What to eat, drink and do after a visit to Kilmainham Jail

By Emily Mullen

May 27, 2022 at 4:00pm

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Visiting one of Dublin's most important historical sites can work up quite the appetite.

Kilmainham Jail has to be one of the few spots in Dublin that is capable of moving locals and visitors alike. Locals definitely get a lot from a tour around the former prison, that houses some of the most painful moments of Irish history. While visitors get an insight into the toll the fight for independence took on the country. A visit to the Gaol can be a harrowing experience, one that demands a pick-me-up directly afterwards.

We've collected a list of the best places to visit after a tour of Kilmainham Jail:

Eat

The Patriots, 2-min walk away
If the name didn't give it away, sticking a nose into The Patriots on the South Circular Road shows you prints, newspaper clippings and drawings of Irish patriots many of whom were executed in the Gaol across the road. There's a spacious bar inside with plenty of room (and TVs to watch the matches) and in the warmer months the outside area is a serious sun trap. The food is quality pub grub, with a great smattering of specials that change each day.

Good for: A nice pub lunch/dinner and some lazy pints

Would recommend: The burger

Storyboard, 7-min walk away

Once you manage to cross over the 4,568 roads to get to Islandbridge, Storyboard awaits you. This uber cool scandi-style cafe serves up a great cup of coffee and some really interesting brunch and lunch options. They play around with preserves, ferments and pickling at Storyboard, so your dishes will frequently have a nice tang of vinegar or a sweet-hit of conserve.

Good for: a coffee and brunch

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Would recommend: Kimchi pancakes

Riggers, 11-min walk away

A short jaunt to Inchicore will bring you to Riggers a class neighbourhood cafe that serves up great sambos, salads and coffees. They also don't forget about the vegans and veggies and constantly have a great inclusive offering. There's a lovely vibe to the place and there's no better place to be on a sunny day than sitting outside.

Good for: A leisurely lunch

Would recommend: The Club sandwich

DRINK

The Patriots, 2-min walk away

Across the road from Kilmainham Jail is a great place for a pint, they've a decent selection of drafts on offer. It's the kind of place you could go for one and then end up clapping along to a sing-song of a 60-year-old's birthday party at 1am.

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Good for: A Smithwicks

Urban 8, 4-min walk away

This spot has gone through a few iterations over the last few years, now owned by the Galway Bay Brewery, the taps reflect that. The team also have a decent wine list and serve up some sunny cocktails too.

Good for: An Irish craft beer

The Royal Oak, 5-min walk away

Set along Old Kilmainham Lane, The Royal Oak has to be one of the best pubs in Dublin. A narrow spot that's ceiling bears nearly every county flag, it's the kinda spot that once you secure a seat you don't let it go. They do a trad night every week, and the outdoor area is one of the best spot to be in during a leisurely sunny afternoon.

Good for: A Guinness

DO

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Visit IMMA, 1-min away

A trip to Kilmainham Jail wouldn't be complete without a walk around the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham which takes in the amazing walled garden. Eagle-eyed visitors will spot some fun examples of modern art on the grounds, the full collection which is housed in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham which is set around an amazing square, free to enter the Irish Museum of Modern Art is a must-see.

Walk to the War Memorial Park,  7-min away

Just a short stroll away is another great park, set along the banks of the Liffey visitors can watch rowers practicing their moves alongside ducks and swans going about their business. Keen walkers or cyclists can walk all the way to Chapelizod, on this lovely path along the river. The Park also has some beautiful sunken rose gardens designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. It also contains an important commemoration in the granite bookrooms, a manuscript containing a continuous illustration by Harry Clarke, that contains the name of every single Irish soldier (49,400 in total) who died in the First World War.

Visit the Phoenix Park, 20-min walk

A must-see for any visitor to Dublin, the Phoenix Park is a centre-point for Dubliners. The largest enclosed public park in Europe, even boasts its own herd of deer (although visitors should not feed or go near them). Opened in the 1660s as a royal hunting Park, the park also houses the Zoo, Áras an Uachtaráin, and Victorian flower gardens. Loads of walks and cycle trails are available alongside activities like polo, cricket, hurling and yoga. The best way to get around is by bike, that way you take in all the sights from the Furry Glen to the Magazine Fort.

READ ON: 6 streets we'd like to see pedestrianised in Dublin

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