Welcome to the point in the Irish summer where the conversation has drifted from the current state of the weather to how the summer is running away like a bold child, thus cutting the actual summer in half. If you’re trying to ignore the summer haters, eating seafood in the sun is a good way to hang on to the warm weather, because we’re back to potatoes in around a month.
Little Mike's and Michael's
Owner Gaz Smith has set his restaurants Michael's and Little Mike's out from the rest by making a point of sourcing a lot of his seafood straight from the boats, an unusual (and successful) tactic for a city restaurant. Also this is one of those places where everything is cooked in floods of butter but in the best way possible and you’ll never want to leave.
Octopussy's Seafood Tapas
We all need a spot on Howth pier for seafood tapas for when you’ve gotten too hot because you’re Irish and feel the need to fling yourself at the sun whenever the opportunity arises and you eventually need to find shelter inside because you’ve now turned yourself into a lobster. You'll feel at home at Octopussy's. Get the seafood platter for one or two and cool off with some white wine.
Klaw and The Seafood Café
Niall Sabongi’s Dublin fish empire has become a mainstay in Dublin. Between Klaw and the Seafood Café, you’ll find a casual setting that will make you feel like you’re living the carefree summer life you intended. Crab on toast and skewered prawns are some of our go-tos, but they have regularly changing specials.
Lobstar in Monkstown provides a very suitable and soothing space to ease you back into the warmth of autumnal cooking in the form of meaty Irish lobster and steaks - because it will probably be raining outside. We love them for their commitment to Irish Lobster year round. During a stormy period last year when they were no lobsters coming in from the Irish sea they were explicit in telling guests that they'd had to buy in Canadian, while some other restaurants around town claimed they were still serving Irish.
Cliff Townhouse & Urchin
A more sophisticated place to dine on seafood because you’re not always straight from the beach with sand clinging to every item of clothing you have. You also have two options for whether to go to the Townhouse for a blowout (might we suggest the seafood platter) or else go downstairs to Urchin for some small plates and cocktails.
Fish Shop Benburb & Queen Street
The place you go in town for a casual dinner that turns into you being over excited by the wine list and blowing your midweek budget on booze and fish. Both sites are just as good as each other so it’s up to you if you want bougie fish and chips in Benburb or a table d’hote menu down the street in Queen Street. If you're around on a Monday don't miss Benburb's Monday Wine Club, with quite frankly ridiculous prices on wines by the glass - but beware, they sometimes only open one bottle so get there early to avoid devastation.
Sole seems to have done a turnaround after a few, if not many, bad reviews that mainly focused on their lack of provenance when it came to seafood and their sky high prices. They seem to have listened and their menu now boasts sourcing from the coasts, with a much bigger focus on Irish seafood.
If we can get over eating fish as an ‘island nation’, we can get over eating raw fish, especially if it’s incorporated into a poke bowl with a load of healthy toppings to make you feel even more virtuous. Shaka Poke are in Blackrock Market and St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, as well as several markets around the city.
Did we miss your favourite seafood spot? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.