Bringing Dublin the best of musical and operatic productions since 1871, The Gaiety Theatre is an iconic part of Dublin’s performing arts history. Located right beside Grafton Street, theatre-goers are spoiled for choice with spots to grab a bite to eat before the main event. Whether you’re on the lookout for a casual affair to lounge in pre-show, or you want to make it a special occasion and go all out, we’ve got the list for you. Here are our picks of some of the best restaurants near The Gaiety Theatre.
Café en Seine is a short stroll from the theatre, on bustling Dawson Street. Parisian chic runs throughout, with the menu headed by Chef Stephen Gibson, previously at Pichet. With simple dishes that celebrate the seasons, you can opt for anything from sharing plates (Baked Camembert, anyone?) to inviting Gambas Pil Pil and Black Angus Striploin. A fully stocked bar allows for the creation of some unique cocktails and we encourage you try a couple, for quality assurance, obviously.
Address: 39/40 Dawson Street, Dublin 2
More info: cafeenseine.ie
If you’re after an authentic cultural experience, Dada is the ideal place to be. Combining the rich culture of Morocco with the flavours of the Moorish kitchens of North Africa and Southern Spain, an evening at Dada is an exciting one. With his experience ranging from kitchens in Bilbao, San Sebastian and Casablanca, Chef Jalal Belmaati brings diners back to his cooking roots with plenty of impressive dishes. Whether you’re opting for a classic Tagine, a sensational couscous or their famous 7-hour slow-roasted lamb shoulder, your dining experience is sure to be bursting with flavour. Make sure to finish off with a cup of Moroccan tea poured table-side to guarantee your time at Dada is done right.
Address: 45 South William Street, Dublin 2
More info: dadarestaurant.ie
With inviting food and a guaranteed good time, Brasserie Sixty6 is a wonderful choice for a pre-show feast. Any dish you choose here will be enticing, innovative and full of flavour. Whether you’re after a flame-grilled steak, a cosy shepherd’s pie or a tasty burger, make sure you order a cocktail (or two), because, well, why not? With funky interiors and a buzzing atmosphere, you’ll be sure to enjoy your time at Brasserie Sixty6.
Address: 66-67 South Great Georges St, Dublin 2,
More info: brasseriesixty6.com
Located on Balfe Street (quelle surprise), Balfes is vibrant, stylish, and sure to please. Located in the ever so stylish Westbury, you’ll feel as if you’re sitting in a trendy New York bistro with its subway tiles and industrial-chic additions. With some Parisian elements dotted throughout, this spot is the epitome of chic. An open kitchen awaits, where you’ll see the talented chefs preparing some of the best of Irish produce, like Balfes delectable Seafood Skillet, Prawn Linguine or Steak Frites. Make sure to have a glance at their dessert menu before you head to the theatre – the chocolate fondant is calling our name.
Address: 2 Balfe Street, Dublin
More info: balfes.ie
Speaking of the Westbury – for those who are after a fancier evening, WILDE is the definition of luxury. Stepping inside WILDE is like walking right into the 1930s, where you’re surrounded by vintage glamour, antique furnishings and all-round beauty. Al fresco dining is an option we encourage, since their covered garden terrace sits amongst an abundance of greenery and is flooded with natural light. Spoil yourself by starting off with oysters and champagne, because why can’t every night be a celebration? With some of the finest seafood and beef around, you certainly don’t have to choose between both when their Surf n Turf is right there for you to feast upon. An extensive and tempting wine list awaits at WILDE – you’re sure to be impressed.
Address: Harry Street, Dublin 2
More info: wilde.ie
A boutique wine bar and restaurant based on South Anne Street, La Cave is all things intimate and cosy. With an extensive and impressive wine cellar, La Cave welcomes diners and wine connoisseurs alike. Serving wine by the glass, you can try your hand at a few – it’s encouraged! French-inspired food awaits, whether it’s French Onion Soup, Duck Confit à l’Orange or a selection of the finest French cheeses, you’ll really live La Vie Parisienne at La Cave.
Address: 28 South Anne Street, Dublin 2
More info: lacavewinebar.com
Fade Street Social is always a good idea, with a focus on delicious wood-fired dishes. Based in the bustling Creative Quarter of the city, you can enjoy the convenience of having both dinner and pre-show cocktails under the same roof. Using seasonal, local ingredients, you can opt for smoky meat or fish dishes, or try your hand at one of the uniquely topped wood-fired pizzas, like the Cep, Truffle & Lardo pizza, or the Duck Calzone. Vegans and vegetarians are not forgotten here, with some exciting dishes on offer that aren’t just a mushroom risotto – think charred cucumber or tempura butternut squash. Step out onto the rooftop garden to enjoy some after-dinner cocktails before heading to the Gaiety for your evening entertainment.
Address: Drury Street, Dublin 2
More info: fadestreetsocial.com
A must for seafood lovers, Sole has some impeccable offerings that are sure to satisfy even the most particular seafood fanatics. Don’t just take it from us – Sole won Best Luxury Seafood Restaurant in Europe at the World Luxury Restaurant Awards, so you can guarantee a delicious dining experience. High-end luxury is to be expected here, from the interiors, to the service, to, of course, the food. If you can’t decide what to order, why not share a Seafood Tower overflowing with the best of Sole’s offerings?
Address: 18 – 19 South William Street, Dublin 2
More info: sole.ie
One of the many dining options in the Press Up collection, Isabelle’s has an open kitchen which will catch your eye and the menu offers something for everyone. An array of dishes are there to choose from, most prominently some tasty pizzas and steaks. With atmospheric lighting and gold accents galore, you can venture out to the outdoor terrace to unwind pre-show, with a glass of wine or a refreshing cocktail to keep you happy. Blankets and heaters are available in the winter too, so you can enjoy an al fresco experience year round. Teaming up with IMMA and the Kerlin Gallery, the walls are adorned with beautiful art to round out the surroundings of this stylish spot.
Address: 17 Royal Hibernian Way, Dawson St, Dublin 2
More info: isabelles.ie
Expect influences of Japan, Spain and South Africa throughout the menu at Dublin stalwart Rustic Stone. Whether you’re after a great steak, crispy fried chicken or some inviting Bao buns, the multi-cultural influences of this menu means that there’s something for everyone. Maintaining the Japanese theme, head to the Bonsai Bar for some glamour-tinged tipple and a guaranteed good time. Expect food that’s nutrition and health conscious but certainly does not lack on flavour, so you can enjoy your pre-show meal, guilt-free.
Address: 17 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
More info: rusticstone.ie
Mercado 52 have a number of different restaurants and cuisines under one roof for whatever your heart desires. Are you in the mood for Mexican food or some Asian Fusion dishes? Head to Juanitos. Perhaps you’re craving some tapas? Well look no further than Eivissa-Ibiza. Experience an ambiance similar to the exciting buzz of a food market – it’s diners’ choice at Mercado 52.
Juanitos offers up a mishmash of different cuisines, demonstrating what LA Soul Food is all about. Try out their Korean Fried Chicken, their Sweet Potato Spice Bag or their Creole Prawn Tacos. If small plates and cocktails are more up your alley, Eivissa-Ibiza are serving up inviting tapas, Pintxos and inviting drinks to satisfy all your pre-theatre needs.
Address: 52-53 William St S, Dublin 2
More info: mercado52.ie
If you’re after good vibes, mood lighting and cosy ramen, look no further than the Ramen Bar. Home to Ireland’s first state of the art ramen noodle-making machine, all the noodles are made fresh on site. There’s a range of different bowls, broths and styles of ramen to choose from, from Tonkotsu ramen to a vegan broth. Not a ramen fan? They’ve got plenty of other dishes ranging from gyoza, to Katsu curry, to Kimchi mozzarella arancini (that’s right up our street!). Make sure to finish off with one of their many comforting teas – they’re absolutely divine.
Address: 51 South William Street, Dublin 2
More info: theramenbar.ie
A unique concept where restaurant meets café meets spritzeria, Three Storey is a jack of all trades and does each one brilliantly. Whether you’re in the mood for a few cocktails and some small plates, or a succulent burger and a beer, you’ll be sorted here. Expect an inviting contemporary Indian menu at their restaurant, serving everything from Samosa Chat to Biryani. This stylish spot is the perfect mixture of cosy and sophisticated, allowing you to feel tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, enjoying some tasty drinks we’re sure you’ll want more than just one of. Three Storey is certainly a delightful spot to spend a few hours at pre-show.
Address: 10 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
More info: threestorey.ie
Sushi, mood lighting and the potential chance of karaoke? Count us in. If you’re on the look out for a guaranteed fun time, Ukiyo is the place to go. The downstairs area is where good vibes reside, delicious tipples are poured and delectable food is served. If you’re not fond of sushi, opt for their fish tacos – always a winner. Make sure to order some of their crispy gyoza too, because if we see gyoza on a menu, we need to try them. You can also hire a private room to sing karaoke to your heart’s content, because what’s better than a pre-theatre jam session? You can return to Ukiyo for a late night drink post-show, too.
Address: 7-9 Exchequer St, Dublin 2
More info: ukiyobar.com
Step out of the Creative Quarter on to Fade Street and into the French dream that is l’Gueuleton. Expect exposed red brick walks, a canopied outdoor area and excellent French bistro dining. Irish produce gets a makeover with this stylish spot’s French flair, whether it’s steak tartare or foie gras paté. A buzzing atmosphere awaits at l’Gueuleton, with an inviting selection of wines to pair with any of your tasty dishes.
Address: 1 Fade St, Dublin 2
More info: lgueuleton.com
Who ever said vegetarian food can’t be fancy? Glas proves even the pickiest of meat-eaters wrong, with their impeccable dishes packed full of flavour, all of which are either vegan or vegetarian. Dishes at Glas are the furthest thing from boring, where everything from mushrooms to parsnips are given the 5-star treatment. A spot that celebrates the greatness that is Irish produce, you’ll be greeted with a smile and adieu’ed with a full tummy and a new recommendation for all your friends.
Address: 15/16 Chatham Street, Dublin 2
More info: glasrestaurant.ie
Experience Manhattan in the heart of Dublin city at the stylish Lemon & Duke. With a carefully curated drinks selection, the master bartenders will look after you with their tasty cocktails. The food here is just as good, boasting everything from Chilli Gambas to their famous Louisiana hot wings – make sure not to skip these. Heading to the Gaiety for a matinée? Try out their brunch menu – chicken and waffles, anyone?
Address: Royal Hibernian Way, 1 Duke Lane Upper, Dublin 2
More info: lemonandduke.ie
If you’re after a pre-theatre menu in style, look no further than Pink. Making all the boys wink, this sweet spot is perfect for a girls’ night out, where the drinks keep flowing and the food is nothing short of impressive. Pink serves a special pre-theatre menu at €28 for 2 courses, where each dish is just as tempting as the next. Try out the Carbonara Arancini and the Wagyu Beef Burger (with pink truffle aioli, obviously), plus the desserts are too good to skip. Another wonderful option for a pre-matinée outing, opt for their Pink Afternoon Tea to really feel like the Belle of the ball!
Address: 34 William St South, Dublin 2
More info: pinkrestaurant.ie
I’m a Palestinian who grew up in Cyprus and moved to Dublin in 2013, so I’ve had a mishmash of different cultures and cuisines surrounding me my whole life. I’m an avid foodie, and after realising that life as a lawyer was not for me, I studied media and became a radio host for Dublin City FM. I’m now writing for TheTaste full time, but I also have my own food blog where you can find a mixture of restaurant reviews and the occasional recipe. I talk a lot about being Palestinian; to be honest, I talk a lot in general. That’s why I did radio!