In the first of two articles focusing on dubious gender stereotyping we’re looking at the best Dublin restaurants for a girls night out. And what exactly makes a good girls night out you ask? Well we’ve carried out extensive research (ie. we asked around the office) and identified the key elements of a good knees up for the ladies:
- somewhere you can have a natter and catch up
- good food
- lots of wine
- possibly cocktails
If you are a man and you also like to talk, eat and drink; fear not, you can read this list too.
The lively one: Saba, Clarendon Street, Dublin 2
Saba opened on Clarendon Street in 2006 and it’s still going strong thanks to tasty food, a great cocktail menu and a buzzing atmosphere . This is a great spot for groups which means it’s usually nice and lively. From Sunday to Wednesday they have a set meal deal of 2 courses for €23.95 and it runs all night.
The one for foodies: Las Tapas de Lola, Wexford Street, Dublin 2.
When they opened in 2013 this was the hottest restaurant in Dublin and rightly so. For a long time the standard of tapas in Dublin had left a lot to be desired, so it’s no wonder that we went a little bit loolah when Las Tapas de Lola started serving authentic tapas at great prices. For a time bookings were harder to get than Garth Brooks’ tickets. Tapas are small dishes, designed to be shared. It’s a very sociable and fun way of eating. Topped off with great wine, a cosy atmosphere and top notch service this is a great bet for the girls.
The chic one: Chez Max, Baggot street or Palace Street (beside Dublin Castle)
Chez Max is cosy, classy and oh so French! If you want a little bit of class to go with your girly catch up then look no further. Chez Max is all about soft music, classic French food and great wine. They’re also good at accommodating decent sized groups. The early bird runs from 5:30pm to 7pm Sunday to Thursday and it has to be one of the best deals in the city with two courses at only €19 (mon dieu!)
The hip one: 777, Georges Street
Triple 7 (as they say) is small and they only take bookings for 6 or more, so you might be in for a wait. It’s worth it though – this is a great spot for the girls. If tacos, tequila and banging tunes are your idea of a good night out then you’re in for a treat. Top tip – go on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday for their special deal nights.
The traditional one: Woollen Mills, 46 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1
The Woollen Mills is the latest offering from the team who brought us The Winding Stair. It’s bigger and less formal. The extensive menu covers all bases from healthy fish dishes to hearty meat dishes. There’s even an ingenious comfort food section inspired by the dearly departed Gruel restaurant (RIP Gruel). The drinks menu is just as comprehensive with cocktails, craft beers, spirits and wine.
The BYO one: Seagrass, Portobello
Seagrass, at Portobello Bridge doesn’t look like the kind of place that would be BYO. They do have a wine list but they also generously offer the option to bring your own, as long as you’re ordering at least two courses per person. The menu is quality, traditional Irish cooking and food provenance is given due importance. An excellent choice if you’re on a budget but you don’t want to skimp on quality.
The one for party animals: Opium, Wexford Street, Dublin 2
Looking for a bit of fun? Opium serves tasty modern Thai and Vietnamese dishes, but its real selling point is its buzzing cocktail bar. It’s open late seven nights a week, with some of Dublin’s best DJs spinning every Thursday, Friday & Saturday. If you’re planning an evening of deep and meaningfuls this might not be the spot for you, but if you’re planning a partaay, check it out!
The one for “just one” glass of wine: Fallon & Byrne Wine Cellar, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2.
Fallon & Byrne has a famous Food Hall and a swankier restaurant upstairs, but the real gem for the ladies is the Wine Cellar downstairs where you can get sharing boards and smaller dishes. It’s cosy and more reminiscent of somewhere you’d find in San Sebastian or Madrid. There’s an extensive list of wines by the glass, something you don’t see often enough in Dublin.
The swanky one: House, Leeson Street
House is the super swanky Leeson Street cocktail bar where you’ll find yourself thinking “What recession?”. Put on your gladrags, forget about your paycut and step back to 2005. A cocktail will set you back €14 but their tapas menu is more reasonable, with options from €4 to €11. Best of all; they take bookings, even just for drinks, so your catch up can go a lot more smoothly.
The all-rounder: Yamamori Izakaya, Georges Street
Trying to keep everyone happy? Izakaya has it all; from sushi and noodles to burgers and ribs. They have all bases covered on the drinks front too, with substantial beer, cocktail and wine menus. They take bookings so it’s a great place for a group. The tunes are described as “urban lounge and deep soul tunes from Dublin’s up and coming DJ’s” but it’s quiet enough to have a good ole natter.