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Food News

07th May 2024

23 of the best cheap and cheerful eats in Dublin


For when that payday feels too far away

Between the cozzy liv, inflation and rising prices we’re all just scraping by at this point, waiting until that all-too-important payday. Good food is an instant serotonin booster, but eating out can be pricey. These Dublin spots are perfect if you’re looking for something tasty without dipping into next month’s rent:


You can find MASA on Drury Street and Camden Street, you can find them on Instagram

Emerging onto the Dublin food scene with a bang a few years ago, MASA drums up an incredible business serving up fresh, tasty Mexican fare and cocktails. It’s a rock-up and wait-for-a-table situation, but luckily for us the food comes out quickly and the turn over of tables is swifter still. It’s a great shout if you want to pop in for a quick bite to eat, that doesn’t feel like you are slumming it. Depending on the size of your party or level of hunger you can order up or down, nothing on the menu costs over €10, and there are plenty of options regardless of your dietary preferences, with some great vegan options. The tacos range from €7.95- €9.95 while their quesadillas are as cheap as €6.95 the cocktails are also top-rate.

2. The Cheeky Piglet

The Cheeky Piglet is based in Fumbally Court, you can find them on Instagram
Open since October 2022, and a stone’s throw from the old Lovin offices, you could say we quickly became well acquainted with The Cheeky Piglet. Often enticed by their breakfast selection, a standard order is two hash browns and a coffee, which you can get for as little as €5. They also have great price points and value for money across their menu, making this one of the best cheap and cheerful restaurants in Dublin.

3. The Goodies

You can find The Goodies in the basement of NCAD, Thomas Street, Dublin 8, more info click here.  

A superb café located in the basement of NCAD, unknowingly to many, it’s actually open to the public – those sweet sweet deals aren’t just for the students! You can get lunch and a coffee here for less than a tenner – absolutely unheard of these days tbh. They have 3 weekly changing specials, but also keep on a rolling cast of favourites too. They do a range of pastries and little treats which are pretty reasonably priced, and their coffee starts at just €2.50 for an americano, and goes to €3 for a milky coffee. Run by Siobhan Byrne for the last 2 years, this is just one of the many incredible hospitality businesses run by women in the city

4. Super Asia Foods

You can find Super Asia Foods on Parnell Street, Dublin 1
If you find yourself in town with a hankering for a big feed, but you’re a little low on funds we’ve got just the place for you. Super Asia Foods on Parnell Street is newly opened and has a whole host of cheap options for under a tenner. If you’re really strapped for cash, you can grab one of the ramen pots, fill it up right there in the shop and wolf it right down in the seating area- there’s an incredible variety with some even at the low low price of €1.50. If you’re feeling a little boujee, head on over to their hot deli counter. We tried out their crispy chicken bao bun and chicken dumplings, and not only were they *chefs kiss* the portions were nothing short of generous.

5. Sano Pizza

Sano Pizza has two locations, one in Ranelagh and one in Temple Bar; you can check out their menu HERE.

A real if you know you know spot, is Sano Pizza, who sell some of the most affordable pizzas in the city. An absolute go-to if you are in need of a big feed, on a small budget, without compromising on taste. Their 12-inch Neopolitan pies start at €6.90, and they have a huge range of choices, including vegan and veggie options. Thin, crispy crust with just the right amount of toppings, these are pizzas that if you closed your eyes you’d nearly think you were in Italy!

6. Umi Falafel

There are now five Umi locations in Dublin you can check them all out HERE.

If you ever find yourself wandering around town, growing increasingly agitated by the rumbling in your stomach, Umi is always a good decision. The team do a great job of creating a relaxed and chill atmosphere in every location, serving up some top-quality filling Middle Eastern fare. Serving up sambos, wraps, and salads (you can even build your own), which all come with the good things like lashings of hummus, crispy falafel and shredded fresh veg. They’ve some great options for vegans and veggies, and is a very kiddie-friendly setting too.

7. Shouk

Shouk is based in Drumcondra, you can find out more about them HERE

Shouk is a surefire option if you want to have a dinner out without breaking the proverbial bank. This Middle Eastern mecca is undoubtedly of the best cheap and cheerful restaurants you can find in Dublin, truly incredible food for eye-watering cheap prices. You’ll be rolling out of this gorgeous Drumcondra premises, with a doggie bag to go trailing after you. Just be sure to book well in advance as this place is popular with a capital P.

8. Zakura

Zakura has three branches, one on Upper Baggot Street, one on Lower Baggot Street, and one on Wexford Street. Check out their menu HERE.

A great shout if you need to head out with a gang on a budget, it’s a true BYOW go-to, which boasts a very reasonable €6 corkage fee which takes some pressure off your bill. Zakura has a hefty menu, with items that will suit even the pickiest of eaters on the slimmest of budgets, so you can truly choose a meal for whatever fits your mood or your budget. Their lunch offering is also nothing short of legendary, I often need to physically restrain myself from getting their very generous bento box for lunch erryday!

9. Sprezzatura

You can find Sprezzatura on Camden Street, check out their website HERE.

One of the city’s best-value restaurants has to be Sprezzatura, an Italian synonymous with cheap and cheerful pasta plates. This restaurant is booked out for weeks at a time and for very good reason, it’s high-quality food available for truly refreshing prices. Seasonally led, the team are always chopping and changing up their menu with new specials, and fun initiatives like lasagna by the kg.  There’s invariably a great veggie option available, and they serve some great cocktails with a price tag you’ll appreciate in a city where you’d be hard-pressed to find a good cocktail for less than a tenner.

10. Lee’s Charming Noodles

You can find Lee’s Charming Noodles on Parnell Street

A place where you’ll find more off-duty chefs than you can swing a noodle at, Lee’s Charming Noodles is one of Dublin’s foremost spots for traditional Chinese fare. In this institution the broth is hot, the meat is tender, and the noodles are hand-pulled, you can get a massive bowl of chicken noodle soup or braised beef noodles for €9.80, which will genuinely keep you full throughout the day. This is a brilliant restaurant if you’re looking for a hearty and wholesome meal, particularly in the colder months. The seats by the windows are also great for people watching, so leave the book (or boyfriend) at home.

11. The Porthouse

You can find The Porthouse in Dundrum, Camden Street, South William Street, and Temple Bar.

If you’re looking for tapas at an affordable price, then The Porthouse is perfect. Unlike other tapas places, many of their plates are as little as €5 and they’re quite substantial. Plus there’s a ton of choice and with mix and matching, you’re bound to have a satisfying meal without breaking the bank.

12. Mugg Uggly

Mugg Uggly is located beside the Glencairn Luas Stop in Leopardstown. 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but lately, toasties have gotten a little spendy. It’s rare to visit a spot where you can get a good toastie for less than €8, but at Mugg Uggly, they have them for just €5.50. There’s no muss, no fuss with these bad boys, just a good sambo with lots of melted cheese. If you want yours with ham, it costs €6.50, and you can add a garlic dip for just €1 (and trust me, it’s a potent garlic dip).

13. Neon

You can find Neon on Camden Street

Nestled on Camden Street, this spot is notorious for its great value lunch deal which has fed many the hungry student and office worker alike. Their €12 massaman curry has done more for the hungry Irish public than photos of Paul Mescal gallivanting around London in his GAA shorts. If you’re a broth lover, you’re in for a real treat – it’s steaming hot and super flavourful, which is perfect for the colder weather. They’re super generous with their portions, so maybe give your elevenses a miss if you’re coming here for lunch. If you’re eating in, they even give you a cone so that you can indulge in their soft-serve ice cream. Prepare to see a lot of wonky 99s, as you have to pull your own – so if you spent your teenage summers working in your local shop pulling cones, it’s your time to shine.

14. McGuinness’s

McGuinness’s can be found on Camden Street, check out their menu HERE

Takeaways are generally affordable, but McGuinness’s is especially cheap and cheerful, and does unreal vegan food that will make you forget all about meat. The tofu bites are particularly good (and I’m not even vegan).

15. DiFontaine’s

You can find DiFontaine’s in Temple Bar. 

Pizza slices starting at €5.50? Calzones for as cheap as €8? DiFontaine’s is a great spot for some cheap but delicious pizza in Dublin. While it is the preserve of after-hours post-pinting grubbing, this pizza is proper New York-style slices that is not to be missed- day or night.

16. Aperitivo Cicchetti

You can find Aperitivo Cicchetti on Nassau Street, head to their Instagram for more info
Another small plate pasta spot that is very affordable is Aperitivo Cicchetti, which opened at the end of August. Their starters begin at €5.80 and their mains begin at €8.65 and if you go with a couple of people you can try lots of different plates without breaking the bank.

17. White Rabbit

You will find White Rabbit on Capel Street. 

Tucked in the back of an Asian supermarket you’ll find some of the city’s best food deals, you can get amazing Korean-style corn dogs from White Rabbit for only €5 a pop; while some of their other dishes aren’t quite as cheap, you won’t break the bank with that their corn dogs.

18. El Grito

El Grito is based in Mountjoy Square and Rathmines, head to their Instagram for more info.

This Mexican Taquería has been a go-to spot in Dublin 1 ever since it first opened in 2014, for its authentic cuisine as well as its affordable prices – by Dublin standards at least. It’s been feeding the masses for almost a decade, and we couldn’t be happier that they have launched a southside location. All of your favourite Mexican dishes are present, from tacos to burritos, tortas to gringas. If you’re a lover of all things cheese, beans, jalapeños, guac, all in the cushiony goodness of a tortilla, then a feed at El Grito will not disappoint. While the burritos, tortas, and gringas all cost over €9.99, the tacos only cost €2.50 a pop – you’ll find it very difficult to get some grub at this price point anywhere in Dublin, let alone Rathmines.

19. Yeeros

You can find Yeeros on Wexford Street and in Drumcondra, for more info head over to their Instagram.  

And if you’re looking for a lunch option that will satisfy you as well as keep your bank account happy, it’s got to be Yeeros. This is Greek street food at its most quick and efficient, with grub starting at €5.95, there’s gyro, platters or some straight-up chips to choose from. 

20. Yum Thai

You can find Yum Thai on Duke Street

One of the city’s longest-standing cheap eats, you can get an absolute feed of curry or pad Thai for a few coins. If you’ve a big appetite then you can rest assured as the portion sizes are absolutely massive. If you’re lucky enough to still have a student card, you can grab a portion for just €5.50 – sure you wouldn’t even get a pint for that.

21. Aobaba
You can find Aobaba on Capel Street

Some of the freshest Vietnamese food available in Dublin for some budget-friendly prices, it’s hard to spot the flaw? As long as you bring cash and are prepared to sit in the snug surroundings of the tiny spot, the food is well worth it, it will transport you back to sitting on a plastic red chair, baking in humidity, beside an incredible stall serving the freshest Bánh mìs and most refreshing iced coffees you’ve ever had. A must-visit in Dublin, this place is a true if you-know you-know spot.

22. Govinda’s

You can find Govinda’s on 83 Middle Abbey Street
One of the oldest vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Dublin, run by Hare Krishnas the team cater to various dietary needs, including gluten-free options. It’s a warm and inviting atmosphere, with a few seats that you need to grab when you see ’em! It’s a canteen-like set-up where you grab a metal plate, choose the food from at the counter, pay and grab your cutlery. You can get a mahusive bowl of healthy plant-based goodness for a very affordable price (a small plate costs €10.95 and the portions are huge), it’s the kind of food that makes you feel good from the inside.

23. Padoca
You can find Padoca on Capel Street

Located on Dublin’s favourite pedestrianised street, Padoca is Dublin’s first Brazilian bakery. They serve up snacks, cakes, and tapiocas native to their homeland that come in at a delightfully reasonable price, we opted for their grilled ham & cheese sandwich, which was just €4.75. It is essentially just ham and cheese on a baguette, but who are we to turn our noses up at a tried and tested classic? The humble hang sangwich was forever a staple in our school lunch boxes, and seeing it gracing menus now is like running into an old friend. One of the main draws to Padoca is the lovely indoor seating area – a welcome change from the many sad outdoor lunches we’ve endured, huddled on a wet bunch and trying to avoid making eye contact with the seagulls and pigeons at your feet. A hot lunch that’s sure to fill you up, that you can eat at a warm and cosy table off the streets? We know a bargain when we see one

Have we missed any? Give us a shout in [email protected]

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