The Sunday lunch is a much-cherished Irish custom bringing family and friends together to share a hearty meal, traditionally featuring roasted meat, potatoes and vegetables. These restaurants reinterpret and refine this classic meal to serve up the best Sunday roasts in Dublin.
Ask any local where to get Dublin’s best Sunday roast, and they’ll tell you their mammy’s house. Dublin chefs compete with this family institution with a combination of local, quality ingredients, carefully considered drink pairings and Irish hospitality. Whether they stick to the classics such as roast beef or stray into the unusual with vegetarian haggis, these restaurants offer an authentic Irish experience good enough to lure every Dubliner out on a Sunday.
The Old Spot’s head chef, Fiachra Kenny, offers a finessed version of the classic roast, beautifully prepared using high-quality Irish ingredients. His fine-dining experience meets the rustic, homely atmosphere of The Old Spot to create a gastropub beloved by residents and recommended by the Michelin guide. The centrepiece of its Sunday roast is dry-aged beef from Dublin craft butchers Pat McLoughlin; sourced from South Leinster and slow roasted the day before, the quality meat is paired with roast potatoes dripping in duck fat, roasted carrots and red-wine jus for a reasonable €24 (£21.40).
Dubliner and renowned wit Oscar Wilde once said, “I can’t stand people who do not take food seriously”. In homage to its namesake, WILDE Restaurant takes its food, and its wine, very seriously indeed. Head sommelier Philip Dunne proudly boasts the title of Irish Sommelier of the Year, winning in both 2018 and 2019. WILDE’s roast pairs beautifully with wine from its menu celebrating the world’s greatest female winemakers; in a city with numerous wine bars, this restaurant will not disappoint connoisseurs. Served in the glamorous 1930s decor of the Westbury Hotel, the five-star service ensures you are truly looked after. The roast rib of beef with all the trimmings is an excellent choice at €29 (£25.86).
This Stoneybatter pub has a friendly, community feel and has even been known to host a family-style long table Sunday roast for the summer festival held annually along the neighbourhood’s main street. Co-owner Seaneen Sullivan is committed to local produce and sustainability, an ethos reflected in the menu; it features organic vegetables from its allotment, which is composted with used coffee grounds and beer mats. Sunday roast options include locally produced lamb tomahawk or veggie haggis, with mains starting at €17.40 (£15.51). Each course has suggested beer and cider pairings; try the Porterhouse plain porter, one of the Irish craft beers brewed and served up within the same postcode.
The Buckley Family has built a reputation in Dublin for quality meat over the past six generations – the butchers were even given a nod in James Joyce’s Ulysses. The family has since established an esteemed local chain of restaurants in Dublin’s city centre, including Temple Bar and Pembroke Street, but is still very much a go-to for residents and does not compromise on quality or value for money. The roast beef rib, which features on the restaurant’s Sunday lunch menu, comes from the family’s own Irish heifers, which are grass-fed for at least two years to create succulent marbling throughout the meat. Roasts come in at €17.50 (£15.60) and are best paired with its signature bloody mary cocktail.
After working in the Michelin-star London pub Harwood Arms, chef Barry FitzGerald returned to his home town of Dublin to make a reputation for his own roast. Bastible is the result, and this gourmet restaurant serves up a contemporary Sunday lunch. At €42 (£37.45) per person for three courses, it’s great value for money, especially as the menu changes regularly but always features a selection of family-style starters for the table to share, including the famous Bastible bread and home-made cultured butter. It’s already Michelin recommended and gunning for a star.
Locks recently regained its footing at the top of the Dublin food scene when head chef Dermot Staunton returned to this canal-side restaurant six months ago. Regarding Sunday roasts, he tells Culture Trip, “Irish roasts are less about the ingredients, although Irish beef is the best. The most important thing is the experience of eating with the family”. The Sunday lunch menu changes weekly but is aimed at families, featuring sharing platters and beef sourced from local farms in County Dublin. Two courses are €30 (£26.75), and for a reasonable €2 (£1.78) supplement, you can share a tray of home-made crackers and local Irish cheese after your meal. The homely atmosphere makes this Sunday roast option more than the sum of the ingredients; it’s an authentically Irish experience of coming together with those you love.
The Sunday roast at The Exchequer is ideal for sharing with a group of your nearest and dearest, embodying the community spirit and family feel of a true Sunday lunch. Roasts are served on a large platter designed to feed four people and include a bottle of wine and all the trimmings. Even the most expensive options of the prime beef rib or the ever-changing seasonal roast are less than €20 (£17.83) per person. The Exchequer has an intimate, chilled-out atmosphere, but the roasts are limited and extremely popular, so you’ll need to order them at least two days in advance of your visit. If you can’t get a reservation in the city centre for your chosen date, you can also find its roasts in The Exchequer Wine Bar in Ranelagh on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Legal Eagle is part of a new tradition of Irish gastropub cuisine that focuses on local produce and nose-to-tail eating, and their retro-inspired “Seriously Seventies Lunch” doesn’t disappoint for an alternative to a modern Sunday meal. It serves two courses for €29 (£25.96) or three for €35 (£31.21), with vintage starters such as a prawn cocktail using Dublin Bay prawns, mains including “roasted John Stone beef” served with Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower rarebit and roast potatoes, and a traditional bread-and-butter pudding with Irish whiskey sauce to finish. To wash down your roast, The Legal Eagle has a rotating menu of 20 craft beers, many locally produced; over 200 types of wines; and a cocktail menu that eschews modern concoctions in favour of perfecting the old classics.