Had a big lunch? Feeling too much commitment from main courses? Looking for more variety in life? Enter small plates. How fun is it to eat a bunch of little things? We think a lot. We’ve rounded up the go-to places in the city that are banging out banging snacks, and where you can eat as much or as little as you like.
Row Wines, Dublin 2
A semi-replacement for (and big improvement on) the Coppinger Row of old, Row Wines is like its younger, cooler, small plate-eating, cloudy-wine drinking nephew. The menu features "snacks" and "plates", and it's tailor-made for ordering as you go, and sharing the lot, ideally on the outside terrace on a warm October afternoon. The only issue you'll have is knowing when to stop ordering - those plates are just so good.
Bar Pez, Dublin 8
One of the newer additions to Dublin’s dining scene, Bar Pez (just off Aungier Street) is the sister restaurant to Fish Shop in Smithfield. Their whole menu is basically small portions with a heavy focus on seafood, making it the perfect place to partake in petite plates. Their wine list is impressive and reads like a geography pamphlet, with the regions split up into 'Oceans' and 'Mountains' rather than nations or grapes, and their Coravin selection starts from €20 a glass. If their lobster toast is on the menu - get it. Read our once over here.
La Gordita, Dublin 2
We would like to thank Spain for putting the concept of tapas into the world, so of course La Gordita needs a mention. They have plenty of options for your nibbling needs and if you stick to everything bar the 'Sugerencias' section you’re on a one-way ticket to tapas town (we love the fried aubergine with sugar cane honey). Their sherry and wine by the glass list is the perfect accompaniment to all the snacks. Read our once over here.
Mr Croqueta, Dublin 2
Croquetas, aka bite-sized flavour bombs, are the perfect light bite, and Mr Croqueta is the motherland for them in Dublin. They currently have eight varieties, so plenty to choose from, but the standout ones for us were the Basque cod & the jamón serrano. Both were generously filled and the bechamel was perfectly seasoned. It’s a minimum of six croquetas per flavour so choose wisely. Don’t skip on their other plates - the chorizo in cider and the classic tortilla are something special. Read our two minute review here.
Amy Austin, Dublin 2
Next to Drury Street car park, Amy Austin is a great option for smaller portions and wine on tap if that’s your thing. Their menu is varied with a solid selection of cheese & charcuterie, along with proper smaller dishes. Their menu changes often and currently we like the look of the sweetbread yakitori and the langoustine tail. Go with three or four people and you could probably order the whole menu to unlock the maximum restaurant experience.
Margadh RHA, Dublin 2
Usually known for its tasting menus, Margadh in the RHA has a selection of little bites from its à la carte menu. Their anchovy toasts are a serious winner - a must-order in our eyes. Service is always knowledgeable and friendly, and they have a great wine list. The perfect post-work/pre-pub pitstop.
Big Fan, Dublin 2
It’s no secret that we’re a big fan of… Big Fan, and they are a solid option to hit up when you’re not in the mood for three-courses (and now open seven days a week). With only one “large” dish on the menu - the small plate world is your oyster here - and there are loads of options for veggies and vegans too. A trip to Big Fan rarely disappoints. Read our once over here.
Fallon & Byrne, Dublin 2
If you’re looking for nibbles with wine, Fallon & Byrne's underground cellar is a great shout. The basement in the boujee food hall is literal perfection for a cheeseboard, with some of the best value wine in the city with €1 corkage from Sunday to Tuesday. They even have a plant-based menu for veggies and vegans. Ooh la la.
Hang Dai, Dublin 2
Hang Dai offer a good few snacks and bites on the lighter side, and one of our favourite dishes in the entire city is their cheeseburger spring rolls. Pull a seat up at the bar, order a legendary cocktail and a plate of these bad boys, and you are in appetiser heaven. They are still busy as ever so make sure to book in advance.
Ka Shing, Dublin 2
Ka Shing serves the OG snacks aka dim sum, which means 'touch the heart' in Chinese. They were designed to touch the heart, not the appetite, which is such a sweet way to describe a tasty snack. Ka Shing’s menu has so much choice with over 15 different types of dumplings, barbecued pork buns and fried turnip cake. We love ordering the traditional way by ticking off what to have with paper and a pencil - it really captures the essence of dim sum.
A Fianco, Stoneybatter
Grano’s sister restaurant in Stoneybatter is snack heaven. Italian-only wine bar A Fianco has a focus on the Calabria region (aka the toe of the boot) sourcing seasonal ingredients from small Italian and local Irish producers, and you can’t really go wrong with anything here. We love their spicy meatballs, Killary Fjord mussels, and who doesn't love a crostini? Try as many as you can - this is what going for small plates is all about.
Green Man Wines, Terenure
One of Dublin’s best places to buy and drink wine, Green Man Wines in Terenure also have a small kitchen serving a variety of snacks, from house smoked Goatsbridge trout rillette to scotch eggs with a sauerkraut remoulade. Choose from their shelves upon shelves of wines to drink in house with a set corkage fee (€10 at the time of writing), so the better you drink, the better the value.