With new seafood, pizza and cocktail spots opening their doors in recent months, there’s never been a better time to dine out in Dublin. If you’re a food-loving local or planning a visit, here are eight of the best new (and new-ish) restaurants to try.
SOLE Seafood & Grill
This stylish seafood restaurant has only been open a few weeks but it’s already impressing the locals with its chic interior and first-class cooking. The team is passionate about provenance, so expect fresh oysters from coastal waters, locally sourced smoked salmon, top quality beef, and Irish lobsters. Why not catch up with friends over fish pie and a bottle of wine? Or for a real treat, splash out on one of their decadent seafood sharing platters.
With its tiled floors, linen-clad tables, and classic French menu, this Monkstown newcomer is old school in all the right ways. It’s a collaboration between chef Temple Garner (San Lorenzo’s) and Conor Kavanagh (former manager of The Old Spot). Enjoy an aperitif at the bar before trying traditional Gallic dishes like rabbit fricassee, côte de veau, and tarte tatin.
With a wood-fired oven, and many of their ingredients, imported directly from Naples, it’s fair to say this new opening takes its pizza pretty seriously. They’re right next door to the Olympia Theatre, so you can pop in for a pre-show Margherita or linger over lasagne and a glass of red. For something a little different, try the Genovese – a pesto base topped with mozzarella, Parmesan and Italian sausage.
The Bonsai Bar
This seriously sexy cocktail bar is the latest addition to Dylan McGrath’s restaurant empire. Expect Tokyo-style neon signs, Japanese-inspired cocktails, and a huge range of Japanese whiskies, beers and sake. If you’re peckish after a few Edo-wan Margaritas, there are bar snacks like salmon sashimi on nori tempura and Wagyu beef brushed with sweet miso.
After a lengthy stint in London (most recently at L’Autre Pied), chef Andy McFadden has returned to Dublin to open his first solo restaurant at the Fitzwilliam Hotel. The menu promises ‘French-influenced elegance’, with dishes designed to bring out the best of each ingredient. The dining room itself is stunning – ideal for intimate dinners and special occasions.
The Garden Room at The Merrion Hotel
Less formal than the Cellar Restaurant it replaces, The Garden Room is light and airy with glass doors that open out on to the hotel’s courtyard garden. It’s the perfect backdrop for chef Ed Cooney’s contemporary Irish menu. Diners can look forward to wild halibut with Dublin Bay prawns, pappardelle with rabbit confit, and 28-day aged Irish rib eye, as well as comfort food classics like fish and chips and a gourmet burger.
Stella Cocktail Club
Film fans rejoiced when the iconic Stella cinema reopened in Rathmines last October, having been restored to its former Art Deco glory by Press Up Entertainment. The upstairs ballroom is now a luxe drinking den with a glass atrium, plush velvet chairs, and a killer cocktail list. If you fancy a pre-movie bite to eat, there are tapas-style dishes like Korean BBQ pork tacos, tempura shrimp, and tuna poke salad. Keep it in mind for your next date night.
The team behind Jo’Burger and Crackbird have opened an all-day canteen in Rathmines that promises flavours ‘from Dublin to Sydney by way of Beirut’. In the evening, there are cocktails, grilled meats, and small plates that champion seasonal veg. Try their house-made labneh, ember baked beets, and smoked aubergine with za’atar.
Got a Dublin hot spot to recommend? Let us know in the comments.