Dublin is one my favorite cities in the world. While you may have heard that the pubs in Ireland’s capital are top-notch, you may be surprised to learn that the restaurants there have really stepped up their game in recent years. I’ve rounded up my recommendations for the 9 Essential Dublin Restaurants and Pubs you should visit.
If you are looking for accommodations in Dublin, Number 31 is the place to be. I stayed at this lovely, bed & breakfast which is hidden on a small street in the center of town. Number 31 is within walking distance to St. Stephen’s Green, Grafton St. and the Temple Bar district. While the rooms and common areas are very inviting and cozy, the award-winning breakfast
is the star of the show. The owners of this beautiful guesthouse are equally delightful. In the afternoon, enjoy some coffee or tea by the fireplace in the main room. I much prefer staying at inns and boutique hotels versus larger hotels and this place is very special.
The Sussex restaurant and M O’Briens pub are two of the essential Dublin restaurants and pubs in the heart of the city. The Sussex is the restaurant which sits above the beloved M O’Briens. The menu is smart and fresh and the seafood is especially delicious. After you fill your tummy with the delicious fare here, head downstairs to the warm and raucous M O’Brien’s for a drink and some fun.
I could have eaten at this local, organic, postage-stamp sized place every night. The food was so fresh and creative so you can keep your diet on a healthy track while exploring Dublin. The vegetables always taste fresher in Europe and Farm is no exception. Put it on your list of the Dublin restaurants and pubs you should visit while visiting the Emerald Isle.
The Long Hall – (51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2)
The Long Hall is one of the oldest pubs in Dublin and it is usually the last stop for revelers before heading home after a night of fun. It dates back to 1766. I stopped by here after seeing Beth Hart perform at Whelan’s. The great thing about most of the older pubs in Dublin is that there are no obnoxious televisions blasting in the background. The Long Hall keeps this spirit of old public houses intact so you can enjoy the conversation with your friends and get to know your neighbors better.
I grew up in Rockaway Beach, New York City which has strong immigrant Irish roots. Guinness stout flowed like water in our veins and it was delicious. So you can imagine my surprise when I visited The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and found that I had been cheated all those years! The stout here is way more creamy and chocolatey. It actually tastes like your drinking chocolate syrup. The docents at the storehouse informed me that the exact same formula used in Dublin is not shipped overseas, so that is why the Guinness stout I am used to drinking in the U.S. is not as delicious. So, yes, this place is one of the essential stops on anyone’s visit to Dublin. You will find only a few pours of the “black stuff” in Dublin that are dispensed as well as the pints poured at the factory. After you take the tour downstairs, head upstairs and try your own hand at pouring the perfect Guinness pint at the Guiness Academy. There is definitely an art to it and you can even earn a certificate to take home and impress your friends.
During my stay in Dublin, I enjoyed a really decadent meal at The Chophouse. My friend, Denyse and I shared the 35-day aged ribeye steak with caramelized onion, portobello mushrooms, and fries. A lovely seafood plate and pinot noir rounded out our meal and our waistlines. I hope I have another opportunity to visit this fabulous establishment because it is one of the very best Dublin restaurants and pubs around. The lamb chops looked divine!
John Kavanaugh a.ka. “Gravediggers” – (1 Prospect Square, Glasnevin, Dublin)
This homey dive pub is tied with The Brazen Head and The Long Hall for the best pubs in Dublin. Why? Well, for starters it is a locals kind of pub and therefore, it doesn’t see the amount of tourist traffic that other pubs around Dublin do, especially in Temple Bar. The nickname “Gravediggers” is a nod to the cemetery next door and, yes, it’s rumored to be haunted. Nevertheless, don’t let that fact dissuade you from stopping by because the pint of the “black stuff” I had here was phenomenal. The kitchen is serving up some hearty soups, stews and more in this legendary pub which sees locals and local celebrities like Once actor and singer, Glen Hansard. Trust me, you need to put John Kavanaugh a.ka. “Gravediggers” on your Dublin itinerary.
PRO TIP: Gravediggers has no television, no music (live or piped in) and no WiFi. This is a traditional pub (public house) in the truest sense of the term. That is what I love about it!
This legendary pub dates back to 1198 A.D. making it the oldest pub in Ireland with one of the very best pours of Guinness you will have in Dublin. I cannot express how much fun I had here. This old coach house is beautiful and the stellar acoustics are perfect for the live bands which perform here each night. Some famous talent like Van Morrison, Tom Jones James Joyce, and Michael Collins have graced The Brazen Head and you should, too. I hope to return to The Brazen Head to check out their Folklore and Storytelling Dinner.
Whelan’s is one of the great Dublin pubs for live music. They attract famous, top-name acts like local Glen Hansard and my favorite female rocker, Beth Hart. If you’re not going to Whelan’s for a show, simply stop by for a drink in the bar.
You’re all set, my friends! Don’t even think about driving a car around the Dublin because it is very accessible on foot and via the local buses. Ride them to these 9 Essential Dublin Restaurants and Pubs. Sláinte!
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to ditch the car and take the local buses to these 9 Essential Dublin Restaurants and Pubs. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!