Dublin has come a long way since it was founded by Viking invaders in the ninth century. The city today is a cosmopolitan and multicultural metropolis attracting both long-term migrants and temporary visitors from all four corners of the globe. This being the case, it is no surprise that the city now boasts a host of excellent dining establishments, catering to all manner of tastes and price ranges. Check out 10 of the very best restaurants the city has to offer.
Shanahan’s On The Green
Shanahan’s On The Green is an American-style steakhouse which also offers a plentiful selection of Irish seafood and excellent pastries. Portions are extremely generous and the staff are very eager and pleasant. The downstairs bar (called ‘the Oval Office’) features an extensive collection of memorabilia from American presidents with Irish heritage, and the restaurant itself is based in an 250 year old Georgian townhouse which has since undergone a lovely restoration.
Shanahan’s On The Green, 119 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, +353 1 407 0939
The Cliff Townhouse
The Cliff Townhouse is a delightful Michelin starred restaurant that beckons patrons inside with its unique red-brick façade and its focus on seafood. In addition, the building serves as a luxury hotel and guest house, situated within easy walking distance of the National Museum of Ireland and other prominent destinations for visitors. There is also a swanky cocktail bar and a private dining room upstairs for functions such as birthday parties and weddings.
The Cliff Townhouse, 22 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, +353 1 638 3939
Oozing an aura of quality and exclusively, Restaurant FortyOne has built up a name for itself as one of the premier destinations for fine dining in Dublin. The presentation is impeccable and service is nothing short of first class, and they boast perhaps the most extensive wine list in the city. Highlights of the menu include courgette flower stuffed with prawns and the moulard duck breast. The restaurant also takes pride in to the fact that Hillary Clinton was hosted in the private dining room during a visit to Dublin.
Restaurant FortyOne, Residence, 41 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, +353 1 662 0000
Searsons of Baggot Street
Pub, Restaurant, Irish, none
Searsons of Baggot Street
Both a pub and a restaurant, Searsons serves exceptional food and quality whiskey in a setting which is simultaneously traditional and contemporary. There is also an inviting beer garden to the rear of the property which is ideal for rest and relaxation. A much acclaimed jazz session is held every Sunday, a must if you have even a passing interest in the genre.
Searsons, 44 Baggot Street Upper, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 660 0330
This absolutely outstanding Italian restaurant can be found on Dublin’s Dame Street, a centrally located thoroughfare in the heart of the city. Founded by the Bytyci family two decades ago, Toscana has established itself as one of the most beloved culinary jewels in the capital’s crown. Championing fresh, home-grown and naturalistic cooking, Toscana was awarded the title of best ‘Grow It Yourself Restaurant in Ireland 2013/14’ by Good Food Ireland in recognition of a history of excellence. Toscana also prides itself on preparing dishes using ingredients from their own farmhouse gardens. There is a second Toscana restaurant of equally high quality located in the peaceful seaside town of Dún Laoghaire, in the suburbs of Dublin. Either location is well worth a visit, and neither will disappoint when it comes to service and standard.
Toscana, 3 Dame St, Dublin 2, +353 1 670 97855
Il Posto is among the very best Italian restaurants in Dublin. Here patrons will find delicious Mediterranean food served in an intimate and very comfortable setting. The wine is predictably excellent and reasonably priced, while the service is prompt and helpful. The perfect choice if you’re looking for a romantic evening for two in Dublin’s Fair City.
Il Posto, 10 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, +353 1 679 4769
An Bhialann is Irish for, believe it or not, “the Restaurant”. This family owned and operated establishment situated in the heart of the old residential neighborhood of Ranelagh caters to guests and groups of all ages with enthusiastically friendly service and a cordial atmosphere. The seafood particularly deserves special praise for its freshness and presentation. The place fills up very quickly, so you’d best book a table in advance in order to avoid disappointment.
An Bhialann, 120 Ranelagh, Dublin 6, +353 1 538 5200
The Vintage Kitchen
Located on Poolbeg Street, right next to the famous Mulligan’s pub, the Vintage Kitchen quickly established itself as one of the city’s most exciting new restaurants. The staff takes pride in their 1970s vinyl record player, hence the titular ‘vintage’, and customers can even bring their own records from home to play. The food, however, is very much modern, elegant and served in extremely generous portions. Nobody has ever complained about receiving more food than they asked for, have they?
The Vintage Kitchen, 7 Poolbeg Street, Dublin, +353 1 679 8705
La mère Zou
This elegant French restaurant has served the area for more than 20 years and is still going strong. Le mère Zou can be found in the basement of a spectacular Georgian-era residence on St. Stephen’s Green, which has been refurbished and is now a sleek, modern and elegant space. It combines the best of French cooking with the world renowned hospitality of the Irish. A very popular and busy stop for hungry travellers on their way to the nearby Gaiety Theatre and National Concert Hall.
Le mère Zou, 22 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, +353 1 661 6669
This fine dining French restaurant was awarded the title of best restaurant in Dublin in the 2014 Irish Restaurant Awards, and has been highly praised by prestigious food critics ever since it first opened in 2004. Dax provides an intimate and sophisticated environment, with flag-stone floors, hard-wood ceilings and modern art adorned walls. The establishment excels in creating contemporary French dishes derived from and using the most exquisite Irish ingredients.
Dax Restaurant, 23 Pembroke Street Upper, Dublin 2, +353 1 676 1494