Win Their Heart Through Their Stomach – Perfect Dates for Food Lovers
Whether you’re a Tinder fiend or hustling on Bumble, you’re sure to have encountered the eternal dilemma of the Dublin dater – where to suggest to woo your prospective beau. While anything that involves a bit of Dutch courage is highly advisable early on, getting your date’s tastebuds excited could well be the key to their heart in the long run.
Whether it is the first, fifth or five hundredth date and you’re already in it for the long haul, putting a little thought into taking them somewhere special (with an element of deliciousness) can never hurt…especially when it comes to having the favour returned!
Chocolate is the key to most peoples’ hearts, so why not embrace the endorphin-boosting treat with a trip to a spot which is essentially a little bite of Paris in the middle of Dublin? Laduree’s boutique style café serves lusciously rich and thick chocolat chaud and world famous macarons to go with it.
You can park yourselves in this Parisian gem for the afternoon or stroll through the quirky shops in George’s Arcade with a cup of literal liquid chocolate and a box of hand-crafted macarons. If the weather is behaving, you can wander together through the Creative Quarter.
All going well, this afternoon date will meander into the evening and perhaps a cocktail or two in Farrier & Draper or…
Follow on from the above and wander your way into Fallon & Byrne, a food lover’s Mecca and home to a wine cellar you’ll want to cosy up in. Serving charcuterie and cheese boards using the award-winning artisan produce from the deli upstairs and wall to wall wine, what’s not to love about a trip downstairs here? Pop a cork for a euro on a Monday, and start the week the right way with life’s two undeniable pleasures – cheese and wine.
If you want to keep it casual but fun, Token in Smithfield is the ideal spot to have a laugh and some laid back bites. Prepare for waves of nostalgia with arcade games like Street Fighter and Mortal Combat and be aware that your competitive side will definitely take over. Agree that the loser buys the food and brace yourself for a seriously fun time, followed by equally fun (and extremely reasonable) dishes like tacos, burgers and tenders. This date is sure to be a KO.
Prove there’s more to dates than pints and awkward chit chat with a trip to the Hugh Lane Gallery, home to the Francis Bacon exhibition and many more collections to ponder. Admission is free, so round out your culture trip with a damn good cup of Barn Berlin coffee in the in-house Hatch and Sons café, and don’t even try to resist one of their delicious brownies or a coconut lemon slice (with two spoons) to go with it. Worked up more of an appetite? Their Waterford Blaas and Artisan Irish Cheeseboards are pretty tempting too!
Tea, cake and playing Tommy Tourist in your own city? Sounds like the recipe for a date to remember, so climb aboard the Vintage Tea Tours bus and settle in for Afternoon Tea with a view, or several, of Dublin’s spots of historical significance. Far better than braving the cold to be cultural, sit back, relax, feast on baked treats and copious amounts of tea with a 1950’s jazz soundtrack cooing in the background. Lasting an hour and half, this experience starts from €40 per person and there are tea three tours a day, from Wednesday to Sunday.
If you’re looking for a sultry and sexy atmosphere to square up to the object of your affection, let romance flourish under the cherry blossom trees in Bonsai Bar. Not quite dinner but a little more than drinks, the bar bites at Bonsai are seriously enticing, with tempting mouthfuls like Wagyu and Truffle Sliders and a Crab Claw creation served in a prawn cracker which is sure to get tongues wagging. Alongside a Kanto Old Fashioned, taking your object of affection here will definitely leave a good taste in their mouth.
Are oysters really an aphrodisiac? Well, what better time to test the theory?! These slippery little shuckers are served with zero ceremony and plenty of tongue-in-cheek humour at Klaw Poké, Klaw and Klaw Seafood Café. Have them naked, for a true taste of the delicacy or heat things up by ordering them torched.
With three locations, two in Temple Bar and one on Capel Street, popping your oyster cherry or fuelling your bivalve addiction together could be the beginning of a beautiful evening…
If you feel like getting hands-on, make your date like Ghost: Foodie Edition with poppadoms instead of pottery…a cookery class for two. If you’re both fans of Indian cuisine, Rasam in Glasthule offers the perfect activity to spice up your date – a two hour masterclass finished off with a two course meal in one of Dublin’s favourite curry houses.
On the pricier side of date days out, for €50 per person you’ll get the masterclass, dinner, a glass of wine each and a jar of spice blend made in-house to take away with you, so you can challenge each other to an Indian cook-off at a later date.
A Sunday well spent brings a week of content they say, and warning: a couple of 777’s signature cocktails will likely ensure your Sunday is in no way a day of rest. Turn it into sin-day with a banging soundtrack, copious amounts of cocktails and all dishes and cocktail specials for just €7.77. Brunch favourites get a sexy twist here with dishes like Legs Eleven and Dirty Stop Out – how could you resist? This is one date spot that will leave them craving more.
Old school Hollywood glamour awaits in The Stella, a pricey but memorable trip to the flicks, with plenty of nostalgia and classic movies like Moulin Rouge and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
At €19 per standard ticket, you’ll probably want to skip the dinner part of dinner and a movie. You can still treat your peckish amour to a good old fashioned Hot Dog (€6.95) or share some Buttermilk Panko Chicken Tenders (€5.95). If you’re feeling a little cheeky, a Bed ticket will set you back €38 per couple…
There’s something instantly romantic about being by the sea, and a trip to Dun Laoghaire’s People’s Park Market coupled with a pier walk sounds pretty damn perfect. At the market, pick up some Spanish delights like Jamon Iberico Croquettas at Food Fiesta and park yourselves on one of the pier benches or in the pretty bandstand looking out over the sea – as close as you can get to a Basque getaway in Dublin.
Add instant fairytale feel to your date – Phoenix Park is home to herds of friendly deer who will be more than happy to stalk you for food and plenty of spots to bed down with a blanket and chill. If soggy sandwiches aren’t your thing, check out our Ultimate Picnic Guide for inspiration on how to win their heart with delicious bites, or take the easier option and pick up some goodies to go from the multi-award winning Phoenix Café at the visitor centre.
The café crafts many of their rustic style dishes from ingredients plucked from their own walled garden, so stock up on some tempting nibbles from bulging baps to sexy salads – your company won’t even mind that the treats aren’t homemade.
Growing up with the name Darina, I was constantly asked if I could cook like my namesake. I am the only person to have contested both Masterchef and the Great Irish Bake Off and am passionate about discovering and creating delicious things – I can sometimes be caught in the act on TV3’s Six O’Clock Show or RTE Today. Working with TheTaste allows me to satisfy this craving and marries my food fascination with my love of writing and ranting. Follow me on my pursuit of deliciousness.