The weather may be bipolar (it’s Ireland, what else do we expect?), but summer events are certainly in full swing, with everything from horse shows, to concerts, to everything in between. Rain or shine, nothing will stop us from having a tasty bite to eat and a drink or two! The RDS, located in Dublin 4, has plenty of enticing dining spots to frequent pre- or post-show, whether it’s for a spot of Sunday lunch, a treat yourself-style dinner or a refreshing cocktail to enjoy. Here are some of the best restaurants near the RDS.
Casual dining at its finest (literally, they won best casual dining restaurant in the 2023 Irish Restaurant Awards!), Crudo is the spot to head to for Mediterranean vibes and a guaranteed good time. Italy meets Ireland at Crudo, with antipasti and sharing plates to be expected. Get yourself some crispy arancini, creamy burrata and some delicious Osso Buco – yum. Plus, it’s a wine bar, so expect an impressive selection of wines to pair with your bites.
Roly’s has been around since the 90s, never faltering on outstanding food. Roly’s is able to meet whatever vibe you’re going for when you visit, whether it’s for a few drinks (head to Angie’s Bar), a fine dining affair at their Bistro, or at their casual dining Terrace. Sunday lunch at the Bistro is one to try, with options like a classic Sunday roast, served in the form of a delectable Roast Rib of 28 Day Aged Irish Hereford Beef, Yorkshire pudding and a black peppercorn and brandy cream drizzled over top. With their Sunday lunch going for €31.20 for 2 courses and 3 for €37.20, an absolute steal for the quality you’ll find here, Roly’s is definitely one to visit.
Marco Pierre White Courtyard Bar & Grill
Elegance at its finest, walking into Marco Pierre White Courtyard Bar & Grill‘s beautiful courtyard surrounded by lush greenery, you can expect top tier service, delectable dishes and a visit to remember. Steak lovers, give any of their cuts a try and you won’t be disappointed. An early bird option is available here, with 2 courses costing just €33.95 – the steak frites is calling our name. Allow yourself to enjoy the finest treatment and we can guarantee that a visit here will warrant several more.
Inspired by Italian and New York-style delis/cafes, Juniors on Bath Avenue is a great choice to visit for breakfast, lunch or brunch. Think bagels and pancakes for breakfast, Ruebens for lunch and fried chicken & waffles for brunch. Their menus change with the seasons, which is always a good sign, because you can always guarantee that the food you eat is at its prime. Cosy vibes, good food and guaranteed fun times – why wouldn’t you pay Juniors a visit?
If you ever ask someone where you can get some of the best pizza in Dublin, you’ll almost always hear Paulie’s. You don’t just have to try their pizza – if you’re looking for restaurants near the RDS that are good for some quality antipasti and a great selection of wines, Paulie’s has you covered. Of course, their pizza is delightful, with classic Napoli-style pizzas like the Quattro Formaggi, New York-style toppings like their Siciliano, as well as their own house creations. If you love a cocktail, you won’t be disappointed with their options – think Apple Daquiri and Strawberry & Basil Mojito. The sister restaurant to Juniors, you’ll need to pop in here too!
The Old Spot
Gastropubs arguably serve up some of the tastiest grub around, whether it’s a classic fish and chips or a grand old Sunday roast, and The Old Spot is one of only two Gastropubs in Dublin to be recommended by the Michelin “Eating out in Pubs” guide. If you’re looking for a satisfying and nap-inducing Sunday roast, this is the spot to visit. Choose between chicken with sausage and sage & onion stuffing, or a dry aged roast sirloin of beef with buttermilk yorkshires – both served with duck fat roast potatoes and all the fix-ins. An extensive drinks menu is to be expected here, so whether you’re after a glass of wine, a refreshing cocktail or some low ABV, The Old Spot has you covered and you’ll most certainly leave satisfied and ready for a day on the couch post-show.
One for the special occasions, multi-award winning chef Grainne O’Keefe created a menu combining the best of French and Irish cooking at Mae. With a set menu coming in at €70 per person with wine pairing options in a range of different prices, Mae is nothing short of impressive. A sample summer menu is currently available, but as many top notch spots often do, the menu is ever-changing with the seasons. Currently, expect a delectable whipped goats cheese tart, crispy duck croquettes and an option between lamb shoulder with black garlic, romesco and caramelised shallots, or pan fried cod with wild garlic, asparagus and fresh peas. Their wine selection is impressive, with french options to tie it all in. If you’re looking to make a luxurious day of your visit to the RDS, Mae is the spot to head to.
Fodder at Avoca
Taking it back to basics, Fodder at Avoca in Ballsbridge is great if you’re after a casual affair pre- or post-show. All about showcasing Irish ingredients, expect seasonal and locally sourced produce here, very much Avoca-style. Breakfast, brunch and lunch are served here, with options like a shakshuka, french toast, pancakes, and burgers. Their Croque Monsieur is certainly one to try, as well as their tiger prawns pilpil, both served on Avoca’s very own sourdough – delicious.
The Bath is the perfect example of a cosy pub with just some really good food for the soul. Get yourself some of their homemade pizza or head there for their brilliant brunch, which is particularly enticing – think fried chicken french toast, ricotta pancakes, steak and eggs, or a sub made with their homemade ciabatta. When the sun’s out, a refreshing Pimms is a must-order, and while you’re at it, give one of their award-winning craft beers a go.
The Bridge 1859
If you’ve ever been to Lemon & Duke or The Blackrock, you’ll have to give The Bridge 1859 a visit, especially if you’re a rugby lover, with their star-studded cast of directors, including Rob and Dave Kearney! This spot is multi-award winning, and for very good reason. A pre-show drink wouldn’t go amiss, with an impressive selection of beers, cocktails and wines to be expected. It also serves up a tasty lunch and dinner, with dishes including an Irish seafood chowder and beer battered fish and chips, and dinner dishes including a number of enticing shareable dishes like ‘Nduja mussels and spicy BBQ ribs and wings.
The Chop House
On the hunt for restaurants near the RDS that serve a prime steak? The Chop House has you covered. Even if you’re not a steak lover, their seafood and other pub grub options will certainly satisfy! With set lunch and dinner menus and a Sunday special menu, no matter the occasion or day, you’ll find what you’re looking for here. Get yourself some of their fresh, homemade bread for only €2 per person, plus a special vegan and vegetarian menu is available, so nobody is left out of the picture. A designated wine menu sweetens the deal here, how could you not give this spot a visit? The Chop House’s original location is on Bath Avenue but they recently opened in Sandymount, and both locations are near the RDS – happy days!
The Lobster Pot
Seafood lovers, this one’s for you. Out of the many restaurants near the RDS, The Lobster Pot is one of the best to head to for some great seafood – sure it’s in the name! They’ve been in the game for over 40 years, offering old-world charm and top notch dishes. Naturally, they’ve got some delicious lobster up for grabs, but fret not, you’ll find an array of impressive fish to choose from, with everything from trout, to seabass to plaice, as well as Dublin bay prawns and black dover sole – what a dream.
The Park Café
If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate good vibes, the Park Café is one to try. With fresh produce delivered daily from their Cavan-based gardens, their dishes are nothing short of impressive, especially with Chef Richard Corrigan at the helm. Think Wexford scallops with lemon caviar, lobster tagliolini, or a made-to-share chargrilled T-bone with fries and pepper sauce. If you’re after more of a lunch vibe, their set lunch is two for €29 or three for €35, which is a steal for the deliciousness you’ll be served. Head upstairs to the Park Bar for a couple of drinks for the road and you’re set.
Seasons Restaurant at InterContinental Dublin
Awarded two rosettes by AA Hospitality, you’ll overlook the beautiful terrace gardens whilst you dine on some of the finest dishes at the Seasons Restaurant. With two courses for €60 and three for €65, impressive dishes are served in the most elegant setting. Perfect for a special occasion, you can enjoy options like their Surf ‘n Turf with a fillet of beef, half a Lobster, duck fat poached potato and ratatouille, or for the vegetarians, aubergine with cashew ricotta, Sicilian caponata, golden raisins and toasted pine kernels. You’ll also find a range of indulgent desserts that sound too good to skip – pink peppercorn and raspberry tart, mango chilli mousse or hazelnut and caramel mille feuille – dangerous and delicious.
Also, if you’re looking for more of an Italian vibe, Rossi’s @Seasons will be coming to the InterContinental from the 7th-30th of September, with the Hotel’s Executive Chef Alberto Rossi hosting an Italian pop-up restaurant offering guests and diners authentic and genuine Italian food and wine.
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!
Horse Shows, Concerts and Summer Vibes – Restaurants Near The RDS