The best local restaurants in Dublin are at the forefront of Ireland's innovative food scene. The locals are a discerning bunch who know what they like, so you can't go far wrong by following them. Grab an Irish breakfast to start your day right, grab a gourmet burger on the go, or share a smorgasbord of creative small plates for dinner.

    Irish meat and produce have had a renaissance in recent years, giving traditional dishes like Guinness stew or soda bread a new lease on life. Almost every restaurant in Dublin serves the finest beef, locally caught fish, and vegetables grown organically on nearby farms. Check out our guide to the best spots for local food in Dublin.

    1

    Oh'Rourke's

    Food that will set you up for the day

    Oh'Rourke's is an old-school greasy spoon that serves strong tea with excellent breakfast foods. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable about the local area. There's a great lineup of toasted sandwiches, rolls and chips, as well as a wonderful Irish coddle.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day at Oh'Rourke's. You can mix and match a plate of bacon, egg, hash browns, mushrooms, and tomatoes, served with toast, or grab a breakfast sandwich stuffed with egg and sausage. If you prefer a light meal, opt for porridge, yoghurt, and fruit.

    Location: 32-33 Bridgefoot St, Usher's Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 8.30 am to 4 pm

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    2

    Smithfield Market Square

    Lively square lined with amazing eateries

    Smithfield Market Square is a flourishing plaza for shopping, dining, and cultural events. Recent regeneration has seen new restaurants opening up in this cobbled square, which also hosts concerts and live music. Restaurants are a lively mix of foods from all over the world, plus several cosy cafés.

    Try tasty burrito bowls at Boojum Smithfield, sample spicy brunch tacos at Thundercut Alley, or opt for Texas-style barbeque at My Meat Wagon. Sparks Bistro serves a creative fusion of Italian and Irish food, while Bel Cibo specialises in classic pasta and pizzas. History lovers should visit Oscars Café Bar, where they can enjoy European cuisine in a gorgeous vintage room.

    Location: Smithfield, Dublin 7, Ireland

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    3

    Bibi's Café

    Tranquil cafe tucked away on a residential street

    Bibi's Café is a homey eatery that's dedicated to using Irish products from local artisan suppliers. Bread comes from Dublin's Tartine Organic Bakery, while tea is supplied by Clement & Pekoe. The tea selection alone is enough reason to visit this local favourite. Standouts include the classic Earl Grey, Lung Ching green tea, elderberry rooibos, Turkish apple with mint, and lemon ginger with honey.

    Bibi's Café’s food menu focuses on fresh and light lunchtime dishes, such as pan-toasted sandwiches, goat cheese tart, and soup of the day. Come for breakfast to enjoy granola with seasonal compote or French toast with strawberries and vanilla crème Fraiche. The pretty dining room is decorated with fresh flowers and inspiring cookbooks.

    Location: 14A Emorville Ave, Portobello, Dublin, 8, Ireland

    Open: Wednesday–Friday from 7 am to 5 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 454 7421

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    4

    Wuff

    A great place for long and lazy brunches in Dublin

    Wuff is a neighbourhood bistro that's loved by locals for its indulgent breakfasts and brunches. These include Nutella crepe pancakes, eggs benedict with crispy bacon, and a huge Irish breakfast served with sourdough toast. This brunch spot also has boozy drinks, such as mimosas and bellinis, as well as a delicious 'Wufftini' made with pink grapefruit and prosecco.

    Visit in the evening for delicacies like honey-glazed prawns, braised lamb shank, and beer-battered fish and chips. For dessert, we love its homemade banoffee pie and sticky date pudding. Tealight candles on the table are a nice touch, enhanced by old dark wood and leaded windows. Grab a seat on the comfy leather benches if they're available.

    Location: 23 Benburb St, Smithfield, Dublin, D07 VY07, Ireland

    Open: Wednesday from 8 am to 4 pm, Thursday–Friday from 8 am to 4 pm and from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 633 7959

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    photo by William Murphy (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    5

    Grano

    Authentic pasta dishes from an Italian chef

    Grano is a charming Italian restaurant that makes all its own pasta by hand according to a traditional recipe. Choose from balanzoni (stuffed pasta) with mortadella sausage, pumpkin ravioli, and mezzi paccheri (tube pasta) with pork cheek. The rest of the menu is kept simple to complement the pasta, with starters of stuffed squid and fried rice balls, with panna cotta and tiramisu as dessert options.

    The wine list is entirely Italian, with a focus on reds and whites from southern Italy. Many of the wines are made using organic and biodynamic techniques, and bought from small vineyards and winemaking co-operatives. Food ingredients are also sustainably produced, with many sourced from small Italian producers.

    Location: Norseman Court, Unit 5, Manor St, Dublin, D07 XD89, Ireland

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 5 pm to 10 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 12.30 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 538 2003

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    6

    Variety Jones

    Simple, imaginative food full of flavour

    Variety Jones is a gourmet restaurant where your meal is chosen by the chef. Its 6-course sharing menu contains original dishes like pig's head terrine, sourdough crumpet, venison with pumpkin, and pear and date cake. Dishes change frequently, so you could find yourself eating anything from foie gras parfait to rum caramel.

    The long, narrow dining room of exposed brick is decorated with cityscape murals and antique mirrors. You'll smell woodsmoke wafting from the kitchen, where dishes are cooked on an open fire for deep, complex flavours. Along with a carefully curated list of organic wines, Variety Jones also serves kombucha tea and home-brewed ginger ale.

    Location: 78 Thomas St, The Liberties, Dublin, D08 F2RN, Ireland

    Open: Wednesday–Saturday from 5 pm to 10 pm (closed Sundays to Tuesdays)

    Phone: +353 (0)1 516 2470

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    7

    BóBós Burgers Abbey Street

    Fast food with a gourmet twist

    BóBós Burgers is a burger joint serving prime-quality Irish meat with hand-cut chips and homemade sauces. The vast menu covers beef, pork, lamb and chicken burgers. You can opt for a basic cheeseburger or try creative combos like apple relish with smoked bacon, Mexican chipotle sauce, or Parma ham and green pesto. Vegetarians and vegans will enjoy the beetroot patties and homemade falafel.

    The craft ales, IPAs and stouts come courtesy of the Rye River Brewing Co. in Kildare, just outside Dublin. For a more traditional burger accompaniment, go for a vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate milkshake. There's a snug fireplace and lots of heavily cushioned benches in cowhide leather, giving BóBós Burgers a cosy vibe.

    Location: 74 Middle Abbey St, North City, Dublin 1, D01 W1A2, Ireland

    Open: Daily from noon to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 538 0800

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    8

    Keoghs Cafe

    Hearty breakfasts and chocolate cake to die for

    Keogh's Cafe is a family-run restaurant that has been serving nourishing homemade food for around 30 years. This is a quintessentially Irish café, with snug wooden panelling and gleaming glass cases displaying an enticing array of scones, muffins and pastries. The pavement seating is a superb spot to watch the world go by on a sunny day in Dublin.

    The crowning glory of the menu is the full Irish breakfast, made with Galway sausage and West Cork black and white pudding, and served with sourdough toast. There are mini and vegetarian versions, as well as porridge and Greek yoghurt. If you come for lunch, try the warming tuna melt sandwich, or a rich helping of Keogh's Guinness and beef stew.

    Location: 1 & 2 Trinity St, Dublin, D02 A440, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 6.45 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 8.30 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 677 8599

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    9

    1900 Restaurant

    Quality Irish ingredients cooked with French flair

    1900 Restaurant has the feel of an old French brasserie, with lots of warm golden wood and plush leather upholstery. Live piano music plays at the weekend, while you sip on a cocktail crafted by the virtuoso bartenders. The wine list roves across the Old and New Worlds, and knowledgeable waiters are always happy to recommend you something tasty.

    The restaurant is famous for its Hereford steaks, matured for 28 days and served with peppercorn sauce or garlic butter. Other favourites include seared chicken, pan-seared sea bass, and clam and prawn linguini, and the passionfruit cheesecake comes highly recommended. At lunch, the setting is a little more relaxed, with toasted sandwiches, chicken wings and nachos on the menu.

    Location: 59 Harcourt St, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2, D02 WN73, Ireland

    Open: Sunday to Thursday from 12.30 pm to 5 pm, Friday to Saturday from 12.30 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 476 4667

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    10

    Fallon & Byrne

    Elegant dining room serving fine French cuisine

    Fallon & Byrne is a gourmet grocery store with a first-floor restaurant that makes full use of its produce. It occupies a former telephone exchange building, with a dining room charmingly decorated in vintage colours and crisp white linen.

    The menu ranges from slow-cooked pork belly and aged rib-eye steak to pan-seared hake to ricotta and spinach tortellini. Dessert is typically sticky toffee pudding or knickerbocker glory, but you could go for a 'dessert cocktail' – Calvados brandy with baked apple syrup or port with chocolate bitters. You can find a wide range of classic wines from France, Spain, Italy, and Australia.

    Location: 11-17 Exchequer St, Dublin, D02 RY63, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 472 1010

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    photo by Kristian Lindqvist (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Victoria Hughes | Contributing Writer

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