When travelling, I’m always on the hunt for delicious food regardless of where I find myself. Whether this be tasting the local delicacies of Sardinia, chomping my way through exquisite desserts in Hawaii or marvelling at designer chocolates in Paris; my taste buds tingle at the mere thought of local cuisines.
And of course, this was no different throughout Ireland … in both the North and the South. So, when the food is this good, how could I not bring the best of the best together in one juicy, delicious food spectacle? Are your taste buds ready?
This is one of those places that is quickly becoming the worst kept secret in the city. Locals rave about it, tourists hear about it from a friend of a friend of a friend, and quickly, word spreads. But in the most fabulous way! It is still a well kept secret (for the moment), thanks to its unassuming appearance on the outside, but is increasing in popularity as word spreads. And so it should – the food here really is incredible!!
My advice would be to come along for the afternoon menu, as you have the chance to get a deal if eating more than one course. My other half and I opted for a 3 course meal deal, but decided to each share the starter and dessert, and then just have a main each. This was both great for our bank balances, and to help keep our waistlines in check.
Now, although I love great food, I’m not normally one to ask the waiter to pass on my compliments to the chef. Not because I have never tasted great food before, but just because this can come across as a little “upper-class”, which I am most definitely not. But… the food at The Pig’s Ear was seriously in no competition with any food I have ever tasted before, and so this was the one time I decided my compliments should be passed on to the chefs!
My main of duck leg was meaty, juicy and seasoned incredibly. And, oh the dessert – it was not only the tastiest thing, but also the cutest thing! Wrapped in a pink and white retro candy bag, inside was a glass jar containing a layered fruit cheesecake. It was both such a novelty to eat, and was delicious! Quite incredibly, the table behind us ordered the same dessert, and clearly tried to smuggle the jar home as a souvenir… yes, the dessert was just that good!
If you fancy eating here, head to:
The Pig’s Ear
4 Nassau St
When I heard about a cafe that also doubled up as a bookshop, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I’m a huge fan of tea (as is any Brit), and of course, I am a total lover of books. So, as soon as you put the two together, stars shine in my eyes and I want to race there as quickly as I can.
Well, The Winding Stair was everything I could have hoped for. Plenty of books to buy (including vintage ones), with a couple of cute little tables and chairs by the window, which just so happens to overlook the river. And, I just loved the tea arriving in mismatched, quirky teacups.
This was my kind of place, and was just perfect for putting our feet up in the middle of a busy sightseeing day. What I should mention is that they also serve little cakes to go with your tea. So, if you’re hankering for a traditional flapjack, a chocolatey brownie or a crunchy tiffin, then by all means, do so.
If your goal is to read, eat cake and drink tea all at the same time, then this is where you should go:
The Winding Stair
40 Ormond Quay Lower
We had been walking and looking for somewhere decent to eat for some time, after marvelling at the Gumball Rally cars in Merrion Square. If you’ve never heard of this race before, Google it… you’ll be fascinated by how far they drive!
We’d not heard of this pub before, but it looked quite nice from the outside with a decent menu. And boy, am I glad we wandered inside? The food was delicious and the service was second to none, with the waiter knowing a lot about beer and cocktails. He convinced me to try a Ginger Peach Cooler cocktail, which was extraordinary, and he was able to describe beers to my other half in a lot of detail!
Oh, and I just loved how the walls near our table were decorated in wallpaper to look like bookcases. I said I was a book lover!
If you’re after the best beers and cocktails in town, then head to:
Oscar’s Bar and Kitchen
1 Merrion Street Lower
Although we were staying in Dublin, we had decided to venture North to see Giant’s Causeway as part of a day trip. Giant’s Causeway itself was fantastic to see, and I’d say it certainly lives up to what you would imagine it to be. But of course, seeing all those rocks, and thinking about the legends behind them really works up an appetite.
Just across from the carpark is a little pub on the corner called The Nook. The name itself conjures up a little bit of cosyness, and you’d be right. Go ahead and grab a table in the back and treat yourself to something delicious. Although remember that you’re now in Northern Ireland, so prices are in British Pounds!
My recommendation would be the fish ‘n’ chips (especially as you’re right by the sea and now technically back in the UK), with scones, jam and cream for dessert. Mmm… okay, now I really want some scones. Although in fairness, when do I ever not want scones??
If you’re around Giant’s Causeway, then you must go to:
48 Causeway Rd
If we’re talking about food, then it’s only right that a famous drinking hole also makes it into the mix, am I right? How else are you going to wash all that delicious food down with a pint of Guinness?
The Temple Bar is one of the most famous pubs in Dublin, thanks to the intriguing history of the whole Temple Bar area. To cut a long story short (we’ll save the full history for another article), the Temple Bar area had fallen into disarray many centuries ago. This resulted in bargain rents for homes, boutiques and bars, so Temple Bar was built, and this area became a thriving hub of Irish bohemian quirkyness.
The best news for the owners of the bar came in 1991, when the Irish state got involved to modernize and rejuvenate the entire Temple Bar area of Dublin, making it even more popular. And to be fair, with the pub offering over 450 bottles of rare whiskeys (Ireland’s largest collection), The Temple Bar has helped put itself on the map too, so you can totally understand why it’s a must see!
Bright red on the outside, and looking incredibly Irish, this pub is always heaving with tourists and locals alike. It’s pretty quirky inside, with tons of low hanging lamps, the whiskey collection we’ve mentioned and a bizarre bronze statue of James Joyce. And with such a buzzing atmosphere inside, how could you not join in? The only thing is that you may have to settle for standing with your pint unless you’re the early morning drinker type.
For drinking in the most famous pub in Dublin, head to:
The Temple Bar
47-48 Temple Bar
Over to you now – where are your favourite places to eat and drink in Ireland? Let me know in the comments…
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