Our Favourite Dublin Restaurants
Posted by Hannah Gumbrielle
We're incredibly lucky here at Irish Design Shop to have so many restaurants on our doorstep on Drury St, here's just a few of our favourites.
A hub for food lovers, Fallon and Byrne boasts a sizeable market, cafe, deli, restaurant, and basement wine bar. As they have such a range downstairs, the focus is on fresh ingredients which makes for some seriously good dishes. Ideal for solo diners or large groups looking for wine and nibbles, call in Mondays and Tuesdays for €1 corkage on their retail wines.
Sister to well known gem Etto, Uno Mas is aptly named "one more". Unlike its Italian sibling, the focus here is on more Spanish tapas. Some seriously good small plates, not to mention a fantastic wine menu.
Meters from our doorstep, Market Bar is a gastrobar that offers up tapas, cheeseboards and small plates. A large space means you're rarely stuck for a table, but check out The Black Market upstairs for a cosier vibe. A great whiskey range, but more importantly they serve house made sangria by the litre. No further information is required.
Previously a bakery, La Maison's head chef has worked all his life in Michelin star restaurants - and it shows. They serve up simple but confident traditional French cuisine, with excellent seafood and vegetarian options to choose from also. Their breads and pastries available during the day are worth the trip alone, but consider yourself remarkably lucky if you spot the tarte tatin for two on the menu (the second person to help you finish it is entirely optional, we found).
As the name suggests, Sole is a restaurant that really gives fresh seafood pride of pla(i)ce. Decked out with a suitably nautical themed room, they even serve towers of seafood to share until 4.30pm, akin to an alternative afternoon tea. We particularly like the locally sourced items on the menu, such as the fresh oysters from Carlingford.
A matter of steps from our door, Blazing Salads offers a huge range of vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as desserts that are honestly dangerous to have at such a close proximity to us on our lunchbreaks. With a hot and cold salad bar as well as menu items such as pizza, burgers and quiche, its a gem of a spot to grab lunch on the go. Our favourites include the rice balls as well as the halloumi wraps. The also offer vegetarian and vegan cookery books and lessons, which make great gifts.
A late night spot, Ukiyo serves up cocktails, karaoke and sushi until 2am. All their breads and desserts are made in house, as well as a menu with lots of local, sustainable and line caught fare. Great for groups and partiers for drinks as well as speedier diners grabbing an express bento box at lunch.
Named after the Yeats poem, The Winding Stair have a genuine love and passion for locally sourced food and modern Irish cuisine. Produce is sourced from artisans around Ireland, including most cheese, meat, and seafood. A dedicated beer menu showcases local and international micro breweries, and even suggests matches to dishes. The wine list is extensive and also aims to showcase some of the new and emerging stellar boutique wine makers from the new and old worlds. Below, the bookshop has been retained since the 70s and 80s as were many of the old bookshelves, photos and memories. Still in place are old girders, which give a nod to its past as a tweed loom.
A younger sibling to the Winding Stair, The Woolen Mills refer to themselves as a relaxed "eating house". Rather than a more formal restaurant, this all rounder spot is ideal for for a scone, coffee, glass of wine, salad to takeaway for lunch, or indeed a full four course meal overlooking the Liffey. The Woollen Mills stacks over four floors featuring a deli, its very own bakery, restaurant, as well as a beautiful roof terrance. This historic riverside mill is one of the most iconic buildings in Dublin, and impressively lists James Joyce as a past employee, selling tweed back when it was a fabric wholesaler and haberdashery.
It's hard to believe Fish Shop started out life at Blackrock Market, dealing out batches of fresh fish and chips from a converted shed. Now hailed as the best fish and chip shop in Ireland, they are more settled on Queen St. This gem is ran by a husband and wife team, produce is sourced by stellar supplier Kish Fish, meaning they can tell you the source of each dish.
It is a true testament to a restaurant when they receive a Michelin Bib Gourmand in less than a year of opening, not to mention every year since. Delahunt produce every element of their dishes in house, from Guinness bread to their signature home smoked salmon. They offer simply four starters, four mains, and four desserts, allowing them to produce high-quality food, fresh on site. Its also worth noting for both Delahunt and their in house cocktail bar, The Sitting Room, they use only seasonal, local spirits in the bar, featuring a local producer for vodka, gin, and whiskey.
‘But wait till I tell you, he said. Delahunt of Camden Street had the catering and yours truly was chief bottle washer.’ So goes the passage in Ulysses about the Delahunt grocers of Camden Street in the 1920s. Turns out Joyce isn't wrong nearly a century later either.
A late night, greasy spoon eatery in a past life, The Richmond have lovingly repaired and refurbished this Portobello building to create a Michelin Guide worthy restaurant. The head chef has previous stars on his belt such as the infamous and much missed La Mere Zou. Among their signature dishes are rotating steak specials as well as a suitably jaw dropping short rib eggs benedict if you're lucky enough to visit for brunch.
Coppinger Row serves up mediterranean cuisine, with everything from lamb flatbread to yellowfin tuna on the menu. Tucked away on the ever-busy South William St, this makes it the ideal spot to hide out for a mid afternoon lunch any time of year, be it halfway through Christmas Shopping or a summer stroll. The cocktails are the real heroes here - made with gin, basil and agave, the Flo and Basy tops the list for us.
"Duck is one of my favourite Dublin spots. Duck is known for authentic Hong Kong duck and fresh dumplings. Supplied by the famous Irish Silver Hill Farm and cooked in a traditional bullet oven, expect intense flavour and a full belly. I highly recommend the boneless duck with pak choi and rice. Go heavy on the plum sauce!” - Grace's Staff Pick
“Cornucopia is always my go-to. Honestly my favourite breakfast in Dublin, whether you’re vegetarian or not. Their take on a full Irish is indulgent without clogging your arteries (too much!). The veggie sausages, hash browns and scrambled tofu are a must. If you’re not feeling the five items, the blueberry pancakes are amazing and the millet porridge with banana and passion fruit will fuel you for the day. The lunch and dinner menu are also full of choice and reasonably priced.” - Kate's Staff Pick
"I rave about The Chameleon to everyone, it's been going for over twenty years for a reason. They're known for Indonesian food and asian tapas, serving up lots of seafood as well as veggie and vegan dishes. Definitely go all out and order the set menus. They have a meat, fish and vegan one so it suits everyone, which makes it ideal for larger groups. They bring out plate after plate of the most delicious curries, salads, bao, and seasonal veg. If you can, ask to sit upstairs where they have the cosiest room full of couches and cushions. Not just for comfort, but for the impending food coma after." - Hannah's Staff Pick