10 things to be excited about in Dublin this January - food, events and more

By Fiona Frawley

January 9, 2023 at 4:03pm

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We don't see "excited" and "January" in the same sentence too often - but surely there are some things to look forward to this month?

There's no denying it. January is a bleak and dreary month. Everyone has the head down to recover emotionally, physically and financially from the festive season, and there doesn't tend to be much happening.

But of course, there are some exceptions to the rule - and we're here to highlight them. We've searched high and low and found 10 things to be excited about in Dublin this month, across food, events and culture. There's cheese eating contests, Lunar New Year celebrations and free gallery tours - something for everyone, you might say.

Let's get into it.

The return of raclette

When Fallon and Byrne unveiled their Exchequer Street raclette station back in November, Dublin cheese lovers collectively lost their minds. Fulfilling the wishes of the dairy gods by scraping hot, melty cheese onto spuds, parma ham and pickles, the station was a culinary dream come true. Cut to today and F&B have significantly brightened up January by announcing the raclette station is making its return for this month only, every Thursday-Saturday for the next three weeks. Definitely one to hit up for any foodie.

Live Comedy

Looking for a fun, affordable night out to cast away the January blues? You can't go wrong with a comedy show. Also a great shout for those doing Dry January, you'll be able to laugh the night away with or without booze - and laughs are fairly guaranteed based on the thriving nature of Dublin's comedy scene at present. Feast your eyes on the January line ups for Cherry Comedy, which takes place every Monday night at Whelan's below, and check out our full list of Dublin comedy gigs HERE.

Lunar New Year

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The questionable 2023 shaped novelty glasses and decorations have been packed away - now it's time to look ahead and get excited for the pending Lunar New Year. To celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, Asia Market are hosting a great array of events including live cooking demos, free food tastings, restaurant takeovers, a Mad Hatter's Chinese Tea Party and so much more. Festivities kick off on Sunday, 22nd Jan - see a full breakdown of events HERE.

Hellfire

If you have a birthday or special occasion coming up this month and are looking for somewhere new to celebrate, cast your eye to Hellfire - a new flame fired dining experience just opened on Westmoreland Street. With chef Roberto Rapisardi at the helm, Hellfire are already smoking, flaming, and roasting up a storm - definitely one to book if you're a meat lover.

A new local

If you're not on the Dry January buzz and looking for somewhere new for a pint, the new brainchild of The Big Romance and Whiplash in Smithfield is definitely worth checking out.

Taking up residence at Dice Bar's former home, Fidelity offers a welcoming, neighbourhood vibe with extensive craft beer selection, as well as great cocktails and creamy pints of plain. An impressive built-in sound system is on-hand to provide the soundtrack to your night and you may also be interested to know Fidelity is 100% pet friendly - that includes dogs, macaws, and whatever else you've got.

More vegan options

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Whether veganism is something you're trialling at the moment or a lifestyle that extends far beyond January for you, you're likely to find more plant-based offerings than ever this month. With people trying on Veganuary in their droves, there are plenty of Dublin spots more than ready to cater for them - I've personally got my eye on this meat-free ragu from Sprezzatura.

Mozzarella Mountain Challenge

On a completely non-vegan note, there's a cheese eating contest happening at Token in Smithfield.

Token are challenging fromage fans to eat 1 kilo of their famous Flaked Out Mozz Bites as quickly as they can - winner claims a €300 prize. There'll be a leaderboard at Token and on their website - to misquote Bradley Walsh - have a go if you think you love cheese enough.

The competition is currently underway and there's no need to book or register online - just rock up with an empty tummy.

Book Club

If reading more is one of your resolutions, why not add a social element to it by joining a book club? Dublin's Gloss Book Club has been running since 2017 and is part of a larger, global club - meaning people all over the world will be reading the same book at the same time as you. The Dublin contingent currently meet monthly around an open fire at The Rag Trader, on comfy seats with cocktails in hand - find out more and get involved HERE.

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Free Gallery Tours

Have you visited the National Gallery before and not known where to start? Perhaps you'd be interested in a guided tour, so the experts can show you some of the gallery's best pieces and explain a bit more about them. The National Gallery regularly hold free gallery tours and they're the perfect activity to try for January - find out more HERE.

Bowiefest

Finally, one for the spiders from Mars - Bowiefest returns to Dublin this month, with events celebrating rock legend David Bowie across a number of venues including Whelan's, Rathfarnham Castle, the Lighthouse Cinema and Fibbers to name a few. There'll be listening parties, drag performances, Bowie brunch, Labyrinth screenings and tribute acts - peruse the full list of events HERE.

Any events you're aware of that are guaranteed to make January a bit easier? Let us know!

Header image via Asia Market & Fallon and Byrne 

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