Dublin’s culinary scene has changed considerably in recent years, and the Irish capital is now bursting with creative chefs, cafés and restaurants serving tasty Irish fare and highlighting the best of Irish ingredients.
Wander around the cobbled streets of Temple Bar all the way to the long-established Gallagher’s Boxty House, run by potato expert Padraic Gallagher. Tuck into one of their signature Boxty pancakes (a traditional Leitrim potato dish) or their delicious beef and stout stew made with Jack Smith stout beer (brewed by the owner!).
Right across from the famous Molly Malone statue stands O’Neill’s Pub, a spacious yet cosy Irish pub where you can experience the ‘craic’ (great atmosphere) as well as traditional Irish food. From a hearty Irish breakfast to bacon and cabbage with parsley sauce, this is the place for Irish pub food and banter. When visiting Dublin, you might want to try the city’s most traditional dish, Dublin Coddle: a sausage, bacon and potato stew. Right beside the Ha’penny Bridge, The Woollen Mills is the place to tick coddle off your Dublin food bucket list!
Cafés focusing on Irish produce
Located on the first floor of the beautiful Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, The Pepper Pot Café serves wholesome homemade food and sources quality Irish ingredients. They bake everything themselves, from scones to Irish brown soda bread, and their scrambled eggs and sandwiches are to die for! In the basement level of the Little Museum of Dublin meanwhile, you’ll find Hatch & Sons, a compact Irish kitchen that celebrates some of our wonderful produce. Share a board of Irish farmhouse cheeses or smoked fish, or simply try a sandwich made with a ‘blaa’; a soft white roll from Waterford.
For a slower-paced morning away from the bustle of the city-centre, why not try Fia, a lovely neighbourhood café in Rathgar? The ethos is to source as much Irish and organic produce as possible. Expect some beautiful fare made with Irish charcuterie from Gubbeen and locally-grown vegetables.
Modern Irish food restaurants
Back in the city, the Winding Stair is the sister restaurant of the Woollen Mills, with dining rooms overlooking the River Liffey. The menu has a strong emphasis on food provenance, sourcing quality products from all over Ireland.
Not only is Delahunt situated in a stunning historic Victorian building, it also serves some of the best Irish contemporary food in the city. Their Guinness bread and signature home-smoked salmon are second to none, and the menu features the best of whatever’s in season in Ireland.
Forest & Marcy is one of the most exciting restaurants around, a mix between a casual restaurant and wine bar, with an incredibly creative chef. The fermented potato bread with bacon and cabbage is worth the trip to Dublin alone.
For an unfussy meal, visit the little seafood shack Klaw in the heart of Temple Bar for a seafood chowder, crab claws or other Irish seafood delights. Venture to the Stoneybatter neighbourhood on Dublin’s northside, home of the pub L. Mulligan Grocer. Here you can sip on some of the best Irish whiskeys, gins or craft beers while enjoying modern pub fare made with a love for real Irish food.
Or just south of the city centre try out Mulberry Garden, a hidden gem tucked away in a small cottage off the main street of Donnybrook. The chef creates a different menu every week depending on what’s in season and available from farmers, butchers, fishermen and other producers.
Taste your way around the coastal villages
Not only does Dublin city have a thriving culinary scene, but there are now an increasing number of quality food options dotted along its coastal villages. There’s nothing like a bit of seafood grub at East Café after a walk along Howth Pier or a stroll around its stunning cliffs – ice-cream anyone?
Olive Deli and Café in Skerries is a cute little spot serving sandwiches made with some of the best Irish produce including Gubbeen, Ummera smoked salmon, Durrus cheese and McCarthy’s bacon. In Malahide, indulge in lunch or dinner at Nautilus restaurant from which you have a great view over the marina.
Treat yourself to fresh seafood at Ouzos in the heart of picturesque Dalkey, be it a seafood platter, fish and chips or a big pot of steamed mussels. Fallon & Byrne in the People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire serves great food with breads made daily in their bakery, and all the meat is sourced locally.
Whether you’re looking for a traditional Irish dish or contemporary Irish cuisine, one thing is for sure, you’ll never go hungry in Dublin! There are some fantastic food trails; for meat-eaters and veggies alike, or, if you’d prefer to really get involved in the city’s culinary offering, check out Make It Yourself, a series of immersive food experiences.