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Sample the Best of What the Irish Sea Has to Offer in Our Seafood Restaurants



One of the greatest benefits of being a city by the sea is the access to fresh produce for the city's vibrant and exciting seafood restaurants. Many of these restaurants are situated in close proximity to where they get their produce and are well worth making the pilgrimage to in order to sample some of their delicacies. That doesn't mean to say that the city centre's restaurants fall short in any way, with places like La Maison Des Gourmets, The Oyster Bar and Darwin's offering exciting and tasty options that are just as fresh. 

The range of produce on offer is particularly broad and you'll be sure to find somewhere that provides whatever you're hankering for from lobster to oysters to crab to crayfish to John Dory to sole to hake. Travel to Howth for Spanish seafood tapas or enjoy the classic French twist on whole grilled black sole in Les Frères Jacques at brilliant, affordable prices. Take the commuter rail out towards Dalkey or Dún Laoghaire to sample Ouzo's crab and lobster menu or Caviston's scallops and crab claws. Meanwhile restaurants like Darwin's and FX Buckley's combine their excellent meat range with seafood to create the best surf and turf possible. The one thing that you can be absolutely sure of is that you are receiving the best that the sea and the city have to offer.


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Les Fréres Jacques


This classically decorated French restaurant is a shrine to fish and seafood. Located next to the Olympia Theatre this is a perfect location to enjoy a pre-theatre menu with a distinctive French twist. Donegal rock oysters and turbot and monkfish sit alongside their special of whole grilled black sole meuniêre. Despite being repeatedly billed as excellent cuisine this restaurant is no stranger to some excellent deals and their mid-week menu is great value while on Mondays and Tuesdays you can enjoy 50% off their wine list, something which is sure to enhance your meal and wallet.


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Southside coastal areas


You can't get better attention to detail than the name and fishing spot of the supplier but Ouzo's in Dalkey does just that. All their crab, shrimp and lobster is supplied by Ivan Toole, skipper of the MFV Lynn Catherine and is caught locally between Sandycove and Arklow Town. Situated in the quaint little town of Dalkey, about a half an hour from the city centre, this restaurant has a dedicated 'crab and lobster' feast menu with a wide range of appetizers and mains that come with your choice of sauces and sides. If you're dining with people less inclined towards seafood never fear, there is a large meat and poultry selection that boasts a similarly high standard.




La Maison des Gourmets is run by Breton Olivier Quenet and took the leap from French caf� and boulangerie to full time restaurant in 2009. Located centrally in Castle Market - a two-minute walk from Grafton Street � its interior is lined with artwork and photographs sourced from the Paris at Puces market to give it an authentic edge. Dishes like Clogherhead crab cannelloni, pan-fried sea bream and the seafood platter including periwinkles in their shells make this restaurant special. Go for the half lobster served with herb butter to really feel like you're a cut above the rest.


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Southside coastal areas


Caviston's is located right by the source of its produce in Glasthule and its menus are influenced by exactly what is coming out of the sea that day. After 50 years in the seafood business the restaurant opened its doors in 1996 and has been at the top of the seafood game ever since. You can get almost every seafood delicacy possible from fresh John Dory or scallops to Dingle crab claws and oysters. Both the restaurant and the food emporium are dedicated to fresh, different and delectable produce and any seafood lover should definitely give this place a visit.




It's no secret that Argentinian steaks are considered some of the best on the globe but the Buenos Aires Grill seeks to recreate that South American style taste in Ireland's capital. With a mixture of top class steaks and mouth-watering seafood this restaurant gives a new twist to the common surf and turf fare. Where meat is concerned, challenge you and your dining partner to the Parrilladas Buenos Aires, comprised of steak, black pudding, beef asado, beef sausage, grilled chicken and Portobello mushrooms. Fish lovers can plump for a tempura of monkfish or shellfish rigatoni to satisfy a mariner's appetite.




The Saddle Room is one of the The Shelbourne Hotel's historic dining rooms and the emphasis is certainly on class and opulence. The Saddle Room combines high quality beef with fresh seafood and it's renowned oyster bar. Relax in one of the classy, secluded booths or sit at the glitzy bar and enjoy some of Dublin's finest seafood. For extravagance befitting your surroundings opt for the Chateubriand beef fillet for two or seafood platter with lobster, mussels, crab meat and shrimp. You'll be sure to leave this restaurant entirely sated.


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Northside coastal areas


The name leaves something to be desired, but the food on offer does not. This restaurant is the perfect place to indulge in the seafood fare that is the main focus of Howth. The style is Mediterranean and the produce is sourced from the fishmonger's next door daily. The menu offers both medium and large sized tapas options so you can be sure to choose something to suit your appetite and the range is extensive from crayfish to whitebait to sardines to mussels and some stellar early bird options as well. This is a nice alternative to the usual format of seafood restaurants and is a favourite amongst the locals.




If you're looking for a serious steak and delicious seafood then there's only one place to head to. Shanahan's occupies a 250-year-old townhouse overlooking Dublin's central park. Founded by an American but using Ireland's best beef and seafood, Shanahan's exudes old-world glamour and sumptuous surroundings that blend Irish and American influences, best seen in the downstairs bar 'The Oval Office'. Shanahan's has been a stalwart of both the best restaurant guides and the national paper's review sections. The steaks are big and regularly touted as the best you can find in Dublin so if it's a hearty, high-end feast you're after then look no further.




Darwins names itself after Charles Darwin and his 'origin of the species'. In doing so, this family run restaurant seeks to source local produce and benefits from an in-house butcher that specializes in all Irish meats including Angus, game, poultry and dry-aged beef. The real jewels of this restaurant though are its age-old combination of beef and seafood. An extensive steak list is combined with a sumptuous seafood mixed grill and Mediterranean Bouillabaisse that is bound to make your mouth water. With a central location and some choice recipes offered on the website, what's not to like?




Aqua is blessed not only with the quality of their produce, but also about the stunning surroundings in which they serve it up. Overlooking the Portmarnock and Malahide coastlines in Howth, this restaurant offers as much lobster as you can manage with a range of different sizes and cooking styles to choose from. Chargrilled swordfish, whole sea-bass and Howth Dover sole on the bone mean that this seafood restaurant means business and you'll be hard pressed to find a more impressive place to delight in both the high standard of the food and the scenery that surrounds you.


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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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