Dublin restaurants have long been overshadowed by the city's thriving nightlife scene. Millions of tourists descend on the Republic of Ireland's capital each year—and the trend is set to continue, thanks to a sweep of fabulous new hotels in Dublin catering to every type of traveler alongside lots of exciting things to do. Many arrive in search of the perfectly-pulled pint of Guinness, and visits to Temple Bar are, more often than not, obligatory. However, those in search of a tastebud-tickling weekend break are being increasingly rewarded by the new flavors on offer here—contemporary Indian restaurants, fragrant tapas places, and Neapolitan havens now sit alongside the ever-popular Dublin pubs. To help you plan your trip, we pulled our favorite Dublin restaurants across the city right now to grab an indulgent bite to eat.
Spain informs the overriding theme of the food at this perennial favorite set in a long narrow building on Aungier Street. The menu at Uno Mas kicks off with small tapas-inspired plates like jamón croquetas, padrón peppers, and squid à la plancha before moving on to more substantial starters with a wider influence like scallop aguachile or beef tartare. Mains follow the same cue—the salt-aged Delmonico steak for two accompanied by bearnaise, beef dripping potatoes, and Bordelaise sauce is a favorite. To top everything off, there's an extensive list of lesser-known Spanish and Portuguese wines and sherries.
The Park Café
Well-known to London diners with Corrigan’s Mayfair, Bentley’s, and Daffodil Mulligan, Irish-born Richard Corrigan recently opened The Park Café in the city’s chi-chi Ballsbridge neighborhood. Seafood is a menu highlight, including several varieties of oyster and the signature Bentley’s fish pie, as well as inventions like the La Jammet kebab—a homage to one of Dublin’s legendary and much-lamented, long-gone restaurants. Many of the raw materials come from the gardens of Corrigan’s rambling Virginia Park Estate in County Cavan. There is also The Park Bar on the first floor for a pre-dinner Negroni, which also stays open late if you are not quite ready to call it a night.
Eoin Cluskey, the owner of Bread 41, is something of a pin-up for the artisan bread movement in Ireland. He's evangelical about natural sourdough breadmaking, having gathered his expertise at both Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork and stints abroad in places like Tartine in San Francisco. The freshly baked aromas hit you as soon as you walk into the ground floor bakery and café, where you can choose from its delectable display of sweets and savories made onsite to sit and enjoy with a coffee. Book a table at The Eatery above the café, open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with an all-day brunch menu.
Howth, a charming fishing village and well-heeled residential suburb on the north side of Dublin Bay, is known for the seafood restaurants that line its small working harbor. Mamó, an affectionate term for grandmother in Gaelic, is one of them. The food here is their take on contemporary Irish fare—even the cod chip from the nibbles section of the menu is a clever culinary nod to the restaurant’s location. Work up an appetite on the panoramic trail around Howth Head before lunch or look out over the twinkling lights of the harbor at night from the first-floor dining room. There’s also Margadh Café & Wine Bar, a more informal cafe-cum-wine bar and shop, a few doors down.
Tucked on a street off the Grand Canal, Forest Avenue is firmly established as one of the go-to Dublin restaurants for fine dining with an effortlessly relaxed vibe. Named after the street where one of its owners grew up in Queens, New York, chef John Wyer’s approach is to use simple ingredients from Ireland’s best producers. The lunch and dinner tasting menus feature everything from a turnip velouté to sika deer with parsnip memorably enhanced by just enough chef-y artistry—and there’s an expertly chosen wine list. Keen jetsetters will also like to know the restaurant’s vaguely Nordic interior was used in scenes of the smash hit BBC series Normal People.
Inspired by the likes of the standard-bearing Roberta’s in Brooklyn and obsessive research into technique and ingredients, no-reservations PI Pizza is serving some of the best examples in the city. The dough adheres to the strict Neapolitan principles cooked in the obligatory wood-fired oven, and the eight pizzas on offer include vegan and vegetarian options. Irish ingredients give the pizzas an appropriate local twist with swap outs like Toons Bridge buffalo mozzarella and gubbeen salami from two artisan producers in County Cork, as well as Achill Island sea salt. Best of all, the family is expanding—get yourself to the new restaurant at 23 Essex Street East (across from Temple Bar) as soon as possible.
Rialto is a little out of the orbit of the usual Dublin visitor, but it’s close enough to walk from the city center. After all, a visit to the much-loved local hangout Daddy’s Café is reason enough for the detour. Set in a converted pub, it serves flavorsome breakfasts—think superior Irish fry-ups using the best ingredients available plus sandwiches, soups, and salads for lunch. If you're having decision anxiety, the daily tart special is always a good bet. Doors close at 3 p.m., and at night the venue morphs into the equally hip Coke Lane Pizza Restaurant and Bar.
Chef Mickael Vilkjanen has been the talent behind the stoves of Chapter One since 2021, injecting new culinary creativity that has earned two Michelin stars. Vilkjanen, a long-time resident of Ireland, combines his Nordic sensibilities (he was born in Sweden and grew up in Finland) with sublime haute skills and decadent ingredients like foie gras, hand-dived scallops, and inventive renderings of Irish produce like a Mossfield Gouda steamed soufflé with macadamia, truffle, and Vin Jaune. The three-course lunch is a more affordable way to experience one of Ireland’s most exciting dining rooms—just be sure to make space for the dedicated Irish coffee trolley.
The ramen revolution has been a little slow to arrive in Dublin, but there's an ever-increasing count of places to satisfy your craving. Nomo Ramen is a small space just off Dublin’s unofficial bar and restaurant row, Camden Street. Nomo imports its main ingredient from the same supplier as David Chang’s U.S.-based Momofuku chain, and there are eight types of ramen on offer: six chicken-based broth noodles, one pork, and two vegan options. There is also an izakaya-style lineup of starters like fried chicken, gyoza, and a chicken katsu with rice. The accompanying list of beers, natural wines, and soft drinks are all great to wash it all down.
Cavistons, which includes the fishmongers and food store next door, is something of a fixture of the seaside suburb of Glasthule on the south side of the city. Plus, it just had a bougie new revamp. Irish seafood plays a starring role on the menu—there are oysters, house seafood chowder, pan-tossed crab claws from the coastal waters of County Clare, poached fish, and surf and turf in the form of sirloin, crevettes, and bearnaise sauce. Try and grab a table on the first floor, where you are also treated to panoramic views of the sea across Dublin Bay.
You won’t regret the trip out to the hidden gem of Volpe Nera, which is worth the effort despite being tucked in one of south Dublin’s well-heeled neighborhoods. The menu favors Italy, but chef Barry Sun’s Chinese heritage also shines through. Dishes and ingredients change with the seasons, but must-eats include the cep dumplings in a delicate Asian-style broth and sage and spelt gnocchi, which is rarely off the menu due to their popularity with the restaurant’s many regulars.
It might be a slightly unlikely spot for a two-star Michelin restaurant, but Australian-born chef-owner Damien Grey continues to wow diners at Liath, a tiny Dublin restaurant hidden in a covered market off Blackrock’s main street. Tasting menus are an explosion of unexpected flavor combinations, all delivered with hyper-seasonal ingredients—some appearing on the menu for just a few days.
For one of Dublin’s more elevated fish and chip experiences, perch at one of the stools along the bar or wall of the diminutive Fish Shop in Smithfield. With a handful of small plates to start—oysters, smoked haddock croquettes, or a single gilda—the main event is a selection of sustainably sourced species from Irish coastal waters. Options span hake, haddock, brill, and plaice, which can be served without the crisp beer batter, and hand-cut chunky chips. Accompany it with a glass of something from the highly selective wine list of sherries, regular and skin contact vintages, and Champagnes from a range of new and old-world producers.
When it opened its first outlet on Dublin’s buzzy Wexford Street in 2013, word quickly got around and Bunsen immediately shot to the top of the list for Dublin’s best burgers. Now with seven outlets dotted around the city and suburbs as well as outposts in Cork and Belfast, this micro-chain’s popularity and quality remain undimmed. The formula is deceptively simple: hamburgers and cheeseburgers delivered in the form of perfectly sized prime beef patties, baked buns, and all the usual toppings. Plus, there are three types of fries to choose from when only a burger will fill that hunger gap.
Book well in advance for a table at Pickle, one of the city’s standout restaurants that marries the cuisine of Northern India and locally sourced Irish ingredients. Culinary talent obviously runs in this Punjabi-born family—head chef Sunil Ghai’s brother, Rohit Ghai, was the original chef at Mayfair’s Michelin-starred Gymkhana and now runs Chelsea restaurant Kutir. Sunil Ghai is dedicated to sourcing the best spices from India and experiments with lots of different techniques like pickling and fermentation. The most popular menu items include the Goat Keema Pao, made with Irish goat meat and the Dal Bukhara Plate; an addictive Punjabi black lentil specialty; and the order-in-advance, slow-braised leg of lamb.
A version of this article originally appeared in Condé Nast Traveller.