A Guide to Eating Your Way Through Dublin
Whooooo whee, how are we already three full months into the year? I feel like these days I blink and the work week is… over. And in nine days, my family is traveling to Europe to visit my sister, Kaylee, in Dublin! We’re spending some time in Northern Ireland and Krakow, Poland, and I’m so excited to be reunited with my best friend and to get some much-needed time away.
Today I’m going to celebrate by sharing some of my favorite places to get a bite in Dublin. Now I’m hungry because A. I ate a bowl of cereal at 6:30 this morning and cereal, no matter how much I wish it did, does not tide me over until lunch. :\ and B. Because I’m ready for all of these things in my mouth right now–definitely with at least an hour or so between every meal. From now until we leave, I’ll be prepping my stomach for the copious amounts of fish and sweets I’ll be eating. When it comes to food, Dublin has choices for all taste buds–it’s just a matter of deciding which buds are protesting the loudest. Here are my favorites in the city.
27 Leeson Street Lower, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin
Opt for the enclosed patio, calibrated to create the atmosphere of a polished botanical garden. Nearby St. Stephen’s Green and the Iveagh Gardens, it invokes those natural muses and adds cushiony garden chairs and a sleek bar for the finish. This is a great spot for brunch. My personal favorite is their poached eggs with smashed avocado and chili jam toast. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea as well, so be sure to find time for this quiet enclave.
Burritos N’ Blues
2 Wexford St, Dublin 2
Dublin’s love for the burrito has apparently witnessed a surge in the last few years. Leading the charge is Burritos and Blues, a brightly colored space with generally short lines and fresh ingredients. They offer student deals for a burrito and soda pairing, and a better-than-Chipotle experience. Truly. If you’re a spice fiend, try their Blow Your Head Off or XXX Salsa. I wasn’t brave enough to, but if you’re feeling crazy, do it. Even the mild has some good kick.
Mannings Bakery & Cafe
39/40 Thomas St, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8
From between Tescos and Lidls appears Mannings Bakery and Cafe, looking the part of an old fashioned sweets shop and with the treats to boot. Their location on Thomas Street also has a sit-in cafe, meaning you can delight in the marble tabletops, checkerboard tiles, and pink detailing longer. The lunch menu is expansive and their sandwiches wholesome, fresh, and HUGE. I’m a fan of their mediterranean and tuna herb sandwiches.
Jervis St, North City, Dublin 1
For an upscale dinner experience, head over to the Church on the north side of the Liffey. Yes, it was once a church! The family-owned restaurant prides itself on a team of exceptional chefs, and for including a bar, cafe, nightclub, and barbecue area. Enjoy the wooden pillars that reach to the sky, arched windows, and the organ-turned-half-ceiling as you wait for your meal. Their chicken ala brassa is a masterpiece. And don’t leave without ordering the Bailey’s cheesecake–it is seriously divine.
22 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
In the Georges Street Arcade “hides” a social canteen that serves up cinnamon buns to rival my trusty Cinnabon. (I’m a girl of simple pleasures.) They’re made fresh daily, along with the slew of sandwiches, soups, and salads offered at Simon’s Place. It’s a very sociable place, one that milling about and eating one (or three) of their cinnamon rolls will stir up conversation and ease and the idea that you could hang out here every day. It could be your place.
2 Suffolk St, Dublin 2
Your more typical Irish pub experience can be found here at O’Neills. Order your food at the counter cafeteria-style, and find a place to park yourself for the night. It fills up quickly, but even sitting in the thick of the bustle doesn’t take away from the lulled atmosphere. I spent some wonderful nights among the darkly wooded walls with friends, listening to music and watching dancers grace the tight space in floor. After a long day (or not!) it’s an excellent wind-down location. The beef and Guinness stew is my favorite, and they make a killer burger.
50-51 Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Do you ever just crave a good burger joint? Enter Bobos Bugers, a gourmet eatery that uses the highest quality ingredients to ensure the highest quality dining experience. Their menu is overwhelming in options, between beef, chicken, lamb, pork, fish, and vegetarian selections, but there’s no wrong way to choose one. My pick is with their bacon cheeseburger, but their sex on the farm burger? Mmmmmmhm. And their cheese fries are eyes-rolled-to-the-back-of-your-head yum.
Queen of Tarts
Cow’s Ln, Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Queen of Tarts in one word (and there are many to choose from!) is whimsical. A counter stacked high with sweets is the first thing you’ll see, and the only thing you’ll need to. You might have to wait for a table, as it’s small, but once you are seated you will feel tucked away into an Alice-esque tea party. They serve breakfast, brunch, and lunch as well. Try their chocolate fudge cake, feeling an occasion of its own, and be sure to go for breakfast, where you should opt for the Queen’s Delight: a scone of your choice (blueberry, blueberry, blueberry!) served with cream and raspberry preserves, orange juice, and tea or coffee.
38 Dawson St, Dublin 2
I can’t go anywhere without finding a good slice of pizza. Milano, originally opening its doors on Dawson Street, has reached across the country with chain restaurants in Temple Bar as well as in Cork, Limerick and Galway. They offer a range of pizza styles and creations, the classic margherita crisp and perfectly cheesy, and the fiorentina makes my mouth water just reading about its free-range egg cracked on top of mozzarella.
The Brazen Head
20 Lower Bridge St, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8
Ireland’s oldest pub impresses with a homey vibe and meals to match. Take time to explore each room before settling down–each offers a collection of photos or memorabilia from anywhere. One room displays United States police officer badges! The expansive menu provides Irish classics that you wonder if they can’t possibly be as good anywhere else. Fish and chips, Irish stew, and daily soup fill you up with warmth and cheer, alongside a nice Bulmers. And they host live music every night!
2a Lower Bridge Street, Dublin 8
I come for the fish and chips and stay for the craic. O’Sheas is a quiet, two-room dining establishment with an enclosed outdoor place to get some air when it crowds up for music sessions. They serve up traditional dishes, like stew, steak, and plenty of seafood, and have trad sessions seven nights a week. Dinner and performance mingle oh so lovely! And the Irish History Hub is located at this pub, meaning you can while away some time digging into your family’s ancestry.
Where are some of your favorite places to eat in Dublin that I missed?