We may not manage to get more than two days' heat at a time, but believe it or not the summer is almost upon us, and you'll be wanting to plan ahead to avoid the mad scramble for outdoor space once it comes. We've scoured the city for the best outdoor dining options you can book in for now, plus a few walk-in only options to chance your arm in.
Library Street, Setanta Place
"Everything is made to be shared" says the sign over Library Street's door, and that goes for the sunshine too. They've set up a scattering of outdoor tables for wine and small plates that's sure to be a very hot seat of a summer evening. Book online.
Note, Fenian Street
One of the best new additions to the city's outdoor dining scene of recent years, Note's terrace out front is a heavenly spot for wine, small plates and a bit of a buzz on a scorching day. You can book online for a table inside or walk-in for a weather dependent outside one.
Tang, Cumberland Place
Just across the way from Note, sustainable and climate-conscious café Tang has a super suntrap of a garden area that's one of our favourite city spots for a quick coffee and food to makes you feel good. They’re open from 08:00 weekdays and from 10:00 on Saturday for brunch – walk-ins only.
F.X. Buckley, Pembroke Street
F.X. Buckley are making the most of their Pembroke Street premises with not one but two outdoor areas, including a gorgeous two-storey section that opens out onto the front. It's conveniently close to Merrion Square Park and Stephen's Green, for the walk you'll be needing after this feed. We recommend calling 016764606 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to nab the good seats.
Loose Canon, South William Street
Loose Canon is perfectly sited to lap up the best of the midday sunshine and take in the buzz of Dublin on a summer’s day, so it’s no surprise their walk-in only outdoor tables are always in hot demand. They’re worth waiting for, with a glass in hand of course.
Davy Byrne's, Duke Street
The Ulysses destination pub's linen-laid tables on the terrace are always popular with Grafton Street shoppers when the sun is shining. Book online here to beat the crowd and get your fill of gorgonzola sandwiches and bottles of Burgundy.
Big Fan, Aungier Street
Big Fan's outdoor dining area on Aungier Street has stayed popular all year, with the heated patio full throughout the winter, but there's no doubt it's at its best when the sun shines. Get in for a feast of bao, jiaozi and lots of other outrageously delicious plates by booking here.
Órale, Dame Street
The city's best new Mexican spot inside Pawn Shop on Dame Street, Órale have added a few tables to the laneway outside. When the sun lines up just right it's hard to beat a taco with a cool beer in hand. Walk-ins only.
The Seafood Café, Temple Bar
It won't be long now until lobster rolls are back on the menu at Niall Sabongi's Temple Bar institution, and the little sheltered seating area outside The Seafood Café is the ideal place to tuck in while watching the world go by. If that wasn't excuse enough, oyster happy hour is from 16:00 - 17:00 daily, with naked oysters €2 and dressed or torched €3. Book here.
As One, City Quay
The Commons at MoLI, Stephen’s Green
Opening out into the Iveagh Gardens, the open area to the rear of the Museum of Literature now plays host to The Commons’ garden terrace, a beautifully secluded spot to enjoy their all-day breakfast menu and range of toasties. They’re walk-in only, and what a walk.
Hang Dai, Camden Street
The covered, heated terrace of Hang Dai's rooftop 'Gold Bar' offers a great view out over the Camden Street action, as well as a buzzy area to enjoy some of their unique cocktails and tasty Chinese dishes. Book online here, and if you're out of luck there's also a limited amount of ground-floor outside seating available for walk-ins only.
Osteria Lucio, Grand Canal Quay
With a small number of high-stool and barrel setups, as well as some covered low tables, Osteria Lucio is one worth booking ahead for. Chef Ross Lewis has taken the lead in the kitchen here since handing over the Chapter One reins to Mickael Viljanen, and the result is worth savouring in the sunshine. Book online.
One Society, Gardiner Street
Blocked off from the busy streets with planters, One Society’s sizeable covered outdoor section is a great choice for a weekend brunch or pizza and pasta on a sunny evenings. It's strictly walk-in only.
Row Wines, Coppinger Row
We've spotted a few barrel-top tables posted outside Row Wines, the new venture from the team behind Orwell Road and the late, lamented Coppinger Row, and we'll wager they'll soon be some of the most sought-after seats in summertime Dublin.
Chez Max, Palace Street
Palace Street feels distinctly classier with the Parisian chic vibes Chez Max brings in summer. They've just reopened their courtyard terrase after a few weeks' work and it's a lovely spot to sit back and forget you're in Dublin. Book here.
Urban Brewing, Custom House Quay
Urban Brewing offers an ideal summer setup with tonnes of outdoor seating outside the CHQ building. The menu in the Hop Garden Terrace is built around tapas and larger plates (raciones), and the sun trap bar will be taking walk-ins for drinks and/or snacks. Book here.
Two Pups, Francis Street
The weekends are always heaving at walk-in only Two Pups - and for good reason, with the sheltered tables out front and the courtyard within offering up some of the nicest spots around the Liberties to grab a sunny, always delicious bite.
Drury Buildings, Drury Street
The gorgeous garden courtyard in Drury Buildings is serving food and summer cocktails seven days a week, and the balcony tables overlooking the garden will be the ones to nab if you're very, very lucky. Look for a table here.
Korean Table, Stoneybatter
Korean Table have created a lovely little spot in Stoneybatter to enjoy kimchi and bibimbap in the sun with hanging lights and plenty of greenery. They’re walk-in only but it’s never too long a wait to get seated.
Las Tapas De Lola, Wexford Street
An outdoor table at Las Tapas de Lola is always a tall order so plan this one as far in advance as you can. Last minute cancellations may also be your friend here - call 014244100 or email email@example.com for enquiries.
777, George's Street
777 went all-out last year converting a car park into their "777 afuera" (meaning 'outside'), complete with a margarita-serving airstream. They run a special sharing menu outside at €38pp, with tortillas, taquitos and tostadas. You can only book for tables of six plus here, otherwise it's walk in only.
The Champagne Terrace At The Shelbourne
You can go all out and treat yourself to one (or all) of four champagne cocktails at the Shelbourne this summer, with the return of their Champagne Terrace, sponsored this year by Moët & Chandon. There's oysters and seafood platters going too if you want to really indulge. Open Fri-Sun only.
Charlotte Quay, Grand Canal Dock
Charlotte Quay has ample outdoor space overlooking Grand Canal Dock that gets the sun all evening. The lunch and dinner menus have plenty of smaller sharing plates so be sure to bring a crowd, and don't forget about two for one brunch cocktails. Bookings available online.
L'Gueuleton, Fade Street
Fade Street French bistro L'Gueuleton have considerable outside space, mostly covered. It's prime real estate for people watching, small plate eating and Champagne drinking. Book through their website.
Fade Street Social
Fade Street Social is open outside with a wood-fired menu seven days a week. There's a solid vegetarian selection as well as the expected meat options, so plenty of variety to satisfy a mixed crowd. Book a table here.
Nomo Ramen, Charlotte’s Way
A big bowl of ramen isn’t our first instinct on a summer’s day, but Nomo have been introducing plenty of lighter bites like their pork bao and shitake chashu korokke we’d happily snack on from their seated area out front. Walk-ins only.
The Woollen Mills, Ormond Quay
The Woollen Mills has a spacious first-floor roof terrace overlooking the Ha'penny Bridge and Liffey Street. They're open for lunch and dinner seven days a week as well as weekend brunch. Book on their website.
Brother Hubbard North, Capel Street
Brother Hubbard have lovely terraces at both their Capel Street and Harrington Street locations, with tons of seating to handle the high demand they always attract. Brother Hubbard North is taking reservations here, but Brother Hubbard South remains walk-in only.
Saba's Secret Garden, Baggot Street
Saba's secret garden out the back of their Baggot Street location has canopies and heaters, holiday style lighting and art by Subset. It's open seven days a week serving food all day, including black pepper squid, Thai beef salad and Pad Thai. There's also a pretty extensive cocktail menu. Look for a table here.
Piglet, Cow's Lane
Piglet is one of the few outdoor spots in the city serving lunch seven days a week, and it catches the sun perfectly right around that time of day. They've got two and three course fixed menu prices for the same for dinner, all washed down with an excellent selection of wine. Book online.
Ukiyo, Dame Court
Ukiyo's outdoor terrace on Dame Court always has a lively buzz on the weekend, but they're open for lunch and dinner all through the week. Bring a group if you can - this is a lengthy menu you'll want a hand in making your way through. Book here.
Glas, Chatham Street
Vegetarian and vegan Glas have a very Parisian (and appropriately green) vibe going on outside their Chatham Street restaurant. The added planters, new since last year, make for better insurance against the ever-unpredictable Irish weather. Book online here.
Suesey Street's terrace is one of the best in the city and has a retractable roof to deal with whatever the elements happen to throw at you. They're open for lunch and dinner every day but Sunday, serving up Irish cuisine with a focus on local ingredients. Book on their website.
31 Lennox, Portobello
31 Lennox in Portobello are offering Italian-inspired breakfast, lunch and dinner outside throughout the week with an all-day brunch at the weekend. Their semi-covered outdoor space down the side lane is a lovely quiet oasis near the heart of the action. Book here.
Hen's Teeth, Dublin 8
One of the city's best gallery cafés, Hen's Teeth has a heated and covered outdoor terrace that's one of the hottest spots for weekend evening dining. Their ever changing menu is without doubt one of the most innovative and interesting in the city, and most importantly it delivers. Book for lunch and dinner here.
The seats outside Alma are some of the loveliest in Portobello, and an iced dulce de leche latté in the sunshine while you wait for brunch is as perfect a morning as we can imagine. Check for tables here.
Gaillot et Gray, Clanbrassil Street
French pizzeria and natural wine hang out Gaillot et Gray is open for lunch (mainly sandwiches on their own bread) and dinner (pizza) on their terrace out the back. You can book by calling them on 014547781 or they'll be taking walk-ins if they have space.
Lucky's, Meath Street
Liberties hotspot Lucky's has added some seating out front as well as their always in-demand courtyard with delicious pizza from Coke Lane. They're open seven days a week and you can make a booking enquiry through their website.
Rascal's Brewing, Inchicore
Rascal's pizzeria and tap room has become an Inchicore institution since opening in 2014, and their bustling outdoor space has grown into a really atmospheric evening spot across the course of several pandemic re-openings. Look for tables here.
Daphne's has plenty of covered tables on their terrace available for dinner Wednesday to Sunday and weekend brunch. Their early bird on weekday nights is particularly good value at €28 for three courses. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 015521708 to book.
Angelina's outdoor tables are the ultimate in goals on a sunny day in Dublin 4. They're open seven days a week for lunch and dinner with brunch at weekends. Book on their website or by emailing email@example.com.
Fairmental, Grand Canal Street Upper
D4’s fermentation lab and deli Fairmental is making very smart use of the space out front with some cosy tables set out to enjoy your rice bowls and kombucha from. It’s open for weekday breakfast and lunch and Saturday brunch and it’s walk-in only.
Asador's impressive (covered and heated) terrace reopens is available to book for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday each week for smoked venison tartare, fillet steak and fire-roasted chicken supreme. Look for a table here.
The D6 destination for authentic Thai food, Nightmarket has a fully-heated side terrace "tunnel" open for outdoor dining, so you can stay on to sample the cocktail menu long after the sun sets. Book online.
Oliveto, Haddington House
There might not be a better spot to enjoy a perfectly clear day than Oliveto's gorgeous garden terrace perch in Dún Laoghaire serving equally beautiful-looking food. Plus they've got plenty of parasols to escape the intensity of that heatwave sun, if it ever comes... Book here.
Soup Ramen, Dun Laoghaire & Soup 2, Smithfield
Volpe Nera, Blackrock
Volpe Nera have only a small number of tables available on their covered, sheltered terrace so an advance booking is definitely recommended. They've been leaning into the season heavily with their heavenly limoncello spritz - you know you want one. Book here.
Riba's outdoor, covered and heated terrace is open for dinner Wednesdays through Mondays as well as weekend lunch, with an early bird special running up to 18:30 every day. The menu is Italian-influenced with loads of local and Irish produce. Bookings online here.
Bresson's lovely outdoor courtyard with white linen tables is open for dinner served Tuesday - Sunday and lunch Thursday - Sunday. It's an appropriately seasonal choice with plenty of summer veg to enjoy in the sun. Check the website for availability.
Mamó's miniature terrace out front is another pristine spot to savour sun and sea in the company of great food. Their focus on seafood fresh-off-the-boat and ingredients from around North Dublin makes this one of the most memorable al fresco experiences in the city, and we've never had a dud dish, wine or service experience there. Limited menu on the terrace and in the downstairs bar, with the full shebang upstairs. Book online.
The second opening from the Two Boys Brew guys, Milo's has filled a major gap in Dublin 9 for great coffee, thoughtful food, and all the effort you probably won't make a home. Their outside area seats around 12 and diners move fast so you shouldn't be waiting long for a table.
King Sitric, Howth
The Howth institution has hands-down some of the best seats in the city for the right kind of summer day, especially after an afternoon's walk on the hill working up an appetite for their seafood selection. King Sitric are very child and dog-friendly too, if you needed another excuse. Book online.
Old Street, Malahide
Our love for Shouk runs deep. The food, the staff, the prices, the food - and absolutely the outdoor space. Their mid-pandemic expansion out further into their yard was great news for fans of Middle Eastern food, and makes it easier than ever to grab a table. Demand still runs high though, so be sure to book.
Honey Honey, Portmarnock
Expect a fight for the limited outdoor seats outside Honey Honey in Portmarnock, but if you can get them you'll feel like you've won the jackpot. The simple menu is always done just right, the coffee is faultless, and if all else fails you can take it to go and head for the beach.
Did we miss your favourite spot for outdoor dining? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.