I often get asked questions like ‘where should I go for a first date?’ or ‘where should I take my parents for dinner?’. It’s actually the main reason I started this blog, because I was getting asked so often where to eat in Dublin. So here it is, my advice on dining in Dublin, whether it’s a first date, a group outing or dinner with your folks:
The Big Group
Saba is a popular choice for a gang. It’s reasonably priced and they’re used to catering for big parties. I’m recommending this one for the girls in particular because they have an awesome cocktail menu. For the lads I’m going to say Jamie Heaslip’s steak joint Bear. They take bookings for groups of 6 and more and the huge shared steaks means the bigger the group, the better the value. For a swankier get together try Fallon & Byrne.
The First Date
No pressure now, but this is one you don’t want to get wrong. My first question is: Do you want to book? If you do then get on the burner to Pichet or Chez Max – guaranteed good food and a nice atmosphere where you can chat. If you’re playing it cool and not making reservations then take her to South William Street, the Port House’s intimate setting will notch up the romance factor.
The Friday night catch up
Whether you’re catching up with an old friend or having date night this is a great opportunity to try somewhere new – Super Miss Sue, Etto and Meet and Meat are the newest kids on the block. If it all goes wrong you’ll be able to laugh it off. Other options are The Exchequer for cocktails and posh pub grub or The Bison Bar for a pulled pork sandwich or sticky ribs.
This is a tricky one and no one size will fit all. If you’re footing the bill then Pichet or Chez Max will take bookings and won’t completely break the bank. If that sounds too fancy, The Pigs Ear or The Winding Stair do good Irish food. If it’s a really special dinner then it has to be Chapter One. Make sure you’re not footing the bill on that one though.
The Early Bird
This one deserves an article all on its own, but in the meantime if you’re ready to eat early you can get some really great value in this city. Fallon & Byrne has 2 courses for €24.50 all night Sunday to Friday, and at 6pm on Saturday. Chez Max has 2 courses for €19 from 5.30pm to 7pm Sunday to Thursday. Whitefriar Grill has 3 courses for €22 from Sunday to Thursday and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 6pm. San Lorenzo’s has 2 courses for €19.50 from Sunday to Thursday and from 5pm to 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays. In Pichet you can get two courses for €20 from 5 to 6.30pm any night of the week.
The really special dinner