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Some Of The Best Restaurants In The Heart Of Dublin City



Dublin’s city centre is constantly awash with new dining options and eateries pop across the city every week. If we focus on Dublin’s city centre though - in the case of this list spanning from Trinity College and taking in the Dame district, Temple Bar and the Quays on both sides of The Liffey  - there are some great restaurants that range from high-end Michelin star, to mid-range and inventive, to budget eating with a difference. Whether you’re looking for an 8-course tasting menu or an entire chicken fried in buttermilk there’ll be a dining style that will match your travel plans.


Get a gorgeous view of the Liffey at The Winding Stair, a bookshop and restaurant that showcases great Irish ingredients. Get Michelin star treatment at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, or the next best thing with tasting menus at The Greenhouse or The Pig’s Ear. For modern Italian cuisine head to San Lorenzo’s on George’s Street, modern Mexican next door at 777 or around the corner to Coppinger Row for delicious Mediterranean fare. For fish and chips with an upmarket feel take a seat in Bite and for next-level fried chicken it’s got to be Crackbird. That just leaves the steak lovers...and for them we have Fire.


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The ethos of Bite caf� is that of 'Uptown Food, Downtown Vibe' and it's basically recreating your average fish and chip shop into a more upmarket fish experience with some interesting reinventions along the way. Gone is the greasy batter in a brown bag, replaced with hake in a vodka and beer batter accompanied with mushy peas and pancetta fries. The usual pre-theatre menu has been replaced with a 'Pre-Gig Menu', seeking to resonate with the modern diner. Tables can be reserved or made at the door and there's an extensive wine and cocktail list along with the promise that requests can be catered for provided the ingredients are behind the bar. It's a fun concept and a modern feel that's definitely worth experiencing.




Located in the opulent surroundings of Dublin's Mansion House on Dawson Street, Fire has been built in what was originally the Lord Mayor's supper room and is now a magnificent space with stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings. The food is all locally sourced and cooked to a high standard with a good mix of meat, vegetarian options and seafood - the jumbo prawn starter is the house speciality. There is also a special steak menu with a variety of cuts of ages, marinated beef that are sure to make a meat-lover's mouth water. Tie this in with melt in the mouth desserts and you'll leave happy.




CrackBird, one of restaurant entrepreneur Joe Macken's litany of trendy Dublin eateries has been rehoused several times, now taking pride of place in an old Chinese restaurant on Dame Street. Macken has pretty much single-handedly brought fried chicken back in fashion, but it's the quality of CrackBird that really makes it a cut above the rest. You can opt for a full or half chicken in either buttermilk batter or soy and garlic. The sides are all reasonably priced and you can wash it down with a large jam jar full of lime and ginger spritz or homemade lemonade without breaking the bank.


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If you caught a glimpse of 777 from the outside, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there's not much going on. There are no wide windows peering into the action but don't be disheartened, when you take a step inside you'll see what all the fuss is about. The seats are packed and the walls are stacked with aged tequilas. You might have to wait to get a seat – they only take bookings on arrival- but when you sit down to a chorizo taquito and a delicious cocktail you'll be more than happy you waited. This is one of Dublin's most exciting new ventures and has taken our Mexican food scene to the next level. Try one of their premium tequilas and marvel at how you'd never sipped it from a glass before.




San Lorenzo's in one of the city's premiere Italian spots that isn't relying on the homely, rustic style that is the usual hallmark of Italian restaurants. The aim is modern cuisine that fuses classic Italian ingredients with a New York style of cooking. The interior is dark with light wooden benches in booths. You can just about peek into the action of the kitchen while sitting but when you take a trip to the unisex bathrooms you can find yourself transfixed with an eagle eye view of the culinary action. The cooking uses great ingredients to create upmarket versions of some classics like chicken cacciatore, bruschetta and pannacotta. Local producers supply the high-quality meat and fish and the wine list is also excellent. A different and more interesting take on your usual Italian.


Coppinger Row is mid-range mediterranean cuisine at its best, featuring exciting takes on the usual mains you would expect of a similar establishment. Menu highlights include Foie Gras terrine with spiced apple and brioche, salt marsh duck breast with fondant potato, spinach and roast pear or spiced lamb flatbread with red onion and rosemary. This Mediterranean style of eating is fresh and seasonal and promises to have you stuffed. Wash it all down with some of the fantastic cocktails on offer or one of the gin and tonics from their own dedicated menu while sitting out on the terrace and you'll feel as though you're in the South of France in no time.




The Greenhouse is heralding a new wave of fine dining in Dublin having opened its doors just a year ago. under the management of massively successful chef/restaurateur Eamonn O'Reilly. The goal of this place is to offer you a 'memorable dining experience' and the lavish menus and settings help to create a lasting impression. Both the tasting menus and the set menus also offer good value considering the level of expertise that accompanies these dishes. Head Chef Mickael Viljanen once brought those from far and wide down to his previous restaurant in the West of Ireland so benefit from the opportunity to enjoy his skill in the capital.




The Pig's Ear is a combination of two restaurants. On the first floor you'll find the consistently good fare that put it on the best restaurants list, but upstairs is a different ballgame entirely. On the third floor is the Chef's Counter, an exercise in excellence and offers both a large sharing table with 8 seats or 6 seats at the counter with a view of the kitchen. This is world influenced modern cuisine with an array of spectacular small dishes that make up the tasting menu. Expect smoked salmon roe, mead jelly, truffle butter and oat bread - albeit not in the same dish. Head chef Stephen McAllister has great attention to detail and this is a wonderful way to experience it.




Patrick Guilbaud's certainly has the credentials of a top Irish restaurant, sporting our country's only two star Michelin kitchen. If opulence and fine dining to the extreme is your bag then make sure to sample this mix of contemporary Irish, French and classical roots. Guilbaud's has been at the centre of Irish fine dining for thirty years and is somewhat of an institution. Expect the level of quality to be matched by the prices but you won't be disappointed, this is certainly a quintessential Dublin dining experience. With courses like lobster ravioli, lacquered Challans duck and French and farmhouse Irish cheese you'll be stuffed with the best money can buy and no doubt keen to repeat the experience.


The Winding Stair


This quaint bookseller is a great place to browse for literary treasures before heading upstairs to the lovely restaurant on the top floor. So named because of its twisting staircase that brings you up to stunning views of the Liffey, The Winding Stair's menu concentrates on Irish produce with an emphasis on fish and seafood - expect menu items like Wicklow crab claws, potted Dingle crab and Roaring Bay mussels with steamed cockles and brown shrimp mayo. If you can get a table by the window and take in the sunset over the Liffey while sampling these delights you'll be doing well.


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Meet Emily Carson

Emily grew up in Dublin, and studied French and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. During her university years, she lived in both Scotland and France, but traveled around Europe...  More About Emily

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