Dining in Dublin

In the 11 weeks I’ve been in Dublin, I’ve tried TONS of different restaurants (does going out to eat count as a hobby?). Dublin is a foodie city, and I have been in foodie heaven. From traditional Irish cuisine to Asian street food and Spanish tapas, here is a list of some of my favorite places in Dublin:

Breakfast

Beanhive

Why you should go here: for one of the best Irish Breakfasts in Dublin.

Beanhive is an adorable little café across the street from St. Stephen’s Green. It’s small and has limited tables, but the food and coffee is definitely worth the wait. I ordered the Full Irish Breakfast, and what I love about theirs is that they really mean full. It has everything. I’m talking fried tomato, mushroom, sausage, ham, white and black pudding, beans, a fried egg and toast. Can you say breakfast of champs!? If meat isn’t your thing, don’t worry. They have vegetarian and gluten-free options as well. Plus, the baristas are artists and coffees always come with a fun design on top— great for that perfect Insta shot.

Queen of Tarts

Why you should go here: for the tasty breakfast options and the freshly baked cakes and sweet treats.

Queen of Tarts is another great spot for a hearty Irish Breakfast. They are also widely known for their baked cakes and treats, ranging from cheesecake to scones to slices of freshly made pecan pie. It’s quite popular (deservingly so), but luckily they have two locations just around the corner from each other, so it doesn’t take too long to be seated. Both restaurants are in a central location near City Hall, so it’s a good place to pop in while sightseeing for a warm cappuccino and cake break.

Brother Hubbard

Why you should go here: for a different approach to the usual weekend brunch.

Brother Hubbard serves up tasty, vegetarian-friendly brunch with a Moroccan twist. There are two locations, one in North Dublin and one in South. I went to the South Dublin location. In addition to the flavorful food and a menu that favors eggs and avocado, I enjoyed sitting outside where I could easily people watch. It was pouring rain the day I went, but they have large umbrellas and heat lamps to keep you comfortable. There’s something cozy about eating outside in the rain! If you find yourself dining here, I recommend ordering a side of fried halloumi. And if you aren’t a vegetarian, definitely try the chorizo for some added crisp!

Bibi’s Café

Why you should go here: to enjoy an appetizing brunch at a cute local’s place.

A hidden gem located in South Dublin, Bibi’s is the neighborhood favorite. The café offers a homey atmosphere with ceramic blue plates and shelves stocked full of cookbooks. The food is simple and of excellent quality, as they try to source locally whenever possible. I tried the most popular dish on the menu, Squash Eggs, and it did not disappoint. There menu changes with the season, ensuring only the freshest ingredients. Definitely check this place out if you are interested in a local’s spot.

Lunch

Green Bench Café

Why you should go here: for the best sandwich in Dublin!

**Disclaimer: photo of food not available due to incredibly fast consumption sandwich** My oh my, the Green Bench is not your average sandwich shop. It is a go-to lunch spot for Dubliners, and there’s no questioning why. The Green Bench serves some of the most flavorful sandwiches in all of Dublin. Their menu changes daily, but the sandwiches never disappoint and the price is very reasonable (about 6-8 euro). It’s takeaway only, but it’s quite close to St. Stephen’s Green, so you can easily find a bench in the park to sit and enjoy your food. Bring your appetite, as the sandwiches are pretty big!

The Fumbally

Why you should go here: for fresh sandwiches and salads in a funky atmosphere.

The Fumbally is your classic hipster-healthy café. It’s the kind of place where all of the waiters either have man buns or beanies, there’s always vegan options, and people describe it as having “good vibes”. However, the food is really good, especially if you like fresh salads and sandwiches. Their specials change daily depending on the season and the chef, and it’s all locally sourced. It’s off the beaten path (I only discovered it because it’s close to where I was interning) and a bit pricey, but it’s definitely a unique experience with great food.

Bao House

Why you should go here: for the fluffiest bao in all the land and affordable prices.

Bao wow wow this place is incredible. A small, Taiwanese restaurant located on Aungier Street, Bao House is a must-visit if you enjoy Asian street food. If you’ve never had bao, this is the place to try it. The buns are fluffy pillows of heaven stuffed with savory fillings, such as crispy pork belly or duck. They also serve rice and noodle bowls, which look delicious, though I haven’t tried them (yet). They have student deals as well, so be sure to show your student ID for a better price!

Dinner

57 The Headline

Why you should go here: for upscale Irish staples at an awesome local’s spot.

If you are looking for a fun local’s spot, 57 The Headline is it. Located in South Dublin, this cozy gastropub serves no ordinary pub food. 57 (as locals call it) offers upscale Irish staples including fish and chips and roast as well as a variety of other dishes as their menu changes seasonally. I tried their take on bangers and mash, which were made with venison and sourced from a local butcher. It was easily the best bangers and mash I’ve had in Ireland (as one of my favorite Irish dishes, I’ve ordered it many times). The bar has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and though they offer a variety of craft beer, it’s not one of those trendy hipster places often associated with the craft beer craze. This place draws in a slightly older crowd and is a great option to relax with dinner and drinks after a day of sightseeing.

O’Donoghues

Why you should go here: for the Guinness Stew, good music, and good craic!

Okay, so O’Donoghues is a widely popular pub namely for its pints of Guinness and live traditional Irish music. However, it’s not just a place for drinks and good craic (though, would it be a problem if it was?). This historic pub also serves the best Guinness Stew I’ve ever had at a very reasonable price. What’s better than a warm, hearty bowl of stew, a Guinness and live music on a chilly fall night?
The Ramen Bar

Why you should go there: for thoughtfully prepared, delectable food and a little something different.

Hands down, the Ramen Bar was my favorite restaurant in Dublin. If you are looking to venture away from the typical Irish cuisine, the Ramen Bar is the place to do it. It was so tasty that I went twice. They have kimchi mozzarella arancini! Need I say more? Well I’m going to. They hand make their noodles from scratch and the ramen is just. so. flavorful. This place is great for vegetarians and meat eaters alike, and it has an edgy yet inviting atmosphere. I recommend the prawn cracker nachos to start, and my favorite ramen is the Yaki Niku Pork, though I’m sure everything on the menu is delicious. Don’t skip out on this place if you are visiting Dublin!

Church Bar and Café

Why you should go here: For the interesting history and cool atmosphere + yummy food!

Yes, that’s correct. It’s a bar inside an old church! The former St. Mary’s Church of Ireland was built in the early 18th century, but has been restored into a funky bar and restaurant that serves delicious food. I really liked being able to have a bit of history mixed in with my dining experience. I was there for the early bird set menu (a great deal if you can make it there between 5-6pm) and dined on perfectly cooked salmon directly in front of a giant organ. It was quite the experience! They serve a variety of food, from cheaper, casual bar food (I heard the nachos are LOADED) to fancier set menus. Whether you go for appetizers and drinks or dine on a three-course meal, this historic place is well worth a visit. Fun fact: Arthur Guinness, the Father of Guinness, was married inside this church!

Salamanca

Tapas, tapas, tapas! Ok, so when you think of Ireland you don’t exactly think tapas. However, Salamanca gives Spanish restaurants a run for their money. This restaurant is a great place to go with a group where everyone can choose from a variety of vegetarian, meat, and seafood options to share. What could be better than sipping sangria while enjoying each other’s company over plates of delectable food? My favorite tapa was the pimientos de Padron. Simple, yet so yummy! For a good deal, this restaurant also offers an early bird special between 4-6:30pm.