“What can you do in Dublin?,” people ask. Well, there’s a few sights, but in my opinion the city is best enjoyed indulging in Irish food and drinks. Especially in fall or winter. When it’s cold outside, there’s no better activity than huddling up in a bar with your friends and a Guinness close by.
Over the last decade I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Irish capital on several occasions, visiting friends living there. What I appreciate most is the kind nature of the Irish, and a very laid-back atmosphere all round.
Tons of pubs and restaurant can be found in Dublin, especially in the city center. Whenever I go on a trip, I like to try all the local stuff. Follow me on my city trip along Ireland’s finest foods and drinks.
North of the Liffey:
Shopping (Mary Street, Henry Street, O’Connell Street), The Spire, General Post Office, Dublin Writers Museum, Old Jameson Distillery.
South of the Liffey:
Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College, National Gallery of Ireland, Temple Bar, Kilmainham Gaol.
Obviously, eating Irish breakfast at least once is a must. We went to The Kingfisher on Parnell Street (Northside). Since I’m not that crazy about processed meats, I chose the vegetarian Irish breakfast and my husband had the ‘regular’ Irish breakfast with sausages, black pudding and bacon. My vegetarian breakfast came with mushrooms, extra tomato and more potatoes. Plus: bottomless coffee!
A healthier option is Tang by Yogism on Dawson Street (Southside). We actually wanted to go elsewhere, but it turns out that many places don’t open before noon or 2PM on a Sunday. Tang opens at 11 AM. You can get buckwheat pancakes with fruit, granola or eggs for breakfast. From noon onwards savory options are available.
While wandering towards Temple Bar we came across the Stage Door Café (Essex Street E.), a flamboyant little place with a modest menu. We were able to tick something off our local wish list: a beef & Guinness pie. Delightfully comforting!
On the corner of Essex Street and Parliament Street is one of the two Porterhouses: The Porterhouse Temple Bar. The other one (Central) is close to Trinity College. This multi-floored institution has an extensive beer menu and serves traditional pub grub in a good atmosphere. With so many options it’s hard to choose, so you may have to come back another day.
We had two amazing dinners in Dublin: one at The Winding Stair and one at L. Mulligan Grocer. The Winding Stair is located next to Ha’penney Bridge (Northside) and houses a book store as well. We made a reservation for Saturday night since it’s a popular place. We celebrated our anniversary there and it was a good choice! The service was excellent with very good recommendations: my husband had Irish beef, I went for cockles and mussels (while writing these words I’m reminded of The Dubliners’ song Molly Malone again!).
For L. Mulligan Grocer we also made a reservation, but were able to get it for the same night. The restaurant is a bit outside of the city center on Stoneybatter (Dublin 7). We happened to be staying in that area of the city, so it was walking distance for us. The city center of Dublin is pretty compact, so you can cover a great deal of the city by food. The food at L. Mulligan Grocer was sumptuous, the atmosphere fantastic, but we were mainly blissful because of the beer tasting menu. Slainte!
After dinner you can go for some more craic at one of the many pubs. The Stag’s Head is located in a building that used to house an old Victorian pub. We went there for the whiskey. Titus asked to drink something other than Jameson and was very satisfied with the recommendation.
The Cobblestone is a traditional pub in Smithfield (close to the Jameson Distillery) with live music every night of the week. It’s a few minutes’ walk from L. Mulligan Grocer, so you can plan smart and be totally sorted for the night!
Irish people are immensely kind and gentle (okay, maybe a bit less after too many pints), so it’s easy to engage in banter with your neighbors in the pub. That in itself makes it worth spending some time in Dublin!
Also of interest: other European city trip destinations.