If you are a sourpuss, a scrooge, a spoil sport or a bah humbug then this is not the list for you. But for those who relish the most festively fantastic time of year in its finest and funniest incarnation, the Christmas panto, then roll up, roll up we’ve got an all singing, all dancing list of restaurants that will cater for the whole family.
Before you head to the main event at the much-loved Panto institutions The Gaiety and The Olympia take the drama out of deciding where to dine with this round-up of restaurants in Dublin 2 that serve all-day, pre-theatre, or early bird menus.
Did we create a list of where to have dinner pre-panto? Oh yes we did!
Just a few streets over from the Gaiety, Beeftro Balfe Street is a steakhouse with a laid-back bistro dining vibe that makes for kid-friendly dining. Open from 12pm, Beeftro’s Kids Menu includes a 100g steak, free range chicken or burger and chips, squash drink, and a sweet treat for €8.50. For the adults, there’s a great value two course Early Bird for €19.95 available until 6.45pm.
Across the road from Beeftro is Balfes, the Westbury Hotel’s stylish all-day dining restaurant. The menu includes favourites like burgers and fish and chips along with healthy salads, turkey burgers, and a sweet potato, roast pepper, chicken and hummus wholemeal wrap. Balfes is a great spot for a hot chocolate, or an Irish Coffee for the grown ups, before heading to an early show too.
A hop, skip and a jump from The Gaiety, Saba Thai and Vietnamese restaurant on Clarendon Street is the perfect place for kids with more adventurous palates. But with the likes of chicken satay, spring rolls, and Saba’s chicken wings to start, and a huge selection of stir fries, noodles and curries for main course there is something for everybody. Open from 12pm.
On the same street as The Gaiety, South King Street, you can afford to relax and soak up the lively atmosphere at Wagamama. Serving fresh and flavoursome Japanese inspired food with a quick and friendly service. Kids can enjoy child-sized and child-friendly versions of their noodle and rice dishes from their dedicated kiddie menu, and have fun while learning to control their easy-to-use chopsticks. Open from 12pm.
One of the freshest additions to dining on South Anne Street, Catch-22 cook fresh off the boat fish simply and serve it quickly. Fishy favourites include Fish Pie, Fillet of Fish Burger and Fresh Cod, all served with hand cut potato or sweet potato chips. The inclusion of a Sea Free menu with the likes of a Chicken Sandwich and Beef and Guinness Pie this is the perfect pla(i)ce to feed all the family. Open from 11am.
The Farm restaurant on Dawson is well known for putting care and attention into their offering for children. There’s no sign of burgers and chips here, instead a great value Junior Menu features free range chicken, eggs, salmon, steak and, to finish, a pre-panto treat, ice cream. There’s also bell that you ring to order which never loses its novelty factor – even for the adults.
Italian food is ideal for small mouths, and at Carluccio’s founder Antonio Carluccio has created a children’s menu that ensures kid’s aren’t alienated and eat top quality Italian food with the rest of the family. Colouring in menus while they wait, for €8.95 kids start with breadsticks, then select their own pasta shape/sauce combination or choose a main, and finish with Carluccio’s ice cream or fruit sorbet.
Captain Americas comes to mind straight away when deciding to bring the kids for dinner in the city centre. You can be sure there will be something they will love and for just €6.95, they’ll get a kid’s meal, served with a choice of fries, side salad, or baked potato, a dessert and a kids drink. For the adults, yhey also have a great value Christmas 2016 Menu that includes three courses with tea/coffee for just €19.95.
The Gotham Cafe
Despite being located just off bustling Grafton Street, on South Anne’s Street, offer a relaxed dining atmosphere, where you can chill out and enjoy yourself with family without feeling too worried about the size of the bill at the end. Main courses on the Children’s Menu start from €6.25, including Sausage Baguette with baby roast potatoes, Smiley Face Pizza and Chicken breast with hand-cut fries.
Yamamori Noodles is Dublin’s first Japanese restaurant, and located on South Great Georges Street it is the perfect place to introduce the family to an authentic Japanese cultural experience and new Japanese flavours, along with some of their favourites too with a great selection of noodle and rice dishes. A team of friendly and professional staff will be at hand to talk you through the large menu. Open from 12pm.
A few doors down from Yamamori, Brasserie Sixty6 will happily offer half portions to cater for kids. Dinner is served from 4pm, with dishes like beef burger with smoked Applewood cheddar and bacon, vegetable tagine, and a yoghurt and peanut butter mousse with chocolate sauce and chocolate ice cream. Most options on the menu are either coeliac friendly or adaptable for those with gluten sensitivities too.
Italian restaurants are always a winner with the kids, and Toscana is one of Dublin’s best-loved. Only a few doors down from the Olympia, Toscana serve under 10’s kid sized Spaghetti Bolognese, Pizza or Chicken Strips, with a soft drink and ice-cream for €9.50 until 7pm.
Just outside the hustle and bustle of Temple Bar, and around the corner from the Olympia on Parliament Street, you will find the FishShack Cafe. Alongside the favourites like fish n’ chips, there are dishes like crab-crayfish mac & cheese, and lighter (and cheaper) sandwiches served with house salad or chips. Almost all dishes can be altered to suit a variety of dietary requirements and of course for kids. The live lobster tank will also serve as in-house entertainment.
Gallaghers Boxty House
Chef Pádraic Óg Gallagher brings the warmth of a country kitchen to heart of Temple at family favourite Gallaghers Boxty House. Pádraic Óg is a recognised expert on the potato and the traditional Boxty Pancake finds its way into many of the dishes. They have both a childrens menu and the option to order a half sized portion of most items on their a la carte menu.
Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father, and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after completing a law, she went on to do a Masters in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.