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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Valenti

Typical Irish food and beer: everything about what and where to eat in Dublin

After spending 3 days in Dublin, I can say that eating and drinking was perhaps one of the best parts of this mini-trip.

Irish Stew

Despite some previous doubts about the vegetarian options, the culinary panorama offered by the Irish capital is so wide and varied that mealtime had almost become the most awaited moment of the day!

Potatoes are certainly one of the cornerstones of Irish cooking, but you'll find them in so many different preparations that it's impossible to get bored. The other protagonist of the Irish culinary tradition is certainly meat: beef and lamb are the most common. Even choosing fish and seafood you won't go wrong: the waters surrounding the island are very rich in mackerel, lobster, and oysters (a real specialty in Dublin).

But let's now see what are the typical Irish dishes that you absolutely must try when in Dublin:

Fish and Chips
  • Dublin Coddle: it's a poor dish based on bacon, sausages, onions and potatoes;

  • Irish Stew: a stew prepared with very tender slow-cooked lamb or mutton, potatoes, onions, parsley and thyme;

  • Guinness Stew: a variant of the Irish Stew but in this preparation the meat is cooked in the famous Guinness beer;

  • Colcannon: this is a typical winter dish made with mashed potatoes and cabbage and seasoned with salt and pepper;

  • Fish and Chips: it's the classic and very famous fish fried in batter accompanied by French fries. It's a typical dish of Dublin street food - they say that the best in Dublin is the one made by Leo Burdock!

  • Soda Bread: Irish bread leavened with bicarbonate of soda and added whey;

  • Scones: sweet leavened scones, usually served with tea, together with butter and strawberry jam, simply delicious!

We saw what to eat in Dublin, but in this land, we can't help but also talk about what to drink:

Irish Coffee
  • Guinness: I'm banal I know, but it's impossible not to mention it. Guinness beer is one of the most famous dark beers in the world, with its chocolate aroma it can only win you over! You can't go home without drinking at least a pint, not to mention all the desserts and culinary specialties that are prepared with this phenomenal ingredient;

  • O'Hara's Pale Ale: staying on the subject of beer, I'd also like to point out this pale ale-style Irish blonde, very fruity and simply delicious;

  • Irish Coffee: for coffee lovers, this is a real must! It's a hot coffee, very sweet and laced with whiskey (Irish, of course) with a layer of cream on top;

  • Whiskey: Ireland is famous throughout the world for its whiskey and Dublin is dotted with distilleries where you can do tastings. I recommend that you don't leave the city without trying at least a couple of flavors, you'll have so many choices!!

Now that we know what to eat and what to drink in Dublin, let's see where we can try these delicacies around the city!!

Temple Bar Food Market

Temple Bar Food Market, Dublino

The Temple Bar Food Market is a small food market in the Temple Bar neighborhood held every Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. It's a bit hidden in a tiny square but it's really worth stopping by! Here you can find several local and international street food kiosks and stalls selling local and typical Irish products.

I recommend it both for taking a walk among the kiosks to admire the various delicacies and smell the extraordinary aromas that hover in the air, but also as an excellent alternative to a lunch in a pub: it will allow you to try various specialties also saving a bit! We tasted delicious giant pies at €6 each and finally shared a portion of mini apple pie pancakes for €7.50.

If you followed our weekend in Dublin, you will already know that the fulcrum of social life in the Irish capital is certainly the pub: scattered around the city there are many and of all types. As James Joyce wrote in Ulysses “Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a pub”. It's a really difficult undertaking, indeed; so, let's find out which pubs are unmissable both for enjoying a nice beer and listening to some Irish trad (traditional Irish music) and which ones you absolutely must also eat in!

Perfect pubs for a pint (maybe 2) pint of beer

Temple Bar

Temple Bar Pub, Dublino

Located in the neighborhood of the same name, Temple Bar has now become one of the symbols of the city. It's definitely one of the most famous pubs in Dublin.

Its characteristic red facade is the most photographed in the capital, and in front of its entrance, there is always a considerable crowd of tourists.

But don't stop outside... go in and order a pint of Guinness: if you're lucky, as it happened to us, you'll even be able to grab a table inside and enjoy an Irish Trad session, a sensational experience! Undoubtedly, the Temple Bar is one of the most beautiful and characteristic pubs in Dublin, and perhaps also one of the most expensive: a pint of Guinness costs a whopping €7.90, but honestly, it was totally worth it!

I recommend the Temple Bar just for a beer: to eat, I would choose something less chaotic and crowded, and with a less touristy menu.

The Ferryman

The Ferryman, Dublino

The Ferryman is a historic pub and hotel where we also stayed while in the city; it's located among the modern buildings of the Silicon Docks, right in front of the very modern Samuel Beckett Bridge.

The first time we found ourselves in front of the Ferryman we thought it was totally out of place: it is a pub "taken" from Temple Bar (the neighborhood), with its red façade typical of an Irish pub and the interior in dark, old wood ( spectacular) and placed in the middle of modern buildings.

Actually, it's precisely this characteristic that makes it a real gem in this neighborhood of industrial giants: unmissable!

The beers are definitely cheaper than in Temple Bar: we spent €17 for 2 pints of Guinness and a small O'Hara's Pale Ale.

Perfect pubs for lunch or dinner

The Hairy Lemon

The Hairy Lemon, Dublino

The Hairy Lemon is, without a doubt, our favorite pub in Dublin and the one where we ate best! Please don't leave here without stopping by!

Its lemon yellow exterior has nothing to do with the typically Irish interior: the pub is huge, with many rooms and an upper floor. The atmosphere is totally traditional and the food is simply delicious!

If you are looking for local dishes respecting true traditional recipes, here you will find them. Just wonderful!

We opted for a vegetarian burger (€15), a classic fish & chips (€17), and the typical Irish stew (€17), plus 3 pints of beers, for a total of €68. Definitely excellent value for money, nice large portions with side dishes included! Absolutely recommended!!

The Brazen Head

The Brazen Head, Dublino

The Brazen Head is the oldest pub, not only in Dublin but in the whole of Ireland. Located on Merchant's Quay, the Brazien Head still retains its ancient charm and the characteristics of its past.

You absolutely must dine here and try the delicious typical food, at the same tables that also hosted very famous people such as James Joyce and Jonathan Swift and some well-known revolutionaries like Daniel O'Connell and Michael Collins.

The pub is still very popular today, with live music sessions every evening and delicious traditional cooking with typical dishes accompanied by the inevitable pints of Guinness. We went for dinner without a reservation and we were able to get in without too many problems: the place is very large, with many rooms and arranged on several levels.

If you're nearby, try dropping by, the Brazen Head is a piece of Dublin history that absolutely shouldn't be missed.

We ordered two portions of Bangers & Mash (giant sausages with mashed potatoes and vegetables) and for me a Vegetarian Shepherd Pie (vegetables and lentils in sauce with mash potatoes and a delicious side salad) and 3 pints of beer for €80 in total. It's certainly not cheap, but the portions are generous and the place is among the most popular in Dublin... you can certainly spend less and eat just as well, but you won't be able to say you ate at The Brazen Head!!


The Church Cafè, Late Bar and Restaurant

The Church Cafe, Dublino

The Church Cafè is perhaps one of the most beautiful places we went to, this weekend in Dublin, and I highly recommend it even just for a peek.

In addition to being a crazy and very suggestive place, the restaurant is located inside an old deconsecrated church.

The food is also really good and the value for money is really excellent!

The Church is spread over two floors, with a central bar on the ground floor - simply fantastic, it looks like it came out of the 1920s - and an imposing organ overlooking the room where every evening you will find live Trad sessions and typical Irish dancers.

The Church Cafe, Dublino

If you want, you can try to book online on the website, otherwise go directly and leave your name at the entrance: when a table is available, they will call you with a people search - we did this and in less then ten minutes we were seated.

We ordered 3 pints of beer, 2 portions of Guinness & plum glazed baby back pork ribs (glazed and cooked in Guinness), a roasted butternut squash topped with pomegranate, a portion of French fries and finally two delicious crumbles of homemade apples all for €72.5!

Everything was really delicious, I can only highly recommend this place, both for the location and for the excellent food and the really interesting menu!

The Bank on College Green

The Bank on College Green, Dublino

The Bank on College Green is a wonderful restaurant we had on our list of places to try. In the end we didn't stop because we happened upon it in the middle of the afternoon, so we limited ourselves to just going in and taking a peek.

What I can tell you about this place is that it's simply wonderful, very elegant and far from the Irish pub! As for the menu (which I had previously looked at), the prices are absolutely in the average of the other places I told you about and that we tried, and the dishes are the classics of Irish cuisine. So if you're around, give it a try and then let me know!

Breakfast and tea break

As for breakfast or tea time, Dublin is full of cafes serving exceptional desserts, the choice is truly various!

Cathedral Cafe

The Cathedral Café is a tiny place (it will accommodate a maximum of ten people inside) located practically in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral and where we stopped for a quick breakfast.

The place is very simple but they make some truly delicious desserts: we ordered blueberry scones, obviously served with butter and strawberry jam, a slice of freshly baked carrot cake, two coffees and a tea, all for €20. The portions are gigantic and all the desserts are homemade by the talented owners; you can choose from various options, both sweet and savory. Super recommended!

Phoenix Tea Room

Phoenix Tea Room, Dublino

The Phoenix Tea Room is a simply delightful little place located inside Phoenix Park on Chesterfield Avenue.

It has several tables both indoors andoutdoors; you can choose to order something from the small truck outside or get something more substantial inside.

In both cases, the place is really inviting and welcoming and needless to say that the food is simply excellent!

At the Phoenix Tea Room you can stop for brunch, lunch or even for a nice snack: sweet or savory, whatever you choose, it's all delicious! The desserts are beautiful and amazing too!

We had a quick lunch after a nice ride in Phoenix Park! I tried the vegan wraps (delicious) and a slice of pumpkin and cinnamon cheesecake - I swear, one of the best desserts I've ever tasted - all for €16, drink included!

The Rolling Donuts

The Rolling Donuts is the ideal place for sweets lovers... I was in Dublin with a big Donuts fan so a stop in this place was mandatory! It's a café specializing in donuts, located at the end of Grafton Street, opposite the St. Stephen's Green Shopping Center.

If you love these American donuts you will be crazy about this place. Here you will find only and exclusively donuts in more than 20 different flavors, including various vegan choices, all wonderful both to look at and to eat!

Old Jameson Distillery

Bar della Distilleria Old Jameson, Dublino

The Jameson Distillery is one of the most famous in Dublin and its construction dates back to 1780.

The Old Jameson Distillery is now a wonderful museum where you can immerse yourself in the production of Irish whiskey and have very interesting tastings. Beyond the whiskey-tasting tour, I would like to point out the splendid bar of the Jameson Distillery (which can be accessed freely without an entrance ticket) where you can try many drinks with the famous Jameson whiskey and also order a vast range of whiskey.

If you are a lover of this liqueur, you will love this place: the bar is truly beautiful! Even if you don't intend to do the tasting and visit the distillery, I still recommend you pop into the bar and try some whiskey, the place is splendid and characteristic and they make some excellent drinks!

Perfect districts for a night out in Dublin

The best neighborhoods to head to in the evening are Temple Bar and the part north of the Liffey, beyond 'Ha Penny Bridge. These two areas are the ones with the most nightlife, where both locals and tourists are concentrated! If you are more of a pub type then Temple Bar is definitely for you, while in the area north of the Liffey you will find more restaurants and nightclubs... if in doubt, pop into both, it's really worth it!

Vegetarians and vegans in Dublin

As mentioned before, Irish cooking includes meat and fish among its main ingredients, which is why, before leaving, I had already imagined myself eating only potatoes for 3 days... instead, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted! There are many vegetarian and vegan restaurants, but if you are in the company of omnivorous friends (like me) you can go wherever you want and you will always and everywhere find a part of the menu with vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Now you know where to eat in Dublin, what to eat and also what to drink. But do you know what to see? In case you don't know, here's a guide for you.

If you are planning your trip to Dublin, don't miss the post on how to plan a perfect weekend in the Irish capital and READ ALSO: How to plan a weekend in Dublin: where to stay, how to get around and so much more

Let me know what you think and, as always, for any questions or further information, don't hesitate to contact me!!

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat - have a nice trip in gaelic


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