An explanation for our dining guide, Eat Sheet, can be found here. This week we bring you to Dublin, the capital of Ireland, which long ago pushed aside the island’s misguided reputation for bland food.
Make It Quick
Fish and chips (thick-cut french fries) are an Irish classic, and Dublin is full of ‘chippers’ or chip shops that entice locals with their aroma of fried fish and vinegar. Seek out an elevated version of the classic at Fish Shop, a relaxed spot in the Smithfield neighborhood. Here, the upgrade includes the opportunity to eat locally caught, lightly beer-battered fish alongside a cold glass of white wine.
Hold the Meat
If “will travel for sublime hummus” describes you, make the trip to Shouk, a vegetable-forward restaurant in Drumcondra, on Dublin’s northside. It will be hard to resist the Middle East Feast, a tasting menu of the restaurant’s popular dishes, or you can design your own vegetarian feast with dishes like a whole chargrilled smoked aubergine (eggplant) with tahini and pomegranate seeds or a whole cabbage baked in a wood fire oven with chopped Medjool dates and walnuts.
See and Be Seen
The fifth floor of a parking lot in the city center may seem like an unusual location for a see-and-be-seen restaurant, but that unexpected quality is part of what gives Allta its edge. This rooftop restaurant offers two set menus at different price points: a feasting menu and a tasting menu. The cooking, much over an open fire, is just as stimulating as the atmosphere in this candlelit space. After dinner, check out the next door art gallery, g.l.o.v.e.b.o.x, that also serves cocktails.
If It Ain’t Broke
Since opening in 2013, Etto has wooed critics, locals, and visitors alike. This intimate restaurant and wine bar, located right on Merrion Row in the heart of Dublin, is a fine place to watch the city walk by. The food is unfussy but refined; try the hake and chorizo croquettes or the mussels with nduja and don’t miss the legendary dessert of red wine prunes and vanilla mascarpone.
When it must be a burger, and nothing else but a burger will do, turn to Dash, a burger joint with two locations in Dublin. Known for smash burgers and fries, this is the spot for those crispy edges and melted American cheese that can cure just about any hangover. Try the Double Smash Chipotle Cheeseburger, a smoky and spicy burger on a toasted potato bun alongside not-too-skinny fries.
Start Me Up
If carbs are your reason to get out of bed in the morning, no trip to Dublin would be complete without a visit to Scéal Bakery. Browse the bakery’s Instagram feed beforehand to narrow down menu options; the Gubbeen Ham and cheese croissant spotlights superior Irish ingredients while the Demerara sugar Kouign Amann will satisfy any sweet tooth. Focaccia slices and loaves of bread (from country sourdough to sesame and miso sourdough) are available as well.
You Gotta Know Somebody
The website for Liath, a restaurant in the seaside village of Blackrock, lists a date and time when the next batch of reservations will be released. This fine-dining restaurant, with two Michelin stars, is in high demand for its seasonal menus including dishes like chili-glazed suckling pig rib. There’s also a cancellation list for those who hope to get lucky and snag a last-minute seat.
Under the Radar
Locals line up for the sourdough bread baked at the Forest Avenue Deli and Wine Bar, which had a strict one-loaf-limit per customer during the height of the pandemic. The out-of-town crowd can get in on the pleasure with a reservation at the wine bar, where affordable glasses of wine are served alongside fresh oysters and sourdough with salted butter. Dishes are designed to share, and you’ll be surrounded by mostly local accents while tucking into trout rillette and aged coppa.
When you need to stretch the dollar (or euro), nothing fills the belly quite as affordably as noodles. If you’re looking to spend 10 euros in Dublin, check out the hand-pulled noodles at Lee’s Charming Noodles on Parnell Street. Follow the lead of locals and add a dash of homemade chili oil to your bowl.
One for the Feed
When a plate arrives at Bastible, a modern restaurant in the Portobello neighborhood, the natural reaction is to pause and take it all in. You don’t need good photography skills to capture the sculptural and colorful plating at this modern-but-satisfying restaurant, serving a set menu complete with petit fours. And trust us: you want the supplement - a plate of Irish farmhouse cheeses completes the experience.
On the Street
Some visitors travel to Dublin without ever realizing that the Irish capital is on the sea. One of the city’s true culinary pleasures is eating outdoors with an ocean view, and El Milagro, a taco truck in Malahide Marina, provides just that. Opened by a family from Mexico City, El Milagro has fast earned a reputation for juicy beef brisket tacos and Mexican soft drinks. Hop the DART train to Malahide, north of Dublin city center, and feast on tacos in the salty sea air.