Hear this: good food all around in Dublin. Really really good and really easy to access.
Dublin is a smallish city with a population of just over 500,000 as opposed to London’s 8 million. Everything is very well contained and we walked to most of our meals.
I hate to think we have to maximize our meal opportunities on trips (it leads to a big letdown if we have a bad meal), but we totally did here. We did not have even a mediocre meal!
Note: everything was a great value. I was shocked sometimes at how much we got for the price. It certainly helped that the euro was tanking during our trip, but even that aside, the food was a better value in Dublin than back home in Oakland.
Breakfast and Brunch
I’d read about this a few places and our apartment was next door! No excuse not to go. It was very busy and I can see why: the food is excellent. I had the semolina pancakes with ricotta and berries (at the top of this post), while Mr. P had the beans and pulled pork.
It’s a little small inside. If you have more than two people, get there early. While you wait for a table, you can get coffee next door (see below). They also have a second location called Sister Sadie on Harrington Street.
Next door to Brother Hubbard and owned by the same folks is Little Brother. They have a few counter seats and serve the pastries, drinks, and other quick breakfast items from the restaurant.
We dropped in for some tea and pastries before our Jameson tour — it’s about a 10 minute walk from there to the Old Jameson Distillery.
Little Brother, 153 Capel Street, Dublin 1 | Click here for map
MEETING HOUSE SQUARE FARMER’S MARKET
Instead of sitting for brunch, we decided to check out the Meeting House Square Market and it did not disappoint. It’s a Saturday market and fit really nicely in our schedule!
The market is mostly prepared foods with a small bit of produce. Not that I’m complaining — it’s small but everything looked excellent!
I started with a hot chocolate which could have been a meal in and of itself. This is the way hot chocolate should be done: made from chocolate hand chopped on the spot and thick enough to double as a dipping sauce.
Mr. P had a sausage roll (not pictured) and I had a vegetarian Indian dish (or 2 dishes, she let me get half of each): paneer with a tomato based sauce and a chickpea and veggie curry. I had her go light on the rice since it was a ton of food. Even with Mr. P helping, I couldn’t finish it and took it back to the apartment to finish later. I think it was 6-ish euros for the whole thing — a bargain!
A big attraction at the market were the oysters. The oyster vendor had a long table set up for people to sit and enjoy oysters and wine.
THE PIE MAN CAFE
Picture this: just landed, need food. We walked across the river to Temple Bar and looked around. This cafe is located in tourist/bar central, but was very good and just what we needed.
It’s a cute quick eats place — they serve up the pies warm and hand them right over the counter. I had the steak & Guinness pie with mushy peas and Mr. P had the chicken & whiskey with mash. I think we spent just over €20 for two pies, sides, and two beers.
FALLON & BYRNE FOOD COUNTER
Fallon & Bryne is a food hall plus a restaurant. They have a prepared food counter inside the food hall and we popped in there for lunch on our second day. The food counter is kind of like the prepared food counters at Whole Foods.
The food hall wasn’t quite as big as others that I’m used to, but it was cute. I wouldn’t make a special trip to the food counter (unless you are going for dessert, which looked amazing), but it was worth it to stop in before we headed to Guinness.
I had a onion and goat cheese tart and Mr. P had sausages and mash. The tart was excellent!
More on Bruxelles over in the drinking post, but Mr. P and I split an order of fish and chips there. Two thumbs up on the whole plate, the mushy peas were done really well. If you’re considering some classic pub food, go here!
L. MULLIGAN GROCER
I made a reservation here for our first night in town. The gastropub menu totally spoke to us — beer pairings for everything, including dessert!
Dinner was good and dessert was excellent. I had the mussels and Mr. P had the burger — he loved the house-made chili ketchup (and the man usually hates ketchup).
The real reason the menu spoke to us was because there was a cheese plate for 1 for dessert. I love sweets for dessert, he loves cheese. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a cheese plate for 1! He was smitten. He also got the recommended whiskey pairing. We were both pleased as punch and at that point, I thought this is going to be an awesome weekend. Fun how a dish will do that to you.
We had a 7pm reservation and the place was not full yet. It started picking up around 8 and had a nice buzz.
We walked by this place after finishing at Guinness — such a gorgeous interior. I didn’t get a picture of the massive flower arrangement in the window and am bummed about it.
The Larder is a restaurant and a brewhouse (I know, sign us up!). Mr. P imbibed in the excellent house beers. Our favorite dish was actually the starter: jambalaya balls with gravy.
The Larder has two dinner seatings, one around 5-6pm and a second one at 8:15. We were able to get a reservation for the 8:15pm seating when we popped in there at 6. When we ate, the restaurant was full and abuzz, so I recommend booking if you can.
The host gave us the excellent recommendation for the Porterhouse, which is just on the next block and a great place for pre-dinner drinks!
THE PORT HOUSE PINXTO
Tapas and Spanish food are big in Dublin. I wasn’t planning on trying them, but after a couple of days of solid heavy food, tapas sounded perfect.
Port House Pinxto is another place with a beautiful interior. But, it’s dark inside which doesn’t lend itself to food photography.
I can’t remember everything we ordered but it was excellent. What I do remember was that we ordered five tapas dishes plus split a bottle of cava and the bill was less than €80. I’d expect to pay well over $100 at home for as much food as we got.
FADE STREET SOCIAL
This was on my radar before we left and I made a reservation for our last night. It’s a huge space with a restaurant, a bar, a tapas bar, and more. The bar was buzzing but there was plenty of room in the restaurant when we were there.
We shared the beef braise for two: it was amazing and everything a good beef stew should be. It has a light parsnip puree on top, which is why it looks white in the picture.
On the side we split fries drizzled with truffled goat cheese and some peas and carrots to balance it out. Both were just as excellent as the stew!
Dessert & Snack
MURPHY’S ICE CREAM
We went here after our tapas dinner and I’m so happy we had time for it. Murphy’s is a small artisinal maker and uses fresh local ingredients. You won’t see these flavors elsewhere!
I had the sea salt and the chocolate chip. Mr. P had the caramelized brown bread. Amazing.
Sheridan’s is very close to Grafton Street – a great place to stop and get a snack! Mr. P wanted to get some cheddar to snack on and keep back at the apartment. It’s a cute little shop with excellent service. I think we were in, sampled cheese, and had our cheese wrapped to go within 10 minutes.
Let’s review: tons of excellent food, many walking distance from the center of town, and great values. Go to Dublin!
Mr. P and I traveled to Dublin for a long weekend in March. Learn how to plan a trip to Europe for the weekend (even coming all the way from California) here.