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10 Classic Dublin Restaurants That Are Still Killing It

We spend a lot of time reporting on the 'new' (the first three letters of 'news') and there's no doubting that you guys love a new opening, but we're often asked about restaurants that have been open a long time that are still kicking ass. The honest answer is there aren't many old-timers that get us excited to get up, get out and spend our money, and with the standard of food in Dublin shooting higher each year, much of the old guard have struggled to keep up. Some however seem to be constantly reinventing, innovating and pushing harder than ever, making them feel just as relevant as any hype-inducing new opening, and it's these places that we'll be giving our money to time and time again. For this feature we stuck to restaurants over 10 years old, but we could (and will) give you another list of recessionary restaurants which are as good as they've ever been, around the 5-8 year-old mark.




Chapter One


Chapter One feels like the Grandaddy of classic restaurants, the one who shows everyone else how to do it. It's hard to believe it's been sitting on Parnell Square since 1992, because nothing about it feels old-fashioned or dated - if anything the team here seem to be at the top of their game. The clientele are extremely varied in age and profile, but what everyone has in common is they come here for a proper treat. The laid back, friendly staff seem to be remarked upon by everyone who walks through the door, the food is poised but fun, using much of the island's best ingredients, and they're proof that Michelin-stars don't have to mean stuffiness.




Dax


Soothing, Irish/French restaurant Dax on Pembroke Street feels like descending the stairs into a cave somewhere in the Loire Valley. It feels old-school in the nicest possible way, with staff and owner Olivier doing everything possible to make diners feels relaxed and taken care of. Dax has been there since 2005, managing to stay open through the recession when boozy lunches were more frowned upon than Graham Linehan's recent Twitter antics, but current head chef Graham Neville only came on board in 2017. Last year he was named "best chef in Ireland 2019" at the RAI Awards, with Dax named "best restaurant in Dublin", showing that the cream always rises to the top.




Peploe's


Peploe's on St. Stephen's Green has never struggled to attract customers, but the clientele have generally been of an older, monied demographic, or the lunching-ladies-sipping-prosecco type. Last year they had something of a reinvention when chef Graeme Dodrill took over the kitchen, turning the focus strongly onto Irish producers and introducing a trolley for carving chateaubriand, côte de boeuf and legs of lamb. A flutter of critics followed, each more impressed than the last, and it's harder than ever to get a table at peak times. 




One Pico


One Pico has always sat somewhat in the shadow of sibling The Greenhouse, which achieved the incredible accolade of two Michelin stars at last October's awards, but lately they seem intent on stepping up the game and getting noticed more, and it's working. Recently several critics have bemoaned the fact that it doesn't have a star of its own, and the hasselback potatoes must be the best (if not the only) ones in the city.




Monty's of Kathmandu