We love a good meal out and we also love cooking. But sometime when you're working late and don't have time to cook you just have to succumb to the ready meal, no matter how good your intentions are. We've rounded up a list of the 10 places for the nicest ready meals in Dublin. These aren't the cheapest, these are quality meals for when you're not bothered cooking and want to treat yourself...
10. Bombay Pantry
If you're a fan of the Bombay Pantry takeaways then you will be delighted to hear that Bombay Pantry are now doing convenience meals that you can pick up in many supermarkets including Dunnes. The quality is as high as their takeaway and the meals are filled with only fresh and natural ingredients. Our favourite is the Chicken Tikka Masala, just throw it in the microwave and bob's your uncle!
It would be wrong to have a list on posh ready meals and exclude M&S. While they're not Irish, they've been saving many of us from the "what's-in-the-cupboard' conundrum for years. Their 'Dine in For Two' deal has saved many from the stresses of having to cook a romantic meal from scratch. You're spoilt for choice here when it comes to selection and they have healthy ranges too if you're watching what you're eating. While we're fond of everything, we're big fans of the chicken broccoli pie!
I've raved about Listons before on this site, and thankfully they do lots of delicious takeaway meals. You can get plenty of fresh treats like quiches, frittatas, hot pots and soups to take away from their deli, but they also have a freezer full of ready meals such as pies, curries and the lasagne is incredible. Definitely one to check out if you're not too far from Camden Street.
7. Donal Skehan Skoff Pie
We've spoken about our love of Donal Skehan's Skoff Pies before and his beef and stout pie had to make the list, especially coming into winter when you just want something comforting. You can get these in most supermarkets so it's easy to pick one up on the way home. Make sure to get the beef and stout one, it's the winner of the bunch.
Lawlor's butchers is my favourite in the city and thankfully as well as delicious meats, they also do prepared meals. They often do them up to famous recipes like Jamie Oliver's meat pies, Nigella Lawson's meatballs etc. They quality of the food from here is incredible, just fire up the oven, chuck the tin in and before you know it you will have a homecooked meal without the hassel of cooking it yourself. Our top pick is the thai chicken curry.
Ah Morton's... I don't shop here regularly because it's pricey, but the quality of their food is fantastic. It's like the Disneyland of grocery stores, there are always so many delicious types of every kind of food to choose from. They're huge supporters of Irish artisan food producers and it's impossible to walk through without finding something great to eat. Their ready meals are hearty, everything from roast chicken, gravy and mash to curries. It's hard to pick just one dish here, they're all crackers.
Avoca is another staple for people in a hurry that don't want to compromise on food quality and flavour. We'd happily eat everything they sell, but their lasagne's are an office favourite. Fire them in the oven and within 30 minutes you have a bubbling, comforting dish that tastes incredible. If you're feeling like going the whole hog then pick up one of their delicious fruit scones for dessert!
3. Fallon & Byrne
Fallon & Byrne is a city staple that most Dubliners know and love. They have a huge selection of meals to chose from at their deli, their sausage and mash with onion marmalade is something that ticks all the boxes when you're not bothered cooking and still want a delicious comforting meal. They also have many prepackaged ready meals that taste delicious too, and a few packaged butchers specials if you feel capable of firing up a frying pan or the oven.
2. Donnybrook Fair
Donnybrook Fair is a lazy person's dream, all their fancy convenience meals are amazing. I'm in love with their Wicklow Lamb Pie which honestly tastes like something your mother would make. Their ready meals are all reasonably healthy and made with good quality ingredients, definitely a convenience meal you can feel happy about.
1. Butler's Pantry
Many people will be familiar with Butler's Pantry for their amazing cakes, breads and party catering, but their convenience meals are incredible too. So much so that we had to put them top of the pile. We're fans of all their meals but their Beef Bourguignon in particular is pretty damn amazing. They have many outlets around the city so get down there ASAP, dive into their fridge and stock up.