Our guide to the capital's best outdoor dining venues is guaranteed to whet your appetite.
Nestled in the heart of Dublin City Centre, the main attraction at Isabelle’s Restaurant and Bar is their large open kitchen. Watch chefs throw pizza dough into the hot woodfired oven as bartenders shake up a storm. With a passion for seasonal ingredients, flavour is the main focus here whether that is pickled wakame seaweed, vegan hazelnut gnocchi or caramelized onion mash.
The decor is a mix of modern finishes and warm woods. A carefully curated selection of prints from the Irish Museum of Modern Art and Kerlin Gallery line the walls. Soak up the city atmosphere and do a spot of people watching on the outdoor dining area facing onto the Royal Hibernian Way.
FIRE Steakhouse & Bar at the Mansion House has a covered, airy terrace that overlooks the Lord Mayor of Dublin’s garden. Try the alfresco menu and enjoy oysters, quinoa salad or crayfish to begin your meal. After the mains, finish off with a gin and tonic mascarpone mousse for dessert. Please your inner wine buff with the 'Wine Experience' menu. A sommelier guides you through a six course feast with a carefully chosen wine to match each dish.
Overlooking St Stephen’s Green right in the heart of the city is The Grayson’s outdoor dining area. The restaurant sits under a glass atrium dressed with eye catching plants and vintage Art Deco touches. Drenched in natural light, afternoon tea is a must here. Dine on dainty Irish smoked salmon and lemon creme fraiche sandwiches and mini macaroons. Other highlights of the menu include classic dishes of pan seared salmon and grilled chicken supreme, while brunch features hearty eggs Benedict or buttermilk pancakes.
The iconic Shelbourne Hotel, founded in 1824, takes in views of St Stephen’s Green and combines historical architecture with modern cuisine. The open air terrace on the mezzanine level, serves delicious food in a sheltered outdoor dining area. Enjoy fish fresh from the market or the satisfying Shelbourne Burger made with Hereford mince.
Whether you’re marking a special occasion, or just spoiling yourself, book out the Champagne Terrace. The menu is a specially curated experience combining perfect portions of seafood, charcuterie and mini desserts paired with a choice of Laurent-Perrier champagnes.
Serving authentic Thai and Vietnamese food, award winning Saba on Baggot Street has the perfect outdoor dining space. Inspired by a whirlwind trip to Bangkok, the extensive dinner menu has a gorgeous selection of curries, noodles and light and tasty salads. Outdoors, sit under canopies in the trendy Saba’s Secret Garden and munch hoisin duck rolls. For drinks, sample Saba’s range of Asian and local beers, or select an expertly made Pattaya margarita to complement your meal.
Found in the bustling centre of Dublin City, Sophie’s Rooftop Restaurant can be found in the 4-star Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street. It is the perfect setting to take your dining to new heights. Make your way up to the terrace and enjoy 360 degree views of the city while you tuck into woodfired pizza or seafood linguine.
Cocktails are a speciality at Sophie’s. Indulge in a Nut and Berry Flip or a whiskey infused Honky Tonk Swizzle. Enjoy the vintage twist on modern interiors as much as the brilliant views out the windows.
Try the Nurserie Terrace at the 5-star Dylan Hotel, just off Baggot Street. The outdoor dining area is partially covered and full of lush plants and greenery. The atmosphere turns this pocket of the city into a magical oasis. Enjoy one of The Dylan’s unique champagne ice pops on a hot day. Otherwise, indulge in a luxurious menu including guinea fowl, fillet of turbot and saffron and tomato risotto.
The Rooftop Bar and Terrace at The Marker Hotel is a stylish and modern setting to enjoy a decadent evening of outdoor dining. Devour tempura of monkfish or grilled tiger prawns while taking in the sky-high views from the top of the stellar hotel. If you want to really splash out try the flame grilled blue lobster served with champagne. Grand Canal Square is just outside, so pop out for a walk afterwards to snap a photo with the famous red light poles.
Sitting at the top of The Devlin Hotel in Ranelagh Village, Layla’s Rooftop Restaurant, Bar and Terrace is a tranquil outdoor dining spot on Dublin’s Southside. Gaze at views of the Dublin Mountains as you enjoy your meal. Head chef Eoin O’Connor has created a unique menu, with dishes such as hake with clams, chicken with gorgonzola and peas and a selection of hearty pizzas. Keep an eye out for The Devlin’s rooftop residents, the Irish Black Honeybees. Their hives are here to stay, thanks to Powers Whiskey & Open Hive Honey.
Enjoy outdoor dining on the water at La Peniche, a restored classic cargo barge moored on Dublin’s Grand Canal. This expansive vessel is big enough to host wedding parties as well as a casual lunch. Try the three-bean ragout or fillet of seabass and Bailey’s crème brûlée for dessert. Sit back and relax as the barge sails on and you watch the sun go down on the canal.
Travelling the length of the Phoenix Park wall you will find The Hole in the Wall. Formally a medieval inn now they mix tradition with tomorrow, serving a range of filling tapas. The chef whips up tempura prawns and rustic potatoes, whilst you tuck into them on the benches outside the pub. Generous main course dishes include salmon, chicken supreme and vegan risotto. The venue’s burgers are another favourite. Bring your appetite as they are stacked high with a choice of delicious fillings.
Temple Bar’s Vintage Cocktail Club is a throwback to the roaring 1920s. The candles burn low in this atmospheric bar, with antique furniture to settle on and vintage trinkets nestled beside the cocktail menu. Lean into the Parisian bohemian spirit with an Absinthe Minded cocktail or a classic martini. Top it all off with a charcuterie board or chilli prawn bruschetta. Let your inner Bright Young Thing shine.
Refuel at Brother Hubbard, which has three locations each with great outdoor dining options. Their ethos is to bring nourishment and pleasure to their diners, serving up hearty food at its finest. Catering to vegan, vegetarian and gluten free diners, try the Middle Eastern Feast for the perfect sharing platter. Choose baba ghanoush, beef and lamb koftas or seafood stew and finish sweetly with burnt Basque cheesecake.
Tucked away at the corner of Jervis Street and Mary Street stands The Church Bar and Restaurant. This restored 17th century church is complete with stained glass windows and organ still in place, giving the restaurant a unique twist. As a hearty gastropub, expect the grub to include deep-fried calamari, chicken wings and a buttermilk chicken burger. They have a great cocktail list and a huge outdoor space, ideal for a well earned pitstop after a hard day’s shopping in the capital.
For a cruise liner dining experience without ever leaving the shore, head to Aqua in Howth. Take in striking views of Howth Harbour, Portmarnock and Malahide as you dine. Then, fill your belly with fresh seafood like piri-piri prawns and roaring bay mussels. The kitchen works with an allotment on Howth Hill and aims to grow as many of their own ingredients as possible.
The streets of Dublin are alive with diners and the city’s eateries have welcomed outdoor dining with open arms. Plan your visit to the capital and come try these amazing dishes for yourself. Remember to book ahead where possible so you don’t miss out on the best places.