I have lived in Dublin all of my life (except for 12 months where I was based in Las Vegas), and I really love my city, but I hardly ever write about it. I am a terrible Dubliner, in that all my friends from outside of Dublin know more street names and places than I do, although I think a lot of Dubliners are like that. We get into our grooves and we like what we like. For years I have frequented the same spots, and wouldn’t be tempted to stray from Harcourt street, but with new bars and restaurants constantly popping up, I love trying out new locations. Lately it seems like Dublin has had a revival, where the standard of food and drinks have all been heightened, and decor is almost just as important.
I am 28, so long gone are the days when I was out in town till the wee hours every weekend, when I do go out now, I like to find cosy spots with a great atmosphere, good service and fantastic drinks.
If I were to write about my Dublin five years ago it would have read “Coppers until 3 or 4 and then straight to Harcourt Diner”,luckily that is no longer the case, but that’s not to say I haven’t visited either of these venues in the past 12 months!
Nowadays I think I have matured slightly, or maybe just aged as I love to find venues with comfy seats and slightly more relaxed vibes.
These venues are in no particular order, and cover food and drinks in Dublin. I am not a food critic, but I like what I like.
- House, Leeson Street. I have written about my love of house before, and it really never disappoints. It is one of the prettiest venues in Dublin, as the decor reflects a house (hence the name). You can cosy up by a fire inside or chill in the all-weather eclectic garden. The customer service has always surpassed my expectations, they have the friendliest door staff I have ever encountered (which is refreshing in Dublin), all of the bar staff I have met have made fantastic cocktail recommendations and on the rare occasion they do make a mistake, they are so quick to fix it! I love the added touches of cushions and blankets when sitting in the garden, which is one of the reasons I can never just stay for 1 drink.
The crowd is usually from late twenties and up, which I love because I don’t feel ancient standing next to 18 year olds at the bar!
See their food menu and cocktail menu here.
Images House Dublin Instagram
- The Bar with No Name, Fade Street. This is one of those venues which I have never planned on visiting, but somehow ended up there many times! It is located on Fade street and is usually busy any day after 6pm. The vibe is very laid back, and attracts a really diverse crowd. I love to people watch here, and have spent many an afternoon in the all-weather beer garden watching people from around the world, and all walks of life, come in and enjoy a drink. There is a great cocktail menu, I just enjoyed a passionfruit margarita there last weekend, but it is also the perfect venue for a low-key beer.
- Soder + Ko, Georges Street. I was a little late to the party and only visited Soder + Ko for the first time in August this year (for my birthday which you can read about here). Since then I have been back a couple of times, but not as many times as I would like! The food here is INSANE! I have a thing for tapas, and this is asian cuisine in both personal plates or sharing portions. The food I have tried has been incredible, and they also take their cocktails quite seriously, which is always good! The venue is beautiful, very modern interior with a wooden decking outdoor area.
The crowd always varies, but is a very popular venue for birthdays, hens, work parties etc. Find out more here.
Image Soder + Ko Instagram
- Porthouse, South William street. Whether I am in town or Dundrum, one of my favourite places to go for food is the Porthouse. Again, this is a tapas restaurant who serve, in my opinion the best potatas aioli in the world. The restaurant is very cosy, predominantly lit by candles and surrounded by exposed brick for a really rustic feel. The menu has plenty of options so there is something for everyone. In Dundrum they have a great outdoor seating area, which is all-weather, heated and has blankets, so it can be enjoyed all year round.
For more information click here.
- Shanahan’s on the Green, Stephens Green. So this isn’t exactly my regular spot for dinner, I have only been twice, but I couldn’t leave it off the list. This is the place to go when celebrating an anniversary, a big birthday or something special. Yes the steak is expensive, but it is the best steak I have ever enjoyed. I have been to a couple of fine dining restaurants inn my life, and sometimes you can’t enjoy yourself because there can be an air of pretension. Shanahan’s is one of the fanciest places you can go for dinner in Dublin, but the staff make you feel very comfortable. They are very attentive, without being intrusive, and really make you feel at home.
I cannot wait to go back for round three with the fillet mignon and those onion strings! See their full menu here.
- The Dean, Harcourt Street. This place can be a little hit or miss for me, the hotel itself is stunning, and I have been here for drinks, food and events, and it is always lovely. The staff is not always as on point, in my humble opinion. I find the door policy a little strange and sometimes rude, I could be meeting friends for a drink and I will stroll through, but my friend could be stopped and told that the bar is over 30s or something strange, and not allowed in. Other times you can get in without being asked your age or anything. When it is busy the staff can be a little less helpful than I would like, a waitress once told me should could get me another round of drinks, but I would be quicker going myself. In her defence, it was very busy but I worked as a waitress in my past and I would never say anything along those lines to a customer. Hopefully these were just kinks that most venues experience when they first open, as my last visit was perfectly pleasant.
What keeps drawing me back to The Dean is the rooftop terrace, which has phenomenal views of Dublin.
For more information please click here.
images The Dean Dublin Instagram
- Gotham Cafe, South Anne Street. The food from Gotham Cafe probably appears on my instagram about once a month. This is one of my favourite places to eat in town for casual dining, and I have my favorites, which I rarely stray from. Garlic Prawns, Chips and Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie. The staff are great, and in the Summer I love to sit out the front and people watch. For more information click here.
- The Market Bar, Fade Street. Another great spot in town which serves tapas (seeing an addiction yet?) and good drinks. This is a really reliable venue, which is always really busy but you can usually get lucky in getting a seat. I haven’t eaten here in a while, but I remember the food being good. The venue is a little dark and rustic, the floor can feature grates, which isn’t great for heels, but luckily you can stroll in here in trainers and nobody will bat an eyelid. I ended up here on my birthday after Soder + Ko, as the beer garden there was far too packed, and you can always count on The Market Bar. For more information please click here.
Images Market Bar Dublin Instagram
- The Tramyard, Dalkey. Ok so I have brought you outside of town for this, but Dalkey is one of my favourite places in the world, and the Tramyard is one of my favourite places in Dalkey! I usually head here with my friend Edel for a catch up every couple of months, and we can spend hours chilling out here, eating lots of amazing food, indulging in desserts and teas and coffees. This is a really gorgeous village restaurant, set in the chilled out surroundings of Dalkey, the perfect place to lose a couple of hours. For more information, click here.
Again, I am not a food blogger, but I love enjoying good meals and delicious cocktails. One of the most important things for me when I am out and about, is a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, and that is what I think most of these venues offer, along with great food and drinks.
There are so many hidden gems around Dublin, and I obviously couldn’t include every venue but these are the top 9 that i frequent often. If you think I left anywhere off the list, please let me know in the comments below.
I hope you all have a great weekend, and I might see you out and about if you head to any of these venues! Until next time,
I recently enjoyed brunch at The Meeting House in Temple Bar and I love it! It was my first time there and I am really looking forward to heading back for drinks some evening. You can read all about my brunch here.