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Where To Eat Between Christmas And New Year's

Well ladies and gents, the big day is almost here and it's come around in lightning speed. What we always think will be a nice, relaxed run into Christmas has once again become one of the most hectic times of the year. For us, like many, it’s only in the days after Christmas that we really get to put our feet up. This is especially true for all of the lovely people working in our bars and restaurants who are run off their feet right up until Christmas Eve, so the days in between Christmas Day and New Years are a time when we don't begrudge them shutting up shop and having some well-deserved time off. Which is great sure, but where are they (and we) supposed to go if everywhere is closed?!

We're asked this question every year (incessantly) so if you're only getting around to meeting up with your pals on the 28th, or if you’ve been avoiding social contact before spending Christmas Day with family, we've found some places taking one for the team and keeping their doors wide open …. at least until 8pm. Sigh...

Mamó, Howth

Starting off strong with one of our favourite restaurants for any occasion, Mamó is open from December 27th – 31st and would be a great way to round off festivities. Their food is primarily sourced locally in North Dublin and the cooking is some of the most exciting around. We've visited a few times and haven’t come across a dish we didn’t like, but a must order is their signature cod chip. Read our once over here.

One Pico, Dublin 2

We’re big believers in the age-old Irish proverb, ‘sure f*ck it, it’s Christmas’, and like to live by this until at least January 10th. If you’re like us and want to keep the festive gluttony going, One Pico is the place for you. While it’s always been a ‘special occasion’ spot, when we visited recently we thought the food was the best it's ever been. It's the perfect place for a long, languid lunch in the city, and to keep the party spirit going when they reopen on the 28th.

Nightmarket, Ranelagh

By now you’ll likely have had a couple of Christmas dinners and countless leftover sandwiches, so you’ll be wanting a bit of a change – enter Nightmarket in Ranelagh. The food in this vibrant, Thai restaurant is consistently great – always fresh, always spicy, and never boring, and they're re-opening on December 29th and running into the New Year.

Pichet, Dublin 2

What better way to reward yourself after a day trawling the Christmas sales than heading into Pichet for lunch or an early dinner. It's been a mainstay of Dublin dining for years but it got a new lease of life in 2020 with the arrival of Harry Quinn as head chef. With a number of Irish institutions under his belt including Chapter One and Clanbrassil House, as well as multiple impressive kitchens in London, he's revamped the menu and we’re impressed. They're re-opening on December 28th after a very short break, so on the off chance you don’t spend all your pocket money in the shops, make a beeline here.

Coppinger Row, Dublin 2

Another place to wet your whistle after some retail therapy is Coppinger Row, and this may be the last time you get to walk through these doors (sob). They announced their closure as the building they lease is being redeveloped (tenner bets on another soul-less hotel), so they'll be closing their doors for the last time on New Years Eve. Pop in for a meal and to say your goodbyes to this lovely spot from the 28th - 31st.

Pala Pizza, Foxrock

We recently visited outdoor pop-up Pala Pizza in Foxrock village and were delighted by the Roman style pizza. The base is crispy, but not too crispy, and every topping was delicious – and yes, we did try them all, you can too as they’re served by the slice. They don’t take bookings but we didn't have an issue getting a table, and since our last visit they've also added blankets and heaters to keep you nice and toasty. They’re back open from the 27th through to the 31st.

Spitalfields, Dublin 8

Nothing says "antidote to Christmas" like bao buns with roasted bone marrow and pickles, or Iberico pork secreto schnitzel with peas and smoked garlic potatoes. Both can be found at Spitalfields in The Coombe with bookings from 15:00 - 18:30, along with their famous cock-a-leekie pie, if you haven't had enough poultry yet.

Dudley's Pub, Dublin 8

Relatively new opening Dudley's in the Liberties is a welcome addition to the area. They have a small bar bites menu for the moment, mainly consisting of croquettes (no complaints here), but are adding larger plates as they go. These guys are barely taking their foot off the gas as they’re back open on Stephen’s Day so pop in here to support the new arrival.

The Pig's Ear, Dublin 2

Can't take another mouthful of turkey and ham? Escape to The Pig's Ear on Nassau Street for Parker House rolls with whipped St. Tola; slow-cooked lamb shepherd's pie, and a strawberry & 'Birds' custard sandwich for dessert.

La Maison, Dublin 2

If you can nab a heated table outside French restaurant La Maison, you'll have one of the most coveted people watching perches in Dublin. Relax with a glass of wine and some Coquilles Saint-Jacques and watch the world go by again from the 28th.

The Wine Cellar @ Fallon & Byrne

The cosy wine cellar hidden beneath Fallon & Byrne’s food hall on Exchequer Street serves up a menu of charcuterie boards and Mediterranean small plates alongside heartier pizzas and pasta, so you can pop in for a quick bite with a glass of wine or make a full meal of it. Pro tip: they have €1 corkage on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays which you can take advantage of when they re-open on Tuesday 28th.

Big Fan, Dublin 2

If you’ve followed us for any period of time you’ll know how much we love Big Fan, we even held two ATF Insiders events here earlier this year. We’re clearly not the only ones as the Michelin Guide endorsed them in the last week, announcing them as one of the latest additions to their guide, and they're back serving their sharing plates from December 29th. See our once over for a full run down on what to order.

Chimac, Dublin 2

We have been big fans of Chimac since they opened in 2019 and the love has never really wavered. There were a lot of takeaway orders over the lockdowns (sidenote: it travels very well) and we’ll take any chance we can get to get our hands on their signature KimCheese chicken burger. This is fast food at its best – excellent ingredients and all made in-house so you know you’re getting the freshest of the fresh. They’re back open on December 28th for you to quench your Korean fried chicken cravings.

And A Couple Of Options To Ring In The New Year

Circa in Terenure are not letting an 8pm curfew get them down. They're pushing ahead with their New Year's Eve event with The Boatyard Distillery, and a six-course tasting menu with an optional cocktail pairing. Dishes include trout with coriander, olive and grapefruit, and turbot with hen of the woods and cavolo nero. There's now only one sitting at 18:00, and spaces are available in the restaurant or in the heated garden area. See the menu here, and book by emailing or phoning them on 01 5342644.

And firm favourite Note are holding a grower Champagne tasting on New Year's Day from 16:00 - 20:00. Tickets are €40 and include a French 75 cocktail and three champagnes, and they'll have a specialised snack menu paired on the day. They'll also have more champagnes by the glass and bottle. Get tickets here.


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