When I think about Irish food, I think of the aromatic spice of wild garlic, of pungent smoked cheese and creamy farmhouse mozzarella, of the juice from pink spring lamb dripping down my chin. I think of my friend who lives on the coast and gets fresh lobster almost every day in the summer, and of the start of fall game season, when blushing venison pops up on menus, served with juicy foraged blackberries.
When other people think about Irish food, they might think of stodgy, bland dishes like beef stew, boiled bacon, and cabbage. As someone who’s lived here for 12 years, nothing makes my eyes roll into the back of my head faster. Let me say this: Not once have I ever seen corned beef on a menu.
For all the lingering misconceptions about Irish cuisine, the modern food scene here is damn good. The produce along these shores (and in the waters) yields the best tender beef, salty butter, and mackerel so thick and meaty it would bring a tear to your eye. But it’s also on account of the vibrant new chefs who have come in over the last decade and shaken things up.
In Dublin, the food scene moves quickly. New restaurants pop up almost every other week, as old favorites close their doors. We love a trend here, which is why you’ll see a zillion identical donut shops and burrito joints along the streets. We don’t take our food too seriously (or actually boil it very often). You can get an amazing meal at every budget, whether you want to sit down for a luxurious dinner or grab a pizza on the go. Here are some of the can’t-miss things to eat in Dublin when you’re in town.