Great restaurants in Dublin love to show off the best of Irish produce, whether that's native oysters from Galway or grass-fed beef from the Wicklow Mountains. Ireland’s capital values its heritage, and nowhere is that pride more evident than the city's food scene. 'Local' and 'sustainable' are the watchwords, with fresh produce supplied daily from nearby farms.

    You can't ignore Dublin's expertise in great drinks, from the iconic Guinness factory to numerous whiskey distilleries. It's also worth a bite at some of its newer and more innovative creations, which involve American-style burgers, Mediterranean cuisine, and tasty vegan treats. Don't know what to try first? Check out our picks of Dublin's best restaurants.


    The Vintage Kitchen

    A cosy restaurant where you choose the music

    The Vintage Kitchen is a relaxed, old-school restaurant that focuses on Irish food done with gastronomic brilliance. Menus change daily, so you never know what will be created from fresh, local ingredients. You might be sitting down to a grilled fillet of sole with salmon caviar, pork boudin in chicken skin, or truffled beluga lentils.

    The restaurant is BYOB, so pick up a bottle of wine on your way. Alternatively, you could finish your meal with a Baileys or Calypso coffee. The interior is charmingly decorated with antiques and curios, including an old record player. Got some favourite vinyl at home? Bring it along and The Vintage Kitchen will play it for you.

    Location: 7 Poolbeg St, Dublin 2, D02 NX03, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 6 pm to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from noon to 10.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +353 (0)1 679 8705



    Modern Mediterranean food in a clean, minimalist space

    Etto is a smart and stylish restaurant that serves intriguing dishes inspired by Italy and the Mediterranean. Striking dishes bring tons of flavour with the use of seasonal ingredients and interesting combinations. Try roasted rump of lamb with violet artichoke, pea and watercress risotto, or prunes marinated in red wine.

    Etto’s extensive wine list focuses on small producers and unusual varietals. Wines by the glass change frequently, so you can sample a wide range of labels. There's also an excellent selection of sherry, port, and Madeira. Sit under parasols on its pavement terrace for a great view of Dublin's hustle and bustle.

    Location: 18 Merrion Row, Dublin, D02 A316, Ireland

    Phone: +353 (0)1 678 8872


    Assassination Custard

    An intimate restaurant that feels like eating with friends

    Assassination Custard is easy to miss from the street, but this low-profile eatery does some of the best food in Dublin. Its ever-changing assortment of European and Middle Eastern dishes might encompass tripe sandwiches, smoked hake, goat kebabs, or fried kale sprouts. Produce is sourced from local farms by owners and chefs Ken Doherty and Gwen McGrath.

    The tiny interior is decorated with mismatched wooden chairs and blackboard menus. There's only 1 table and a small counter, so get ready to get cosy with other diners. The wacky name has literary roots – it was a dessert made by James Joyce and Nora Barnacle for Samuel Beckett.

    Location: 19A Kevin Street Lower, Portobello, Dublin 8, Ireland

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from noon to 2 pm (closed Saturdays to Mondays)

    Phone: +353 (0)87 997 1513


    Chapter One

    Michelin-starred dining paying tribute to Irish culture

    Chapter One lies in the basement of the Dublin Writers' Museum, hence the appropriately bookish name. The luxurious dining room has kept many of its beautiful period features, including its original granite walls and sash windows. An assortment of Irish artworks and sculptures decorates the space.

    A classic European approach to cooking is combined with ingredients that showcase the best of Ireland. Some of the dishes on offer include hand-dived scallop, cod with roasted yeast tapioca, roast Anjou pigeon and pistachio souffle. Book the Chef's Table to get an intriguing glimpse into the kitchens from the plush leather banquettes.

    Location: 18-19 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1, D01 T3V8, Ireland

    Open: Tuesday–Wednesday from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 12.30 pm to 2 pm and from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +353 (0)1 873 2266


    photo by William Murphy (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    SOLE Seafood & Grill

    Splash out at this sumptuous seafood restaurant

    SOLE Seafood & Grill is all about top quality, local and sustainable seafood. Everything this restaurant serves is meticulously sourced, from the first-class Howth smoked salmon to Norwegian crab and dry-aged Irish beef. Order the Sole Meunière and have it filleted at the table, or try a hefty slab of sirloin steak with shallot mash.

    The star of the menu is the seafood tower, which combines steamed West Cork mussels, brown crab claws, chilled rock oysters, and a classic prawn cocktail. The bar's curving metal beams makes it feel like you're sailing away in an old steamer. Pull up a stool and try SOLE's signature Negroni or a unique fig sour cocktail.

    Location: 18-19 William St S, Dublin, D02 KV76, Ireland

    Open: Daily from noon to 8 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 544 2300


    Bunsen Temple Bar

    A short menu for committed burger lovers

    Bunsen Burgers is a simple, no-nonsense burger bar that shuns complicated menus or gimmicks in favour of simply making great burgers. Their prime beef comes from local Aberdeen Angus and is freshly minced every morning. The hamburger buns are made in a nearby bakery, while the cheese is the closest you can get to gooey American cheese.

    The compact menu gives you a choice between hamburger or cheeseburger, jazzed up with pickles, onions, mayo, or mustard. Fries come in hand-cut, shoestring, or sweet potato varieties. If there's a queue when you arrive, give your phone number to the waiter and sneak off for a quick pint. They'll text you when your table is ready.

    Location: 22 Essex St E, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 NA09, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Saturday from noon to 9 pm, Sunday from 1 pm to 9 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 559 9532


    Fade Street Social

    A boisterous bar for tapas and sharing plates

    Fade Street Social is a combination restaurant, cocktail bar and rooftop terrace that recreates the atmosphere of early 1900s Dublin. Deep leather armchairs are scattered around cosy rooms with exposed brick walls. In the bar, dark polished wood makes a brilliant backdrop to fresh, unconventional cocktails like Raspberry Bon Bon and Into the West, made with rum and coconut syrup.

    The menu is built around homegrown Irish produce and meat. You'll find delicacies like roasted venison fillet with beetroot puree and smoked belly pork with creamed potato. There's even a dedicated vegetarian and vegan menu. Save room for the chocolate brulée cake or the unique milk and honey ice cream with salted caramel sauce.

    Location: 6 Fade St, Dublin 2, Ireland

    Open: Daily from noon to 8 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 604 0066


    Cornucopia Wholefoods Restaurant

    Healthy, home-cooked food in a charming Georgian building

    Cornucopia Wholefoods Restaurant is the heart of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dining in Dublin. All dishes are handmade in the gleaming kitchen, from warming soups to fresh salads. Tuck into a hearty breakfast of spelt toast and scrambled tofu, creamy tofu pie, or Keralan curry, and wash it down with a glass of organic vegan wine.

    The pretty, old-world dining room is decorated with floral wallpaper and gilt mirrors. It's a great setting to enjoy a delicate slice of berry silken torte or an indulgent piece of vegan chocolate fudge cake. Come on Thursday or Friday evenings to enjoy live music and arts events.

    Location: 19-20 Wicklow St, Dublin, D02 FK27, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm, Sunday from 10.30 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 677 7583


    The Saddle Room

    Extravagant fine dining focused on steak and seafood

    The Saddle Room is an elegant restaurant in the Shelbourne Hotel that delivers a quintessential dining experience. The lavish rooms are decorated in dark wood and luxurious leather, with baroque touches of gold. Every detail is carefully considered, from the hospitable service to the dishes designed around seasonal ingredients.

    The menu is a tour of the finest gastronomy, from the loin of Wicklow venison with celeriac to Atlantic halibut served with champagne cream. You might be tempted by the first-rate oyster bar or classics on the dessert menu – try the choux buns or rhubarb with custard. Come for breakfast and tuck into eggs benedict or a satisfying stack of pancakes.

    Location: 27 St Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Friday from 6.30 am to 8 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 7 am to 8 pm


    Old Mill Restaurant

    Authentic Irish eats in a timeless dining space

    Old Mill Restaurant is as traditional as it gets, with its time-honoured combination of Guinness on tap and substantial Irish cooking. Come in the morning to tackle the full Irish breakfast of bacon, sausage, and black pudding. Beef and Guinness stew is a staple of the menu, as is the classic Dublin coddle. You can also grab some crispy chicken wings or Dubliner grilled beef burger to go with your pint.

    There's a vegetarian and a flour-free menu, while drinks on offer include some excellent ales and ciders. While you wait for your food, look around the walls, which are decorated floor-to-ceiling in old photographs, brewery memorabilia, and knick-knacks.

    Location: 14, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 V970, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10 am to 10.30 pm, Friday–Sunday from 9 am to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 671 9266


    photo by P L Chadwick (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Victoria Hughes | Contributing Writer

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