There are some quality restaurants in the heart of Temple Bar.
In recent years, Temple Bar has become little more than a tourist attraction that charges extortionate prices for a pint of plain. While it would take a lot to restore it to its former glory, it's not beyond help, and there are still some quality spots to eat out in, amongst the daylight-robbery hubs.
Whether you live in Dublin, or you're just visiting and want to avoid paying crazy amounts of money in the name of visiting "authentic" Irish spots, the following restaurants are where we recommend you go to eat instead of some of the "traditional" haunts.
9. Queen of Tarts
One spot definitely worth a visit in Temple Bar is Queen of Tarts. This Irish café and cake shop has been open for 25 years with a focus on simple and decadent desserts. Everything is baked on-site, and Queen of Tarts uses local and seasonal ingredients for their concoctions. Ideal after a day of wandering around the city, or for a catch-up with a like-minded, sweet-toothed friend.
They also serve breakfast and lunch if you need something a little more substantial.
Queen of Tarts opens Wednesday and Thursday 9am-5pm, and Friday to Sunday 9am-6pm.
8. The Saucy Cow
Whether you're vegan or not, a trip to The Saucy Cow will not disappoint. This colourful little spot does vegan fast food like no other in Dublin, ideal if you don't want to eat like a vegan but are devoted to the plant-based lifestyle. They do beyond meat smash burgers, loaded fries, as well as wraps and sambos.
If we had to recommend something in particular, it would be the salt and chilli hash browns that look nothing short of stunning.
7. The Lucky Tortoise
The Lucky Tortoise launched in Temple Bar in April 2022, and is well worth a visit if you find yourself in that part of Dublin. They specialise in modern dim sum, made fresh and family style.
I definitely recommend going for the All-In, as you get to try a bit of everything, and let me tell you, there isn't one dish that misses the mark.
You can read our full review HERE.
While Temple Bar is known for its extortionate prices, Sano is one of Dublin's cheapest pizza spots, and thankfully has a location in the depths of the tourist attraction.
They make authentic Neapolitan pizzas, with homemade dough that is light and crispy (and vegan, if that's a requirement). Their pizzas start at a very reasonable €7.90, and they have tons of variations available too.
Sano opens seven days a week in Temple Bar from 12pm.
5. Rosa Madre
On the other end of the scale, for something a bit on the fancier side, it's got to be Rosa Madre. Yes, this place is pricey (don't say we didn't warn you), but the difference is it's well worth it, unlike some other spots in Temple Bar. Their fish is delivered daily to ensure freshness, but if you happen to not be a fish lover, there are pasta and vegetarian friendly options too.
For some of the best and most authentic Italian seafood you can get, Rosa Madre is a top choice. They open evenings Tuesday to Thursday and for lunch and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.
4. Eatoyko Noodles and Sushi Bar
If you're into sushi, or Japanese food in general, you can't go wrong with Eatokyo. One of the best sushi restaurants in Dublin, their menu is wide and you get a serious amount of food for the money you spend.
I can vouch for their seafood ramen which is full of flavour, and their norimaki rolls are also super tasty. But even if you aren't into fish or sushi, there are plenty of other options to keep you going.
Eatokyo opens seven days a week; you can make a booking HERE.
A classic old reliable that you can find in Temple Bar is Bunsen. If you're in the mood for a burger, there's no better place you can go to. There's no muss, no fuss, just great burgers and chips.
There is a vegetarian option in the form of a grilled cheese, but if that ain't your thing, or you're vegan, then revert back to number two on our list; Saucy Cow is the place you need to be instead.
Another cheap and cheerful spot is DiFontaine's, one of Dublin's original pizza by the slice spots. The pizza slices here are absolutely huge, meaning you get a lot of bang for your buck; they start at a very reasonable €5.50, with calzones starting at €8.
You can also order the whole 20 inch pizza for €36 if you fancy it, which you just might after trying one of the slices.
1. Il Vicoletto
Il Vicoletto has been around for 25 years, an Italian with an authentic wine list and really delicious food. You can choose from a wide range of pasta dishes, as well as meat and fish, and Il Vicoletto makes it a priority to source super fresh Irish ingredients, resorting to Italian purveyors when this isn't possible to get their hands on the finest oils, cheeses, herbs, and in season vegetables.
You can check out the menu HERE.
Header images via Instagram / Lucky Tortoise & / Bunsen