Dublin’s city centre and bustling suburbs are packed with restaurants offering every food imaginable, from swanky five-star indulgence to top-notch fish ‘n chips and everything in between.
Here are ten of the city’s best – for food, atmosphere and a night/day to remember. And don’t forget to book! (except for The Fumbally, which is walk-in)
1. Chapter One
Chef Ross Lewis knows how to make (and keep) people happy – with stunning, food that showcases the quality, variety and sheer deliciousness of Ireland’s best produce, from sweet Achill Island mountain lamb to charcuterie from West Cork. This destination restaurant offers one of Dublin’s true culinary adventures, and the pre-theatre menu cannot be beaten for value for money for food this good.
Chapter One, 18-19 Parnell Square, Dublin
2. The Fumbally
Not too far from St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the city’s best cafes to grab lunch or, if you fancy it, to enjoy the famous all-day breakfast, with dishes like eggs with Gubbeen cheese on brioche. The Fumbally’s clientele is drawn mostly from the creative industries that thrive in the Dublin 2/8 areas, and the food is no less creative – healthy, substantial and always showcasingnew ideas from cooks across the world. Plenty for vegetarians, and dynamite coffee to boot.
The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane, Dublin
It might be the new kid on the block, having opened just a few months ago, but Bastible is a very slick operation whose assured chefs skilfully ratchet up the flavours of the simplest, freshest ingredients to produce some of Dublin’s best and most exciting food. Theirs is a straightforward daily offering, comprising three starters, three mains and three desserts with a cheese board.
Bastible, 111 South Circular Road (Leonard’s Corner), Dublin
Derry and Sallyanne Clarke’s city centre restaurant has enjoyed star status for over a quarter of a century, and rightly so. Served in understated but undeniably plush surroundings, this is food of a particular style – anddare we say it, much beloved by men – showcasing with finesse and deceptive skill Clarke’s trademark meat/fish/poultry in dishes that are surprisingly light.
L’Ecrivain, 109 Lower Baggot St, Dublin
For food that looks as wonderful as it tastes, head to The Greenhouse off Dawson St. Chef Michael Viljanen produces artful, beautiful dishes that combine exciting and distinctive flavours, such as turbot (that most regal of fish) with crab, broccoli and buttermilk. This is not a place to rush your meal – opt for three courses and enjoy a relaxed evening with innovative food.
The Greenhouse, Dawson St., Dublin
A suburban shopping mall – however full it is with exclusive shops – is perhaps not the most obvious location to find Dublin’s best Goan food, but Ananda offers exactly that – assured, surprisingly different Indian food that marries perfectly the spirit and flavour of chef Sunil Ghai’s Goan heritage with Irish ingredients like lamb and monkfish. And the spice blends are to die for.
Ananda, Sandyford Road, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin
A favourite of hip Northsiders, Brother Hubbard is a café by day and a relaxed restaurant by night. It also offers some of the best value in town, with food that is a fine tribute to Middle Eastern cooking, including perfect falafels and lamb with sumac onions. Their home-baked goodies are also delicious – and just the job with their excellent coffee.
Brother Hubbard, 153 Capel St., Dublin
Another star in the Dublin 8 firmament, Delahunt gets it right every time. Chef Dermot Staunton’s preferred menu format – 4 starters, 4 mains, 4 desserts – is deceptively simple, and his food anything but: innovative and self-confident, with daring flavour combinations and robust ingredients of the highest quality. And the intimate, beautifully restored dining room is one of the loveliest in the city.
Delahunt, 111 South Circular Road, Dublin
Ranelagh is one of Dublin’s most well-heeled suburbs, and Brioche one of the neighborhood’s best-loved residents. The room is cosy – just off the main street – and chef Gavin McDonagh’s trademark tasting plates continue to draw the crowds with their careful combinations of texture and flavour, often featuring one ingredient treated in a number of different ways, though always with love.
Brioche, 51 Elmwood Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin
The mark of a great restaurant is just how well – perfectly in Etto’s case – they do the simple things. This relaxed, award-winning restaurant offers rustic but well-bred Italian food in a minimalist yet intimate setting. The menu changes almost daily – -proof that this is a place that values seasonal food at its best.
Etto, 18 Merrion Row, Dublin