The summer is the perfect time to fly away on holidays and immerse your tastebuds in all the exotic flavours that surround you.
But what if you aren’t venturing abroad? Can you still experience the flavours of the world from where you are? The answer is yes and Dublin is a prime example of this, with so many enticing venues boasting cuisine from all over the world to help transport you to warmer climes.
So to hell with those people travelling to Spain, India and Japan, set aside your envy and experience the exciting flavours of these countries by travelling with your tastebuds right here in Dublin.
For a taste of Mexican flavour in the heart of Dublin city, look no further than 777. A contemporary Mexican restaurant with Margaritas to die for and a menu that will make you sizzle, particularly the fiery soft shell crab Congrejo and the creamy House Blend Chorizo with heavenly doses of cheesy queso.
For a taste of Thailand in Ranelagh, a visit to Nightmarket is a must for food lovers. Owned and run by husband-and-wife due, Conor and R, this honest and tasty food will transport you to the vibrant streets of Hua His and Chiang Mai without leaving the big smoke.
A magnificent mix between Japanese sushi and Peruvian ceviche, Klaw Poké on Capel Street is the perfect lunchtime venue serving up fast food just like the Hawaiians do. Grab a traditionally poké bowl and indulge in the flavoursome raw tuna, salmon or octopus, which is marinated in soy and sesame and mixed as a free-form salad with delicious extras like salted pineapple and kimchi. A holiday in a bowl!
Get a taste of Italy on Dublin’s South William Street thanks to La Cucina. This intimate Italian restaurant adheres to traditional “Al Forno” cooking, aka. cooking food in a large open wood burning oven – talk about perfection. So after you’ve delighted in fresh pasta and a steaming slice of pizza, pop into their popular bar, Farrier & Draper, for a glass of vino or a tempting cocktail.
For an incredible collaborative experience between Asian (mainly Japanese) and modern French cuisine, a visit to Amuse should be very high on your cards. Inspired by Chef Conor’s time travelling throughout both France and Asia, you can expect to dine on creative interpretations of lobster, quail, squid cracker, blue fin tuna and much more.
For a truly authentic Spanish experience, book yourself a table at Tapas De Lola. Dublin city’s very own slice of Spain, this is as close to a perfectly lazy Spanish dining experience as you’ll find in Dublin. So sit back with a classic bottle of wine and pick away at Spanish ham croquettes, Manchego cheese with honey and more and Prawns with garlic, chilli and olive oil.
With a team of Chinese chefs on hand, you can be assured of an authentic experience whenever you visit China Sichuan restaurant in Sandyford. With vibrant flavours that will transport you across continents, indulge in meats smoked with camphor tea, chillis and cumin, spices, peppers and cooking techniques you won’t see in any old Chinese restaurant.
A neighbourhood burger joint in Dublin’s Sandymount Village, Bujo is a fast casual restaurant with a slow food ethos. Recently voted Bord Bia’s Just Ask Restaurant of the Month, a lot of thought has been given to the Irish produce on this tempting menu, which includes a bacon cheeseburger and Bujo vegan burger. This joint is giving the Americans a run for their money in the burger stakes, with some of the best burgers this side of the Atlantic.
Open since 2016, 3 Leaves in Blackrock offers a real taste of India. Owned and run by husband-and-wife team, Santosh Thomas and Milie Matthew, 3 Leaves takes diners on a journey through the different regions of the sub-continent. From lunch to restaurant-style 3-course dinners on Thursday nights and an exploration of Indian Street Food and elaborate curries at the weekend, you’ll have some spice in your life here anyway.
Experience classic French cuisine created using the best Irish produce in the heart of Dublin city by dining at La Maison. With Chef Olivier Quenet at the helm, you can expect to dine on fresh and expertly prepared dishes like a rack of Wicklow lamb, Roast Brill Fillet with Gnocchi and Truffle Sauce, Irish Aged Rib of Beef and much more.
An experience for all five senses, Dylan McGrath’s Taste at Rustic gives visitors a true taste of authentic Japanese flavours. His unique and creative style is emphasised by the attention given to every plate. Diners can delight in Asian Pear and Avocado, Crisp Maki of Crab, Broccoli Tempura, Monkfish, Sea Bream and many more head-spinningly delicious delights.
Il Vicoletto is considered an Italian institution in Dublin. Serving authentic Italian fare like Bruschetta, Calamari, Buffalo Mozzarella Caprese, Beef Carpaccio and a selection of pasta and pizza dishes. So have your own Bella Notte and experience “The Heart of Italy in Dublin” at Il Vicoletto.
Brave the dark lighting and neon signs and experience the electric atmosphere of Hang Dai, Dublin’s coolest authentic Chinese restaurant. A truly funky venue, the cocktails in Hang Dai are almost as good as the food offering, which includes Scallop Ceviche, Pork Dumplings, Roast Duck, Sweet and Sour Monkfish, Kung Po Chicken and countless other options – perfect spot for any night of the week.
Travel to Northern India with a plate of Chef Sunil Ghai’s flavoursome food at Pickle Restaurant. The award-winning chef beautifully marries the food from the streets of Calcutta with Dublin’s fair city. Choose from small plates, curries and more, while also enjoying that all essential ingredient – the pickle. Pickle is the place to be for a perfectly executed contemporary take on classic Indian dishes.
Saba (meaning happy meeting place) is an award-winning Thai and Vietnamese eatery and cocktail bar in Dublin city centre and the recipient of the Thai Premium Select award, something which guarantees that you’re in for a truly authentic experience. With two locations in Dublin city, you’re never far away from Chef Tao’s wok dishes and intense curries.
A small chain of restaurants serving both Chinese and Korean food, Hailan aims to “bring authentic Far Eastern cuisine to Dublin”. With three locations in Dublin – Capel Street, Dame Street and Dundrum – the menus boast traditional dishes like spicy octopus, beef in chilli sauce, sweet and sour sea bass and Kimchi ham broth, so you journey to the Far East without leaving Dublin.
Urchin is one of the coolest spots in Dublin and if you haven’t yet discovered this seafood haven, fear not, because you soon will. An ever-changing and adventurous menu of Spanish seafood delights, you’ll be sure to get your gambas fix in this minimalist-style eatery. Located below the Cliff Townhouse, which is renowned for its seafood menu, whet your appetite with octopus, urchin and some sail away with some pretty spectacular cocktails with beachy vibes.
Sarah has always had a great love of travel, food and photography. Following her journalism degree at DCU, she developed a passion for travel writing while living in Spain.
Sarah loves exploring new places and sampling the local cuisine. Working with TheTaste.ie combines her love of food and travel.
A big people person, especially when it comes to hearing other people’s stories, Sarah loves interviewing chefs, food producers and more.