Ah Valentine’s Day. The romance, the Tesco flowers, the discount chocolates on the 15th that follow like a walk of shame the morning after... We're just gonna put it out there, Valentine’s Day is a really substandard day to go out with a loved one. Literally every other existing couple will be out, clogging up public spaces with over the top displays of affection and couple selfies on the Ha’Penny Bridge.
If you insist on going out on the 14th, here are some places that aren’t the quintessential date spots - more places to go to avoid every other gag-inducing couple in Dublin, whether you're with your significant other, sparking the flames of a bromance or substituting the traditional day with Galentine's. Or just do yourselves a favour and go out on the 15th.
Fish Shop on Benburb Street
Sit at the bar in Fish Shop for a more romanticized version of fish and chips with a side of very delicious wine. The bar seats in Benburb Street mean that it won’t be as easy to stare into your loved one’s eyes all night, and let you focus on the person who really deserves your attention, the one pouring you wine.
If you want to avoid the masses and are actually planning a V-date earlier in the day, go here (it's lunch only). And if you haven’t been before, prepare to scold yourself for not coming any sooner. Eating at this corner café off Kevin Street feels like you’re in on a secret and the food is top notch. It’s BYOB, cash only and won't bleed your bank account dry. Sharing one of two tables is the norm, so it's guaranteed that goopy hand holding will be kept to a minimum.
The dim sum spot on Aungier Street is way too cool for public displays of affection, and for €20 a head you get the full dim sum tasting menu, so perfect if you want to take someone out but don't want to forgo eating for the rest of the month. The fluffy bao buns are reason to go alone.
Okay, the hipster arcade bar in Smithfield might be cramped with couples hogging the two-player Mario Kart, but this is a good place for a platonic friend date where you won't have to worry about how bad you are at Tetris. You can also avail of their Cheapskate deal, which includes a main, a side, a drink and 10 tokens for €20.95, without the fear of being judged.