About food around or near the upcoming World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin, Ireland

Recent Posts

Michael’s Mount Merrion

Michael’s Mount Merrion

We were deeply, deeply conflicted about making this entry public, due to that old familiar concern: if we tell people where Michael’s is, we won’t be able to get a table. But eventually common sense prevailed. We live here. We’ll get in again eventually, even […]

The Silver Penny

The Silver Penny

In a city (and country) where pubs, and good pubs, are considered a vital part of the social infrastructure, you can often hear people getting snippy about the encroachment of chains into an area where individuality is seen as a virtue. So it’s probably no […]

Xi’an Street Food

Xi’an Street Food

Just a fabulous place and a wonderful addition to the restaurants on South Anne Street. (It’s right across the street from Gotham Cafe and next to the French mainstay Le Cave.)

We’ve been missing the presence of a favorite Chinese place in center city Dublin, but Xi’an’s arrival (early in 2019) has filled the gap beautifully. The feel is casual, the staff are lovely, and the food…? Wow.

Himself and I were sort of in comfort food mode when we visited, so instead of heading for the Biang Biang noodles that are the place’s signature dish, we went for slightly more familiar options. Peter has a serious fondness for mapo dofu, and I really like dan dan mein: so those were what we got.

And they were really, really good. The subtlety and intensity of the flavors were startling. Peter started stealing the broth from my dan dan mein…

…and I confess I made inroads on his mapo dofu (at the top of the post) that would have been more serious if he’d helped me out by eating more slowly. Which he refused to do. (Not quite grounds for divorce, granted. But next time he’s not getting my broth.)

We look forward to many more visits, because there are a whole lot of things on that menu that need investigation. This is a small place, with sidewalk seating that can be enclosed when the weather’s inclement; but when conditions are good and you can sit out and watch Dublin go by while you eat, the spot is at its best. Prices here are seriously reasonable, too. Highly recommended.

(The dumplings were really good, too…)

The dumplings

Address: 28 Anne St S, Dublin, D02 DX39

Phone: (01) 677 8953

Website: https://www.xianstreetfooddublin.ie/

Link to menu

Nearest Luas: Dawson

Accessibility: A step up into the restaurant. Street level on the outside.

Spar Dame Street

Spar Dame Street

The Irish Spar stores (for those visitors not already familiar with them) are associates of the world’s largest grocery and convenience store chain. They’re scattered all over Ireland and there are many in Dublin. This particular Spar, though, is a standout due to being open […]

Forno 500°

Forno 500°

To start with: neither of us can think of a single Italian or Italianate restaurant in Dublin where we’ve heard so many people speaking Italian. And not just the staff; we’re talking about the customers. This has to mean something. Forno 500° opened up about […]

The Cedar Tree

The Cedar Tree

They opened on this site in 1986, just before we got here, and are still doing what they were doing when they arrived: making all kinds of absolutely brilliant Lebanese food. In 1986 Dublin, Middle Eastern food of any kind whatsoever was thin on the ground… so it’s fair to say that when we found out The Cedar Tree was here, we fell upon the place (as Peter says) “with glad cries”. And all the cries were, and are, deserved.

The Cedar Tree’s gallery alone should be enough to get fans of this cuisine all mouth-watery. The menus are eloquent of a kitchen that mastered the basics back when dinosaurs walked the Earth, and continues to go from strength to strength. (They’ve added a charcoal grill, which is nice.) It should also be mentioned here that a significant portion of the menu is vegetarian, which in Dublin is a bit unusual. (And welcome.) But generally speaking, as regards the simplest Lebanese food, DD admits she’s a cheap date. Give her enough baba ganouj and pita bread and you can render her harmless for hours. …Well, mostly harmless.)

Disclosure: The owner was once kind enough to comp our dinner after he found out it was we who’d sent George Takei here (after he spent a week in the city secondary to a memorable Star Trek convention in Malahide). We knew the boss was a Trek fan, and that the sudden appearance of Mr. Sulu in his front room would blow his mind. In some regards at least, we have no (corporate) shame.

Address: 11 Saint Andrew’s Street, Dublin 2, D02 Y367

Phone: (01) 677 2121

Website: cedartree.ie

Quick link to lunch menu

Quick link to dinner menu

Accessibility: Due to recent refurbishment, needs to be checked

The Bank on College Green

The Bank on College Green

Once upon a time this was the Dublin branch of the (now extinct) Belfast Bank, which was plainly doing well for itself to judge by the interior — ornate mosaic-and-tile floors and stained glass ceiling, incredible plasterwork, the whole nine yards. Now this space has […]

Bewleys Grafton Street

Bewleys Grafton Street

Its name alone has been evocative to Dubliners for more than a century — summoning up images of a place where you can go for great tea, a good small (or not so small) meal, a conversation that might change your life. The flagship branch […]

Insomnia Coffee Company

Insomnia Coffee Company

Ireland’s history with coffee and coffee shops is extensive, dating back to the late 17th century — when people from all walks of life would turn up early and late at their local coffee shop to pick up the latest news (good shops prided themselves on the variety of newspapers they could provide to their customers) and their nearness to where the ships pulled in. And a surprising amount of business got done in coffee shops — auctions and so forth. So, as regards availability of free wifi to customers for both personal and business use, only the tech has changed. In this regard as in so many others, Dublin beat Seattle to the punch by centuries.

Any city that has for a century and change had the venerable Bewleys coffee shops in it is going to give competitors a steep hill to climb; but some of the newcomers to Dublin aren’t doing too badly. One of the major native players is the Insomnia chain, scattered all over the city from east to west. They started out with a single presence in a Galway bookshop in 1997 and have since grown into a high street operation with a hundred and fifty branches of various sizes scattered around Ireland, the UK and beyond. Besides the usual coffees, FreeTrade teas and hot chocolates, they serve sandwiches, salads, pastries and cakes.

There are two branches relatively close to the CCD, one (to the eastward) close to the Point Luas station and the other (to the westward) in the shopping centre at CHQ: take the Luas to Georges Dock if you don’t care to walk. Various other branches are shown in the map below.

Address: Numerous branches.

Website: Insomnia.ie

Quick link to menu

Pichet

Pichet

This comfortable, casual little French restaurant has been on this site for a decade now, serving coffee and wine and “small plates” in the front and good bigger-portion French food in the back and in the glassed-in terrace-like space on the side. It’s been a […]

Ryan’s Bar

Ryan’s Bar

Up until a year or so ago, this pub went by “Robert Reade’s”; then the people running it changed their name to more properly reflect their family ownership/management. This seems perfectly appropriate, since the comfortable, homey nature of the place and the friendliness of its […]