There’s no better way to enjoy a city than with a curbside table, nice drinks, and some food shared amongst friends. The street-side table is important because it brings the city to you. Beer gardens are nice and all, but when you’re inside an enclosed space like that, you could be anywhere. You’re in Dublin though, and you want to hear the sounds of the city and watch the passersby. The drinks are self explanatory, because of course you want to get your buzz on, and when it comes to food, it’s all about the social experience that goes hand in hand with things like tapas and charcuterie. Nothing stops a conversation faster than being tasked with seeing to the plate of food that’s been plopped down in front of you, but the indefinite nature of sharing platters doesn’t carry that obligation. I aspire to nothing more than leisurely afternoons sipping cocktails and making sandwiches in my mouth by combining an assortment meats and cheeses.
Sadly, rain is not part of that equation, and as a result, most Dublin restaurants don’t cater to this type of experience, but we’ve hand picked 6 spots where you can luxuriate for hours on a sunny day and enjoy light bites and delicious drinks.
St. Stephen’s Green
Located down the stairs and across from Stephen’s Green, Urchin has fun beachy vibes, well crafted cocktails and inventive tapas on the menu. Try the Duck Liver Parfait and Tempura Baby Artichokes. Sip on a Basil Smash (Earl Grey infused Gunpowder Gin, Mango Syrup, Lemon, Basil).
Tucked away in the artsy, civilized end of Temple Bar, Piglet specializes in wine and serves up a wide selection of tapas, plus some pastas, cote de boeuf for 2, and a meat and cheese board option. You really can’t go wrong but we recommend trying the Mix of Cured Meat and Sheridan’s Cheese and a White Spritz (their take on a Hugo).
With a small seating area just outside the gate to Dublin Castle, this location of Chez Max offers views of Dame Street and classic French fare. For a leisurely lunch on a sunny day, try sharing the Mixed Platter (meats and cheeses) or Moules Frites (mussels and fries) and a bottle of wine.
Just outside of the busy George’s Street Arcade, La Maison has quite a few sharing friendly options like Le Plateau de Pates Maison (a selection of 5 pates), Asiette Apertif (meats, cheeses, olives, pickles, and bruschetta), or go for the Escargot if you’re really feeling French. They also offer 3 kinds of Moules on their lunch menu.
Camden Bites and Brews
When the sun is out, the patio of this dog-friendly spot on Camden Street is a great place to soak it in, with a cocktail menu focused entirely on sours and a selection of just small bites. We like the Anti Pasto Platter (meats, cheeses, figs, and pesto) and the Black Seal Sour (Goslings Rum, Apricot Brandy, Coconut, Fresh Lime, Chili Sugar, Whites).
Part of the CHQ, Urban Brewing is a craft beer bar serving up tapas with a stylish interior and spacious outdoor seating. The Truffle Polenta Fries with Manchego Fondue are not to be missed. We also recommend the Pimientos de Padron, for playing Scoville Roulette (you never know which of the peppers may carry a spicy punch). They have a large beer selection and rotating taps, as well as a decent selection of gin and wine. Share a large bottle of Saison Dupont or try a Love Letter (Glendalough Gin, Lime Juice, Raspberry Syrup, Lavender Syrup, Egg Whites).