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Dublin - Bike Tour: Cafés & Restaurants

Here are our Top Café & Restaurant Recommendations in Dublin.

Hatch & Sons

Located at the edge of St Stephen Green, Dublin 2, Hatch & Sons offers an authentic Irish food experience served in a beautiful Georgian kitchen. The Irish breakfast is served on a beautiful Irish oak wood board, and the chicken salad comes with refined buttermilk dressing.

Padraic, founder and managing director of Fresh Eire Adventures, tried this restaurant and reviewed it on TripAdvisor :

“Excellent quality lunch with a pal, seated on their basement terrace in the sunshine...a wonderful Dublin treat. My fishcakes were superb; served with a light salad. My friends goats cheese salad was also superb. Wonderful food, great setting but service was a little disappointing (I had to send back my white wine - dirty glass, wine not cold)...”

This is a picture of Hatch and Sons Restaurant

 

 

Fade Street Social

Fade Street Social is an excellent restaurant that focuses on combining an uncomplicated way to cook using home grown products to give a rustic and exquisite flavour to their food. Inspired by his artistic mind, Chef Dylan McGrath highlights the importance of simplicity and final taste in his process. The restaurant is based just in front of the Brooks hotel, on the corner of Fade Street and Drury Lane in Dublin 2.

Here’s a review from TripAdvisor of Fade Street Social by Padraic, owner of Fresh Eire Adventures :

“This is really one of the best gastro bargains in Dublin; a recession-busting 3 course gourmet lunch for €25. But don't be in a hurry to enjoy the Fade Street Social experience. On the menu: a choice of 4 mains, 4 starters and 2 deserts. The starters are served with an extra flat bread pizza of mushroom and pumpkin - no one, not even the most famished, will go hungry. My (solitary) scallop was a delight; perfectly cooked and full of flavour. My friend's seasonal vegetable plate was the superior choice however; a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds. The accompanying flatbread pizza was exquisite; a taste sensation and an original deviation from the typical bread-in-a-basket. Some might say that this is overkill; that perhaps it is excessive. I, for one, having had just the scallop, was delighted the starter was accompanied by something a tad more substantial than a lone bivalve. We both opted for the ravioli. This was an exquisite dish; a selection of mushrooms (ceps, girolles...) and a sheet of fresh pasta (not parcels as one might expect) in a rich truffle sauce with a fresh gremolta. Perhaps one of the finest plates I had all year thus far. Service was a little haphazzard (although not terrible for a lunch service); our mains went to the other side of the restuarant and it was a minute before they realised for whom they were inteneded, and it took a while (5 minutes) to get the attention of the server when we wanted to pay and leave (he was hanging out by the doorway chatting with the restaurant manager and bar tender and didn't so much as throw a cursory glance in our direction during that 5 minute period). House waters (still and sparkling) were €1 each for a c.600-750ml bottle (great idea as long as you are not after mineral water as my lunch companion was), I had a super glass of Tempranillo (€7) and we enjoyed two Americanos (€3.25 each). Not terribly busy for a Monday lunch; there were perhaps 20-30 diners well spread out in the well appointed airy room. Stylish and comfortable (yet functional) furnishings, a table runner (fussy, unnecessary) and good quality napkins. I did not visit the bathroom. On the other tables: quite conservative looking folks in their mid 30s upwards; couples, friends, business meeting types. On the stereo: inoffensive trendoid tunes. Not in my pocket: €75 including tip. The atmosphere was a little flat; the restaurant manager, while making eye contact and smiling at the guests, did little else to interact with customers; something which (especially in a quiet restaurant) takes very little effort and can go a long way in establishing a long standing rapport. Perhaps most folks wouldn't see this as important, and I admit to being old fashioned when it comes to hospitality, but I believe a Manager should always work the room whenever possible. Overall a fantastic lunch and highly recommended.”

 

Chez Max

Established in 2005 and located on Palace Street at the gates of Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, Chez Max is an excellent French restaurant considered as a traditional French café. The decoration is wonderful and inspired by the Paris Gardens. Chez Max offers delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner all homemade with a Parisian style.

Padraic, founder and managing director of Fresh Eire Adventures, tried this restaurant and reviewed it on TripAdvisor :

‘’One of the most authentic French restaurants in town, I recently visisted Chez Max with a couple of friends. The experience was superb from beginning to end. Seated at a central table, we were immediately offered water and drinks by our server who was friendly, informative, efficient and answered our questions confidently and insightfully. The menu is extensive with some true stand out features such as the seared tuna (delicious). 

Some regular wines were a little on the pricey side (Gigondas at €45 per btl, €11.25 a glass) but there are some commendable bottles such as the Riseling at €29. Not the most affordable French bistro in town (€177.25 plus tip; 3 starters, 3 mains, 2 bottles as described, 2 espressos. no desserts) but an outstanding meal nevertheless and therefore great value. Highly recommended.’’

This is a picture of the Restaurant Chez Max

 

Market Bar

Located in front of L’Gueuleton on trendy Fade Street in Dublin 2, the Market Bar is an original gastro bar and an excellent tapas restaurant that offers pretty good snacks (especially the garlic bread and the soup of the day, delicious) and its own range of meats, salads, seafood, pizzas and vegetarian menus. We recommend to try the delicious “Gambas Pil Pil” (it comes with fresh bread) with a glass of red wine; the “Château Pesquié Côtes du Ventoux”.

Here’s a review from TripAdvisor of Market Bar by Padraic, owner of Fresh Eire Adventures :

‘’Wine list is on the value side but offering a fair selection sub 25 euro a bottle while the tapas selection is comprehensive. Excellent calamari, risotto with fish kebabs and simple tortilla are standouts for me. Service is superb and overall this casual dining experience offers excellent value for money.’’

This is a picture of the Market Bar Restaurant in Dublin

 

777

Located on South Great George’s Street, 777 is an authentic Mexican restaurant that successfully combines the bold flavours of Mexico City with the national Irish techniques. Open 7 days a week, 777 offers a modern environment, is friendly,and inspired by the typical image we can have of a Mexican’s interior saloon. This is the best Mexican in Dublin by a long way.

Here’s a review from TripAdvisor of 777 by Padraic, director and owner of Fresh Eire Adventures :

‘’I had heard much off 777 since it opened some time ago...all positive but I also heard people grumble about the prices. I went along with an open mind and was blown away. What I wasn't expecting was the amazing food on offer (Ireland does not have a good track record of doing Mexican fayre at all well - need I remind anyone of the plethora of Tex Mex menus masquerading as the real deal?) I was also not expecting to be wowed in almost every other way possible. Our server was friendly, chatty, polite, witty and efficient; off to a great start. She also looked the part. They don't take reservations (grumble) but we arrived early and were seated right away. The place filled up within 30 minutes - my advice; get there early! We ordered some excellent cocktails (I had a non-alcoholic ginger based extravaganza - amazingly refreshing and delicious...if not cheap; grumble!) and perused the menus. Lots of choice here for meat eaters and pescatarians / flexitarians alike...vegetarians however have limited choice. The specials were also appetising. While we waited for a third member of our group to join us we ordered some chips and guacamole - again excellent (served in Tacqueria style red plastic basket - small touch adding to the authentic feel of this place). Decor is a mix of Lower East Side NYC art deco of white tile, booths with formica tables...a long elegant bar open to diners with well stocked tidy shelves. Bar tenders knew what they were doing too and made an excellent job of my friend's Maragrita. No table cloths or linen napkins here; but high quality paper napkins and very well cleaned down tables. Dark lighting and blacked out frosted over windows makes this place look a bit like a sex club from the street - not necessarily in a sleazy way but gives a sense of "best kept secret" as you enter. Sure, it's a hipster hangout and is unapologetic about it. This is utterly fine with me; I'm a wannabe hipster who is probably old enough to know better but I like looking at cooler people prettier than myself these days. On the stereo; a strange mix of 80s dance tunes, hip hop and Americana...somehow it worked as it was subtle and more background music than pumping thumping tunes. Womack & Womack meets Don Henly. Who knew? On the other tables: couples on dates, friends having dinner and drinks, after work crowds...buzzing in general. The food was OUTSTANDING - I ordered a special of Shrimp in chipolte, some soft shell tacos with Snapper and shrimp emenadas...all perfectly executed; not fussy and utterly delicious. And AUTHENTIC Mexican - this is as good as it gets folks. Mexican is one of my favourite types of cooking and I've been spoiled for choice because I travel to the USA so much and have been to Mexico (not just for the food) 5 or 6 times. Bathrooms were spotlessly clean and followed the blacked out lighting theme throughout. No expense spared in the toiletries either; L'Occitane Verbena liquid soap and bars all the way. Thankfully no horrific hand driers to contend with either; high-quality civilised paper towels all the way. You must walk through the kitchen pick up area to access the bathrooms so you can throw an eye on the goings on back there too. For desert we ordered sorbets and 2 portions of OUTSTANDING Key Lime Pie...again; if you haven't had Key Lime Pie done properly before you're in for a real treat if you order it here. I've never seen it on a menu in Ireland before. OK,, so it was not cheap. The damage for the three of us came to 155 euro before tip. For what we had however this was reasonable. For the entire experience however I'd go so far as to say this was amazing value for money. Wow factors all the way from the service to the bathrooms to the food to the cocktails. Top drawer all the way. Yet fun and super casual. This is one of my new favourite restaurants and one I can wholeheartedly recommend to friends and clients alike. Bravo for getting it done right first time around. I can't wait to return. 10/10.’’

 

L’Gueuleton

Located on trendy Fade Street in Dublin, L’Gueuleton offers a fusion of exquisite French bistro food, wine and high quality Irish produce in a relaxed and casual setting. You should try the caramel cream, the most popular dessert of the bistro. A recent guest of Fresh Eire Adventures compared the experience here to the very best French food outside of France.

Padraic, founder and managing director of Fresh Eire Adventures, tried this restaurant and reviewed it on TripAdvisor :

“When this place opened it had an air of self-importance. Roll on a few years and the recession has hit. The pretension has disappeared but the menu, food and service are still right up there with the best Dublin has to offer. Prices are reasonable. Their specials are always worth checking out. The layout of this French style restaurant is simple yet possesses a comfortable atmosphere and a wonderfully solid, uncomplicated menu with plenty of choice. Their Oysters Rockerfeller are the best in Dublin. There is almost always a buzz here at night but during the day, especially mid week, lunches are quieter. Mid week lunches are now my favourite time to eat here; a long lesiurely boozey lunch where the servers are not trying to move you on! I recommend this restaurant to colleagues and clients alike - everyone who goes here RAVES about the service, ambiance and especially the food. Great wine list too with plenty of good quality bottles in the sub 40 euro category. Keep up the good work.”