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The 38 Essential Dublin Restaurants

Ireland’s capital has become a vibrant food city

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Dublin has long been a must-stop on any proper European trip. The Irish capital, which is bisected by the scenic River Liffey, has much to offer travelers, after all: Its streets were once wandered by literary stars like James Joyce, while Trinity College houses centuries-old texts like the famous Book of Kells. Most notably, Dublin has always been a great place to drink, whether you’re grabbing a pint at a local pub or touring the Guinness Storehouse. But these days, Dublin is where you go to eat.

“Dublin has become a more vibrant food city over the last decade,” says Catherine Cleary, food critic for the Irish Times. The economic crash is partially to blame; as rents tumbled across the city, a new generation of chefs could suddenly afford to open their own restaurants. But Cleary says Dublin’s restaurant boom also owes a debt to the Nordic food movement, which “inspired chefs to look to the abundant Irish larder of ingredients for inspiration and deliciousness.” In everything from Michelin-starred dining rooms to crab shacks, chefs are serving beef raised on Ireland’s iconic Burren, wild Irish fish, and lobster hauled straight from Dublin Bay. Dublin dining has also extended beyond traditional Irish fare, with first-rate Indian, Italian, and Chinese restaurants taking their rightful places at the top.

Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.

Price per person, excluding alcohol

$ = Less than €20 (less than $22 USD)
$$ = €20-€40 ($22 - $45 USD)
$$$ = €40-€60 ($45 - $68 USD)
$$$$ = More than €60 (more than $68 USD)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Potager

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7 Church St, Townparks, Skerries, Co. Dublin
K34 V585, Ireland

“Potager” is the French word for a kitchen garden so it’s the perfect name for this restaurant to Dublin’s north, in the city’s garden heartland. The sandy soil around the village of Skerries has long been used to grow vegetables for the capital and beyond. At Potager, housed in a former bank, chef Cathal Leonard does offer meat, but the best dishes combine hyper-local fish and seafood with vegetables grown nearby, like Howth crab and Rush tomatoes. [$$$]

2. Chapter One

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18-19 Parnell Sq
Dublin, Dublin City
(+35) 318-732266
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Most people associate Dublin writers with drinking rather than eating, but the Michelin-starred Chapter One in the basement of the Dublin Writers Museum might change that. It’s a special-occasion restaurant where chef Ross Lewis uses the best ingredients from Ireland’s fields, farms, and waves. The restaurant is a favorite with posh diners and lawyers from the nearby Four Courts, so tables on Friday and Saturday nights are like hen’s teeth. Lunch and pre-theatre sittings are easier to bag. [$$$$]

3. Mr. Fox

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38 Parnell Square W
Dublin, Ireland
(+35) 318-747778
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In a workaday part of Parnell Square, chef Anthony Smith has put together a punchy set of plates at a smart basement restaurant. Look for the signature meat tartare (venison or beef), luscious meat jeweled with red currants and topped with sunchoke crisps. Desserts are clever riffs on sweetshop staples and childhood favorites. [$$$]

Courtesy of Mr. Fox

4. Grano Restaurant

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Unit 5, Norseman Court, Manor St, Stoneybatter, Dublin
D07 XD89, Ireland

Handmade food is the heart of this small Italian restaurant in Stoneybatter. Owner Roberto Mungo’s mother Roma came from Italy to oversee the opening of the restaurant. She flew with dried grass stalks, used to roll curly tubes of fileja pasta, which is then cooked and teamed with charcuterie, sauces, and especially vivid vegetables. [$$]

5. Fish Shop

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76 Benburb St, Northside, Dublin
D07 X3PN, Ireland

Dublin sits by the sea, but for many years you had to spend a lot of money in a high-end restaurant to get really good fish and seafood. Thankfully that’s changing at places like Fish Shop by husband and wife team Peter Hogan and Jumoke Akintola. The pioneering restaurateurs have moved out of Dublin to start a new restaurant in Tramore, but their Benburb Street chip shop and wine bar is still one of the best places in Dublin to eat fish and seafood. There’s a concise, inspired selection of wines, and if you don’t want to commit to the full fish and chips, the restaurant offers sensational small plates too. Either way, the poached oysters and squid sliders are musts. [$$]

6. Terra Madre

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13 Bachelors Walk
Dublin, Dublin City
(+35) 318-735300
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This tiny basement restaurant feels like a secret patch of Italian soil by the Liffey. Down a set of old stone steps you’ll find Italian peasant cooking, including rich Tuscan stews filled with octopus and black chickpeas. The kitchen serves warm lardo draped over toast and fennel salami imported from Italy with a side of pickled caper sprouts. You don’t have to be Italian to feel at home at Terra Madre. [$$]

7. Camerino Bakery

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158 Capel St, Northside, Dublin 1
D01 ND36, Ireland

A sandwich can be a joyless wedge of fuel or, in the hands of Caryna Camerino, a handheld wonder. The Canadian cook first fell into baking as therapy to destress from her day job, which required her to fire people during Ireland’s last recession. She has been spreading joy from her friendly take-out bakery on Capel Street ever since, stuffing home-baked focaccias with ingredients like marinated kale, avocado, radish, and lemon mayo. There’s also a sister cafe in the basement of the Goethe Institute on Merrion Square if you’d like to lunch in one of Dublin’s most impressive Georgian buildings. [$]

8. The Market Kitchen

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Meeting House Square, Temple Bar
Dublin, Ireland

The secret to this stall in Temple Bar’s weekly Saturday market is its connection to one of Ireland’s best farms. Jenny and Patrick McNally produce delicious organic vegetables every week from their farm. Their daughter Sara, along with business partner Liadain Kaminski, take whatever comes from the soil to the Market Kitchen and pair it with wonderful breads and cheeses from other market stalls. [$]

9. Bread 41

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41 Pearse St, Dublin
D02 H308, Ireland

Eoin Cluskey is a bread obsessive, and he pays tribute to all things doughy at a cafe tucked under a railway bridge near Science Gallery Dublin. The team stone mills flour, then ferments and bakes delicious sourdough breads. Morning buns are a great start to the day and there are tasty, creative lunch options depending on what’s in season. [$]

10. Cloud Picker Cafe

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The Projector Room, The Academy, 42 Pearse St
Dublin 2, Ireland

Frank Kavanagh and Peter Sztal, the couple behind Cloud Picker, chose the name for their coffee roasting operation after a trip to Thailand, where they ascended above the clouds to see coffee bean pickers at work. They set up Cloud Picker Cafe in a lovely piece of Dublin history, the projector room of the long-gone Academy Cinema. They offer delicious coffee from flat whites to pour overs, along with excellent salads and dishes from Sztal’s childhood like “stewp,” a hearty mix of soup and stew based on Polish goulash. [$]

11. Pi Pizza

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10, Castle House, 73 - 83 South Great George's Street
Dublin, Ireland

Pi Pizza creates some of Dublin’s best pizza by slowly fermenting the dough before a fast spin in a wood-fired oven, leaving blisters of char on the crust. The ‘nduja with honey and Parmesan is a firm favorite, while another winner joins braised portobello mushrooms with pickled shimeji mushrooms and fresh herbs. Pi doesn’t take reservations, but a queuing app takes the uncertainty out of the wait. [$$]

12. Luncheonette

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100, 108 Thomas St, Dublin Southside, Dublin
D08 K521, Ireland

College dining halls aren’t typically known for great food, but sculptor and cook Jennie Moran has made Luncheonette a gem for those in the know. The canteen at the National College of Art and Design offers better food than many mid-range restaurants, and it’s a good deal cheaper too. Menus change frequently but you won’t find many other schools serving dishes like a Lambay Island venison burger with smoked creme fraiche and peppercorn aioli. [$]

13. Variety Jones

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78 Thomas St, Merchants Quay, Dublin
D08 F2RN, Ireland

Variety Jones consists of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it dining room on Thomas Street. There’s no name over the door, but the restaurant does boast a citywide reputation for wonderful family-style dishes like the tenderest venison loin and salt-roasted celeriac. Chef Keelan Higgs mans the kitchen at the restaurant, while his brother Aaron runs the front of house, and together they brought a Michelin star to Dublin’s south inner city. The kitchen cooks much of the menu over fire, partly out of necessity, since the Higgs opened the restaurant without a gas connection. [$$$]

14. Tiller + Grain

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23 Frederick St S, Dublin
D02 KT21, Ireland

Clair Dowling, the brains behind this lovely cafe, worked in London with Yotam Ottolenghi and Skye Gyngell, and her experience shows in intricate salads and plates of cheerful food. It’s worth making time to sit down with the fresh, vegetable-focused dishes, as the rest of busy Dublin drops in for takeout. At every turn Dowling finds ways to make pristine ingredients even more delicious, amping up purple sprouting broccoli with miso almonds or serving comforting dal with orange-zested couscous. [$$]

15. The Pepper Pot Cafe

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Powerscourt Town Centre, S William St
Dublin, Dublin City
(+35) 317-071610
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The balcony of Pepper Pot Cafe overlooks the lovely interior courtyard of the Powerscourt Centre shopping mall, a view that can inspire an epic line on the weekend. But the wait is worth it for Dublin’s best bagels, nutty and elastic, fresh baked in-house each day, as well as other baked goods and dishes. The pear and bacon sandwich will convert you to that curious combo, the crumbly scones are held together with a large dollop of clotted cream and a teaspoon of house-made raspberry jam, and the Victoria sponge is the best in the city. [$]

16. Allta

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101 Setanta Pl, Dublin 2
D02 W3Y7, Ireland

Chef Niall Davidson came home from cheffing in London to open this ambitious wine bar. He traveled the country to find delicious ingredients and trustworthy producers, allowing him to offer better food than most restaurants. From the moment you down a Cromane oyster with rhubarb vinegar or slather glossy miso-shiitake butter onto house sourdough, you’ll feel a sense of Irish homecoming. [$$]

17. Chimac

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76 Aungier St, Dublin 2
D02 XR70, Ireland

Gochujang is at the heart of this chic chicken restaurant, where great free-range chicken is given the Korean-fried treatment. The spicy funky paste anchors their Korean hot sauce, one of several dips for crispy fried chicken along with house-made lime mayonnaise and sriracha caramel. Expect a wait for a table at busy times but it will be worth it. [$$]

18. Spitalfields

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25 The Coombe, Merchants Quay, Dublin
D08 YV07, Ireland

There’s a real mix of upscale restaurant dishes and gastropub comfort foods on the menu at this old, City Centre pub. Husband and wife team Stephen McAllister and Andrea Hussey recently took over the bar, put in a new kitchen, and started turning out a list of instant classics, like the beef cheek and bone marrow Parker House roll, which consists of milky, buttery brioche segmented into triangles for dipping into bone marrow sauce. It’s food to warm the cockles of the heart. [$$]

19. The Greenhouse

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Joshua House, 21 Dawson St, Dublin 2
D02 TK33, Ireland
(+35) 316-767015 
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The room feels a little stuffy at The Greenhouse but the food of Finnish chef Mickael Viljanen is all wildness and adventure. Viljanen’s food is fueled by his Nordic roots, but he utilizes Irish ingredients, putting them into plates that sometimes feel like works of imagination. Things are not always as they seem, like celeriac roasted to make it look like aubergine, but they are always delicious. [$$$$]

20. Etto

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18 Merrion Row
Dublin, Dublin City
(+35) 316-788872
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It’s small and noisy (especially as the night lengthens and more wine is poured), but Etto has been crammed with happy eaters since it opened. The energetic Italian menu includes fiendish flavors like pig trotter carpaccio and mussels with nduja, fennel, and samphire. The wine-soaked prunes with a dollop of putty-thick mascarpone are a city favorite. Book in advance if you want to be sure of a table. [$$]

21. The Fumbally

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Fumbally Ln
Dublin, Dublin City
(+35) 315-298732
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The Fumbally opened in the teeth of the recession in a vacant shop. The owners furnished the space with junk shop finds and served nothing but falafel until they found their feet. The furniture is the same and diners still share the same old tables during busy times, but the food has expanded in delicious directions, with house ferments like cabbage and ginger kraut regularly spicing up seasonal dishes. There are few better starts to a day than a bowl of Fumbally porridge with ginger, tahini, and caramel. Sister venue Fumbally Stables next door hosts workshops, both on food and yoga (in a separate room upstairs), which are often followed by long-table brunches. Be sure to book a class ahead of time. [$]

22. Las Tapas de Lola

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12 Wexford St
Dublin, Dublin City
(+35) 314-244100
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Named after owner Vanessa Murphy’s mother, this restaurant is a love letter to all things Spanish and flavorful. Murphy and her Spanish partner Anna Cadrera make regular pilgrimages to Spain for inspiration and ingredients, and pack it all into a lively menu of small plates. Their pork cheek with red pepper sauce is a must-eat dish, and be sure to take staff recommendations on wine, sherry, and vermouth pairings. [$$]

23. The Commons at MoLI

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86 St Stephen's Green, Saint Kevin's
Dublin, Ireland

In 2019 the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) opened in the old Newman House of University College Dublin. The old university common room in the basement now houses this lovely, literature-themed restaurant, run by chef and food writer Domini Kemp and her sister Peaches. The food is vehemently Irish, and the Commons offers some of the city’s greatest examples of hearty dishes like free-range pork with buttery mashed potato and barbecued cabbage. [$$]

24. Meet Me in the Morning

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50 Pleasants St
Dublin, Dublin City

It’s easy to miss this spartan breakfast and lunch spot off busy Camden street. It looks like a pared down coffee shop with nothing but a few baked goods. While the concise menu isn’t much longer than a tweet, it offers a range of stellar dishes heavy on vegetables, with dashes of meat for garnish. Everything is made from scratch, like the rice salad, the grains painted green with tangy sorrel, topped with petals of pickled golden and candy beets, dreamy ricotta, and crisp butter-fried sage leaves. [$]

25. Hang Dai

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20 Camden Street
Dublin, Dublin City
(+35) 315-458888
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School friends Will Dempsey and chef Karl Whelan added a clubby Chinese restaurant to Dublin’s roster with Hang Dai. The entrance appears like a takeaway joint, but the restaurant expands into a back room that looks like a mash-up between a disco and a subway train. The vibe is fun but the food is serious, especially the duck special (preorder it when you book). The duck, its skin glass-crisp, comes on a platter served four ways, including the severed head, from which you can taste a scoop of duck brain if you’re so minded.  [$$]

26. Frank's

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22 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin's
Dublin, Ireland

The retro sign out front of this former butcher still advertises Frank’s Pork Shop, but inside the vibe is much more modern. Diners share one long, high table, while chef Chris Maguire sends out delicious small plates from a small kitchen at the back. Seared scallops smothered in aerated ham hock sauce are a delight, as is the house gnocchi served with oyster mushrooms and a fudgy 63-degree egg, which slowly releases its yolk over the rest of the plate. [$$]

27. Dax Restaurant

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23 Pembroke Street Upper
Dublin, Dublin City
(+35) 316-761494
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Graham Neville is Dublin’s best chef without a Michelin star. In 2017, he teamed up with French owner Olivier Meisonnave of Dax, a basement restaurant named after Meisonnave’s home village in southwest France. The partnership transformed what was a reliable business lunch spot for those with flush expense accounts into something a lot more creative. Neville’s prawn-stuffed courgette flower is a true summer treat. [$$$]

28. Delahunt

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39 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2
D02 K277, Ireland
(+35) 315-984880
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The building housing this smart bistro-style restaurant is a time capsule of old Dublin. For decades it was a family-run off-license shop selling wine, beer, and spirits. The Delahunt team kept much of the old shop, including the gorgeous mahogany counter, which they raised to make a bar, but they didn’t rest on the laurels of the beautiful building. Real thought and effort goes into bistro-style dishes like hearty artichoke soup, roast pork with pear, or venison haunch with dark chocolate. There’s also a beautiful cocktail bar upstairs, accessed through a tiny door at the end of the bar.  [$$]

29. Pickle

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43 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2
D02 N998, Ireland
(+35) 315-557755
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Pickle looks like it’s been in Dublin for decades but it’s relatively new. For a long time most of the city’s curry houses had a McMadras feel, with staple westernized dishes that tasted the same wherever you went. Instead of that generic menu, chef Sunil Ghai cooks food the way he remembers from his childhood, putting curried goat meat on squares of brioche-style toast and nailing fish curry brilliantly. [$$]

30. Bibi's Cafe

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14B Emorville Ave
Dublin, Dublin City
(+35) 314-547421
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It’s hard to think of a better example of a neighborhood cafe than Bibi’s, nestled in the quiet redbrick residential streets of Portobello. Sisters Maisha and Petria Lenehan originally opened the cafe as a side business to a clothes shop. But then designer Petria moved to Brooklyn, and Maisha expanded the cafe into the shop space with her brother Geoff. Their soup is terrific, and they bake a delicious tart of goat cheese, onion marmalade, and red pepper. [$]

31. Gaillot et Gray

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59 Clanbrassil Street Lower, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8
D08 EV65, Ireland
(+35) 314-547781
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The home of Dublin’s best pizza, this place is run by a Frenchman married to an Irish woman. He imports flour from France and tops wood-fired pizzas with French ingredients like Emmental cheese rather than mozzarella and merguez rather than Italian sausage. The sourdough bread and fluffy buttery brioche sell out as soon as they come out of the oven, requiring serious planning from anyone who wants to snag a loaf. [$]

32. Bastible

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111 S Circular Rd
Dublin, Dublin City
(+35) 314-737409
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Former Noma chef Cúán Greene helms the impressive restaurant from fellow chef Barry Fitzgerald. Bastible opened on a shoestring on a fairly unfashionable corner slightly out of town, but it has established itself as a groundbreaking restaurant. The furniture and decor are basic but the food is not. Greene cooks wild game, the freshest seafood, and foraged and farmed herbs. His vegetarian dishes are stellar, like silken baby leeks with lovage, wild garlic, and Coolea cheese. Green’s cooking is the best unstarred food in the city, but he won’t be at Bastible forever, so fans should enjoy his work while it lasts. [$$]

33. Richmond

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43 Richmond St S, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2
D02 X499, Ireland
(+35) 314-788783
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This small, handsome restaurant was once one of the city’s best-known dives, a pitstop between town and the student apartments in Rathmines’s faded Victorian mansions. Back then it served fried breakfasts and wine from midnight until 6 a.m. In recent years, it was reinvented as a super smart neighborhood restaurant with good food (instead of fried soakage) keenly priced to lure people to the slightly out-of-the-way location. The Tuesday tasting menu easily competes with many more expensive restaurants. [$$]

34. Forest & Marcy

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126 Leeson Street Upper, Dublin 4
D04 WY62, Ireland
(+35) 316-602480
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Little sister of nearby restaurant Forest Avenue, Forest & Marcy is a small-plates wine bar where everything is casual apart from the cooking. Flaggy Shore oysters from Clare on the west coast are teamed with cucumber and leche de tigre, while Irish shiitake mushrooms go on toast with lardo and hollandaise. It’s a tiny place, but no one needs elbow room when the food’s this good. [$$]

Courtesy of Forest & Marcy

35. Locks

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1 Windsor Terrace, Portobello
Portobello, Dublin City
(+35) 314-163655
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Locks held the shortest lived Michelin star in Dublin dining history. It landed for a year before the French guide whipped it away again, nearly sinking the place. But after a change of hands, Locks is once again a beautiful restaurant with a clever young team in the kitchen cooking dishes like roasted salsify with black garlic and wild pheasant with parsnip. Dulse butter (made with red seaweed fronds) offers a power-packed spread for the great house-made bread. Enjoy a leisurely lunch away from the buzz of the City Centre while sitting on a genteel stretch of the Grand Canal. [$$$]

36. Overends Kitchen at Airfield

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Overend Ave, Dundrum, Dublin 14
D14 K4K0, Ireland

This special cafe comes from a dream team collab between a mixed farm and a talented chef. Beef, lamb, and pork are reared on the estate, a clutch of happy hens lay the eggs, and a small herd of Jersey cows supplies the milk for chef Luke Matthew’s dulce de leche. The Airfield garden and nearby organic growers provide just-picked organic salads too. Sunday lunch is a family favorite. [$$]

37. Volpe Nera

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22 Newtown Park, Newtownpark, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
A94 D780, Ireland

Barry Sun was the chef in City Centre wine bar Etto before moving to the suburbs to open his own restaurant. The name Volpe Nera is Italian for “black fox,” a play on the names of the two adjoining districts of Foxrock and Blackrock. Sun deftly combines big flavors and small touches in dishes like slow-cooked beef short rib with a slash of grated fresh horseradish and a buttery wedge of crisply fried polenta. [$$]

38. Rasam

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(+35) 312-300600
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Nisheeth Tak was one of the first restaurateurs to challenge the one-sauce-fits-all school of Indian cooking. He has been weaning Dublin diners onto more exciting Indian flavors for more than two decades, bringing in talented chefs from India and blending and roasting spice mixes in-house. His restaurant, Rasam, is upstairs from the Eagle House pub, but has a luxurious and welcoming atmosphere that’s all its own. [$$]

1. Potager

7 Church St, Townparks, Skerries, Co. Dublin, K34 V585, Ireland

“Potager” is the French word for a kitchen garden so it’s the perfect name for this restaurant to Dublin’s north, in the city’s garden heartland. The sandy soil around the village of Skerries has long been used to grow vegetables for the capital and beyond. At Potager, housed in a former bank, chef Cathal Leonard does offer meat, but the best dishes combine hyper-local fish and seafood with vegetables grown nearby, like Howth crab and Rush tomatoes. [$$$]

7 Church St, Townparks, Skerries, Co. Dublin
K34 V585, Ireland

2. Chapter One

18-19 Parnell Sq, Dublin, Dublin City

Most people associate Dublin writers with drinking rather than eating, but the Michelin-starred Chapter One in the basement of the Dublin Writers Museum might change that. It’s a special-occasion restaurant where chef Ross Lewis uses the best ingredients from Ireland’s fields, farms, and waves. The restaurant is a favorite with posh diners and lawyers from the nearby Four Courts, so tables on Friday and Saturday nights are like hen’s teeth. Lunch and pre-theatre sittings are easier to bag. [$$$$]

18-19 Parnell Sq
Dublin, Dublin City

3. Mr. Fox

38 Parnell Square W, Dublin, Ireland
Courtesy of Mr. Fox

In a workaday part of Parnell Square, chef Anthony Smith has put together a punchy set of plates at a smart basement restaurant. Look for the signature meat tartare (venison or beef), luscious meat jeweled with red currants and topped with sunchoke crisps. Desserts are clever riffs on sweetshop staples and childhood favorites. [$$$]

38 Parnell Square W
Dublin, Ireland

4. Grano Restaurant

Unit 5, Norseman Court, Manor St, Stoneybatter, Dublin, D07 XD89, Ireland

Handmade food is the heart of this small Italian restaurant in Stoneybatter. Owner Roberto Mungo’s mother Roma came from Italy to oversee the opening of the restaurant. She flew with dried grass stalks, used to roll curly tubes of fileja pasta, which is then cooked and teamed with charcuterie, sauces, and especially vivid vegetables. [$$]

Unit 5, Norseman Court, Manor St, Stoneybatter, Dublin
D07 XD89, Ireland

5. Fish Shop

76 Benburb St, Northside, Dublin, D07 X3PN, Ireland

Dublin sits by the sea, but for many years you had to spend a lot of money in a high-end restaurant to get really good fish and seafood. Thankfully that’s changing at places like Fish Shop by husband and wife team Peter Hogan and Jumoke Akintola. The pioneering restaurateurs have moved out of Dublin to start a new restaurant in Tramore, but their Benburb Street chip shop and wine bar is still one of the best places in Dublin to eat fish and seafood. There’s a concise, inspired selection of wines, and if you don’t want to commit to the full fish and chips, the restaurant offers sensational small plates too. Either way, the poached oysters and squid sliders are musts. [$$]

76 Benburb St, Northside, Dublin
D07 X3PN, Ireland

6. Terra Madre

13 Bachelors Walk, Dublin, Dublin City

This tiny basement restaurant feels like a secret patch of Italian soil by the Liffey. Down a set of old stone steps you’ll find Italian peasant cooking, including rich Tuscan stews filled with octopus and black chickpeas. The kitchen serves warm lardo draped over toast and fennel salami imported from Italy with a side of pickled caper sprouts. You don’t have to be Italian to feel at home at Terra Madre. [$$]

13 Bachelors Walk
Dublin, Dublin City

7. Camerino Bakery

158 Capel St, Northside, Dublin 1, D01 ND36, Ireland

A sandwich can be a joyless wedge of fuel or, in the hands of Caryna Camerino, a handheld wonder. The Canadian cook first fell into baking as therapy to destress from her day job, which required her to fire people during Ireland’s last recession. She has been spreading joy from her friendly take-out bakery on Capel Street ever since, stuffing home-baked focaccias with ingredients like marinated kale, avocado, radish, and lemon mayo. There’s also a sister cafe in the basement of the Goethe Institute on Merrion Square if you’d like to lunch in one of Dublin’s most impressive Georgian buildings. [$]

158 Capel St, Northside, Dublin 1
D01 ND36, Ireland

8. The Market Kitchen

Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

The secret to this stall in Temple Bar’s weekly Saturday market is its connection to one of Ireland’s best farms. Jenny and Patrick McNally produce delicious organic vegetables every week from their farm. Their daughter Sara, along with business partner Liadain Kaminski, take whatever comes from the soil to the Market Kitchen and pair it with wonderful breads and cheeses from other market stalls. [$]

Meeting House Square, Temple Bar
Dublin, Ireland

9. Bread 41

41 Pearse St, Dublin, D02 H308, Ireland

Eoin Cluskey is a bread obsessive, and he pays tribute to all things doughy at a cafe tucked under a railway bridge near Science Gallery Dublin. The team stone mills flour, then ferments and bakes delicious sourdough breads. Morning buns are a great start to the day and there are tasty, creative lunch options depending on what’s in season. [$]

41 Pearse St, Dublin
D02 H308, Ireland

10. Cloud Picker Cafe

The Projector Room, The Academy, 42 Pearse St, Dublin 2, Ireland

Frank Kavanagh and Peter Sztal, the couple behind Cloud Picker, chose the name for their coffee roasting operation after a trip to Thailand, where they ascended above the clouds to see coffee bean pickers at work. They set up Cloud Picker Cafe in a lovely piece of Dublin history, the projector room of the long-gone Academy Cinema. They offer delicious coffee from flat whites to pour overs, along with excellent salads and dishes from Sztal’s childhood like “stewp,” a hearty mix of soup and stew based on Polish goulash. [$]

The Projector Room, The Academy, 42 Pearse St
Dublin 2, Ireland

11. Pi Pizza

10, Castle House, 73 - 83 South Great George's Street, Dublin, Ireland

Pi Pizza creates some of Dublin’s best pizza by slowly fermenting the dough before a fast spin in a wood-fired oven, leaving blisters of char on the crust. The ‘nduja with honey and Parmesan is a firm favorite, while another winner joins braised portobello mushrooms with pickled shimeji mushrooms and fresh herbs. Pi doesn’t take reservations, but a queuing app takes the uncertainty out of the wait. [$$]

10, Castle House, 73 - 83 South Great George's Street
Dublin, Ireland

12. Luncheonette

100, 108 Thomas St, Dublin Southside, Dublin, D08 K521, Ireland

College dining halls aren’t typically known for great food, but sculptor and cook Jennie Moran has made Luncheonette a gem for those in the know. The canteen at the National College of Art and Design offers better food than many mid-range restaurants, and it’s a good deal cheaper too. Menus change frequently but you won’t find many other schools serving dishes like a Lambay Island venison burger with smoked creme fraiche and peppercorn aioli. [$]

100, 108 Thomas St, Dublin Southside, Dublin
D08 K521, Ireland

13. Variety Jones

78 Thomas St, Merchants Quay, Dublin, D08 F2RN, Ireland

Variety Jones consists of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it dining room on Thomas Street. There’s no name over the door, but the restaurant does boast a citywide reputation for wonderful family-style dishes like the tenderest venison loin and salt-roasted celeriac. Chef Keelan Higgs mans the kitchen at the restaurant, while his brother Aaron runs the front of house, and together they brought a Michelin star to Dublin’s south inner city. The kitchen cooks much of the menu over fire, partly out of necessity, since the Higgs opened the restaurant without a gas connection. [$$$]

78 Thomas St, Merchants Quay, Dublin
D08 F2RN, Ireland

14. Tiller + Grain

23 Frederick St S, Dublin, D02 KT21, Ireland

Clair Dowling, the brains behind this lovely cafe, worked in London with Yotam Ottolenghi and Skye Gyngell, and her experience shows in intricate salads and plates of cheerful food. It’s worth making time to sit down with the fresh, vegetable-focused dishes, as the rest of busy Dublin drops in for takeout. At every turn Dowling finds ways to make pristine ingredients even more delicious, amping up purple sprouting broccoli with miso almonds or serving comforting dal with orange-zested couscous. [$$]

23 Frederick St S, Dublin
D02 KT21, Ireland

15. The Pepper Pot Cafe

Powerscourt Town Centre, S William St, Dublin, Dublin City

The balcony of Pepper Pot Cafe overlooks the lovely interior courtyard of the Powerscourt Centre shopping mall, a view that can inspire an epic line on the weekend. But the wait is worth it for Dublin’s best bagels, nutty and elastic, fresh baked in-house each day, as well as other baked goods and dishes. The pear and bacon sandwich will convert you to that curious combo, the crumbly scones are held together with a large dollop of clotted cream and a teaspoon of house-made raspberry jam, and the Victoria sponge is the best in the city. [$]

Powerscourt Town Centre, S William St
Dublin, Dublin City

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16. Allta

101 Setanta Pl, Dublin 2, D02 W3Y7, Ireland

Chef Niall Davidson came home from cheffing in London to open this ambitious wine bar. He traveled the country to find delicious ingredients and trustworthy producers, allowing him to offer better food than most restaurants. From the moment you down a Cromane oyster with rhubarb vinegar or slather glossy miso-shiitake butter onto house sourdough, you’ll feel a sense of Irish homecoming. [$$]

101 Setanta Pl, Dublin 2
D02 W3Y7, Ireland

17. Chimac

76 Aungier St, Dublin 2, D02 XR70, Ireland

Gochujang is at the heart of this chic chicken restaurant, where great free-range chicken is given the Korean-fried treatment. The spicy funky paste anchors their Korean hot sauce, one of several dips for crispy fried chicken along with house-made lime mayonnaise and sriracha caramel. Expect a wait for a table at busy times but it will be worth it. [$$]

76 Aungier St, Dublin 2
D02 XR70, Ireland

18. Spitalfields

25 The Coombe, Merchants Quay, Dublin, D08 YV07, Ireland

There’s a real mix of upscale restaurant dishes and gastropub comfort foods on the menu at this old, City Centre pub. Husband and wife team Stephen McAllister and Andrea Hussey recently took over the bar, put in a new kitchen, and started turning out a list of instant classics, like the beef cheek and bone marrow Parker House roll, which consists of milky, buttery brioche segmented into triangles for dipping into bone marrow sauce. It’s food to warm the cockles of the heart. [$$]

25 The Coombe, Merchants Quay, Dublin
D08 YV07, Ireland

19. The Greenhouse

Joshua House, 21 Dawson St, Dublin 2, D02 TK33, Ireland

The room feels a little stuffy at The Greenhouse but the food of Finnish chef Mickael Viljanen is all wildness and adventure. Viljanen’s food is fueled by his Nordic roots, but he utilizes Irish ingredients, putting them into plates that sometimes feel like works of imagination. Things are not always as they seem, like celeriac roasted to make it look like aubergine, but they are always delicious. [$$$$]

Joshua House, 21 Dawson St, Dublin 2
D02 TK33, Ireland

20. Etto

18 Merrion Row, Dublin, Dublin City

It’s small and noisy (especially as the night lengthens and more wine is poured), but Etto has been crammed with happy eaters since it opened. The energetic Italian menu includes fiendish flavors like pig trotter carpaccio and mussels with nduja, fennel, and samphire. The wine-soaked prunes with a dollop of putty-thick mascarpone are a city favorite. Book in advance if you want to be sure of a table. [$$]

18 Merrion Row
Dublin, Dublin City

21. The Fumbally

Fumbally Ln, Dublin, Dublin City

The Fumbally opened in the teeth of the recession in a vacant shop. The owners furnished the space with junk shop finds and served nothing but falafel until they found their feet. The furniture is the same and diners still share the same old tables during busy times, but the food has expanded in delicious directions, with house ferments like cabbage and ginger kraut regularly spicing up seasonal dishes. There are few better starts to a day than a bowl of Fumbally porridge with ginger, tahini, and caramel. Sister venue Fumbally Stables next door hosts workshops, both on food and yoga (in a separate room upstairs), which are often followed by long-table brunches. Be sure to book a class ahead of time. [$]

Fumbally Ln
Dublin, Dublin City

22. Las Tapas de Lola

12 Wexford St, Dublin, Dublin City

Named after owner Vanessa Murphy’s mother, this restaurant is a love letter to all things Spanish and flavorful. Murphy and her Spanish partner Anna Cadrera make regular pilgrimages to Spain for inspiration and ingredients, and pack it all into a lively menu of small plates. Their pork cheek with red pepper sauce is a must-eat dish, and be sure to take staff recommendations on wine, sherry, and vermouth pairings. [$$]

12 Wexford St
Dublin, Dublin City

23. The Commons at MoLI

86 St Stephen's Green, Saint Kevin's, Dublin, Ireland

In 2019 the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) opened in the old Newman House of University College Dublin. The old university common room in the basement now houses this lovely, literature-themed restaurant, run by chef and food writer Domini Kemp and her sister Peaches. The food is vehemently Irish, and the Commons offers some of the city’s greatest examples of hearty dishes like free-range pork with buttery mashed potato and barbecued cabbage. [$$]

86 St Stephen's Green, Saint Kevin's
Dublin, Ireland

24. Meet Me in the Morning

50 Pleasants St, Dublin, Dublin City

It’s easy to miss this spartan breakfast and lunch spot off busy Camden street. It looks like a pared down coffee shop with nothing but a few baked goods. While the concise menu isn’t much longer than a tweet, it offers a range of stellar dishes heavy on vegetables, with dashes of meat for garnish. Everything is made from scratch, like the rice salad, the grains painted green with tangy sorrel, topped with petals of pickled golden and candy beets, dreamy ricotta, and crisp butter-fried sage leaves. [$]

50 Pleasants St
Dublin, Dublin City

25. Hang Dai

20 Camden Street, Dublin, Dublin City

School friends Will Dempsey and chef Karl Whelan added a clubby Chinese restaurant to Dublin’s roster with Hang Dai. The entrance appears like a takeaway joint, but the restaurant expands into a back room that looks like a mash-up between a disco and a subway train. The vibe is fun but the food is serious, especially the duck special (preorder it when you book). The duck, its skin glass-crisp, comes on a platter served four ways, including the severed head, from which you can taste a scoop of duck brain if you’re so minded.  [$$]

20 Camden Street
Dublin, Dublin City

26. Frank's

22 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin's, Dublin, Ireland

The retro sign out front of this former butcher still advertises Frank’s Pork Shop, but inside the vibe is much more modern. Diners share one long, high table, while chef Chris Maguire sends out delicious small plates from a small kitchen at the back. Seared scallops smothered in aerated ham hock sauce are a delight, as is the house gnocchi served with oyster mushrooms and a fudgy 63-degree egg, which slowly releases its yolk over the rest of the plate. [$$]

22 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin's
Dublin, Ireland

27. Dax Restaurant

23 Pembroke Street Upper, Dublin, Dublin City

Graham Neville is Dublin’s best chef without a Michelin star. In 2017, he teamed up with French owner Olivier Meisonnave of Dax, a basement restaurant named after Meisonnave’s home village in southwest France. The partnership transformed what was a reliable business lunch spot for those with flush expense accounts into something a lot more creative. Neville’s prawn-stuffed courgette flower is a true summer treat. [$$$]

23 Pembroke Street Upper
Dublin, Dublin City

28. Delahunt

39 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2, D02 K277, Ireland

The building housing this smart bistro-style restaurant is a time capsule of old Dublin. For decades it was a family-run off-license shop selling wine, beer, and spirits. The Delahunt team kept much of the old shop, including the gorgeous mahogany counter, which they raised to make a bar, but they didn’t rest on the laurels of the beautiful building. Real thought and effort goes into bistro-style dishes like hearty artichoke soup, roast pork with pear, or venison haunch with dark chocolate. There’s also a beautiful cocktail bar upstairs, accessed through a tiny door at the end of the bar.  [$$]

39 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2
D02 K277, Ireland

29. Pickle

43 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2, D02 N998, Ireland

Pickle looks like it’s been in Dublin for decades but it’s relatively new. For a long time most of the city’s curry houses had a McMadras feel, with staple westernized dishes that tasted the same wherever you went. Instead of that generic menu, chef Sunil Ghai cooks food the way he remembers from his childhood, putting curried goat meat on squares of brioche-style toast and nailing fish curry brilliantly. [$$]

43 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2
D02 N998, Ireland

30. Bibi's Cafe

14B Emorville Ave, Dublin, Dublin City

It’s hard to think of a better example of a neighborhood cafe than Bibi’s, nestled in the quiet redbrick residential streets of Portobello. Sisters Maisha and Petria Lenehan originally opened the cafe as a side business to a clothes shop. But then designer Petria moved to Brooklyn, and Maisha expanded the cafe into the shop space with her brother Geoff. Their soup is terrific, and they bake a delicious tart of goat cheese, onion marmalade, and red pepper. [$]

14B Emorville Ave
Dublin, Dublin City

31. Gaillot et Gray

59 Clanbrassil Street Lower, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8, D08 EV65, Ireland

The home of Dublin’s best pizza, this place is run by a Frenchman married to an Irish woman. He imports flour from France and tops wood-fired pizzas with French ingredients like Emmental cheese rather than mozzarella and merguez rather than Italian sausage. The sourdough bread and fluffy buttery brioche sell out as soon as they come out of the oven, requiring serious planning from anyone who wants to snag a loaf. [$]

59 Clanbrassil Street Lower, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8
D08 EV65, Ireland

32. Bastible

111 S Circular Rd, Dublin, Dublin City

Former Noma chef Cúán Greene helms the impressive restaurant from fellow chef Barry Fitzgerald. Bastible opened on a shoestring on a fairly unfashionable corner slightly out of town, but it has established itself as a groundbreaking restaurant. The furniture and decor are basic but the food is not. Greene cooks wild game, the freshest seafood, and foraged and farmed herbs. His vegetarian dishes are stellar, like silken baby leeks with lovage, wild garlic, and Coolea cheese. Green’s cooking is the best unstarred food in the city, but he won’t be at Bastible forever, so fans should enjoy his work while it lasts. [$$]

111 S Circular Rd
Dublin, Dublin City

33. Richmond

43 Richmond St S, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2, D02 X499, Ireland

This small, handsome restaurant was once one of the city’s best-known dives, a pitstop between town and the student apartments in Rathmines’s faded Victorian mansions. Back then it served fried breakfasts and wine from midnight until 6 a.m. In recent years, it was reinvented as a super smart neighborhood restaurant with good food (instead of fried soakage) keenly priced to lure people to the slightly out-of-the-way location. The Tuesday tasting menu easily competes with many more expensive restaurants. [$$]

43 Richmond St S, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2
D02 X499, Ireland

34. Forest & Marcy

126 Leeson Street Upper, Dublin 4, D04 WY62, Ireland
Courtesy of Forest & Marcy

Little sister of nearby restaurant Forest Avenue, Forest & Marcy is a small-plates wine bar where everything is casual apart from the cooking. Flaggy Shore oysters from Clare on the west coast are teamed with cucumber and leche de tigre, while Irish shiitake mushrooms go on toast with lardo and hollandaise. It’s a tiny place, but no one needs elbow room when the food’s this good. [$$]

126 Leeson Street Upper, Dublin 4
D04 WY62, Ireland

35. Locks

1 Windsor Terrace, Portobello, Portobello, Dublin City

Locks held the shortest lived Michelin star in Dublin dining history. It landed for a year before the French guide whipped it away again, nearly sinking the place. But after a change of hands, Locks is once again a beautiful restaurant with a clever young team in the kitchen cooking dishes like roasted salsify with black garlic and wild pheasant with parsnip. Dulse butter (made with red seaweed fronds) offers a power-packed spread for the great house-made bread. Enjoy a leisurely lunch away from the buzz of the City Centre while sitting on a genteel stretch of the Grand Canal. [$$$]

1 Windsor Terrace, Portobello
Portobello, Dublin City

36. Overends Kitchen at Airfield

Overend Ave, Dundrum, Dublin 14, D14 K4K0, Ireland

This special cafe comes from a dream team collab between a mixed farm and a talented chef. Beef, lamb, and pork are reared on the estate, a clutch of happy hens lay the eggs, and a small herd of Jersey cows supplies the milk for chef Luke Matthew’s dulce de leche. The Airfield garden and nearby organic growers provide just-picked organic salads too. Sunday lunch is a family favorite. [$$]

Overend Ave, Dundrum, Dublin 14
D14 K4K0, Ireland

37. Volpe Nera

22 Newtown Park, Newtownpark, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, A94 D780, Ireland

Barry Sun was the chef in City Centre wine bar Etto before moving to the suburbs to open his own restaurant. The name Volpe Nera is Italian for “black fox,” a play on the names of the two adjoining districts of Foxrock and Blackrock. Sun deftly combines big flavors and small touches in dishes like slow-cooked beef short rib with a slash of grated fresh horseradish and a buttery wedge of crisply fried polenta. [$$]

22 Newtown Park, Newtownpark, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
A94 D780, Ireland

38. Rasam

18-19 Glasthule Rd, Dun Laoghaire

Nisheeth Tak was one of the first restaurateurs to challenge the one-sauce-fits-all school of Indian cooking. He has been weaning Dublin diners onto more exciting Indian flavors for more than two decades, bringing in talented chefs from India and blending and roasting spice mixes in-house. His restaurant, Rasam, is upstairs from the Eagle House pub, but has a luxurious and welcoming atmosphere that’s all its own. [$$]

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