Where To Eat In Dublin When You're Sick Of Meat And Potatoes

I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland - my grandparents are Irish and my birthday is St. Patrick’s Day, so it just made sense to pop over to the Emerald Isle while I was visiting London and Scotland. I was too close to pass up the opportunity!

When I think of Ireland, I think of gorgeous green cliffs, four-leaf clovers, pots of gold, pints of Guinness, and maybe even leprechauns. Aside from the corned beef and cabbage my grandma would make every year for my birthday, I didn’t really know much about Irish food. Translation: my expectations for Dublin cuisine were pretty low. 

Boy, was I pleasantly surprised! Sarah and I were only in Dublin for a day and a half, but we found a few spots we’d fly back to Ireland just to eat at:

Restaurants

1. Meet Me In The Morning - I’m a brunch girl. It’s my favorite meal. I’ve been to a million cafes in LA, NYC, and beyond as trendy and cute as this one, but none of their food has left much of an impression. (How many variations of avocado toast can you have?) But THIS cafe!!! Blew our minds. I’m pretty sure it’s all we talked about for the rest of the day. Starting with the dulce de leche donut (!!), carrying on to one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had (they take their filter coffee very seriously in Dublin), and finishing up with a special of eggs, greens, and mushrooms on toast that fecking blew my mind. All ingredients are foraged or sourced locally. You can tell. :)

2. Bunsen Burgers - I met a former chef while in Scotland who trained at Ballymaloe, the famous Irish culinary school. When he heard I was going to Dublin he made me promise him I would visit Bunsen, a burger spot started by another Ballymaloe graduate that was a friend of his. I agreed, albeit reluctantly - would I be impressed by a Dublin burger? (I’m a burger snob. I doubted it.) Wrong again, Carnivorr! I’d venture to say this is the best burger I’ve had outside of America. Huge. Juicy. Perfectly cooked (I ordered mine medium rare). There’s a couple locations around the city, and you would be quite remiss to skip this on a visit to Dublin.

3. The Fumbally Cafe - The Fumbally is so much more than a fantastic breakfast/lunch watering hole. It’s a community. A space for artists, foodies, dreamers, yogis, locals and visitors alike. An educational emporium, offering weekly classes on fermentation, pickling, and more. A healthy haven in the land of meat and potatoes. Their dishes, so simple, and so good. Tuscan beans with an egg. Toast. Three varieties of house-made kombucha (hibiscus was my favorite). More incredible coffee. And THE PASTRIES! If you know me, you know these were my favorite. One bite of the carrot cake with an inch of cream cheese on top = pure bliss.

Other Spots To Visit:

4. Guinness Storehouse - Did you even go to Dublin if you didn’t visit the Guinness Storehouse? True, this is the most touristy thing ever, but it’s such a well done tour that even the locals recommend it. Sarah and I aren’t beer drinkers, but... when in Dublin! In all seriousness, this is the best Guinness I’ve had. (How could it not be straight from the source?) It practically transcended “beer” - the “black stuff” is more like a creamy chocolate milkshake. The tour is about 20 euros, but includes a free pint of Guinness at their Gravity Bar - a rooftop bar at the top of the storehouse with glass windows and the best panoramic view of Dublin.

5. The Temple Bar - Another uber touristy spot, but worth stopping in for a pint to cross it off on your tourist checklist. There’s always live music playing here, and it’s packed with people no matter the day of the week.

6. The Brazen Head - Ireland’s oldest pub (established 1198)!! We ate traditional Irish food for dinner here (Guinness beef stew and potatoes), which I don’t really recommend going out of your way for, but their Irish coffee made it a worthwhile visit. Cute pub with space indoors and outdoors!

7. The Hairy Lemon - Another fun pub with “trad” (traditional) Irish music, cheap drinks, and fun people dancing!

8. The Winding Stair - A lovely bookshop across the Ha’penny River. We found some gems here! They also have a lovely cafe on top of the bookstore.

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Following along on Instagram? See more from the trip at #CarnivorrTravel.