The first thing you need for a date is a member of the opposite sex which is where most of us stumble. The second essential ingredient is a friend to call you during the date in case you need a swift exit. We've all been there. The third element in the search of true love is a venue and that will often involve food. If you can't get along over a bit of dinner the chances of you ripping each others clothes off are pretty slim. Even though there are thousands of restaurants in the capital I wanted to pick 9 that ticked all the boxes in terms of a first date. There needs to be plenty going on in case he / she turns out to be a total tool. Awkward silences are the nightmare scenario. Being Irish a bit of booze thrown in helps oil the old conversation and worst case scenario you can always drink him / her pretty. So go grab yourself a partner or 2 and try out some of these great spots...
This is a Dublin institution that is part wine bar / part classy French bistro and park club that keeps unusual hours. The tables are all crammed together and you get lost in another world down in this basement.
I'm not going to lie this one is only on the list for the comic value. It's a great restaurant and has been for years but I'd really love to know if anybody has ever taken somebody on a date to a place called....Bang. Good conversation starter at the very least!
L Mulligan Grocer
One of the coolest gastro pubs in Dublin. Going to a pub on a date is pretty unromantic but throw in some amazing wholesome food and a ton of craft beers and there is plenty to keep you entertained here in an informal setting.
Chai Yo Tepanyaki
This is the place to take somebody you are really not sure you are going to get on with. You all sit around watching the chef doing tricks like a circus monkey and guests all talk to each other. So much going on that even if the date is a complete plank you'll have a laugh.
Perfect spot to take somebody before the cinema. The fact that lots of the food comes on large sharing platters and the nice informal atmosphere make it the perfect spot. You'll be in and out in no time as well and I'm talking about the fast service here!!
Started as a pop up but really found it's home down on Dame Street. A great spot because of all the cool young people and the buzzy atmosphere. Nothing too pretentious and plenty of bars nearby to head on to after food if it has been a success or loads of cabs driving by if not.
Las Tapas de Lola
New on he scene and always absolutely buzzing. The tables are all wedged in together and because it is so noisy you'll have no awkward moments. Loads of food choices and a large menu will help you to have something to talk about for the first 15 minutes.
Fallon And Byrne / Merrion Square Picnic
This is reliant on the weather but why not go shopping together in Fallon and Byrne and pick out loads of nice nibbles and bits and pieces for a picnic. Grab a bottle of wine and ignore our stupid drinking laws and wander up to Merrion Square for a picnic in the sun. Serious brownie points if you are a lad and you pull this one off.
Vintage Cocktail Club
Lets be honest and say that booze is going to make this a hell of a lot easier for both parties. This place not only serves some awesome food but some of the best cocktails in town in a quirky setting.
The View From You Guys
I threw it out on Twitter because me alone writing about first dates is like Tiger woods doing a post on 9 tips for a happy marriage. Here are some of the pearls of wisdom from Twitter land...
@NiallHarbison somewhere with a back door? Just in case :)
— Sue Llewellyn (@suellewellyn) July 19, 2013
@NiallHarbison market bar - loud and casual
— BHC (@brianhc) July 19, 2013
— Paula Holmes (@P__Ho) July 19, 2013
@NiallHarbison Gilbert & Wright's, Clontarf. Great atmosphere, great food. Upstairs bar is dimly lit and quirky. Couches galore. Love it
— Brian Guilfoyle (@BrianDMI) July 19, 2013
@NiallHarbison Mulligans in Stoney Batter is my favourite place for food in Dublin right now.
— Seán Fitzgerald (@seanfitzg) July 19, 2013
@NiallHarbison Le Bon crubeen is pretty decent! Don't know if you've given it a bad review in the past tho!
— TheDude (@jfduffy) July 19, 2013
@NiallHarbison A burrito joint somewhere - casual, fun and plenty if conversation starters
— Christian Hughes (@ChristianHughes) July 19, 2013
@NiallHarbison Rasam in Glasthule has everything you need to impress on a 1st date: delicious food, impeccable service, & great atmosphere.
— Lisa Devlin (@lisadevlin39) July 19, 2013
— Wholesome Ireland (@wholesomeIE) July 19, 2013
@NiallHarbison Market Bar? Central, alcohol, nibbles, background noise to deflate awkward silences ;)
— Julie O'Donnell (@julieodonn) July 19, 2013
@NiallHarbison The Port House on South William Street for tapas. The Mint Bar in Westin for Cocktails. Il Vicoletto for Italian food.
— Laura / Dublin Diary (@TheDublinDiary) July 19, 2013