Is the Food in Dublin Good?

Photo of a hot plate of Shepherd's pie next to a salad on a wooden table in Dublin, Ireland.

If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t have very high expectations of the food in Dublin, Ireland. However, after my hun and I spent a whirlwind of a time exploring the city, I was legitimately shocked at the food we tried. 

In today’s blog, I’m going to answer the question: is the food in Dublin, Ireland good? We’ll talk about the traditional Irish dishes to try, meal prices in Dublin, whether you should tip, where to find the best pubs, and more. Plus, I’ll share everything we ate in Dublin and give you our honest opinion of it all!

As a tourist, I had more than a few questions about eating in Dublin, Ireland, like… 

What are some traditional Irish dishes I should try while in Dublin? Are there any local food specialties or delicacies unique to Dublin that I should try?

Photo of a hearty bowl of Irish beef stew with a large scoop of mashed potatoes on top.
Thick, savory, and wonderful – Irish Beef stew in Dublin.

There is a growing emphasis on using locally sourced ingredients in Dublin’s restaurants. Many chefs take pride in showcasing Ireland’s rich culinary heritage by incorporating fresh, seasonal produce and locally sourced meats and seafood into their menus. If I could describe the food in Dublin, I would say when you think of Irish food, think of comfort food. Irish food is food that will warm your heart with flavors that will delight your taste buds.

With that said, traditional Irish dishes to try in Dublin can be broken down into four major categories: Meat, Seafood, Root Vegetables, and Dairy. 


When asking, “is the food good in Dublin?” one has to know that Dublin is well known for serving hearty meat dishes made of either beef, lamb, or pork. Below are a few meat-centered dishes to try in Dublin.

Coddle – leftovers, most commonly consists of sliced pork sausages, bacon, onions, chunky potatoes, salt, pepper, and herbs. Coddle dates back to the first Irish famine in the late 1700s where anything to eat got thrown into the pot.

Irish Stews – there are many!

  • Irish stew: served with lamb, potatoes, small onions w/ seasoning in a thick broth.
  • Dublin stew: made with coddle or traditionally boiled tripe.
  • Beef Stew: grass fed, hormone free, slow cooked chuncks of beef served in a Guinness broth. AKA- “beef and stout stew.”

Where is the best place to try a stew in Dublin? Look no further than Boxty restaurant. Boxty serves a trio of stews to try!

Irish Shepherd’s Pie – ground lamb, peas, and vegetables baked under loads of fluffy Irish cheddar-mashed potatoes. We ate a hearty Irish stew and Shepherd’s pie from The Oak (see the featured image at the top of this blog).

Steak – the Irish weather and lush green landscapes are perfect for raising cows, so when in Dublin try the all natural, grass fed, hormone free steaks.


Dublin is an Island in the Atlantic ocean, so eat all the seafood you can find! Let’s start with arguably the most famous fish in Dublin: cod.

Cod is mostly served in the oh so famous fish and chips dish. I don’t mean fish and potato chips, I’m talking about a large, juice piece of cod deep-fried in batter and served with a hearty side of fries, or “chips”. To accompany the fish fry, you may see a side of pea puree and tartar sauce. We ate fish n’ chips from the Morrison Grill and the fish was fried to a golden, crunchy perfection! In the city, stop by Leo Burdock, which is Dublin’s best-known and oldest fish n chips shop or “chipper” as it’s called. They’ve served the best fish n’ chips since they opened their Christchurch shop in 1913. 

In addition to cod, try smoked salmon, mackerel, or freshwater trout. There are also a lot of fresh oysters, and mussels in the city – don’t miss out.

Sea Bass – Hun had a savory seared sea bass, with parsley potato, fine beans, and citrus beurre blanc from The Morrison Grill.

Dublin Bay Prawns – a slim, mini orange/pink lobsters that are delicious.

Seafood Chowder – A delightful mixture of seafood – mussels, prawns, smoked fish (cod, salmon), clams, potatoes, onion, dill, butter, seasoning in a white-wine creamy and butter thickened broth. I tried my first Seafood chowder at Dakota on a food tour (more about that later).

Photo of a bowl of seafood chowder servied on a plate next to soda bread and butter in Dublin, Ireland.
This seafood chowder puts my all-time favorite clam chowder to shame!

Root Vegetables

Let’s not forget about our vegetables! Dublin’s cold, gray, and rainy climate are not only great for cows, but for any vegetable that requires a cool temperature and a lot of water. Enter the root vegetables to try in Dublin. Root vegetables such as…

  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes – Dublin knows how to do potatoes very well and they come paired with (or in) almost every traditional Irish dish. In some instances, the potatoes are the center piece, as in the following side items:
    • Boxty – a thick potato pancake made with a combination of grated raw potatoes, mashed potatoes, flour, baking powder, salt, and sometimes other ingredients like eggs or milk. Pan fried until golden brown on both sides, it’s a hearty and delicious dish often served as part of an Irish breakfast or as a side dish with meats or stews. Some variations include adding herbs or onions for extra flavor.
    • Colcannon – mashed potatoes with shredded cabbage, onions, and butter
  • Parsnip (related to carrots, but lighter in color)
  • Onions


If there are cows and sheep, there has to be dairy. While in Dublin, taste some of these tasty dairy products below.

  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Ice Cream – checkout Murphy’s Ice Cream on Wicklow st. They also have homemade ice cream sandwiches that look oh so good!
  • Butter – made with milk from grass-fed cows, Irish butter has a higher fat and lower water count than American butter, so it tends to be more yellow, creamy, and tasty!

Other Food to try in Dublin

Photo of an apple tarte tatin with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Sweet, warm, ard cairn apples baked in a mouth-watering apple tarte tatin.

Aside from the most popular staples, if you have time (or room in your stomach), try these items.

Soda Bread – No, it’s not a carbonated beverage baked into a bread! Soda bread is bread, made of flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk but is prepared without yeast. It’s dense and tender, so you MUST slather on butter like a true Dubliner! This Irish staple is typically served at breakfast with tea, at lunch with cold meat or cheese, or at dinner with soup or stew or other main dishes.

Oats – before potatoes there were…oats! Try oatmeal or fresh oats mixed with your yogurt.

Ard Cairn Russet Apples – sweet dessert apples with an orange-red color. We tasted a warm, savory Ard Cairn Russet Apple tarte tatin topped with buttermilk ice cream from the Morrison Grill. The ice cream was ok, but the tart was divine!

What to Drink in Dublin

Photo of two whisky cocktails in Dublin, Ireland served at the Morrison Grill.
The Armoured Car (left) and Bow Street Julep (right) whisky cocktails from the Morrison Grill.

As much as I love food, I can’t help but pay attention to the liquids that make digestion possible. When in Dublin, rinse down all that hearty food with a cold (or hot) beverage. Oh, and did I mention these drinks have alcohol in them? Yes, it’s true, the Dubliners love a good pint, so here’s what to order at a pub or bar in Dublin.

Guinness. Guinness is SERIOUS business in Ireland! So much so  that if you ask for a pint you will automatically get a Guinness AND they have ambassadors making sure the Guinness is stored and poured properly throughout the country – no lie, you’ll see the vans driving throughout town! I’m not a beer drinker, but people say the Guinness tastes better in Dublin. I learned that if it doesn’t come in a Guinness glass, don’t drink it. Oh, and did I mention you can take a tour of the famous Guinness storehouse, too?

The Guinness Storehouse, situated at the historic St. James’s Gate in Dublin, offers an immersive journey into the legacy of Ireland’s renowned Guinness beer. Once a fermentation plant, it now showcases the brewery’s rich history and brewing process. Visitors can delve into Guinness’ origins, learn about its founder Arthur Guinness, explore the brewery’s evolution, and discover the captivating world of Guinness advertising. The experience culminates at the Gravity Bar, where guests savor a perfectly poured pint of Guinness while enjoying panoramic views of Dublin city. With a ticket to the Guinness Storehouse, visitors can independently explore its heritage at their own pace, sample various Guinness variants, and soak in the iconic atmosphere of this celebrated landmark.

Irish Whiskey – Notably Jameson Irish Whisky and Teeling Whisky. Dublin has an undercurrent of delicious cocktails, so try one! We tried “The Armoured Car”, an eloquent combination of West Cork Rum Cask Whiskey, peach green iced tea, pineapple juice, honey syrup and fresh lemon juice. We also tried the “Bow Street Julep”, which contains fruitier notes of Jameson whiskey with homemade apricot & marmalade syrup with angostura & rhubarb bitters, swizzled with mint and crushed ice.

Cider – If you’re like me and don’t really enjoy beer, try cider. To me, cider is like sparkling apple cider with a lot less sugar and a hint of alcohol. It’s clean, fresh, and yummy.

Irish coffee – Like most popular drinks in Dublin, coffee is not exempt from alcohol. Irish coffee is essentially Irish whiskey, hot coffee, and sugar, which is stirred and topped with thick cream.

Photo of an Irish coffee in front of a plate of sweets in Dublin, Ireland.
Care for an Irish coffee, anyone? This boozy coffee is NSFW!

Now that you have a pretty good idea of Dublin’s most traditional Irish dishes, which one would you try? let me know in the comments! Once you’re finsihed, let’s get back to learning more about the food scene in Dublin through the most frequently asked questions.

Where can I find authentic Irish pubs with traditional Irish food in Dublin?

First and foremost, the pub scene is amazing! Imagine walking all over the city under gray clouds, cold winds, and temperatures in the 40s and 50s. With your hands and face borderline freezing, you slip into a pub with dark, ambient lighting, a roaring furnace, large wooden tables. The smell of a hearty stew emanates from the kitchen. Family and friends are smiling, laughing, and enjoying conversation. Strangers sit at the bar laugh, philosophize, and make new friends. It smells like home, it feels like home. This is the pub atmosphere. 

Pubs are social places where good people come to chat, drink, and sometimes eat. They are generally open from 11:00am-11:30pm and sometimes later depending on which alcohol license the pub has. They are also family affairs, with little kids welcome until around 8pm.

You can find authentic Irish pubs serving traditional Irish food all over Dublin. Places like The Brazen Head (the oldest pub in Dublin), Stags Head, O’Donoghues, The Hairy Lemon, and O’Neill’s Pub & Kitchen are popular choices.

If you plan on visiting a pub during your trip to Dublin, there are a few things to note:

  1. Be sure to check the website to see if the pub accepts reservations…or not! In Dublin, you’ll find some pubs don’t accept reservations but restaurants do, so plan accordingly and try to arrive early.
  2. When you arrive, don’t be surprised if there’s no host – just seat yourself at an open table (if you can find one).
  3. Pubs are smoke free, yay!
  4. Don’t forget to say SLÁINTE! SLAWN-chuh, or “CHEERS” with your newfound pub buddies.
Photo of Antoinette H. of Frolic & Courage at the Morrison Grill in Dublin, Ireland.
SLÁINTE from the Morrison Grill!

You mentioned Ireland is known for their beef…What is the best steakhouse in Dublin? Where can you find the best Steak in Dublin?

Ireland does beef well, so there is no shortage of excellent steak restaurants. Below are a few to check out.

  • The Morrison Grill – If you read about our weekend adventure in Dublin, you know that we stayed at the Morrison Hotel. While at the hotel, we dined at the Morrison Grill and whoo – was it tasty! I ate a Hand Cut 28 Days Dry Aged Fillet of Hereford Beef. Cooked in a 500°C Josper coal grill oven, my steak retained the natural juiciness of the meat and was perfection.
  • F.X. Buckley Steakhouse – Do you want one of the best steaks in the world? Look no further than this Dublin powerhouse. With multiple locations throught the city, F.X. Buckley was legitimately voted one of the best steakhouses in the world.
  • Shanahan’s on the Green – set in an antique mansion, the steaks are sure to be an awe inspiring as the atmosphere.
  • The Bull & Castle – owned by the “Buckley collection”, the company that manages F.X. Buckley, the Bull & castle sits in the historic Christchurch area overlooking the iconic Dublin cathedral.

Are there any vegetarian or vegan-friendly restaurants in Dublin?

Dublin has a growing number of vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants, cafes, and eateries. In full disclosure I do not follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, but places like Cornucopia, Umi Falafel, and Brother Hubbard offer delicious plant-based options.

What is the typical cost of a meal at restaurants in Dublin?

On average, expect to pay around €15-€30 for a main course at a mid-range restaurant in Dublin. Prices can vary depending on the restaurant and the dish chosen. Looking for a cheap eat? Try supermarkets and grocery stores like Dunnes, Tesco, and SPAR for pre-made sandwiches and sides.

Is it customary to tip in restaurants in Dublin? If so, how much?

Tipping in restaurants in Dublin is appreciated but not always expected. A tip of 10-15% is customary for good service, but check the bill first, as some restaurants may include a service charge. Meal prices include tax, or VAT as it’s called in Europe.

Can I find international cuisine options in Dublin, or is it mainly Irish food?

Dublin offers a diverse range of international cuisine options, including Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern, and more. Areas like Temple Bar, South William Street, and Capel Street have a concentration of restaurants offering international dishes.

What are the typical dining hours in Dublin? Do restaurants close early? What time to people in Dublin eat Dinner?

Photo of two breakfast items - a scrambled eggs with sun-dried tomatoes and bread (left) and a ham and cheese omelette (right).
Keogh’s cafe scrambled eggs with sun-dried tomatoes + bread (left) and a ham and cheese omelette (right).

Dining hours in Dublin can vary, but most restaurants are open for breakfast from 7-11am. Typical Irish breakfast consists of bacon, sausage, eggs, potatoes, beans, soda bread or toast, tomatoes, mushrooms, and white or black pudding.

We ate breakfast at Keogh’s Cafe. Nestled in Dublin City center, Keogh’s serves a delightful array of teas and coffees alongside freshly baked muffins, scones, and cakes. Additionally, the café has a small yet tempting menu of hot breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. We feasted on a cheese and ham omelette and scrambled egg platter with sun-dried tomatoes and avocado, peppermint tea, and fresh orange juice with bread and freshman jam. The portions were hearty and delicious!

Lunch hours are from around 12 pm to 3 pm. The early dinner service starts around 6 pm with while Dubliners have dinner from 8pm to 10 pm. Some establishments offer early meal specials between 3-6pm, so it might pay to dine a little earlier. However, some restaurants and pubs may close the kitchen earlier (although the bar will remain open) around 5pm on Fridays and weekends, especially on Sundays. 

Are there any food markets or food tours that I should check out in Dublin?

Yes! There are more than a few local markets in Dublin to visit. Among the others, consider a visit to the Temple Bar Food Market taste of local flavors. 

As far as food tours, there are a few that should be on your radar. The Irish Food Trail, a walking Tour of Dublin, and Dublin Walking Food Tour provide a guided culinary experience through Dublin’s food scene.

During our weekend adventure, we participated in the 3-hr walking Irish Food Trail, where we received hearty, full-sized portions of traditional Irish food and drink. I don’t like it when food tours only give you a bite-sized sample of local food and I was grateful the Irish Food Trail did not disappoint. Our guide, Grainne (pronounced: Grawn-yuh), holds a degree in Irish history and is a whisky connoisseur, so needless to say we learned so much about the history of Ireland, and food and drink of the city that I left feeling full of food and knowledge.

What else do I need to know about dining in Dublin?

There are other helpful things to know about dining in Dublin. Like, when at a pub, order drinks and meals at the bar. The food will be brought to your table, so don’t stand around (albeit awkwardly) waiting for someone to greet you and show you to a table.

If someone pays for your drink at the bar or at a table, it is courteous to buy a drink for them in return – this is called “buying a round”. If you’re at a table with a lot of people, there may be a lot of rounds so pace yourself!

Don’t order offensive drinks, such as “The Irish car bomber” or a “Black and Tan” – there have very strong, negative political & historical connotations and some bartenders may no even serve you. Some Dubliners liken it to going into a bar in NYC and asking for a “Twin Towers” shot on Sept. 11. Just don’t do it!

Pubs and restaurants may be larger than you think. If you walk by an establishment and see a few full tables, that might not be all of the seating available! Oftentimes there is more seating in the back of the restaurant or down a staircase.

Finally, and this is a big one coming from the United States – corned beef and cabbage is NOT a thing in Ireland! Originally, it the Irish ate Bacon and cabbage. Corned beed & cabbage is an Irish-American staple. So, how did the dish make it into the U.S. food scene? Well, back in the day, the Irish immigrants couldn’t afford Irish bacon. To make ends meet, they found corned beef was cheaper and cabbage was readily available, so they did what they had to do! 

My Favorite Dishes in Dublin

So, is the food in Dublin, Ireland good? YES, yes it is! I was genuinely shocked at the food! Since most of the Irish food I’ve had in the U.S. (with the exception of one place) has not been good, I guess I expected the food to taste a little bland, flavorless, or lacking depth and soul. But I was so pleasantly surprised that everything I ate, and I honestly mean EVERYTHING, was the exact opposite!

The food in Dublin was hearty, warm, well-seasoned with herbs and spices, and bursting with flavor. It was “stick-to-your-rubs hearty and delicious! We had such a fun time in Dublin – to see our full experience check out our Dublin vlog and also how to get around Dublin on a budget if you’re planning to visit the city.

So what was my favorite traditional Irish dish of the entire trip? Hands down it was the Seafood Chowder. Clam chowder is one of my favorite soups and Dublin’s seafood chowder but my clam chowder to shame with its hearty pieces of seafood.

What was the most surprising traditional Irish dish of the trip? Shepherds pie. There was something about the combination of ground lamb/beef, peas, and mashed potatoes that really didn’t appeal to me, but the seasoning, herbs, and how it came together in Dublin was really lovely.

Join me on YouTube as we dive into the question, “Is the food in Dublin, Ireland good?”

I hope you enjoy the food as much as I did during your trip to Dublin! I’d love to hear about which dish you found the most enjoyable or if you have no plans to travel soon, let me know which dish you would try!

Antoinette | Frolic & Courage

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