Table of Contents
- Dublin Food Guide
- Notable Dublin Restaurants
- Breakfast in Dublin
- Dublin Cheap Eats
- Dublin Desserts
- Dublin Food Shops
- Dublin Coffee Shops
- Dublin Pubs and Bars
- Things To Do in Dublin
- Research Dublin Hotels
- Hungry for More?
- Pin It for Later
- About the Authors
Wondering where to eat in Dublin? After eating and drinking our way through the Irish capital during three separate visits, we share our favorite Dublin restaurants and pubs in a comprehensive Dublin food guide.
Some businesses may revise their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Others may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check websites for updated information and make advance reservations where possible.
Three trips proved to be our charm in finding the best places to eat in Dublin.
During our first two trips, we found Dublin a bit overwhelming with crowds of boisterous, bar-crawling American travelers, many on group tours, filling the sidewalks and pubs. This could have turned into a true travel disaster.
Instead of crying into our pints of Guinness, we took it upon ourselves to explore the bustling city. Of course, we hit up top Dublin attractions like Old Jameson Distillery, Guinness Storehouse, the National Museum of Ireland, the Book of Kells and the Long Room Library at Trinity College.
Not surprisingly, though, we spent a good bit of our time educating ourselves about Dublin food. With some luck and pluck, we discovered a handful of gems sparkling in the emerging Dublin restaurant scene as well as several stellar coffee bars.
In a sense, those first trips were a prelude to our third more food-focused trip. In our experience, the food in Dublin gets better every time we visit.
Dublin Food Guide
If you think that food in Dublin is all about corned beef and cabbage, you’re living in the past or in the United States since this New York food combination doesn’t really exist in Ireland. Fast forward to the present, and there are some seriously good places to eat in Dublin hiding in plain sight.
Over three trips, we scoured the jewel of the Emerald Isle to find great food and drinks. Based on our tasty research, we reveal the spots where you should eat in Dublin Ireland now.
Notable Dublin Restaurants
Let’s face it, Dublin has a bad reputation for its food. Other than a handful of Michelin-starred restaurants including Chapter One (where we ate) and buzzy new-kid-on-block Variety Jones, the city is filled with restaurants serving boring meat and potatoes. Right? Wrong!
Much like other cities around the world, Dublin is going through a restaurant renaissance with younger chefs opening new restaurants in the city as well as on the outskirts of town. We discovered many of the best restaurants in Dublin Ireland through word of mouth when we asked locals where we should be eating in Dublin.
Chapter One is an ideal spot to start a culinary exploration of Dublin. Located in Parnell Square below the Dublin Writers Museum, this Michelin-starred restaurant offers a sophisticated refuge in the city. But the food is the real reason to dine at Chapter One.
Under the leadership of Chef Ross Lewis, Chapter One celebrates Irish ingredients with both respect and creativity. Lewis earned his Michelin star in 2007 and hasn’t looked back since. We started our initial exploration here with a multicourse lunch on a rainy Dublin afternoon.
Starting with Sweet Corn Soup, our leisurely lunch continued with dishes like Salt-Baked Irish Beetroot with Feta Cheese Mousse, Guinee Fowl and Ham Terrine and Anchill Island Black Face Lamb. However, flaky Plaice may have been the most surprising dish of the meal.
Served atop vegetables like beets, potatoes, celery, carrots and mushrooms, the well-plated fish was extra flavorful thanks to the addition of cockles and creamy Maltaise sauce.
Chapter One is located at 18-19 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1, Ireland.
In Italy, ‘etto’ is a suffix used to describe something small. In Dublin, Etto (the restaurant) is indeed small with just 38 seats. However, Dublin’s Etto is a mighty food experience.
Popular since Liz Matthews and Simon Barrett opened the restaurant in 2013, reservations are a must at Etto. After missing out on a reservation in 2016, we planned ahead prior to our third trip and snagged two bar spots. Sitting at the bar can be dubious in some restaurants but we felt comfortable while dining in Etto’s intimate space.
Etto’s menu of nibbles, starters, mains, sides and desserts is small (or should we say etto?) enough to fit on one page. The same goes for the restaurant’s outstanding wine selection.
Everything we ate at the tiny space was excellent from hunks of Dublin baker Le Levain’s bread served with Irish butter to the dessert we ordered by simply saying “one prunes and two spoons.”
In between, we devoured smokey, gently spicy mussels made with ruby tomatoes, Calabrian nduja and samphire (similar to seaweed) and served in an orange broth good enough to swim in or at least mop up with bread. This dish is so beloved that it’s been on the menu that changes daily since day one.
Silky cod pictured above didn’t disappoint nor did flavorful scallops, crispy potatoes and mustard-topped grilled broccoli; however, the prune dessert is the dish that we’ll try to replicate at home. Not your grandmother’s dried plums, Etto soaks their prunes in wine, cinnamon and vanilla and serves them with creamy-dreamy vanilla mascarpone. The result is nothing short of dessert perfection.
Etto is located at 18 Merrion Row, Dublin, D02 A316, Ireland.
We loved Brother Hubbard during our first visit to Dublin in 2013. At the time, the new-ish restaurant stood out as a shining light in the Dublin culinary scene by serving modern comfort food and quality coffee in a trendy yet chill setting. All of this was still true during our subsequent visits.
Now, though, the restaurant has become even more contemporary with an expansive dining room and floor-to-ceiling windows. Dinner service is also available five nights a week, as is a no Wi-Fi policy. No longer under the radar, Brother Hubbard was even featured in Somebody Feed Phil‘s Dublin episode and has published a cookbook.
The biggest change is that Brother Hubbard is no longer the new kid on the block. There is now a community of Dublin restaurants making their individual marks on the Ireland food scene. But don’t rule Brother Hubbard out.
The cafe’s food features a hearty blend of Mediterranean meets Irish meets Global Cuisine with dishes like Eggs Baba Biba with poached eggs, baba-ganoush and harissa. Serving what may be the best breakfast in Dublin, the restaurant’s sunlit room has a hip vibe that provides an energizing start for an active day of Dublin exploration.
Brother Hubbard has two Dublin locations. We ate at the original restaurant located at 153 Capel St, Dublin 1, Ireland.
We first heard about The Fumbally from a pair of young chefs sitting next to us at 3fe Coffee in 2016. When we asked about cool restaurants in Dublin, they answered with The Fumbally.
Sure enough, while exploring some of the newer artisan cafes in the city, we asked an in-touch barista about good places to eat and she asked, “Have you been to The Fumbally?”
After two visits, we can safely recommend this casual yet funky restaurant to any Dublin visitor looking for a generally healthy meal or a good cup of coffee or both. We say ‘generally’ due to the outstanding Italian Roast Pork sandwich we ate there on our lunch visit. It ranks as one of the best pork sandwiches we’ve eaten outside of Philadelphia.
We also enjoyed healthier avocado toast during lunch as well as Chinese buns at Fumbally’s Wednesday night dinner service. Since food options are both local and seasonal, check the menu for current offerings.
The Fumbally is located at Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8, Ireland.
Bastible was the favorite answer to our question of which one restaurant we should check out during our second visit to Dublin. This is the chef-driven, bib gourmand restaurant where Chef Barry FitzGerald, formerly of popular Dublin Italian standout Etto (see above), exercises his culinary chops.
FitzGerald uses fresh ingredients to create dishes like tasty spiced pistachio dip served with raw carrot slices and homemade sour cream as well as tomato salad studded with fresh, bright green spring peas. During our multi-course dinner in Dublin, we enjoyed a dessert of apricot and almond frangipane with white chocolate ice cream.
Bastible is located at 111 S Circular Rd, Dublin 8, Ireland.
Locks 1 Windsor Terrace
Located across the street from the Grand Canal, Locks 1 Windsor Terrace serves beautiful, sophisticated food in a sun-drenched neighborhood setting. Although our Dublin lunch looked like it could be served at any Michelin-starred restaurant in France, we dug deeper.
Our reward? We indulged in flavors and ingredients unique to Dublin in dishes like simple homemade rye bread served with smoked trout Irish butter and more sophisticated lamb belly plated with young carrots and local sheep’s cheese.
Locks 1 Windsor Terrace is located at 1 Windsor Terrace, Portobello, Dublin 8, Ireland.
Da Mimmo was our personal savior during our second trip to Dublin. Located less than a block from our less-than-fabulous Airbnb apartment in a previously sketchy area of Dublin, this restaurant became our go-to for pasta, calzones and pizza.
We fell in love with this popular spot in the gentrifying North Strand neighborhood, partly due to the food and partly due to the genuine warmth exuded by owner Tino Fusciardi and his staff. It’s no surprise that Da Mimmo is one of the most popular Italian restaurants in Dublin.
Fusciardi has brought a bit of his hometown of Casalattico, Italy to Dublin. The result is a winner.
Da Mimmo is located at 148 North Strand Road Dublin 3, Dublin 3, Ireland.
L. Mulligan Grocer
Located down the block from popular cafe Love Supreme in Dublin’s Stoneybatter neighborhood, L. Mulligan Grocer is a modern pub with a kitchen that goes beyond typical pub food. Not that there’s anything wrong with typical pub food!
Ordering from a menu slipped into a book called Sweet Cork of Thee, we scratched our Fish & Chips itch after starting our leisurely Dublin lunch with a Scotch Egg made with a free-range egg and rare-breed pork. However, the Smoked Ham Kassler was hands-down the best dish of our meal.
L. Mulligan is a good place to visit if you’re looking for more traditional food made with farm-fresh, locally sourced ingredients away from the central tourist zone.
L. Mulligan Grocer is located at 50 Pleasants St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 8, D08 VN22, Ireland.
Breakfast in Dublin
Considering that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it would be a shame to eat every breakfast in a hotel during your trip to Dublin. For those times when you want to start your morning with a food bang, consider the following Dublin breakfasts:
Eating at least one Full Irish Breakfast in Dublin is a must. We satisfied this food travel requirement at herbstreet, a modern restaurant located in the tech-friendly Docklands neighborhood.
You may be wondering what is a Full Irish Breakfast and how is it different from a Full English Breakfast. We wondered the same.
Expect a plate loaded with eggs, bacon, baked beans, black pudding and – here’s the differentiating feature – white pudding. Add fresh bread smeared with Irish butter and this hearty meal is a party on that plate.
herbstreet is located at 9 Hanover Quay, Dublin Docklands, Dublin, D02 KP20, Ireland.
Meet Me in the Morning
Meet Me in the Morning doesn’t serve Full Irish Breakfasts and that’s okay. Located just two blocks from our hotel, this quirky Dublin cafe would be our neighborhood spot if we actually lived on Camden Street.
Musically astute readers will recognize the restaurant’s name from a Bob Dylan song on his 1975 album Blood on the Tracks. Everybody else should simply follow the instructions and head to the cafe in the morning.
We ordered two mains during our mid-afternoon meal – Egg + Greens and Seasonal Hash. Both were glorious messes of food filled with locally sourced ingredients and just enough greens to make us feel like we were eating healthy.
Unless you’re on an epic Dublin food tour like us, plan to linger with cups of specialty coffee and homemade desserts. Trust us – we had to use every ounce of self-control to not order a cupcake.
Meet Me in the Morning is located at 50 Pleasants St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 8, D08 VN22, Ireland.
Dublin Cheap Eats
Dublin has oodles of options for travelers on a budget, many conveniently located near Temple Bar.
Those in a rush between sites or sips can stop at the Dollard & Co. food hall for a quick pizza or burger meal. Set in a historic printing house, the market offers a pleasant setting and multiple food options.
As for us, these are our favorite places to eat in Dublin when we’re looking for a quick bite that won’t break the bank:
Bunsen proves that you can find and eat an awesome hamburger in Dublin. Not counting drinks, Bunsen’s menu is so small that it literally fits on the back of a business card.
This is the place to go to in Dublin for a big, sloppy burger. Go crazy and make it a double and add cheese. You know you want to go big, so just do it.
Bunsen has multiple locations in Dublin. We have now eaten at three different Bunsen locations and enjoyed our burgers at each.
We discovered lots of food options on busy Parnell Street including its plethora of Asian eateries. Then, after eating at a few Chinese restaurants, we noticed tiny 147 Deli and found a good spot with creative lunch options.
The deli restaurant isn’t fancy, nor should it be. Instead, it’s an ideal spot for an inexpensive lunch with filling sandwiches, hearty soups and fresh salads.
147 Deli is located at 1, 147 Parnell St, Dublin 1, Ireland.
Dublin Pizza Company
Dublin Pizza Company makes creative pies to order in a custom, wood-fired pizza oven. The staff combines organic Irish ingredients with techniques honed in the Southern Italian pizza mecca of Naples.
At the time of our visit, the restaurant did not have tables or chairs, but customers could eat the hot, made-to-order pizza right there on the sidewalk. That’s what we did. Another option is to eat the pizza on a nearby park bench.
Update: Dublin Pizza Company now has multiple locations in Dublin.
Dublin Pizza Company has multiple Dublin locations. We visited the original location at 32 Aungier St, Dublin Southside, Dublin 2, Ireland.
From old-school favorites like Queen of Tarts and Teddy’s Ice Cream to French imports like Laudurée, Dublin has enough desserts to satisfy a city of sweets loving locals and a never-ending stream of food travelers. But where are the best desserts in Dublin?
First, don’t discount desserts at restaurants highlighted in this guide Hello, wine prunes at Etto! Beyond that, these are our picks for the tastiest sweet treats in Dublin:
A self-described ‘local bakery, cakery and coffee shop’, Camerino Bakery sells a tempting assortment of cake truffles, cookies and scones at two Dublin locations. However, the Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie is the dessert that won the gold prize at the 2014 Blás na hÉireann Irish Food Awards for owner Caryna Camerino.
We had to try the Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie based on its accolades, and the slightly salty, not-to-sweet dessert did not disappoint. Our only disappointment was not having room to taste test every other item in the adorable shop. Oh well, there’s always next time.
Camerino Bakery has two locations. We visited the bakery at 158 Capel St, North City, Dublin 1, D01 ND36, Ireland.
The Dublin Cookie Company
Since cookie cravings don’t follow a calendar, The Dublin Cookie Company bakes and sells cookies seven days a week. And not just any cookies.
In the shop’s open kitchen, bakers create cookie concoctions like familiar Chocolate Chip and fancier Sea Salted Caramel & Toasted Pecan using Irish butter and other local ingredients. They even bake dairy-free cookies for Vegans.
Despite the name, owners Jenny Synnot and Elaine Cohalan don’t stop at cookies. The bakery also serves grilled cheese sandwiches, scones and flavored milk.
However, the best thing to order at this shop may be the Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich. Let’s face it – it’s tough to beat the experience of eating cold ice cream nestled between two hot cookies.
The Dublin Cookie Company is located at 29 Thomas St, The Liberties, Dublin 8, D08 X3T0, Ireland.
Offbeat Donut Company
It was a dark day when we realized that our favorite Dublin donut shop had closed. Not only had we recommended that shop in this guide, but it was a really good donut shop.
After sampling different donuts in Dublin, we’re pleased to report that Offbeat Donut Company is our new favorite Dublin donut shop. Although Offbeat has multiple locations in Dublin and Prague, each shop bakes donuts on-site all day, every day and the atmosphere is decidedly local.
Offbeat separates their donuts into three categories – classic, premium and vegan. Flavors include the simple (Classic Glazed) to the sublime (Honeycomb Crunchy). But which of these Dublin donuts do we recommend? Well, that decision is up to you.
As for us, Daryl went gaga for the shop’s premium Hazelnut Rocher donut with an entire crunchy Ferrero Rocher truffle inside the Nutella topped pastry. As for Mindi, she lived out her unicorn dreams by eating a classic Unicorn donut topped with ‘majestic unicorn icing sugar and magical sprinkles’.
Offbeat Donut Company has multiple locations in Dublin.
Murphy’s Ice Cream
Open in Western Ireland since 2000, Murphy’s Ice Cream now has shops in Dublin, Killarney and Galway in addition to its Dingle home. Despite this growth, the Irish ice cream shop continues to churn authentic Irish ice cream using locally sourced Irish ingredients including milk from Kerry cows, a breed only found in Ireland.
In Dublin, popular ice cream flavors include Dingle Sea Salt and Honeycomb Caramel. Those in the mood for something extra can order Rum Raisin or Dingle Gin with alcohol in the mix, while lactose intolerant guests can order dairy-free flavors like Raspberry and Dark Chocolate.
A friend to the environment, Murphy’s serves ice cream in edible, decomposable cups. However, we recommend eating your scoops on a crunchy, tasty sugar cone sourced from Northern Ireland.
Murphy’s Ice Cream is located at 27 Wicklow St, Dublin 2, D02 WN51, Ireland.
Dublin Food Shops
As much as we love eating at restaurants, we sometimes get tired of eating out when we travel. This is where food shops come into play.
In addition to solving our restaurant burn-out dilemma, food shops serve another function – a peek into the heart of a city. Real people shop for food, and we always enjoy seeing what they buy.
Yes, we love visiting food shops when we travel, and Dublin is no exception to this rule. These are our two favorite food shops in Dublin:
Visiting the Dublin outpost of Galway-based Sheridans Cheesemongers is like taking a cheese tour of Ireland. The friendly staff is more than willing to give out samples of one or more of the cheeses, many of which are produced in Ireland.
Shop Manager John Leverrier, originally from Brittany, is especially passionate about cheese. During our visit, he guided us through a wide variety of great Irish cheeses along with cheeses from producers in countries like France and Italy.
Sheridans Cheesemongers is located at 11 South Anne Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Fallon & Byrne
If you’re looking for takeaway food in Dublin, the city has its fair share of food shops from corner convenience stores to super-sized grocery stores. The food hall at Fallon & Byrne is our favorite of the lot.
This store has an extensive selection of prepared foods that are easy to heat on a stove or in a microwave. The store also has fresh fish, baked goods and an impressive cheese counter. In other words, you can find a lot of the foods you must eat in Dublin at Fallon & Byrne.
Fallon & Byrne is located at 11-17 Exchequer St, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Dublin Coffee Shops
Specialty coffee is brewing up a storm in Dublin. Check out our Dublin Cafe Guide with our favorite Dublin coffee shops.
Dublin Pubs and Bars
Although coffee is our normal drink of choice, sometimes we enjoy imbibing an alcoholic beverage or two. Luckily, Dublin has a few places serving these types of drinks. And by a few, we mean a few on every block.
With so many pubs and bar options, it can be difficult to decide where to drink in Dublin. We checked out several (for research purposes), and these are the Dublin pubs and bars that we like best:
Owned and operated by Dave Mulligan, Bar 1661 celebrates Poitín but doesn’t discriminate against other potent potables. Bar 1661 has a full bar that features local favorites like Irish whiskey and Guinness beer. Not surprisingly, the bar’s addictive Belfast Coffee cocktail includes Poitín as a key ingredient.
But what is Poitín? As we learned during our drinking session at Bar 1661, Poitín is a traditional Irish moonshine that dates back to the 6th century. Outlawed in its homeland from 1661 to 1997, the distilled alcoholic beverage is now making a resurgence among craft cocktail enthusiasts.
Two years are pivotal at Dublin’s Bar 1661. The first is 1661, the year that Ireland outlawed Poitín. The second is 2019, the year that Bar 1661 opened and won Irish Craft Cocktails Awards for Best Overall Cocktail Bar, Ireland’s Best New Cocktail Bar, Best Bar Team, Best Cocktail Bar Dublin and Best Bartender. Needless to say, 2019 was the better year of the two.
Bar 1661 is located at 1-5 Green St, Rotunda, Dublin, D07 YT6H, Ireland.
Grogan’s is the definition of a classic Irish bar. From its dingy decor to its toastie-filled menu, Grogan’s screams Irish pub from every nook and cranny.
Accordingly, the Central Dublin watering hole is a textbook spot to grab a drink, preferably a pint of Guinness. Don’t be surprised when you get regaled by soused locals who fill your ear with Irish history and colorful tales of Dublin.
Grogans Pub is located at 15 South William Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
McNeill’s Public House
Traditional Irish music is alive and well at McNeill’s Pub in Dublin. Originally a music shop when it opened in 1834, McNeill’s continues its musical heritage by hosting nightly jam sessions in the pub’s narrow space.
More authentic than the scores of pubs in Temple Bar, McNeill’s is a neighborhood spot that welcomes all who enter in search of a pint of beer or live local music or both. Grab a spot at the bar if your timing is right, order a Guinness and enjoy the show. Otherwise do the same thing but at a table.
McNeill’s Public House is located at 140 Capel St, North City, Dublin, D01 F9R2, Ireland.
Reminiscent of our favorite wine bars in Paris, Loose Canon is an intimate urban wine bar that serves organic wine along with a curated selection of locally sourced cheese and meats. We first heard about the wine bar during brunch at Meet Me In the Morning when our server told us about the cheese and wine bar owned by the same folks who own MMIM.
Not wasting any time, we stopped by Loose Canon that very night for an aperitivo before our Etto dinner. Bustling as expected on a relatively warm and delightfully dry Saturday night in February, Loose Canon intrigued us enough to return a few nights later when the wine bar was slightly less busy.
Knowing the way of the land during our second visit, we ordered a cheese plate topped with Creeny raw sheep cheese produced by Corleggy Cheeses in Corvan, bread baked at Le Levain in Dublin and pickled courgettes from McNally Family Farm also in Dublin. But first, we sampled the organic wines on offer before settling on orange wine produced by Voodoo Doll in Germany.
We first drank orange wine in Buffalo, of all places, and were delighted to drink the robust wine style again in Dublin. The ancient process of fermenting white grapes into orange wine is having a moment that we are happy to support.
Loose Canon is located at 29 Drury St, Dublin, D02 RX95, Ireland.
The Long Hall
The Long Hall is dark and intimate Dublin drinking establishment with a wall of whiskeys to taste. This is the kind of pub that feels both authentic and cozy at the same time.
Not a whiskey expert? No worries since the bartenders are full of information and recommendations about the whiskey options at every price point from € to €€€.
The Long Hall is located at 51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Ohana Tiki Bar
Open since January 2020, Ohana Tiki Bar specializes in rum cocktails in Dublin, a city more known for whiskey and beer. After drinking in tiki bars in varied cities including Las Vegas and Bologna, we felt compelled to give Ohana a try.
Within moments of bellying up at the stylish Dublin bar, we felt like family among a crowd of local bartenders and cocktail connoisseurs. Ironically, the Hawaiian word ohana translates to family.
Ohana’s menu featured eight rum-based cocktails during our visit including the Mai Tai we ordered. Served in a ceramic tiki mug, the island drink went down easily in Jameson Distillery’s home town.
Ohana Tiki Bar is located at 17 Harcourt St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin, D02 W963, Ireland.
Things To Do in Dublin
Whether you’re visiting Dublin for the first or fourth time, you’ll want to check out some of the city’s attractions. You should also venture outside the city to see Ireland’s beautiful countryside. Here are some ideas of what you can do in Dublin:
- Visit the top sites via a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus.
- Explore Dublin on an Electric Bike Tour.
- Get literary with a James Joyce Bloomsday Walk.
- Drink Ireland’s top beer at the historic Guinness Storehouse.
- Drink Ireland’s top whiskey at the equally historic Jameson Whiskey Distillery.
- Still thirsty? Take a Pub Crawl.
- Take a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway.
- Take a day trip to Glendalough and Wicklow.
Research Dublin Hotels
Have we convinced you to visit Dublin and eat all the food? Click here to research hotels in Dublin.
Or, consider staying in an Airbnb apartment if you want access to a kitchen.
Once you choose where to stay in Dublin, click here to book an Airlink Express Bus from the airport to the city center.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
We thank Fáilte Ireland for providing us with a Dublin Media Pass that helped us visit many excellent Dublin tourist attractions. We self-funded our meals and accommodations.
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.