We can all relate to those days where you’re meeting a friend for lunch and you want to make it special. You don’t want to spend a fortune and be left skint – but you’re not looking to just grab a chicken fillet roll either.
You need a middle ground. We’ve found that middle ground for you, some of the best lunches in the city – and all for €15 or under for two people. That ain’t bad!
K Chido Mexico
The tacos here are unmissable and somehow gluten-free. For the filling, go for either pulled pork or the veggie option, where you’ll get three soft corn tortillas with chipotle citrus marinade, salad leaves, salsa verde, onion relish, chunks of avocado and lime.
They’re served up with Mexican rice and refried beans. These tacos hit pretty much hit every note along the flavour spectrum and for only €6 a pop!
Lolly and Cooks
There’s a great Lolly and Cooks cafe down in Grand Canal Dock. A sit down is essential when tackling their monstrous sausage rolls, and I’d highly recommend the garlic and rosemary roll – for only €4.90 it’s an absolute steal.
You could opt for a selection of their daily salad specials alongside but at that price you could squeeze in three sausage rolls without going over budget. So really there’s only one logical next step…
Honest to Goodness
You can choose whether to build your own sandwich for €7 or your own salad for €8. Although, Honest to Goodness provide a handy roadmap to guide you so it’s near impossible to make a mess of it.
You can even customise the bread, will it be chilli or cheese and onion flavour? I’ll take one for the team here and have the sandwich. You’re welcome.
Oxmantown has built up a strong reputation in Dublin for their sandwiches. They do, however, offer some alternative options like this salad that is served on Lebanese flatbread and costs just €5.90.
The salad special changes daily but it often consists of roasted veg, couscous or bulgar wheat, hummus, yoghurt, toasted seeds and citrus or sweet fruits.
For only €5.90 you get to make your own stir fry choosing meats, vegetables, spices and sauce according to your tastes. The chef cooks it all up in front of you and you even get a bowl of steamed rice to go along with it.
You’d spend an absolute fortune if you were to try to fit in the same ingredients in your weekly shop. This is the excuse for eating out that we’ve all been searching for.
We included these guys in our list crowning the top 10 chicken wings in Dublin but it’s worth noting that besides being delicious they are extremely reasonable.
Enjoy two dozen wings for just €12.95 and you get to choose your own signature sauce: buffalo or BBQ. The only problem now is trying to share them fairly. Let the games begin.
The Village Cafe
A great lunch spot right in the heart of Rathmines. The standard is high here but the prices are anything but with all the mains ranging from €6 to €10.
I’m a huge fan of their thick-cut sourdough bread and these guys are able to hold their own in the sandwich market which is oh-so competitive right now. One of their staples is this Iberian oak smoked beef sandwich with rocket, parmesan and lemon dressing.
Meet & Meat
This place is unique in that it has two very different vibes. When the sun goes down it turns into a wine bar with everyone leisurely eating their way around charcuterie boards.
During the day however, there’s a very laid back atmosphere as it turns into a NYC style deli-cafe serving up sandwiches stuffed with some of the best meat cuts around. Enjoy a spicy Cajun chicken sandwich with crispy streaky bacon, fresh guacomole, baby gem lettuce and roast garlic aioli for just €7.50.
I’ve been to this cafe more times than I could possibly count. I was there for the switch from over-the-counter service to self-serve. I often wonder if I’ve single-handedly made that move unprofitable as I see the staff watching me warily as I dive recklessly into the hummus bowl… self-control is not my forte.
The large salad box costs €6.95 which may sound like a lot at first but when you see the sheer enormity of the container you’ll gladly part with the cash. It’ll keep you going until dinner and then some.
The whispers of all-you-can-eat toppings on your burger took the city by storm a few months ago. The low prices here almost outdo the food itself. Almost.
The burgers will only set you back €5.95 each which means you’ll be able to afford a side as well: garlic or chilli fries. It’s your call but rest assured there are no losers here, only winners.