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Dublin, Ireland


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In Dublin, Bewley's was generally my go-to lunch stop, but they seem to have redone it so that there are multiple restaurants inside, so I can't speak to the food. Good coffee and tea in a gorgeous building, though, and worth a visit just for the people-watching in Grafton Street. Dublin's changed so much since I lived there that it's hard to know what's still there and what's sprung up in the meantime - hopefully someone with more recent experience will chime in.

It being 12 years since I lived there I doubt I have more recent experience but I'll give it a try (I do have the advantage of going back once a year). Theres also a few fairly good Egulletthreads on dining in Ireland but they tend to skew a little high-end.

Go to Roly's Bistro in Ballsbridge and have their lunch special. 3 courses for 20 euro and without a doubt the best dining value in the whole country - there are some real gems on that menu.

Before you go go to Eamonn's in Old Town Have some fish and chips or a batter burger and then do the same at Leo Burdock's to compare.

Go to Sheridans on South Anne St (just off Grafton St) and pick up some great cheeses and bread and have a picnic somewhere.

Go to the Temple Bar Farmers/Food Market on Saturday morning. A nice lady from this farm sells some fantastic cheese there.

I'm sure my memory will dredge up a few others but this is a start.

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Not quite Dublin and definitely not Edinburgh, The Derg Inn in the tiny village of Terryglass is worth the trip. A cozy warren of dining rooms and bars make up this little gem in the Irish midlands. Even on a Monday evening, with only a handful of tables, the place was friendly and warm. The older English couple settled beside the wood stove in the bar for a pint or two before moving to a table in one of the dining areas. The young family who had extended their long weekend were happily fed and the young fellows entertained between courses by the Wii and the pool table in the bar area. The couple that run the place were kind and you could tell they had their hearts and souls invested in the place. And the food....ah, the food - some of the best seafood chowder, chicken liver pate, fresh hake and chips, and Irish Hereford sirloin had in a long time. The chowder was light, filled with all sorts of goodies - cockles, salmon, mussels. It beat the pants off the thick, gloppy version we'd had the day before in Galway. The hake was creamy and perfectly, lightly breaded and fried.

This area, around the largest lake on the River Shannon is beautiful and somewhere I'd like to return to for a longer stay. The Derg Inn is the kind of spot that we'd all be lucky to have on our door step.

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Another Dublin tip

I really liked the boxty (potato pancakes, but not like latkes) at Gallagher's Boxty House. I don't know it was about it, but it was satisfying. Of course I had just come from Guinness Factory Tour and drank the whole pint that I need to get a little tipsy.

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In Dublin, Bewley's was generally my go-to lunch stop, but they seem to have redone it so that there are multiple restaurants inside, so I can't speak to the food. Good coffee and tea in a gorgeous building, though, and worth a visit just for the people-watching in Grafton Street. Dublin's changed so much since I lived there that it's hard to know what's still there and what's sprung up in the meantime - hopefully someone with more recent experience will chime in.
We had a lovely lunch at Bewley's a few weeks ago. I'm not sure about what is served where, but we sat upstairs and ordered off what appears to be the "Cafe Bar Deli" menu. I enjoyed the Spicy lamb with tabbouleh, rocket salad & tzatziki; my +1 had the Spaghetti with tomato rocket pesto, roast aubergines, toasted hazelnuts, cherry tomatoes, ricotta, rocket and lemon oil (or something very similar). +1's mum had a soup (can't recall but think it was mushroom).

We were all very content with our choices - portions were generous and reasonably priced. The spicy (ground) lamb in my salad was seasoned with sumac, cumin, and other spices typical of Middle Eastern cuisine. The pasta had lots of fresh flavors and a little crunch from the hazelnuts. It is a great spot to visit, as Hannah said, beautiful inside and a bit of a Dublin landmark.

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Back in Dublin for the first time in a few years, Bewley's was our first stop - breakfast after our 5:30 am arrival. We had to wait a bit until they opened, but the Irish breakfast hit the spot and the lattes were tasty, too. It's a lovely spot, with soaring ceilings, stained glass, and wood panels everywhere. We also had dinner there one night - it's a convenient, reasonably priced go-to. One thing we didn't get around to trying was a performance in the Bewley's Theatre - lunch and a short play for 15 euros, musical offerings in the evening.

I satisfied my Wagamama craving with the chili chicken ramen and wok-fried greens. Still holding out hope that I won't have to cross 'the pond' (or at least head to Boston) to enjoy Wagamama in the future.

I was very disappointed to find out that Mermaid Cafe and its sister restaurant, Gruel, had closed permanently just before Christmas. A February write-up in Travel and Leisure had me looking forward to trying Gruel :) From the same article, we did seek out Sheridan's Cheesemongers, although we stumbled across their stand at the Saturday farmers market in the Temple Bar. While a roof is being built over the permanent market location, the market continues in three spots around the area. There were beautiful offerings of fruit, vegetables, cheese, baked goods, meat (including horse :) ), and seafood. Reminiscent of Santa Monica, you could order some oysters on the half-shell and enjoy them at the market with a glass of wine. There were also fantastic prepared foods available - crepes, soups in bread bowls, curries, etc. But back to the cheese - the Sheridan's store is worth a visit for the great selection of Irish cheeses. We put together a nice picnic with cheese and meats from the shop and apples and bread from the market.

The 9.95 Weekend Brunch at the Tea Room in the Clarence Hotel would have been worth it, if only to take in the beautiful room, but the food wasn't bad either. A goat cheese tart with a fresh green salad on the side made for a nice light meal. The place was practically deserted, which I suppose is indicative of the economy in Ireland (and elsewhere).

I have to say, I'll take Eamonn's over Leo Burdock's any day. I suppose it's authentic, but it was a bit too greasy/wet for my tastes.

The Queen of Tarts is a bustling little cafe, with outdoor seating and a baked goods case that'll catch your eye. We had an OK breakfast there, but the daily specials and savoury tarts looked quite good. It's a pleasant spot to stop in for breakfast, lunch, or tea and a sweet goody.

O'Neill's is full of nooks and crannies and worth a visit for a pint and a bit o' craic. Live music every night and a carvery that looked decent (though we didn't try it).

Our final meal was lunch at The Rustic Stone. While one of the main draws appeared to be the items on the stone cooking menu, we were thrilled with the beautiful, fresh salad choices (in half and full sizes). They were served with their own tiny bottle of dressing, for use when served so as not to wind up with a limp, soggy salad. I enjoyed the "Luscious Lime" which included watermelon, mango, watercress, and pickled ginger. The side of polenta chips were a healthy and flavorful twist on an old standard.

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You're making me wish I were in Dublin! One of my favorite restaurants there doesn't have an Irish menu -- it's Dunne and Crescenzi, on S. Frederick Street (just south of Trinity College and a couple of blocks east of Grafton St.). It's basically a wine bar, owned by an Irishwoman and her Italian husband. The menu is nothing novel these days when you can find some version of an Italian wine bar all over DC, but the ingredients are high quality, the menu is now pretty extensive, and the atmosphere is warm and convivial. (Once my family was standing outside on the sidewalk trying to decide how long it would take for a table to open up and a guy who might have been the manager came walking by and started dancing with my Mom. I won't soon forget that (or him -- he jumped into one of my photos and waved). And then he helped us get seated promptly.) It's also next door to my favorite place to stay (Trinity Lodge), so you can't beat that! They've expanded their city center restaurant since I first started going there shortly after it opened, and opened another location in Sandymount, and I hope they'll continue to do well despite the terrible financial situation in Ireland.

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Just back from 12 days in Dublin and other points west in Ireland. We had solid food in the west, excluding Galway which was a bit meh. But here's our Dublin breakdown, filled with goodness. We spent most of our time in Dublin's city center, and would hope to venture out to the 'burbs and 'burghs next time.

After a long day of golf, we had a very nice dinner at Pearl Brasserie, right next to the Merrion Hotel, where we stayed for about half of our time in Dublin. Pearl has a funky vibe to it, with a number of quiet and semi-private alcoves built in throughout the restaurant. We were a big party, and so were sat in the middle of the room. Service was good, as was my pea soup (with duck, I believe) and beef plate. By the end of dinner I was dog-tired from the wind, rain and the travel, so things are a bit hazy, but I enjoyed this meal.

Another beating in the wind and cold (again, golf) was followed by a great meal at Bang, more or less right around the corner from the Merrion. We again had a fairly large party that was well-served. The restaurant makes the best out of an old rowhouse, with bold colors and nice art, and the kitchen knows what they are doing. The wine list was small but clearly well-planned, and our dinners were impressive. My deep-fried hen's egg came with sumptuous black pudding and was very enjoyable, but my pork plate (pork confit, pork belly, pork cheek, I think) was really great. I also tasted the truffled macaroni and cheese and the duck, and loved both. Great meal.

After a 3rd round of golf (in the sun, no less) I ended up at Iskander kebab for dinner (30 Dame Street). The lamb doner kebab was okay, raised to that status by the nicely housemade flat bread.

Dinner at Chapter One was as advertised. We were a large group that they greeted and served perfectly, with the service highlight being the preparation of Irish coffee at the end of our table. My quail appetizer was sizable (a theme in Irish restaurants, I've discovered) and the rabbit entree was great. a rhubarb crumble at the end of dinner was fantastic. This meal, while I'm not writing so much about it, was a real highlight; flawless in practically every culinary way and with (apparentely) effortless hospitality. They have a Michelin star; I haven't been to many starred restaurants, to the best of my knowledge, but if this is a typical example I can see why.

After traveling through the west (Dingle up to Westport at a comfortable pace), we made it back to Dublin on a Sunday evening and went to Crackbird, a hip fried chicken place on Dame St in the Temple Bar area. Seating was communal, the fried chicken was very good. Beer selection was very limited (Bitburger and an Irish microbrew IPA called 8 Degrees that was very good). The general direction of the restaurant was Asian fried chicken, but it wasn't quite like the Korean fried chicken that I've had; it was probably more like 'broasted' chicken with Asian spices. We also had sweet potato noodles that were great and quite spicy.

Lunch at Bite restaurant was an elevation of typical fish and chips for me, washed down with a Bulmer's cider. The truffle/parmesan chips would likely be dismissed by any traditionalist, but they were perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious. My wife had a poached fish that was served with arugula and was also great. This was a sleeper restaurant, close to Trinity, that was beautifully designed and had a well-planned menu. Great stuff.

Finally, our last dinner was at a pop-up from the same restauranteur who owns Crackbird. In this case, it was a grilled pizza place called Skinflint, just down the street and around the corner (19 Crane Lane) from Crackbird. The pizzas were quite large and very interesting--definitely not Neapolitan, but very thin and crispy. The flavor combinations were not exactly novel (blue cheese/pear/onion, for instance; sweet bacon and celeriac) but the flavors were very bold and each table had a bottle of chili honey (honey/chili pepper/bay leaf) that they recommended be added to the pizza, and which was a nice complement. The housemade lemonade was interesting, perhaps made with more lemon peel than expected which gave it a unique twist. We really liked this place, and it was a fitting last dinner.

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3 hours ago, bettyjoan said:

Any more recent Dublin eating experiences?  We will be there January 5-12, and while we are doing a bunch of day trips, we'll be staying/sleeping in Dublin city center for the whole time.  Thanks!

I would ask Cathal Armstrong - he helped me out when I went. 

One thing I learned on my own, and it's *hugely* important: Even *within the same pub*, there is enormous variation between pints of Guinness. Some pubs have multiple bars, and if one bar pours you a perfect pint, then make sure you go back to that same bar when ordering another one.

I found all the touristy things in Dublin to be immensely boring, with one exception: the Kilmainham Gaol tour was really interesting.

The Rock of Cashel had scaffolding on it in 2010, but even if it hadn't, I think it would have been oversold as a tourist attraction. Make sure you book a hotel next to it; not somewhere up the road - we were stuck at an *awful* B&B with no WiFi, and were bored out of our skulls.

I loved Newgrange - we were coming from the West - although a 14-year-old Matt pretty well summed it up when he saw it: "Dad, we just drove three hours to see a lump." However, once he was inside, even he was impressed.

If you're staying in Dublin proper for more than a few days, do one of the Day Tours (they are abundant and easy to find - we didn't, because we were driving around Southern Ireland, but if you're staying in Dublin itself, I highly recommend doing one). 

Be aware: Getting there is really inexpensive; *being* there isn't. I do not recommend Ireland as a vacation destination with children - it's an adult trip.

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We had a fantastic meal at Matt the Thresher last summer. My wife (who loves shrimp) proclaimed their Dublin Bay Prawns sauteed in garlic butter to be the best shrimp she's ever had. Had some fantastic oysters there and a delicious tuna burger. Ireland has great seafood, particularly shellfish.

Would also recommend the Queen of Tarts for breakfast (they have two locations, one around the corner from the other) -- primarily baked goods, toasts, traditional Irish breakfast, etc. And you can't go wrong with some fish and chips from Leo Burdock, just around the corner from Christ Church.

Agreed about the Kilmainham Gaol being fantastic. Overall, Dublin is not my favorite European city, but I'm glad I've been a few times. Last year we drove around the country staying in various towns, which is definitely how I recommend visiting Ireland. Sort of like next time I go back to Italy I will skip Rome and probably grab a car and head up to Tuscany.

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2 hours ago, Deac said:

Overall, Dublin is not my favorite European city, but I'm glad I've been a few times. Last year we drove around the country staying in various towns, which is definitely how I recommend visiting Ireland. Sort of like next time I go back to Italy I will skip Rome and probably grab a car and head up to Tuscany.

Maybe someone will understand my joke now. -_-

Make sure to take the guided tour of Kilmainham Gaol, which is included in the admission price.

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On 10/31/2016 at 11:23 AM, Deac said:

Last year we drove around the country staying in various towns, which is definitely how I recommend visiting Ireland. Sort of like next time I go back to Italy I will skip Rome and probably grab a car and head up to Tuscany.

Deac:  Which towns do you recommend?  We loved Doolin on a recent trip, and want to offer friends some other choices for their trip in a couple of weeks.  Thanks.

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4 hours ago, Marty L. said:

Deac:  Which towns do you recommend?  We loved Doolin on a recent trip, and want to offer friends some other choices for their trip in a couple of weeks.  Thanks.

I'm not Deac, but if you're going from Kilkenney to Cork, you go right by Cashel, and you might be able to get an appointment at Cashel Farmhouse of Cashel Blue fame (we did).

Also, your friends will probably be faced with the choice of Cork vs. Kinsale - I chose Kinsale, and was happy with the choice.

"Best of Southern Ireland" by Rick Steves and Pat O'Connor on ricksteves.com

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Here's what we did:

Dublin (2 nights) -- plenty of time for this city. We flew in, arrived in the morning, had a full day there (including nap time) and a full day the next day. Got up on morning 2 to pick up a rental car and head out of town. Drove to Kilkenny for the day and did the Smithwick's brewery (a beer my wife and I really like) and the castle, which is magnificent. Drove to...

Cork (3 nights) -- probably too many nights there. Got in there the afternoon after Kilkenny and walked to the Franciscan Well brewery, which is fantastic, and a more American-style brewery. They have a separate business slinging pizzas in the garden and they were great. Really enjoyed their stout aged in Jameson barrels (which is distilled in Cork). Story is the head distiller and head brewer got to talking and Jameson sent some barrels over to the brewery, and once the beer was bottled they sent the barrels back to Jameson, where whiskey was aged in them. And they produced something called Jameson Caskmates, which I found in my liquor store in Adams Morgan and it’s fantastic. So was cool to have both drinks. Anyway, next day was sightseeing in Cork and the day after was a roadtrip to Kinsale (charming fishing village) and Cogh (last place the Titanic made port before its fateful Atlantic crossing). After the third morning we were off to…

Killarney (2 nights) – A beautiful little town. On the way in we stopped at Muckross House, which is a fantastic mansion set in a national park. Lots of hiking around. Next day we drove the Ring of Kerry, which is a pretty seaside road. Tip: drive it clockwise because all of the buses drive it counter-clockwise (so you don’t get stuck behind one). Lots of places to stop along the way for food and pictures. Definitely check out Murphy’s Ice Cream, some of the best I’ve ever had! Love the Dingle Gin flavor.

Next morning we got up and drove to the Cliffs of Moher, which are simply stunning seaside cliffs. You can walk right up to the edge and there aren’t any barriers. In fact, it was rather slick, so be careful! After that, we set off on the Wild Atlantic Way (a roadway that hugs the entire Atlantic coast of Ireland) towards Galway, and stopped at the Burren, a barren moonscape sort of environment right by the water that is stunning.

Galway (2 nights). Got in that night, did sightseeing in the town the next day. Had a fantastic meal at Oscar’s Seafood Bistro.

On the second morning got up to drive to Dublin, and stopped at Clonmacnoise not far off the M6 – a monastery founded in the year 544. Fantastic ruins in a picturesque setting along the River Shannon.

Dublin (1 night) – Dropped off the car, stayed in town, grabbed dinner at a pub somewhere, flew home the next day.

If we did it differently I’d maybe do one less day in Cork and spend some time in Dingle instead. Still plenty more to explore, and I know we’ll be back since it’s my wife’s number one favorite place in the world. But our problem is we can only do a trip like this once a year, and there’s so much more we want to visit before making a return somewhere.

 

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Heading to Dublin next month for a week-long golf trip, so I would appreciate restaurant recommendations. Open to all cuisines, and our primary limitation is that it must be able to accommodate 13 people.

Thanks in advance!

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On 7/6/2022 at 6:47 PM, reedm said:

Heading to Dublin next month for a week-long golf trip, so I would appreciate restaurant recommendations. Open to all cuisines, and our primary limitation is that it must be able to accommodate 13 people.

Thanks in advance!

Still headed to Dublin, but I'm open to any/all recommendations. Cheers.

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Haven't been to Dublin in a decade, but with my European travels, I'll frequently hit Andy Hayler's website for high end recommendations.  Here are his reviews from Dublin.

He doesn't really do your local restaurants outside London, but if you've got one splurge meal, maybe useful?

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