In a post-lockdown world, we're all trying to carve out the time to meet the friends we've missed over the past 19 months. Saturday night cocktails, Sunday brunch and mid-week early birds are all great, but there's nothing like a Monday evening to start the week as you mean to go on. Unfortunately, thanks to issues currently hitting the hospitality industry, many of our Monday go-tos aren't currently operating early on in the week, but here are 17 options that will help you eek a little more out of your weekend.
1) Big Fan
Big Fan Bao on Aungier St. is open 7 days a week and is the perfect spot for Monday night cocktails, bao, duck wings, jellyfish salad, corn ribs, and those cheeseburger dumplings. Pro-tip: over-order and bring leftovers home for a very happy Tuesday.
2) Full Moon Thai
We loved Full Moon Thai when we visited, and figure that the Pla Kapong Luy Suan (deep fried whole sea bass with a herb salad and a serious amount of spice) is probably best eaten as early in the week as possible to give your tongue a chance to recover before the weekend. If you're not feeling quite so brave, the menu is extensive and properly Thai with no allowances for an Irish audience, so it's a great choice if you're with a small, adventurous group.
3) Sano Pizza
Sano Pizza operates out of two locations - Ranelagh and Exchequer Street - and both open on Monday nights. Apart from the obvious benefits (i.e. getting to eat pizza), it's a great call if the Monday you're eating out on happens to be the Monday before payday, as there is some seriously good value to be had here with a 12" margherita and a glass of house wine coming it at under €14. Impressively Italian.
4) The Chophouse
If you're looking for something a little more substantial to kick off your week, The Chophouse on Shelbourne Road is a gastropub with a focus on quality Irish ingredients. The main draw here is the steak, but lots of seafood and classics are on offer alongside an extensive wine list and an even longer list of Irish suppliers.
5) Drury Buildings
In a word where you can be anything, why not be the person who spends Monday nights sipping cocktails and eating oysters, gambas, and arancini on a D2 terrace? If you're not organised enough to book a table, Drury Buildings usually has space for walks-in too.
Ukiyo is the ideal Monday spot. The restaurant has a great all day small plates menu (lobster sliders, anyone?) and the bar is buzzy and fun. Sadly (or not, depending on the kind of person you are), their karaoke booths are currently out of action but we're told it's likely they'll be back in time for Christmas, and are getting a bit of a facelift.
With a vegetarian menu and lots for vegans, Glas on Chatham Street is open 7 nights a week and offers an early bird from 16.30 - 18.00 each day with two courses for €28. Start the week as you mean to go on - with veggies and wine.
Homemade pasta, wines on tap, a sustainable ethos, seriously pocket-friendly, and open seven days a week in both the Camden Street and Rathmines locations; is there anything Sprezzatura doesn't do? Well, coffee, but that's a whole different conversation. Try to book a table, but walks-in are often accommodated when space allows.
9) Happy Endings
99% of diets start on a Monday, and if you're on a fried-chicken-and-poutine-fries-with-a-bucket-of-cocktails diet, you're in luck because Happy Endings on Aston Quay is open on Mondays.
10) Fallon & Byrne's Wine Cellar
Fallon & Byrne's wine cellar has just reopened with the usual cheese, charcuterie and small plates, but now with added pizza and pasta. Their €1 corkage offer on all wines is also back. See you there.
Pi's Neapolitan style pizzas are available seven days a week and they usually have space for walk ins. Try the 'Nduja' with crushed tomato, basil, scamorza, nduja, honey, parmesan and garlic, or the 'Salsiccia', with crushed tomato, basil, piquillo peppers, pickled chillies, Gubbeen chorizo, Toons Bridge Fior di latte and parmesan.
12) Fish Shop, Benburb Street
Fish Shop's Benburb location is an easy spot for a seafood dinner and a glass of wine. The menu is short, simple and changes frequently, but the fish and chips and fish burger are always on. Interesting, natural wine list with one of the city's best selection of sherries, and as of this week Monday night wine club is back, meaning a limited number of bottles at stupidly good prices.
If you’re looking for a more lively night out, 777 always comes with a buzz. The 2 margaritas for €16 on Mondays can be dangerous, but there are plenty of tacos, tostadas and tortilla chips to soak them up.
14) M & L Chinese
One of the few places in Dublin to get Sichuan food, the dumplings and fried green beans with chilli at M&L have been the start of many new habits forming over the years. Corkage is €5 but go easy on the chilli oil if you're taking something nice.
Piglet’s supper menu is easy going, with pasta, fish and côte de boeuf for the very hungry. It's a cosy spot for a plate of food and some great wine, and if you find yourself in Temple Bar surrounded by camera bearing tourists and “The Auld Triangle” ringing in your ears, it's a good place to run for cover. Expect to find yourself surrounded by hospitality folk early in the week when their own restaurants are closed.
French style bistro Pichet has been a staple in Dublin for years. It’s always reliable for a good meal with a buzzy atmosphere, and new head chef Harry Quinn (formerly at Clanbrassil House) has introduced new dishes like onion soubise with a soft egg, poached organic chicken, grilled maitake mushrooms and a chicken skin crumb.
17) Ka Shing
Ka Shing is a great city spot for dim sum that's open seven days a week, so there's no restriction on your ability to get 15 different types of dumplings, barbecue pork buns and fried turnip cake. The wine's not up to much so perfect if you're trying to stay off the booze after a heavy weekend.