Whether you’d like to try elevated gastropubs, Instagram-worthy cafes or Michelin starred restaurants, Dublin has plenty to offer the discerning foodie visiting the Emerald Isle. Here are the top 15 restaurants in Dublin right now (though there is no shame in grabbing some fish and chips for a more casual meal):
Best for Small Bites: Fade Street Social Gastro Bar
Dylan McGrath hosts Ireland’s MasterChef, making him the country's most popular celebrity chef. In 2013, he opened Fade Street Social, which serves Irish-style tapas and main courses in a sleek and modern lounge. The mood is simultaneously upbeat and calm, perfect for celebrations and parties.
Fade Street’s ratings and celebrity chef helped put the gastropub on the map, but it’s the fresh Irish ingredients and commitment to local produce that delivers the taste and experience that has made it the best place to indulge in small bites with big flavors.
Try the Irish steak, which melts in your mouth, or scallops served in the shell. End the night with an upscale take on the classic banoffi pie made with crème fraiche, banana sorbet, and digestive crisps.
Best for Gourmet Dining: Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
Receiving both hometown and international praise, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud has been recognized as the epicenter of fine dining in Ireland. The restaurant’s self-proclaimed goal is to provide an “impeccable dining experience” and their menu and ambiance do not disappoint, serving up great service and food.
This is Ireland's only restaurant with two Michelin stars and each dish is a masterpiece. Start with the Castletownbere King scallops or the blue lobster ravioli coconut-scented lobster cream, and follow it up with the local Wicklow lamb glazed in coriander mojo with shitake, cauliflower, and peal lamb jus. While the restaurant offers beautiful desserts, the Irish farmhouse cheeses is a lovely way to end the meal.
Best for Old School Charm: Fire Restaurant
In 1715, the Mansion House in Dublin became the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. While the building remains in the care of the state, in 2005, the original supper room was converted into FIRE Restaurant at the Mansion House. In fact, the Lord Mayor still lives in the Mansion House and often comes to dine in the “Supper Room,” which today is one of Dublin’s most modern and upbeat fine dining establishments.
Though the restaurant building is over 300 years old, the food is definitely 21st century Ireland, mixing local ingredients with international flavor. Try their Moroccan spiced Slaney Valley Irish lamb skewers or the sesame crumbed monkfish scampi. Finish off the night with a passionfruit bavarois with a basil pastry cream.
Best for Vegetarian: Vegenity
Vegenity is the brainchild of Australian chef Mark Senn who worked at Mildred’s of Soho in London before moving to the Irish capital. The chef himself has been a vegetarian for over 20 years and was tired of bland veggie options. His plant-based street food is so packed with flavor that you don’t have to be vegetarian to enjoy.
The food truck-style restaurant can be found parked inside a warehouse in Portobello, serving constantly changing dishes international veggie dishes like bibimbap with chilli soy, shimeji mushrooms, pickled broccoli, braised black beans, steamed rice.
The informal but incredibly tasty setting is only open for brunch and dinner Thursday to Sunday, so be sure to plan it into your Dublin dining schedule. It is also BYOB so you are welcome to bring your own beer and wine to enjoy with your vegan dinner.
Best for Breakfast: Póg
Specializing in low-calorie treats with zero refined carb or sugar, Póg is still as indulgent as it is healthy. With freshly squeezed juices, vegan waffles with coconut cream, and poached eggs served with polenta, charred kale, and spicy Italian nduja sausage, the Instagrammable café is the ideal Dublin breakfast spot. The fact that everything is good for you is simply the sugar-free icing on the carob cake. The coffee topped with latte art should be your morning go-to, but there are also raspberry Bellinis on the brunch menu if you are feeling a bit cheeky.
Best for Families: The Woollen Mills
Set overlooking the Ha’Penny Bridge, there aren’t many Dublin restaurants with a better location than The Woollen Mills. This Irish institution serves local food, including a seven-course seafood menu. The grown-up flavors and pretty design will please parents, but the restaurant is also completely kid-friendly. Pull up a high chair, look over the kid’s menu, and enjoy a meal on any one of the restaurant’s four floors – even up on the rooftop terrace if the little ones can handle it!
Best for Irish Angus Steaks: Shanahan's
Shanahan’s On the Green is an American Steakhouse that serves certified Irish Angus Steaks. Owner John Shanahan is the Bostonian responsible for the classic 1990s program “Hooked on Phonics,” but he’s always associated himself with his Irish heritage, retaining dual citizenship in both countries. Likewise, the restaurant intertwines Irish-American memorabilia and traditions, including the “Oval Office” bar which has documents and mementos from each of the American Presidents of Irish heritage.
Anthony Dunne is the restaurant’s meat specialist and the man responsible for verifying the quality of all steaks. The restaurant guarantees that all aged beef originates from specially selected cattle. The meat is the star here, but the side dishes stand up to any steakhouse on either side of the Atlantic, with creamed spinach and potato mash served in gleaming copper pots and mountains of their signature onion rings.
Best for Sushi: Taste at Rustic
In addition to serving unforgettable tapas at Fade Street Social, celebrity chef Dylan McGrath has gone ahead and opened one of the best sushi restaurants in Dublin. Technically, Taste at Rustic serves a much more complete Japanese menu with everything from Wagyu beef hot pot to dark miso soup with truffle shimeji mushroom and pumpkin tofu. All of the offerings (which are prepared right in the dining room) are delicious, but it is the Nigiri which uses mainly local seafood that is truly unmissable. You are going to want more than one of the torched sea bass with smoked bacon and truffle - especially after climbing all the stairs to the attic space where this ultra-cool eatery is located about McGrath’s Rustic Stone restaurant.
Best for a Date Night: The Green Hen
With a cozy atmosphere and a bistro-feel, The Green Hen is one of the best date night restaurants in Dublin. Decorated with vintage French cinema posters and photos, the restaurant has a gorgeous bar that makes you feel like you just stepped off of Exchequer Street and straight into a Parisian dream. There is a fully restored wooden bar – which serves delectable cocktails as well as one of the best offerings of wine-by-the-glass in Dublin. For a true night of French romance, start with the goat cheese salad and move onto the mouthwatering duck breast. If you want to keep the bill low, stop in between 5-7 pm for the three-course Early Bird special which rings in at just over €20.
Best for Seafood: Matt the Thresher
Surrounded on all sides by the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland has access to some of the best seafood in the world. For a local seafood experience in the heart of Dublin look no further than Matt the Thresher, a modern fish restaurant near Fitzwilliam Square.
The long wooden bar is the place to be for to enjoy a half dozen lough oysters or a Dublin Bay prawn cocktail. As you walk in, stop to admire the huge display of live lobsters and crabs and fresh fish because there may be a catch of the day that is too tempting to pass up. The fish arrives simply but expertly cooked, allowing the seafood to speak for itself.
The atmosphere here is welcoming and never too buttoned up so you may end up sticking around for drinks, but save room for a nightcap at O’Donoghue’s – one of the best pubs in Dublin and it's just around the corner.
Best for Artistic Fine Dining: Chapter One
Ideal for small groups, Chapter One’s pre-theatre menu offers a simple way to indulge in high-end dining before setting off for Ireland’s famed theatre district. Made up of several detailed and themed private dining rooms, Chapter One’s interior exudes a rustic elegance while its menu is full of modern flair.
The special menu offers Michelin-rated dining at an extraordinary price: for 40 Euros, diners choose three impeccable courses. Although the menu changes seasonally, standouts include its take on duck with blood orange and foie gras and dry aged and roasted Irish beef. Diners rave about the Irish coffee made in front of the guests, by heating sugar and coffee on a small burner and then setting off a miniature conflagration once the waiter adds the whiskey. If you try Chapter One’s Irish coffee, you’ll be spoiled for life.
Best for Irish Stew: Hatch & Sons Irish Kitchen
With rolling green countryside and cold Atlantic waters at its disposal, Ireland has some amazing fresh ingredients. A focus on Irish foods is exactly what you will find at Hatch & Sons, in the basement level of the Little Museum of Dublin. The cozy café right off of St. Stephen’s Green has a small menu of the classics – including an excellent Irish beef and Guinness stew. For something fast, don’t miss the ham and cheese sandwich with Wicklow cheddar served on a soft blaa – a bread roll that comes from Waterford.
Best for Pizza: Da Mimmo
This family-run Italian restaurant quickly became a staple on the Dublin food scene after opening in the capital in 2010. The focus on fresh ingredients, hearty Italian fare, and new flavor combinations make it one of the best stops for pizza in Dublin. You can get your pie to take away, or settle in for a taste of the wood-fired pizza that has a just-right crunchy crust. Don’t miss their Mojito Pizza, with leeks, buffalo mozzarella, prawns sautéed in a rum and brown sugar marinade, cherry tomatoes and bright mint and lemon zest to top it all off.
Best Crowd Pleaser: Fallon & Byrne
Part food market, part wine bar, and part restaurant, Fallon & Byrne is one all around unforgettable food experience. The unique eatery is spread across three floors of a historic telephone company building not far from Dublin Castle. Start on the bottom level wine bar to work your way through some of the 600 affordable bottles and dine on free-range Irish chicken atop a bed of paprika risotto. The main grocer level is perfect for shopping for foodie souvenirs and picking up a sandwich made with farm-fresh ingredients. Or better yet, book a table at the top floor restaurant for hearty healthy fare that focuses on seasonal ingredients. You’ll find creative pasta, dangerously good burgers made with local beef, and thoughtfully prepared vegetable dishes to please everyone in your group.
Best for French-inspired Fusion: Pichet
Headed by chef Stephen Gibson, Pichet provides a uniquely French experience in the middle of Dublin. The interior is quaint, giving off a busy Parisian vibe, while the menu focuses exclusively on Irish-grown ingredients.
Start your evening with your choice of wine from their exquisitely sourced collection and pair it with the roast carrot served with quinoa, pickled apple, mint, and smoked yogurt. For the main course, try their exquisite roast potato gnocchi made with roast cauliflower, caper golden raisin, and smoked gubbeen farmhouse cheese.