Header images via Instagram/spitalfields_dublin/bakeology.treats
One of Dublin's oldest neighbourhoods, with a never-ending list of reasons to visit.
From Michelin-starred restaurants to warm and welcoming cafés that have served the community for decades, the Liberties is brimming with gems worth visiting.
Usually high up on the lists of tourists and Dubliners alike, the Liberties is known for attractions like the Guinness Storehouse, Christ Church Cathedral and multiple distilleries as well as its host of antique stores and charity shops. Creamy pints are paired with unmatchable inner city Dublin charm and pampered rescue pooches lounge outside cafés, soaking up the sun on occasional warm days and leisurely sipping on puppacinos.
It's a melting pot of culture and cuisines and if you're wondering where to start, we've rounded up 20 of our favourite places to eat, drink and get coffee, in The Liberties, broken down by street.
With the popularity of Korean cuisine on a steady rise in Dublin for the past few years, we’ll always welcome a new spot specialising in the fare with open arms. After already firmly establishing themselves as a staple of Dublin’s Korean scene with their meal kits and pantry staples, the excitement surrounding Jaru’s first brick and mortar eatery was been huge and we can confirm they live up to the hype.
The lunchtime menu doesn’t overcomplicate things – you can opt for a customisable rice bowl; choose your meat, sauce, rice etc to make it your perfect dish, or one of two dreamboat kfc burgers.
This Argentinian bakery evokes feelings of joy and contentment with its decor alone, and the food follows suit. Lovingly stuffed empanadas and sweet medialuna pastries are the order of the day - these guys also always pull delicious occasion treats out of the bag for Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter.
An institution of the Dublin chipper scene, Fuscos is one of the few spots left in town where you can enjoy your fish and chips in-house with cutlery and plates, and a bottle of vinegar for the table so you can lash it on to your hearts content. Perfect for anyone who misses the old days of cafés serving hearty fry ups with chipper chips on the side - they might even put the match on their telly for you if you ask nicely.
Another institution of the Dublin food scene (many of them reside in the Liberties, you'll find), Catherine's Bakery has loyally served the people of D8 for decades and their icon status is absolutely deserved.
Their jam donuts are the stuff of legend, bringing joy to generations with classic confectionary done right: dough that’s light and pillowy with a sticky exterior, and jam that oozes with the clarity of a bell. A beloved local spot for a reason.
A firm favourite among the Lovin team, Lucky's is known for their occasional weekend markets and record fairs, excellent beer garden and the addition of Coke Lane Pizza out the back, which sits among the best pizza you'll get in the city. A casual, dog friendly bar with a great selection of craft beers and cocktails, this is a great spot for after work pints and get togethers with big groups.
One of the OG speciality coffee shops in Dublin, Legit is another wonderful spot in the Liberties known for their gourmet sausage rolls and delicious brews. They also do lattes in pretty much every colour of the rainbow if that's what you're in the mood for.
All My Friends
A relatively new addition to Meath Street, LGBTQ+ bar and community space All My Friends opened their doors last year and with their regular quiz nights, cabaret events and drag shows they've quickly established themselves as a favourite on the scene. They've also got toasties and of course, tasty pints on the go to accompany the entertainment.
The Liberty Belle
A true Dublin 8 staple, these guys are known for their iconic Christmas raffle (prizes include 50 pints of stout and a Christmas ham) and pouring an excellent Guinness which will set you back just €5.10 at the time of writing this. Extremely reasonable by Dublin standards.
Another newly opened bar in the area, Jackies have jumped on the 90s nostalgia trend with vigour and are known for their Calpol inspired cocktails, Ross-and-Rachel themed bathrooms and whopper 90s playlist. They also do great themed bottomless brunches and quiz nights.
A firm favourite among Dublin coffee lovers, Two Pups have one of the best brunch menus in town (think saucy eggs, halloumi-filled baps and flavourful dhals) and as the name might suggest, are extremely dog friendly.
Another dog friendly spot that's perfect to hit up before or after a browse around the antique stores, Liberty Kitchen do great sambos, beautiful pastries and have a great little window seat that's ideal for people watching.
This famous Liberties pub sits halfway between Francis Street and Meath Street along the Coombe, and you may know it as the winner of the Michelin Guide Welcome & Service Award for 2023. Prior to this, Spitalfields has been no stranger to the Michelin Guide, there's been a bib sitting proudly in the window since 2021 and once you try the grub here, you'll see why.
Fine dining meets comforting gastropub dishes to create an elite dining experience with old-school pub surrounds. What more could you really ask for?
Thomas House is many things all at once. A rock bar with barrelled tables and bearded guys skullin' pints upstairs, but then a club space hosting unique and exciting nights across all genres downstairs. Oozing with character and the type of place where you never know who you'd meet, this iconic boozer is well worth stopping into.
These superior sourdough pizza slingers are located right beside Vicar Street, making them the perfect spot to head to for a bite before a show. Delicious bubbly crusts perfect for dunking into their top tier garlic dip, it's easy to see why The Lab is a favourite among Dublin pizza lovers.
Variety Jones is known and loved for its relaxed, non-pretentious ambience while serving up unique, lovingly assembled dishes which change nightly as part of their Chef's Choice Sharing Menu.
The Michelin Guide describes the fare as "“Highly original, refined yet unfussy... dishes burst with freshness and flavour, and many are cooked over the open fire; Keelan loves this concept, as it means no two dishes will ever be exactly the same”.
If you can nab a booking at Variety Jones, you can expect to sit back and relax as the stress of choosing what to order is taken away from you - you'll be served a 6 course Chef's Menu as standard divided into snacks, cold, warm, pasta, mains and after.
Last few weeks in 78 before our big move next door. Some availability left in April for one last hurrah.https://t.co/RPPpJAcGYr@KeelanHiggs pic.twitter.com/LDNJz8G37s
— Variety Jones (@Variety_Jones) April 4, 2023
Another great spot to head to for a pint before or after a Vicar Street show, corner bar Dudley's is regularly abuzz with live music, table quizzes and also offers a seriously comforting pub grub menu. Think chicken pot pie, beef and Guinness stew, bangers and mash - all the classics you'd crave.
Tom Kennedy's has sat proudly on Thomas Street for for 260 years and has the character to match. A real local gem with regular karaoke nights and creamy pints, you'll feel instantly at home and welcomed by the friendly staff behind the bar.
Via Facebook/Tom Kennedy's
This bar will attract you like its namesake with its cosy interior, comforting toasties and vibe-y club nights. The kind of spot you pass and look at twice because it's always buzzing inside - treat yourself and head in for a cocktail.
Via Instagram/The Magnet
Arthur's Jazz & Blues Club
As the name might suggest, Arthur's is a jazz and blues club and is the go-to spot to enjoy music of either genre in Dublin. Arthurs hosts top national and international music acts 3-5 nights a week and pour an excellent pint to accompany.
A slice of modern Italy in the middle of the Liberties, Proof are known for their swish interiors, cocktails on tap and tasty fast fired pizzas. Great for an Instagrammable lunch with pals.
Did we miss out your favourite Liberties haunt? Let us know!
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