No matter where you travel, one of the things you must do is eat. But when you live in a new place and have a kitchen to cook in like I did, it's best to limit the amount of times you eat out. Of course, that didn't stop me from trying out all different kinds of restaurants in Dublin.
Below I created a list (and a map!) of the best places to eat in Dublin. These restaurants cover everything from Irish breakfast, to Indian food, to the best Chipotle imitators and even a place that has those crazy, over-the-top milkshakes and desserts that you see on Buzzfeed.
And remember, calories don't count outside of your zip code!
If it's Irish breakfast you're looking for (and honestly, you have to try it at least once while in Ireland), try Millers Pizza Kitchen or Doheny & Nesbitt. Both have the traditional breakfast that so many Irish people love. Be careful, though! If you're expecting something similar to an American breakfast spread, you're in for a surprise. Do yourself a favor and don't Google "black pudding" before trying it. It tastes better than you would expect!
For a huge omelet, pancakes or crêpes, Goose on the Loose is the place to be. I went there for brunch in between classes more times than I can count. Also order one of their giant cappucinos or hot chocolate to go with your meal!
You have not had a true donut experience until you have been to Aungier Danger. The flavors change every day, the donuts are fresh and huge. Get there early! When the donuts are sold out for the day, the shop closes.
O'Briens is perfect for a quick breakfast on your way to work or school. It's a chain, so they can be found all over Dublin. Try their smoothies and bagel sandwiches.
Brunch is one of my favorite meals of the day, and Dublin has the the perfect spot. Try herbstreet, by Grand Canal Dock. The eggs florentine and the french toast are some of the best I have ever tried. A big shoutout to my friend Julia for suggesting this adorable waterfront restaurant!
Oh, Eddie's. If you are familiar with Johnny Rockets in the States, Eddie Rocket's will feel like a piece of home. It was my first meal in Dublin (it just happened to be the first place my first Dublin friend, Paige, and I stumbled upon) and that was certainly not the last time I ate there. The burgers are amazing, and the garlic cheese chips (fries, for all of the Americans out there) are out-of-this-world. America needs to step it up when it comes to french fry toppings.
Another great choice for burgers is Bóbós Burgers Restaurant. They also have amazing burgers, and more variety when it comes to toppings.
Kanum Thai is a perfect stop for Thai food. Either eat in or choose takeaway.
I discovered my love for Indian food while in Dublin, and I now crave it constantly (shoutout to my Candian friends, Maia and Vanessa, for introducing me to such a delicious cuisine!). Diwali Nepalese & Indian Restaurant and Kathmandu Kitchen Nepalese & Indian Restaurant are both excellent choices. My wimpy palate can't handle the heat, so I tend to stick to the Chicken Tikka Masala, but if you're looking for something spicier, there are plenty of options for you.
When I think of traditional Irish food, I think of Shepard's Pie, Bangers and Mash and Irish Stew. The Old Storehouse and Trinity Bar & Venue have these options and more.
Another staple I had to try was fish and chips. My taxi driver told me on the drive from the airport when I arrived that Leo Burdock was my best bet for fish and chips. I also tried Beshoff Bros and I was definitely not disappointed.
In the States, Chipotle is everywhere. Although Ireland does not have Chipotle, the fast-food burrito restaurant concept has not escaped them. Boojum is definitely the closest Chipotle mime, but Burritos & Blues and Pablo Picante Californian Burrito Bar are also fabulous choices.
Have you ever sat down at an Italian restaurant and thought, "Hmm, I really wish I could have a quesadilla with my lasagna."? No? Well Mexico to Rome gives you that option anyway. They have a huge selection of both Mexican and Italian dishes, and a fantastic lunch special that includes an appetizer, a main entrée and a drink--beer, a glass of wine or a soft drink--for less than €10. Now that's a deal if I've ever heard one.
Nando's is aplace that I heard of many times before arriving in Ireland, but I never understood the hype. I'll admit I never actually got the chance to try it out (so many regrets), but there has to be a reason why so many people love Nando's chicken.
Captain Americas Cookhouse and Bar serves "authentic" American food and is where you can find hundreds of college students on any given night. As an American, I can definitely appreciate their huge portions, and as a bonus, the desserts are delicious.
If it's barbecue you want, Aussie BBQ is perfect for you. Burgers, wings and barbecue galore.
For the sushi lovers, there are plenty of options for you. Musashi is listed by many sources as the best sushi in Dublin, but if you want to try it, don't just show up and expect to find available tables (yes, that is what I did, and no, we're not going to talk about it). Make a reservation, especially for busy nights like Fridays and Saturdays. Chai-Yo is another great option. It was quiet when I went (and by quiet, I mean there was no one in the restaurant besides me and my friend Bridget), but if you're lucky, the nice man with the guitar will sing you a song while you try your best to not look completely uncomfortable.
If you're looking for Japanese food, but you're not a fan of sushi, Wagamama is a chain that has plenty of options for you, including ramen, teppanyaki and curry.
Yes, Costcutter is essentially a convenience store. But if you want a cheap sub for lunch, you can't beat their €2 chicken fillet rolls.
Ismal Fast Food doesn't even show up on Google Maps, but the little food stand has some of the best garlic cheese chips I tried during my entire five-month stay in Ireland. Open late for all of you post-pub snackers.
Sometimes you just want to stay in and not have to cook, which is perfectly fine, especially in Dublin's cold and rainy climate. Just-eat.ie has tons of options for takeaway, including Tadka House for Indian food and Apache Pizza for pizza, chicken and all kinds of chips (fries), including my personal favorite (second only to garlic cheese chips) the taco fries.
By now, you have probably seen those over-the-top milkshakes on Buzzfeed and Tasty that defy gravity and make you wonder how anyone could possibly eat one alone. Sweet Republic has crazy milkshakes and so much more, and they taste as incredible as they look. You're going to have to go back more than once because there are so many options, including ice cream, floats, waffles and cookies.
Mooch Natural Frozen Yogurt works a bit differently than fro-yo joints in the States, but it tastes just as delicious. Pick out your flavor(s) of frozen yogurt, and then choose your toppings sparingly, as each one is an added cost.
Gino's Gelato has locations all over Dublin. They can't beat the Italian stuff, but they have some unique and wonderful flavors, like Bailey's Irish Cream, that are certainly worth trying.
Are you a chocoholic? Butler's Chocolate Café has everything you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, including pastries, cakes, ice cream and hot chocolate.
Click through the photos below to see some of my favorite meals in Dublin!