The last 10 years or so has seen a renascence in Irish cuisine. In the past, upon arriving in Ireland you would have been hard pressed to find anywhere decent to eat. Those days are long gone. The only real problem these days is dealing with all the choice. This article is here to help you find the best restaurants in Dublin.
I have gone into detail on where to go, depending on your needs. If you want to find the best traditional Irish breakfast, the best fish and chips, or something lighter, keep reading. I have also linked all these choices up to the corresponding restaurant’s website or TripAdvisor page and a Google map to help you find your way around!
Even though Ireland has modernized a lot in recent years, there is still plenty of farming and fishing done throughout the country. This means that even in the heart of cosmopolitan Dublin, you can eat meals cooked with fresh, natural ingredients. The trend has been to take the best foreign recipes and food styles and prepare them with high-quality Irish ingredients!
This article will be constantly updated, so do check back from time to time…
Click HERE to see the map and get to where you need to go!
A Big Breakfast?
This is the most important meal of the day and finding a good one might prove tricky. There are plenty of dining options for breakfast in Dublin depending on your needs. If you want the heavier “Full-Irish” or something lighter, read on to find my recommendations!
This chain is popular among locals for its traditional Irish pancake dishes, these are typically flatter than the more common “American” style pancakes. The variety of different types of pancakes can be bewildering to the uninitiated, but this restaurant offers an excellent introduction to Irish cuisine! From the sweet to savory and everything in between, Lemon is a great place to start this list and your day.
Lemon is affordable and a great option for people on the go! Expect prices between €5-15. L
Next to Trinity college and just off the main shopping street (Grafton Street). Keogh’s is a great place to spend a morning sipping away at some of the best coffee in Dublin while eating fresh pastries and watching the world go by.
One of the older coffee shops in the city, this place offers great value for money, though it may get busier at certain periods of the day. This coffee shop is also open earlier than most other locations, so if you are struggling to find somewhere serving coffee, check this place out!
Prices between €5-15.
Ireland is not known for good weather. However, if you are lucky and get the chance to see some of the Irish sun, head here. Metro has one of the best outdoor seating areas in the city. Located on the bustling Southwilliam Street, you can experience some excellent people-watching from this café!
Like Keogh’s this location offers tea, coffee, and different pastries. It also has a great menu and has indoor seating if you experience the more common Irish “Liquid sunshine” …
Prices between €5-15.
This is one of the most popular modern cafes in Dublin. It’s a little off the beaten track, outside the city center, near the gentrifying Grand Canal Docks. This place has some of the best gourmet coffee that Dublin has to offer and a breakfast menu that is always changing. Try to take a walk along the nearby canal if you get the chance!
Prices range from about €10-15.
The Joy of Cha
This is my favorite café in Dublin. The staff are friendly and always there to help with your order if you can’t make up your mind. The choice here can be a little overwhelming as they have over 100 types of tea alone!
The food here is excellent. If you want to have a traditional “Full Irish Breakfast”, then I would recommend this place. There are also local takes on fare from all over the world and their vegetarian menu is extensive. The only drawback to this restaurant is its size. It can be difficult to find a table here and if you do, there may be streams of people coming in to take advantage of its excellent services.
Dinner in Dublin
This can be the biggest decision of your day while traveling. We better talk about it. Here I have gone into what I think are some of the best restaurants in Dublin. This list is not complete and is always changing. It is also just my opinion, so I can only apologize if your favorite restaurant is not listed below.
If you want to find something upmarket or more affordable, read on. Some of these places will require a reservation, while others are all self-service. I have tried to give you as much of an overview of Dublin dining as possible with this guide.
Dollard & Co.
This is one of the more expensive options on this list, but also one of my favorites. Dollard & Co is a gourmet grocery store located on the river Liffey. If you want to bring home a nice gift of food or drink, then you should see what is on offer here. There are also multiple dining options in this establishment.
On the main floor is a café and dining hall which offers an excellent choice. You can see the food being cooked and prepared in the center of the dining hall, it really helps to build your appetite for what’s to come. Downstairs houses my favorite steak restaurant in Dublin. If you want to eat out in style and enjoy some of the best food grown in Ireland, then I advise you head here.
The original vegetarian/ vegan restaurant in Dublin, this place has something for people of all tastes. Unless they want meat of course! Founded in the 1980’s as an alternative to traditional meat-heavy Irish dining, this place has become an institution in the city.
The variety of food on offer is extensive and the quality is nothing to be sniffed at. If you want to take a break from the usually heavier Irish food, then Cornucopia is an excellent choice. There is no table service in the restaurant. You will need to get a table first, then head downstairs and get all your food served onto your plate. It can be quite busy at times, so plan accordingly.
The high quality of Irish cattle has been spoken about since the time of the Roman Empire. On this list, I have more than a few recommendations for where you can experience this quality for yourself. Featherblade is one of the better ones!
Featherblade has one thing on the menu, beef. If you want anything else, you are out of luck. But what the lack in variety, they more than make up for in quality! Their menu can be cooked to your liking and the staff will give you advice on how to make the most of your experience there.
This establishment is popular and may be full at peak times during the week. Plan ahead and book if you want to go here during these times.
This is my favorite pub in Dublin and is in no way affiliated with the chain found in other countries! Located right next to Grafton Street and Trinity College, O’Neills is one of the best-situated establishments in the city. If you want to experience traditional Irish “Pub-Grub” then you should head here. There is no table service in O’Neills, instead, they have what’s called a “carvery”.
This is sort of like a buffet. You pay for your plate and then load it with as much food as you can. You will pay for whatever meat or fish you want and then can add on as much potatoes or vegetables as you can. For about €13, you can get a couple of thousand calories on your plate. This place is probably the best value for money option in this guide!
Even better than the food is the place itself. In the evenings this place comes alive with music and dancing. If you want to see some of the best free live performers in Dublin, then head to O’Neills after 8 pm. Upstairs there will be live music and dancing well into the night!
Dining for less
If you don’t want to spend that much money, or are just looking for something a little lighter, these are the places for you. The city is full of options for somewhere quick to eat. In the last few years several food trends have taken the city by storm. This is how you can experience the best of these restaurants in Dublin.
In this part of the guide, everything that I talk about will sell food for less than €15. So, if you are on a budget make sure to take note of some of these locations.
Chopped is an Irish company that started in Dublin about 5 years ago. They offer customers a healthy option for dining on the go. It can be very difficult to find healthy food while you are traveling, so if you are trying to take care of yourself, you should look at the menu here.
All the food is prepared directly in front of you and you have a wide variety of healthy options, all fresh and locally grown, when possible. If you are overwhelmed by the choice available, there are pre-existing options on display.There are several locations for Chopped, but most of them do get busy around lunchtime as it is a popular location for many of the young professionals in Dublin.
This is a more established Irish brand. Like Chopped, the food here is made in front of customers and O’Brien’s offers customers healthier options. The main difference here is in terms of price and variety, they are both lower here than in the previous suggestion on this list.
While that may be the case, O’Brien’s is still hugely popular among Irish people. If you want to eat here, be aware that lunchtime will be extremely busy. Try to arrive around noon to avoid the afternoon rush!
Burritos have been one of the most popular imports to Dublin city. They are everywhere. A few different restaurants have established chains around Ireland, my favorite is Pablo Picante’s.
Another lighter option for food that is made in front of the customer. Here will find some of the best tasting dining options in the city. Also, unlike other establishments, Pablo Picante’s offers more than just burritos. If you want to get a real taste for foreign recipes with Irish ingredients, then you should head here as soon as you can!
The Silk Road Café
This is one of the best tea rooms in Dublin. It offers up a more traditional style of lite-dining than what we have discussed before. It is also a self-service establishment, so you will need to find a table, get your plate and load it up with as much food as you can!
The unique thing about the Silk Road Café is its location, right in the middle of the grounds of Dublin Castle itself! Dublin Castle was the seat of British rule for most of their stay in Ireland and you can learn more about this aspect of Irish history while here.
In the same building as the café, you will also find the Chester Beatty Library which I talked more about HERE. This is one of the best museums in Europe and is the place in Dublin I always recommend most highly!
Another recent trend in Dublin city is chicken wings. In the last couple of years, they have taken over Dublin, the spicier the better! My favorite wings are served in Bailey, located just off Grafton Street.
The wings here are quite spicy, so be careful. Fortunately, Bailey is also one of the most popular bars in Dublin and offers drinks for a reasonable price at the heart of the city centre. This establishment is famous for its connection to Bloom’s Day.
The famous novel Ulysses is set in Dublin on the 16th of June 1904. Every June people follow the route the main character (Leopold Bloom) took through the city and the route brings them to Duke street where you can find Bailey. To commemorate this, the bar is decorated with a lot of literary memorabilia and is well worth visiting for any book lovers among you.
Dublin’s Best Fish & Chips
Is there anything finer than good salty chips paired with crispy battered cod drenched in vinegar? If there is, I don’t want to know about it! Whether it’s a teatime feed or post-pints snack, fish and chips are a Dublin institution, so here is some of the finest fast food Ireland has to offer.
A slightly fancier take on the classic formula, Fish Shop offers top quality fish, with a twist on the classic formula that ventures beyond just the classic cod and chips. If you want something a little spicy to go with fish and chips, get their Connemara clams with chorizo.
A little off the beaten path, Fish Shop is definitely worth a lunchtime detour, particularly if you get hungry while exploring the National Museum at Collins Barracks or wandering Smithfield.
I have spoken before about how great Howth is, and nothing could cap off a long walk around the scenic Howth Head better than sitting down on the seafront and tucking into a plate of Beshoff’s.
Those sore feet will be soon forgotten once you’ve had a feed. Beshoff’s batter is probably the tastiest in Dublin, with the perfect light and crispy texture cocooning the fish.
Sunshine, fish and the sea air are perfect companions out in Howth, but their city center location is equally worth a visit and is a stone’s throw from Dublin Castle and the Olympia Theatre.
This is the original. The first Leo Burdock’s was established right next to Christchurch Cathedral in 1913. If you want to experience the best fish and chips in Dublin, here they are!
If you chose to go to the original location, you will not be able to sit down and enjoy your food there. They are purely a takeaway establishment. There are other locations where you can sit inside and enjoy your meal however. In both Howth and Templebar you will find sit-in franchises of Burdock’s.
While you are there, you should check out the names on the wall. On display behind the counter will be a list of the names of all the celebrities that have visited the famous eatery. You should join them and experience the pinnacle of this cuisine!
I hope that you have enjoyed reading about the best restaurants in Dublin. Please do check back from time to time and see if we have anything else on offer. Also if you have any suggestions of your own, leave a comment or get in touch!