Dublin is one serious food lover’s destination. Chalk it up to pure ignorance, but I was delightfully surprised at the number of excellent restaurants and eateries in town.
My very first stop after I landed and checked into my hotel was to have the hotel concierge book me a late lunch at The Greenhouse located off St. Stephens Green. Chef Mickael Viljanen, who was crowned the Best Chef in Ireland 2015, prepares innovative Irish cuisine that is both sublime and “art” in itself.
Etto on Merrion Row was added to the Michelin Bib Gourmand list that recognize restaurants that offer excellent food at affordable prices. Outstanding food coupled with very warm service – highly recommended.
The latest venture of Breton chef Olivier Quenet, who has spent most of his working life in Michelin-starred kitchens, is La Maison. A casual restaurant located in the bustling Castle Market Street, La Maison offers very flavourful French dishes at reasonable prices.
Right at the foot of Ha’ penny bridge north of the River Liffey is The Woolen Mills. A casual but beautifully designed “Eating House”, this is the sister restaurant of Elaine Murphy’s award-winning The Winding Stair, which is located right next door. The food is outstanding and there is a small bakery on one side.
A combined food emporium, wine cellar and a smart, brasserie-style restaurant located on the upper floor, Fallon & Byrne serves delightful French-inspired cuisine.
Operating since 1913, Leo Burdock offers traditional fish and chips that have attracted not only locals but many international visitors as well. The location on Werburgh Street does not offer any seating but a short walk to the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral or St. Patrick’s Square will provide one with a quiet and uninterrupted place to enjoy their chippys.
The Fumbally, which is a short walk from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, is a spacious neighbourhood basement cafe that is both funky and industrial chic. Labeled as a “mecca for hipsters” (whatever that means), this laid back cafe serves organic coffee with baked goods and sandwiches.
Queen of Tarts is a cafe and patisserie opened up by sisters Regina and Yvonne Fallon, trained as pastry chefs in New York City in the 1990s. Unfortunately I was still full from my Irish breakfast when I stopped by so I just had a cup of cappuccino. But seeing how busy they were on a late weekday morning, the cakes and tarts must be exceptional as it is a local favourite.
Many locals commented that I was lucky that during my brief time in the city, I did not experience any damp days. That just made stopping by Murphy’s Ice Cream easier. This is some serious ice cream. The brand originates from Dingle (County Kerry) and made of Kerry cream. The sea salt flavour, though it may not sound as enticing, delivered a refreshing and endearing treat. I am glad the staff introduced me to this flavour with a sample taste.
The best coffee I had in Dublin was at Kaph. Located just off Grafton Street on trendy Drury Street, their coconut brownie provides a satisfying sugar fix as well.
I stayed at The Westbury Hotel during my three night stay in the city. The hotel is located off the pedestrian shopping street of Grafton Street. The hotel is very well located as it is walking distance to many of the sights. Moreover, at the back of the hotel are the cool and hip restaurants, bars and cafes on Coppinger Row and Castle Market, which are very popular with the locals. Service was exemplary and the rooms were recently renovated.
More food related pictures.
Now what I found curious, being interested in architecture, is the similarity in Victorian style of two structures I visited in Dublin. The East Wing of the Kilmainham Gaol (Jail), built in 1861 and the Stephens Green Shopping Centre, that was built in 1985-1988. It was the belief in the Victorian times that “prison architecture was crucial to the reform of the inmates“. Apply that thinking to this date – we are “prisoners” when we are in a mall alright, but does it reform us?