Dublin’s city centre is constantly awash with new dining options and eateries pop across the city every week. If we focus on Dublin’s city centre though - in the case of this list spanning from Trinity College and taking in the Dame district, Temple Bar and the Quays on both sides of The Liffey - there are some great restaurants that range from high-end Michelin star, to mid-range and inventive, to budget eating with a difference. Whether you’re looking for an 8-course tasting menu or an entire chicken fried in buttermilk there’ll be a dining style that will match your travel plans.
Get a gorgeous view of the Liffey at The Winding Stair, a bookshop and restaurant that showcases great Irish ingredients. Get Michelin star treatment at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, or the next best thing with tasting menus at The Greenhouse or The Pig’s Ear. For modern Italian cuisine head to San Lorenzo’s on George’s Street, modern Mexican next door at 777 or around the corner to Coppinger Row for delicious Mediterranean fare. For fish and chips with an upmarket feel take a seat in Bite and for next-level fried chicken it’s got to be Crackbird. That just leaves the steak lovers...and for them we have Fire.
The ethos of Bite caf� is that of 'Uptown Food, Downtown Vibe' and it's basically recreating your average fish and chip shop into a more upmarket fish experience with some interesting reinventions along the way. Gone is the greasy batter in a brown bag, replaced with hake in a vodka and beer batter accompanied with mushy peas and pancetta fries. The usual pre-theatre menu has been replaced with a 'Pre-Gig Menu', seeking to resonate with the modern diner. Tables can be reserved or made at the door and there's an extensive wine and cocktail list along with the promise that requests can be catered for provided the ingredients are behind the bar. It's a fun concept and a modern feel that's definitely worth experiencing. ((01) 679 7000)
Located in the opulent surroundings of Dublin's Mansion House on Dawson Street, Fire has been built in what was originally the Lord Mayor's supper room and is now a magnificent space with stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings. The food is all locally sourced and cooked to a high standard with a good mix of meat, vegetarian options and seafood - the jumbo prawn starter is the house speciality. There is also a special steak menu with a variety of cuts of ages, marinated beef that are sure to make a meat-lover's mouth water. Tie this in with melt in the mouth desserts and you'll leave happy. ((01) 676 7200)
CrackBird, one of restaurant entrepreneur Joe Macken's litany of trendy Dublin eateries has been rehoused several times, now taking pride of place in an old Chinese restaurant on Dame Street. Macken has pretty much single-handedly brought fried chicken back in fashion, but it's the quality of CrackBird that really makes it a cut above the rest. You can opt for a full or half chicken in either buttermilk batter or soy and garlic. The sides are all reasonably priced and you can wash it down with a large jam jar full of lime and ginger spritz or homemade lemonade without breaking the bank. ((01) 616 9841)
If you caught a glimpse of 777 from the outside, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there's not much going on. There are no wide windows peering into the action but don't be disheartened, when you take a step inside you'll see what all the fuss is about. The seats are packed and the walls are stacked with aged tequilas. You might have to wait to get a seat - they only take bookings on arrival- but when you sit down to a chorizo taquito and a delicious cocktail you'll be more than happy you waited. This is one of Dublin's most exciting new ventures and has taken our Mexican food scene to the next level. Try one of their premium tequilas and marvel at how you'd never sipped it from a glass before. ((01) 425 4052)