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Where To Bring Visitors For Irish Food In Dublin

You’ve got friends or family coming to Dublin and you want to show them what the city has to offer, or you’ve been asked to give bushy-tailed tourists some recommendations on what should be on their hit list. Here at All The Food, we know how critical food can be to a city break (it dictates all of our city breaks), and Dublin has its fair share of tourist traps, shilling barely passable stews and coddle, so it's no wonder that one of our most asked questions is "where can I bring a visitor for Irish food?"



As a nation we're still more well known for our imbibements than culinary prowess, but there's no question that's changing, and we feel it’s our patriotic duty to show visitors just how incredible the food in Dublin is. Consider this list as your go-to guide next time you want to show that Dublin is a whole lot more than fish & chips, full Irish breakfasts and spice bags (no disrespect to any of these fine dishes).


Breakfast


Bread 41, Pearse Street


Whether you’re planning to stock up on pastries and bread for a breakfast picnic in your hotel room, or you’ve managed to snag a table Bread 41 has now reached iconic status in Dublin for anyone looking for the highest quality baked goods available (like these seasonal Semla beauties). The brunch menu is top notch too – we're big fans of the kimchi fritters - and you’re super close to Pearse Street dart station and Trinity College if a visit to The Long Room is on the list.



Blas, Kings Inn Street


This gorgeous, high ceiling-ed cafe is located on the ground floor of the arts space The Chocolate Factory (which was an old sweet factory). Blas is a great spot for stopping in for a leisurely breakfast or brunch, and they've also got a pantry section and shop where you can pick up Irish food products, as well as a small Irish design shop concession which is perfect for picking up some solid souvenirs.



Daddy’s, Rialto


A lovely ray of sunshine in Rialto, Daddy’s has been championing local Irish produce since they opened, and the menu is a who's who of Irish food producers. Get your ‘big breakfast’ here for the full Irish experience with a free range and organic twist, alongside Turkish eggs, ‘croissandwiches’ and awesome granola. Pop across the road to The Cupcake Bloke afterwards for some traditional Irish brack and giant mikado biscuits, or non-traditional pasteis de nata.



Two Pups, Dublin 8


This lovely spot on Francis Street has been a Dublin go-to for breakfasts, brunches and lunches since it opened in 2016. Incredible coffee and the highest quality food, including top-tier sweet treats, has made Two Pups a must for city visitors. It’s a mere skip and a jump from the city's main thoroughfare, and close to lots of famous landmarks like St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Christchurch.



The Pepper Pot Café, Powerscourt Town Centre


Bacon, pear and Hegarty’s cheddar on pillowy white bread makes up one of Dublin's most famous sandwiches, and if you don't follow it with a slab of Victoria sponge you're not doing it right. The Pepper Pot Café is situated right in the centre of town in the Powerscourt Townhouse, perched on a balcony overlooking bougie boutiques and galleries below. You might also get lucky and be treated to a live pianist tinkling away on the grand piano in the atrium.



ALMA, Portobello


This family-run, Argentinian café should be top of on your list if you’re rambling around the Victorian redbricks of the leafy suburb of Portobello. ALMA has got your breakfast and brunch needs taken care of, with a Latin American twist, including chimichurri steak, choripan and dulce de leche pancakes. Delicioso.



Slice, Stoneybatter


A morning in Stoneybatter is a morning well spent in our books, and we love nabbing the window seat in Slice, perusing the weekend brunch menu of hash brownies with crumbled maple bacon, and buttermilk pancakes with lemon and vanilla ricotta. It's a great stop en route to Arbour Hill Cemetery or Dublin Zoo.



Two Boys Brew, Phibsborough


Another Dublin brunch staple is Two Boys Brew, for great coffee, hotcakes with vanilla and maple roast plums, chili eggs, and all the sweet treats to fight over. There’s usually a queue, but leave your name and pop into the Phibsborough Public Library to while away the waiting time in this gorgeous art deco and Georgian style building. You’re also not far from the Botanic Gardens and Blessington Street Basin, a drinking water reservoir from 1810 until the 1970s, that became a public park in 1994 and is known as Dublin’s secret garden. Shhhh… don’t tell anyone....



Lunch


Loose Canon, Drury Street


There are few better fuss-free lunchtime options than sipping on natural wine and eating our body weight in Irish cheese in the guise of a toastie in Loose Canon. Situated on Drury Street, right beside George’s Street Arcade, it's a fantastic pitstop for hungry city-trippers, and great for people watching too.




Grogan’s, Dublin 2


No trip to Dublin is complete without at least one pit-stop for a pint of the black stuff, and Grogan are famous for pairing it with the an old-fashioned ham and cheese toastie (don’t forget the mustard). Sit outside, or grab a cosy corner inside and enjoy the various works of art adorning every inch of wall space.



Assassination Custard, Dublin 8


This incredibly unique and teeny tiny café serves some of the most exciting food in Dublin. A ‘sort of Italian’, with strongly Mediterranean small plates, the hand-written menu at Assassination Custard changes daily and is based on seasonal produce and the tastiest recipes known to man. Be sure to order everything off the paper bag menu. You can ask Ken and Gwen, the couple who run this magical operation, to tell your visitors the story of the restaurant’s name – which involves James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw and an unfortunate stabbing incident.



Fallon & Byrne, Dublin 2


Upmarket food hall Fallon & Byrne is a stone’s throw from Grafton Street and a great refueling station for city wanderers – there’s a deli counter with sandwiches and wraps, and the cheese counter is always generous with its tester slices. The wine cellar also has a strong selection of charcuterie, pastas and pizzas if you’re looking for a more substantial (and boozy) lunch.



Tiller + Grain, North Frederick Street


Down the road from the National Gallery of Ireland, and across from Trinity College tucked down a side street is the wonderful Tiller + Grain. Run by an ex-Ottolenghi chef, you know the salads are going to be mega, and the sandwiches are on point too – all popping with flavour and made with seasonal Irish produce.



The Commons at MoLI, Stephens Green


There’s nothing we like better than a good museum or gallery café, and The Commons at MoLI nails it. Located in the basement of the Museum of Literature Ireland, this cafe serves all day brekkies, salads and soups – and we love the external courtyard terrace which feels like an urban oasis. You’d never think you were in the centre of town, right beside Stephen’s Green and the Iveagh Gardens.



The Place, Grand Canal Dock


If you’re around the Grand Canal area, The Place 'Proper Street Food' is, well, the place to be. This little enclave of street food trucks is an ideal spot to sample the diversity of what makes the Dublin food scene so great, with Dosa Dosa and Pastiamo Trucktorria (voted Best Food Truck by the Irish Times in 2022) among your options. Sampling a little bit of everything is the best way to do it.



Bang Bang, Phibsborough


This Phibsborough spot is as much a social movement as a café, run by a sister and brother who are constantly campaigning for causes they believe in. Bang Bang - named after a famous local Dublin character - serves Silverskin coffee and sandwiches with Arun bakery bread, and is a great place to hang out with locals, amongst good music and extremely good vibes.



Dinner


Etto, Merrion Row


This part-Italian, part-Irish restaurant with a stellar wine list is always on our list of top picks for dinner in Dublin. With a relatively limited capacity for seating, it can be hard to nab a table at weekends especially, but it's oh so worth a bit of planning. The cosy, bistro space is the perfect place to unwind after a hectic day of sightseeing and there isn't one thing we wouldn't order on the menu. The Etto signature of red wine prunes with vanilla mascarpone dessert has reached cult status at this stage – and deservedly so.



Franks, Camden Street


The natural wine bar (a sibling to Delahunt) is a one-man kitchen, serving seasonal small plates on a single long table running the length of the room. Frank's is definitely a great spot for a deep-dive into natural wine, while snacking on delicious local produce and rubbing elbows (literally) with locals.



Uno Mas, Aungier Street


Spanish sister to the aforementioned Etto, Uno Mas serves all of the Iberian classics like padron peppers and tortilla but with a refined and superbly executed flair. Choose from their nibbles ‘para picar’ to start, and as with its sister, the signature dessert here (flan de queso) is legendary. The only downside (like Etto) is that you have to order three courses including a main, so it's not one for a light bite or tapas style eating.



The Pig’s Ear, Nassau Street


Overlooking Trinity College’s playing grounds, this is a great location for groups with multiple private dining options, and well situated for a post museum afternoon meal - the National Museum, National Library and Dead Zoo are all close by. The Pig’s Ear’s menu caters for all, with an Irish slant (including one of the only lamb shepherd's pies worth eating in Dublin), and has great nostalgic desserts on offer.



Note, Fenian Street


One of the buzziest newcomers to hit the Dublin food scene, Note delivers on the hype. The wine bar/bistro serves great quality food with a Mediterranean feel, and recently introduced a two course set lunch for Saturdays and a four course offer for Sunday, as well as creating more space for walk-ins and those looking for a quick drink and some specialised snacks at the bar.



Spitalfields, Dublin 8


Sister to The Pig’s Ear, Spitalfields pub and restaurant situated in the historic Liberties serves upmarket yet classic feeling restaurant cooking in a cosy upscale pub setting. Grab a booth or a counter spot on the ground floor and get a front row view of the kitchen in action, and don't miss the beef cheek & ox tail parker house roll with bone marrow gravy.



Old Spot, Bath Avenue


This cosy gastropub is the perfect place to tuck into a great Sunday roast. The Old Spot in Beggar’s Bush also comes Michelin recommended and its cocktail and wine lists are worth making a dent in too.