Klaw is a charming seafood bar committed to low-key ‘crab-shack dining.’ Their specialty is fresh oysters, harvested off the coasts of Galway, Waterford and the Flaggy shore in Clare, and served in one of three ways: naked, dressed or torched. For anyone squeamish about the prospect of oysters, they also have a delicious crab mac’n’cheese, Dublin Bay prawns with garlic butter, or try their amazing lobster rolls.
Klaw, 5A Crown Alley, Dublin 2, Ireland +353 1 549 3443
Gallagher’s Boxty House
Named after the traditional Irish potato pancake, the Boxty House was set up in 1989 and its continued success is owed to good, locally sourced food. While there is a wide range of quality Irish produce on the menu at this relaxed establishment, Gallagher’s passion is still the potato and their signature dish is their famous Gaelic boxty; tender medallions of Irish fillet beef in a whiskey and mushroom sauce, wrapped in a traditional Leitrim boxty pancake.
Gallagher’s Boxty House, 20-21 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland +353 1 677 2762
The Winding Stair
Across the Liffey River via the famous Ha’penny Bridge, The Winding Stair isn’t technically in Temple Bar, but its cultural gravitas makes it feel like it should be. It gets its name from a volume of poems by William Butler Yeats and since the 1970s the beloved bookshop downstairs has been a firm favorite of those with literary yearnings. Today the respected restaurant upstairs serves Irish home-cooking in a space that feels like old-time Dublin.
The Winding Stair, 40 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1, Ireland +353 1 872 7320
Off the beaten Temple Bar track, on the relatively quiet Crow Street, Il Vicoletto is a boutique restaurant with a simple mission: to bring the finest central-northern Italian cuisine to the people of Dublin. Made with only the best Irish and Italian ingredients, their considered dishes can be relied on to recreate an authentic Italian dining experience, aided by a trove of fine wines imported directly from Italy.
Il Vicoletto, 5 Crow Street, Dublin 2, Ireland +353 1 670 8633
On a cobbled street right next to the Liffey you’ll find Chameleon, a dynamic and inviting little Indonesian restaurant that has racked up an admirable number of prestigious foodie awards since it opened in 1994. Their Spice Bar offers an Asian tapas menu of moreish small plates, while their comprehensive set menus, like Rijsttafel, consists of a lavish array of sumptuous side dishes accompanied by different kinds of rice, and are best enjoyed at a more leisurely rate.
Chameleon, 1 Lower Fownes Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland +353 1 671 0362
Another Temple Bar-adjacent outlet, Taco Taco is a Mexican pop-up with mass appeal. Located a short walk from the cultural quarter’s southerly Dame Street boundary, this funky restaurant buzzes with the same palpable energy, especially on weekends. Unsurprisingly, the tacos are delicious, but they are also connoisseurs of the sweet potato fry, and the desserts are equally rave-worthy.
Taco Taco, 14 Dame Court, Dublin 2, Ireland +353 83 449 9584
F.X. Buckley Steakhouse
Consummate carnivores will appreciate F.X. Buckley Steakhouse’s sterling history of supplying fine Irish meat to the people of Dublin. Dishing up what they refer to as ‘Ireland’s best steak,’ the Temple Bar iteration continues the tradition of using only the premier cuts of grass-fed native beef, alongside crowd-pleasing sides like Parmesan and truffle oil fries.
F.X. Buckley Steakhouse, 2 Crow St, Dublin 2, Ireland +353 1 671 1248
The genius team behind Dublin hipster favourites Crackbird and Jo’Burger struck gold with Skinflint, a petite pizza joint with a short-but-sweet menu of grilled pizzas made with three-day fermented dough and showcasing artisanal Irish ingredients. For bonus points top your pizza off with their chilli-infused Firebee honey.
Skinflint, Crane Lane, Dublin 2, Ireland +353 1 670 9719
The Mongolian Barbeque
The Mongolian Barbeque is a refreshing alternative to generic Asian chain restaurants, with a more immersive feel. Patrons are invited to queue up and choose from a tantalizing selection of meat, vegetables, seafood or tofu, before adding their own chosen spices, herbs and sauce. The resulting concoction is then handed to a team of grillers who speedily cook each dish in rotation on an open, circular grill, expertly cradling each one between wooden sticks. Considerately, vegetarians can have their selections cooked on a separate wok.
Elephant & Castle
The original Elephant & Castle opened in New York in the early 1970s, named after the famous junction in south London. The Dublin version came into being over a decade later, when one of its Irish chefs was denied entry into the US. Setting up in Temple Bar, the new sister restaurant brought a New York-style menu to an eagerly awaiting Irish public: to this day their spicy chicken wings are revered with a religious fervour. The extensive brunch menu is also almost universally well received.
Elephant & Castle, 18 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland +353 1 679 3121