A Restaurant For Every Venue – Where To Eat During The Dublin Theatre Festival
13 restaurants, one great festival
There’s so much on at this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival, which runs until October 11, it’s hard enough to choose which shows to go to and when, never mind how you’re going to fit in dinner too.
Well, we’ve gone and done the hard work so you don’t have to.
We’ve matched each theatre to a nearby restaurant for you to checkout. Check out our 13 picks below:
1. Abbey Theatre, Lwr Abbey St.: Sheries Café Bar
What better match for going to a play in one of Dublin’s most history-laden theatre than with one of Dublin’s oldest restaurants.
Sheries Café Bar is not quite as old as The Abbey (1904), but the business has been in the Isherwood family since it was established in 1957. Their menu is pretty straightforward, with no particular cuisine allegiance – think stew, salmon, wings, risotto.
2. The Ark, Eustace St: Bunsen Burger
Temple Bar is not always the most child-friendly place, but The Ark is an invaluable cultural institution smack bang in the middle of all the bars and restaurants – most of which will be of no use to you if you’re attending children’s theatre with little ones in tow.
Thank Noah for Bunsen Burger, just down the street, serving the best burgers in town. Even better, the portions are small, so better for the young 'uns than the giant slabs of meat that most burger joints serve.
3. Axis: Ballymun: Washerwoman
Unfortunately, this one is a little bit out of the way: about a 25 minute walk, but only a five minute drive. The Washerwoman is owned by the same people as The Woolen Mills and The Winding Stair, so you know quality is a definite. It has a really classy interior and an amazing menu (wild boar chilli nachos anyone?).
If you don’t drive or are looking for something a little cheaper, there’s a great pizza place called The Firehouse, just down the road from the theatre.
4. Civic Theatre, Tallaght: The Balzin’ Grill
Tallaght’s Civic Centre is right beside the Square, so you’re not short of restaurants here, but you can’t go wrong with The Blazin’ Grill.
In case you hadn’t guessed, this is a terribly-named steakhouse/seafood place where the portions come large and the list of sides is almost as long as the list of mains. You’ll be guaranteed lots of meat and lots of flavour, and they have quite a few a la carte, fixed and early bird options.
5. Draíocht, Blanchardstown: Maximilian’s Bistro
Even though Draíocht is also right beside a large shopping centre, Blanchardstown, your food options aren’t quite so varied here. In the centre, you’ll find lots of fast food and also a Milano’s and a Wagamama, but if you’re willing to take a 15-minute walk to find somewhere a bit more local, head to Maximilian’s Bistro.
Maximilian’s is an intimate but bustling restaurant and wine bar and it has a piano for an added shot of culture. On a weekday you should be able catch the early bird special: a €50 dinner for two with wine.
6. Gaiety Theatre, South King St: Saba Thai
Right at the bottom of Grafton St, just off St. Stephen’s Green and around the corner from South William St, you won’t want for places to eat near the Gaiety. Check out Saba, the king of Thai food in Dublin. They use authentic traditional Thai and Vietnamese recipes and fresh ingredients to create some really stunning food and drinks.
Bring your theatre ticket along with you for an extra discount.
7. Gate Theatre, Parnell Square: The Hot Stove
Just around the other side of Parnell Square from the Gate, there’s a restaurant in a beautiful Georgian building that specialises in offering amazing pre-theatre menus. Alongside their main menu, they have special vegetarian and coeliac menus, so all dietary needs are catered for. Their dishes are light, fresh, and use locally sourced produce. We want to go just to find out what the Passion Fruit Wrecking Ball is!
Here, again, you can bring your ticket and avail of a Festival Feeds discount.
8. O’ Reilly Theatre, Denmark St: Chapter One
As if you really need an excuse to go to Chapter One. Since you’re out for a night of theatre, why not make it really special with a trip to one of Dublin’s classiest and most delicious eating establishments?
Chapter One’s pre-theatre menus are an absolute steal for €37.50, as long as you’re out by 7:30pm.
9. Odessa Club, Dame Court: Odessa Club
When in the Odessa Club, why not eat at the Odessa Club? In fact, Odessa Club is not a theatre venue per se, but it's hosting the Festival Club.
At the Festival Club audiences, artists and volunteers can hang out and enjoy afternoon coffee or pre-theatre drinks and food for the duration of the Festival.
10. Pavillion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire: Toscana
It’s no secret that we at Lovin Dublin are fans of Toscana. That’s because they're one of the best authentic Italian restaurants in town. No heavy pasta sauces that could have come from a jar here, just fresh ingredients, beautifully cooked meat and fish, light Mediterranean flavours and a view over the sea.
11. Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar: Mongolian BBQ
For something a little different and super-cheap before your Project Arts show, try The Mongolian BBQ. A few minutes walk through Temple Bar, it’s an all-you-can-eat, serve-yourself extravaganza. You choose all the components of your dish yourself: from meat and vegetables to seasoning and sauce, and they cook it right in front of you. Then you can do it again, and again, and again.
Their early bird menu is only €13.90.
12. Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College Dublin: Il Caffé de Napoli
Go where the RIAM and TCD students in the know go: Westland Row’s Napoli. It’s an Italian café on the ground floor and a stunning restaurant in the basement. It’s on the expensive side, but there's a great atmosphere in the stone-walled section downstairs, plus you can always opt for the more affordable traditional recipe pizzas: the Cacciatora’s not to be missed.
13. Smock Alley Theatre, Exchange St Lower: Queen of Tarts
Technically Queen of Tarts is not really a dinner spot, but it’s really worth checking it out for their excellent desserts. Their savoury food is equally good, with delicious tarts, frittatas and eggs, and the portion sizes are pretty decent too. They close at 7pm, so you can just nip in before your show starts.