perfect for Brunch or aperitifs in the sun! - Visit website
l’Ecrivain, Lower Baggot Street - Over 27 years on, l’Ecrivain is going from strength to strength. l’Ecrivain stands on the site of two old Georgian Coach Houses/Mews in its own charming courtyard - Visit website
Locks, Windsor Terrace - Exciting and constantly evolving menu, extensive wine & cocktail list, great music and laid-back atmosphere - Visit website
O’Connell’s, Donnybrook - O’Connells Restaurant in Donnybrook, Dublin is run and established by husband and wife Tom and Annette O’Connell. Their vision is to create a ‘home away from home’ Irish Brasserie. They use the best of Irish produce, with contemporary cooking and an insistance on value for money - Visit website
Pichet, Trinity Street - Pichet restaurant & cocktail bar has been under the helm of award winning chef, Stephen Gibson since 2009. After a recent refurbishment They now offer a unique dining and bar experience to compliment the fantastic food. Their menu has hints of french elegance but with a modern Irish twist - Visit website
Restaurant Forty One, St Stephen’s Green - Rarely does a month pass without Restaurant FortyOne scooping another award for its fine-dining. Under the expert guidance of rising talent Graham Neville, the restaurant has flourished in the last three years, with The Irish Times describing the menu as "splendid, impeccable, elegant, perfect" and The Irish Independent praising the restaurant's "air of luxury and comfort" and the "beautifully presented, perfect" food - Visit website
Taste at Rustic, Sth. Great George's St. - Taste at Rustic is an exciting new restaurant in the heart of Dublin City. A new food experience by Dylan McGrath to explore the idea of flavour, tastes and in the room cooking, while being influenced by Japan, Spain and South America - Visit website
Winding Stair, Lower Ormond Quay - The food is good, old-fashioned home cooking, with produce sourced from artisans within the island. The beer list focuses on local and international micro breweries with an emphasis on good, food-matched beers and ales. The wine list is extensive and also aims to showcase some of the new and emerging stellar boutique wine makers from the new and old worlds - Visit website
Soder+Ko, Sth. Great George's St. - SODER+KO serves a creative blend of Scandinavian and Asian inspired, quality drink and food – a combination completely new to Dublin - Visit website
Drinking in Dublin
Dublin has a vibrant nightlife and is reputedly one of Europe's most youthful cities, with an estimate of 50% of citizens being younger than 25. There are many pubs across the city centre, with the area around St. Stephen's Green and Grafton Street, especially Harcourt Street, Camden Street, Wexford Street and Leeson Street, having the most popular nightclubs and pubs.
The best known area for nightlife is Temple Bar, south of the River Liffey. The area has become popular among tourists, including stag and hen parties from Britain. It was developed as Dublin's cultural quarter and does retain this spirit as a centre for small arts productions, photographic and artists' studios, and in the form of street performers and small music venues. However, it has been criticised as overpriced, false and dirty by Lonely Planet. In 2014, Temple Bar was listed by the Huffington Post as one of the ten most disappointing destinations in the world. The areas around Leeson Street, Harcourt Street, South William Street and Camden/George's Street are popular nightlife spots for locals.
Image: Eating & drinking in Dublin, Temple Bar
The Stag’s Head on Dublin’s Dame Court was recently named the best pub in Ireland at the annual National Hospitality Awards while Temple Bar’s Vintage Cocktail Club was named the best cocktail bar in Ireland.
Old Spot and Chop House (both in Beggar's Bush) have both been mentioned in Michelin’s latest ‘Eating Out in Pubs’ guide 2016.
If you're looking for ‘craic’ and a Guinness, then these pubs will not let you down:
O'Donoghues, 15 Merrion Row - O'Donoghue's has a rich heritage and stands on a very historical site in Dublin City. Yet it's more modern musical history is really the stuff of legends. Ask any Irish man to name the artists or bands that have shaped Irish traditional and contemporary music and The name of the Dubliners always comes up. Christy Moore and the Dubliners have spent many a memorable night entertaining Dublin's music lovers in this bar. It is this spirit that is kept alive by today's musicians who play amongst an array of drawings and photos of Irish musicians that adorn the walls of O'Donoghue's - Visit website
The Long Hall, 51 South Great Georges Street - The Long Hall is another great Dublin institution. It's not as well-known as O'Donoghues though, which means it's much less crowded on weekdays.
The Stag's Head, 1 Dame Court - Recently named the best pub in the country at the annual National Hospitality Awards (January 2017). Records of a pub on the site of the Stag's Head date to 1770. The pub is known for the preservation of its Victorian interior and the restored advertising mosaic on the footpath on Dame Street, some distance from the pub's doors. The pub claims to be the first in Dublin to have installed electricity.
Kehoe's, 9 Anne Street South - Kehoe's is a traditional Irish Pub. Kehoe's was first licensed in 1803 when the winds of revolution spread across Western Europe. The premises that you see before you today, were completed towards the end of the 19th century in typical Victorian style. You can view stained glass mahogany doors, old Irish snugs, partitions and the entire homely feel throughout the pub - Visit website
The Dawson Lounge, 25 Dawson Street - The smallest pub in Dublin that can only hold around 20 people.
The Cobblestone, 77 King Street North - This is the place to go for traditional Irish music known locally as a drinking pub with a music problem - Visit website
Hartigan's, 100 Lower Leeson St. - Popular student bar, as a result occasionally raucous. Good option after international rugby matches.