1. CLANBRASSIL HOUSE
It didn’t take long for Clanbrassil House to become a firm favourite among Dubliners. This tiny restaurant has a friendly neighbourhood feel, with exposed brick walls, chalkboards and high wooden tables. On the menu, expect dishes like hearty homemade sausage and unusual cuts of Irish beef cooked on the charcoal grill. A side order of hash brown chips with pickled onion mayo? Mandatory.
If you’re in the mood for a steak, then hotfoot it to Featherblade. Not a place to bring a vegetarian, this steakhouse focuses on unusual cuts of excellent beef, using original methods to get the best results – and the prices are decent to boot. The menu changes depending on what’s in, but you’ll always find the namesake featherblade cut, and an excellent array of side dishes, from truffled Mac and cheese to beef dripping chips.
3. CHAPTER ONE
If you want to go for one super-luxe, blowout meal when you’re in town, then Chapter One is the place to head. Yes, it’s pricey, and you’ll need to book in advance, but this is the pinnacle of fine dining in Dublin. As with most of the city’s fanciest restaurants, the lunch and pre-theatre menus offer tremendous value.
4. BANYI JAPANESE DINING
The Temple Bar area isn’t exactly known for its first-rate dining options, but there are a few winners among the tourist-trap bars. Banyi is one of the city’s best sushi spots – it’s unpretentious, casual and reasonably priced. The tempura prawn and avocado roll is a winner, and their sashimi is quiveringly fresh.
If you’re craving a burger, then Bunsen is your only man, as Dubliners would say. The menu is so small it fits on a business card – they only do one thing, but boy, do they do it well. The patties are minced every morning and dripping pink and juicy, while the hand-cut fries are quite possibly the best in town.