You Need To Live In These Areas If You're A Devoted Foodie
Leinster has become a great province to be peckish in. The food scene here has been going from strength to strength over the past few years, and we’re slowly but surely cementing our name as one of Europe’s buzzing foodie destinations.
From hip coffee shops serving up delicious smashed avocado toast to sophisticated restaurants creating mouth-watering tasting menus, there’s an unbelievable array of delectable experiences for every foodie to enjoy.
If you’re a seriously dedicated food enthusiast, then you probably want to have a selection of buzzing food options close to where you live. So, let’s dive in and discover some of the best foodie hotspots around the province.
Bray, Co. Wicklow:
Maybe it’s due to urban expansion or perhaps because of the genius of a few culinary entrepreneurs (namely the Duggan family), but this once neglected seaside town is experiencing a renaissance when it comes to food.
The Seafront, with its beautiful promenade hosts the arguably Irelands hippest burger joint; Box Burger.
Photo Credit: Box Burger
Box brings together innovative cocktails, gorgeous décor and mouth-watering burgers that will leave you more than satisfied. Order with care however because the portions are truly massive.
Not in the mood for a burger? Head upstairs to the more upscale Cowfish where you can enjoy panoramic views over the bay and chow down on sumptuous dishes such as Moroccan spiced seabass and Pork Croquettes.
Sitting on the terrace as the sun goes down with a bottle of wine in mid-June is what we like to call the Braymalfi coast experience.
Image Source: TripAdvisor
For something a little different, call into Fishbar located inside the harbour bar, adjacent to Bray harbour. What looks like nothing more than a standard chipper kitchen, produces sea-themed street food that will literally blow your mind.
Enjoy the Fishbar nachos or Prawn tacos while soaking up the atmosphere in the pub’s cosy beer garden, before heading inside to dance away to the incredible free gigs in the live lounge.
Photo Credit: LovinDublin
Also worth a look: Hit up Café Ragazzi for authentic antipasti, pizza & wine at pre-boom prices.
Ranelagh, Dublin 6:
The enviable assortment of exciting restaurants and cafes in Ranelagh has never failed to attract droves of hungry folks in search of unique experiences.
The South Dublin enclave is showing no signs of letting its reputation slide either, with new dining venues popping up faster than old ones are fading away.
From the moment you step into the shabby-chic, Scandi-inspired interior of Host you know you’re in for a treat.
The smart, modern feel is complimented by a compact but impressive menu, which means you won’t be suffering from choice-anxiety here. Keep things simple by opting for the chef’s menu (€35 a head).
The decedent courses are mostly Italian inspired, without the pizza and pasta, and go extremely well with their carefully curated wine list. Prepare to go on a taste adventure that you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor
If the vibrant flavours and zingy freshness of Thai food are more your jam, then make a reservation at Nightmarket.
While this spot may not sport the instagramable interior of Host, the authenticity and sheer diversity of flavours will have you booking another dinner slot on your way out.
Think gorgeous steamed pork dumplings, vibrant mango chili salads and shrimp with lime, peanut and ginger. Be warned however, authentic Thai food is spicy, and they won’t tone it down unless you specifically request it.
Photo Credit: The Taste
Last on the Ranelagh list, comes the renowned brunch spot; Dillinger’s. Serving up a selection of American-influenced food, the menu includes classics such as steak ‘n’ eggs, pancakes and chilli nachos. They also serve a collection of delicious cocktails to take the edge of Saturday night’s indulgences.
If brunch isn’t your thing check out their Steak Wednesday’s where you can have your choice cut of Black Angus beef with sauce and a side for just €21.
Photo Credit: Dillinger's
Also worth a look: It’s often been claimed that Tribeca’s chicken wings are the best in the Ireland.
Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny:
The medieval jewel of Ireland has been drawing more attention from foodies for the last few years. With something for every budget and taste, there’s no doubt that every food fanatic will find their favourite spot in this enchanting town.
Often hailed as the best value restaurant in the country, Campagne represents one of only four restaurants in Ireland to be awarded the prized Michelin-star outside of Dublin.
Photo Credit: Campagne
Certainly, the most formal venue on our list so far, Campagne offers a decadent spread of classic French cuisine and delivers everything that you’d expect from a Michelin-starred restaurant; exquisitely balanced plates, with enough confidence and flair to keep you coming back for more.
For a more laid-back experience, make your way to the Kernel Bar & Kitchen. Dangling copper lightbulbs and walls covered in old 1930s newspapers give the space a retro funky vibe which blends perfectly with the scrumptious menu.
The food is an exhibition in how to use simple ingredients to make fuss free-dishes that are exploding with flavour. For something a little out of the ordinary, check out their fun take on afternoon teas featuring mini-bites such as pork chipolatas, chorizo croquettes, ham hock and Scotch eggs.
Photo Credit: Kilkenny Inn
If you’ve got a craving for something sweet, pop into Cakeface Patisserie.
Located in the shadow of St. Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower, this adorable café is the brainchild of Laura & Rory Gannon who spent the last number of years working with some of world’s most renowned pastry chefs in both London and France.
They serve up an epicurean selection of gourmet sandwiches, high-class patisseries and heavy coffees that transport your senses to the streets of la belle Paris.
Also worth a look: The Lady Helen Restaurant located in Mount Juliet Estate offers superb high-end dining and service in an opulent setting.
Monkstown, Co. Dublin:
Nestled on the south coast between two culinary hubs in their own right, Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire, sits the cosy village of Monkstown.
Monkstown has long had an alluring selection of eateries and cafes to choose from, but it’s really cemented its name as one of Dublin’s food hubs in recent years and has become one of the top destinations in the capital for those in search of something new.
Named after Dean Martin’s 1952 hit song, That’s Amore is an incredibly charming Italian restaurant located in the heart of the village.
Seating just 20 people the atmosphere inside, That’s Amore is intimate, lively and refreshingly authentic. Run by an Italian husband and wife duo, the menu is comprised of a gorgeous selection of antipasti, pasta and pizza which pairs perfectly with a few glasses of quality Italian vino.
The gorgeous plates are complimented with exceptional old-world service, that will leave you beaming from ear to ear.
Source: That's Amore
If you’re feeling more in the mood from something a little bit more Irish, you can’t go wrong with a table at Lobstar.
Stylish and unmistakeable cool, the interior space with its subway tiled walls, filament bulbs and soothing jazz soundtrack sets you up for what’s to come.
The menu is admirably compact, featuring mouth watering dishes such as butter-poached razor clams with mango, courgette, sea-trout roe and shallot, lobster ravioli featuring lobster bisque, sweetcorn and fennel pollen and of course the house speciality; a whole Irish lobster with a choice of sauce and potato side.
They do steaks and other bits here too for seafood uninclined diner, and also a tremendous brunch at weekends and bank holidays.
While technically located in the Blackrock market, Heron & Grey is only one stop on the dart or a twenty minutes stroll from Monkstown.
Heron & Grey earned a Michelin star after only 10 months of operation and with just 22 seats and only serving dinner three nights per week, it’s notoriously hard to get a booking in. if you have your wits about you and secure a prized seat then you’ll be in for a dining experience of a lifetime.
There is no choice on the menu and you won’t know what you’re getting before you arrive since the menu is largely designed around what the owners Andrew Heron and Damien Grey can grow in their allotment and forage form the nearby hills.
The innovative 12-course set menu takes diners on a multi-sensory journey, that will delight, amaze and inspire you.
Source: The Daily Edge
Also worth a look: 3 Leaves Indian also located in the Blackrock market serves up gorgeous, flavourful Indian food that’s not to be missed.