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Food News

29th Aug 2023

Has Dublin entered its steakhouse era?

Katy Thornton

Who’s ready for Dublin’s latest food trend?

Here at Lovin Dublin we spend a lot of time discussing what era Dublin’s food scene is in. Trends come and go in all aspects of life; fashion, entertainment, social media apps, and the same can be said of hospitality. Over the years, the city has seen streets gleam with slicked doughnut icing, seen people proudly wear merch from eating too many burritos and lips slick with burger juice. While the year might have started with a foray into some dumplings, the signs are there that Dublin has entered its Steakhouse era.

How’d it happen

This might come as a shock to some but despite the fact that we as a nation have some of the best beef in the world, and adore a nice hunk o’ the stuff, up until recently there haven’t been too many spots dedicated to ’em. The concept of a steakhouse is a pretty Americanised concept, generally, we grab onto those with gleeful abandon but this particular trend has taken us some time.

No, what’s surprising is that something on the more spenny side of the scale is what is currently capturing the Dublin foodies out there. In comparison, the dumpling trend of the first half of 2023 was something relatively affordable, and most of Dublin’s previous trends (chicken wings, burritos, doughnuts) are all at the cheaper end of the scale. During a time when food and rent (in other words, simply living) has never been more expensive, the arrival of more and more steakhouses, a notoriously expensive kind of restaurant, is somewhat baffling. Yet, the hype around new spaces such as Hawksmoor, once voted the world’s best steak restaurant, or the transformation of the Stella Diner into the Stella Steakhouse, proves there is a demand for it. Just last weekend, Boeuf opened their second location on Suffolk Street.

When a steak dinner is going to set you back possibly €50pp, if you’re dining somewhere where sides and sauces come separately (and they do at most establishments) before you even think about adding a bottle of wine to the bill, it is curious that so many people are willing to spend this on food, but it kind of makes sense.

Perhaps for those among us who have given up the dream of home ownership in this country, enjoying a steak dinner helps soothe that ache (and possibly acts as the perfect send-off pre-emigration, which is exactly what someone I know recently did as a goodbye party before heading Down Under).

Basically, enjoying a good steak dinner is kind of like the millennial avocado toast argument from a few years back. Why not enjoy the sirloin, beef dripping fries, and creamed spinach meal when purchasing your own home is so far out of your reach that one decadent evening out every once in a while won’t make any real difference to the deposit savings you’re desperately trying to string together.

Why not soak in this indulgence, especially when one day someone can and likely will throw it in your face as a hugely simplified example of why you can’t afford a home, Tim Gurner style.

Which is all to say, we’re kind of into the Dublin steakhouse era. Let them eat steak, and all.

Header images via Instagram / Hawksmoor

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