Dublin restaurants have an undeserved bad reputation. While Irish cuisine may not have the same sophisticated attractions as brasseries in France or ristorantes in Italy, it has undergone a serious upgrade in recent years, combined with a new respect for the delicious simplicity of the local cuisine. There is food in Dublin to suit every budget and desire, from hearty Irish stew to gourmet grub that will knock your socks off. Despite what some travelers may believe, Dublin dining can be one of the greatest pleasures of any trip to Ireland. Get ready to sample local flavors and don’t expect to be rushed up from your table any time soon; it’s best to sit and relax over a pint and good conversation after your meal.
Deciding on the best Dublin Ireland restaurant is a tough choice. Certain restaurants are admired by the critics, such as Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in the Merrion Hotel. With a Michelin star, this chef prepares creative cuisine that will banish any ideas you had about bland Irish food. Other top Dublin restaurants include Shanahans, a steakhouse with massive portions that are sure to please. If you’re looking for gourmet food in Dublin with an Irish twist, look no further than the Winding Stair. This restaurant occupies the space of a former bookshop, and prepares unfussy Irish cuisine in a great environment overlooking the River Liffey.
Other choices for Dublin dining with a gourmet twist include the restaurant at Fallon & Byrne. This warm and inviting space boasts quality service along with its varied menu. Go early for a great value pre-theater menu. If you aren’t in the mood for something fancy, Fallon & Byrne also has a wine cellar downstairs that serves tasty appetizers. Another of the top Dublin restaurants is Dax, a French-inspired eatery that impresses with every bite. Chez Max is another French option, and is open for both hearty lunches and lingering dinners.
There are great places for gourmet lunches in Dublin as well. Off the beaten path is the Canal Bank Café, serving one of the best burgers in the city. If you’re looking for pub food in Dublin, head for the Schoolhouse. This pub occupies a historic schoolhouse, and you can enjoy your pint of Guinness next to a crackling fire. In the city center, Café Boulevard offers great-value lunches, while Metro Café makes one of the best cappuccinos in town. On Grafton Street, Bewleys Café is a Dublin institution, serving tasty snacks and meals all day.
Dublin dining is also international. For a Thai splurge, try Diep Le Shaker or the more affordable Diep Noodle Bar. Affordable pizza options include the chain Milanos. The wine bar Hugos offers live jazz on Thursday evenings, and the Cellar Bar offers a wide selection of wine in a sophisticated environment. Looking to combine wine and hearty Irish food? Make a reservation at Ely Wine Bar and find yourself in one of the gems of the city. Food in Dublin will delight at every corner, so do your research beforehand and discover the delicious creations of Irish chefs.