It can be easy to get into the habit of rotating the same handful of restaurants and see your date nights become more routine than romance driven. Try somewhere new together and impress the object of your affection with any of the below picks on our list of restaurants for a delicious Dublin date. Whether you’re after a candlelit dinner, a cosy and intimate spot or just casual drinks and sharing plates, these places are all guaranteed winners as romantic restaurants for a date in Dublin.
Paris is the city of love, so it’s no doubt that a French influence will bring an air of romance to your date night. Pichet’s head chef, Harry Quinn, has curated a menu that combines both Irish and French cuisine, with a long-standing Michelin Bib Gourmand to attest to the quality. Expect elegant dishes, fine wine and a stylish bistro atmosphere that’s sure to keep you and your date hooked. Go the extra mile on the 14th with Pichet’s Valentine’s Day Set Menu, priced at €72 per person, which includes a signature Valentine’s cocktail for special measure. Opt for their delicious Venison or their Soy Glazed Salmon, but make sure you finish off with the Sticky Toffee Pudding. Pichet is always a solid choice for a romantic date in Dublin.
Address: 14-15 Trinity Street, Dublin 2
More info: pichet.ie
If you want to feel like you’re in both New York and Italy, NoLIta would make a wonderful date spot. Their urban jungle will make for a delightful indoor-outdoor dining experience, combined with ambient lighting for the perfect date night. The lively atmosphere is great for sticking around for a couple of after-dinner cocktails, which you’ll certainly opt for after seeing their extensive signature drinks menu. NoLIta have a special Valentine’s Day Set Menu priced at €45 per person, which allows you to choose from an array of options ranging from pizza to chicken parmesan – sounds delectable.
Address: 64 South Great George’s St, Dublin 2
More info: nolita.ie
A cosy, intimate and rustic spot on Merrion Row, Etto tops the list for many when it comes to a delicious dinner for two. Flavourful modern dishes grace the menu, each as exciting as the next. You may find yourselves fighting over the last slice of their ever perfect Côte de Boeuf (with both bordelaise and bearnaise FYI) and we’re sure you’ll agree that Etto hits the mark for date night.
Address: 18 Merrion Row, Dublin 2
More info: etto.ie
Peploe’s is an eclectic bistro serving sophisticated dishes and great wine. This spot is adorned with artwork reproductions of the renowned Scottish Colourist, Samuel John Peploe and packed with old world charm, a perfect restaurant for a romantic rendez-vous.
Address: 16 St. Stephens Green, Dublin 2
More info: peploes.com
This quaint Temple Bar bistro is a wonderful spot to have a glass of wine (or a bottle…) and chat over a few small plates in a cosy and inviting setting. A dessert that catches our eye? The chestnut tiramisu – possibly too good to share but guaranteed to end your evening on a sweet note.
Address: 5 Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar
More info: pigletwinebar.ie
There are few settings as romantic as a candlelit, intimate Italian restaurant, especially one that serves well crafted, authentic dishes from the terra madre. Terra Madre is an informal owner-run Italian café-restaurant – you can sense the passion in the air as the owner whizzes past serving guests. Fantastic staff add to the atmosphere here, and feasting on fresh pasta, adorned with Italian olive oil and paired with rare, regional Italian wines, you’ll feel like you’re living la dolce vita. Terra Madre is a safe bet for a cosy date in Dublin.
Address: 13a Bachelors Walk, Dublin 1
More info: terramadre.ie
One for the small plates lovers, Aperitivo is inspired by the Venetian “cicchetti”. With ever-changing dishes on rotation, you’ll be able to choose a range of plates to get a true taste of Italy, so if you can’t decide between the cacio e pepe or the arancini, you can get both! Quality food and quality drinks ranging from wines, to Italian cocktails, to a selection of Aperitifs, Negronis & Spritzes, Aperitivo will transport you to a 1950s Italian swing spot – glamorous.
Address: 47 Nassau Street, Dublin 2
More info: aperitivo.ie
With a regularly changing menu, you’re in for a surprise treat at Uno Mas. The sister restaurant to the aforementioned Etto, the menu offers Spanish favourites with a modern twist. Nothing lacks on flavour at this spot, with sharing being greatly encouraged. For drinks, you’ll be swayed by their extensive list of sherries and wines to pair wonderfully with your plates. Book in advance for a date night to remember and one you’ll definitely want to repeat.
Address: 6 Aungier Street, Dublin 2
More info: unomas.ie
Dublin’s oldest boutique wine bar and restaurant, La Cave is an ever so inviting yet informal spot to woo your date. Mood lighting is key here, paired with a few glasses of quality wine and some French-inspired food. A very romantic restaurant for a date in Dublin.
Address: 28 South Anne Street, Dublin 2
More info: lacavewinebar.com
If your date is a vegetarian, or maybe just plant-based curious, there is no better place to bring them than Glas. Ireland is at the core of this stylish spot, with vegetables being the stars of the show. Innovative and flavour-packed veggie-centric dishes will even pique the interest of the most ardent meat eater. Glas is the furthest thing from boring and your date will definitely be impressed by this Michelin guide spot.
Address: 15/16 Chatham Street, Dublin 2
More info: glasrestaurant.ie
With a flair for cooking with fire, Mister S does smouldering wood-fired cooking right. With each dish full of incredible charred flavour, you and your date are sure to feel the heat here. This laid back and always buzzy spot features perfect dim lighting to really set the mood and their tempting drinks list will keep the good times flowing late into the night.
Address: 32 Camden Street Lower, Dublin 2
More info: misters.ie
You know the phrase sharing is caring? Host is all about that, encouraging all their lucky patrons to share everything. An Italian-influenced eatery in the heart of Ranelagh, the concise, curated menu is full of seasonal dishes, including perfect handmade pasta dishes. Informal but impressive, Host is great for a date with someone who doesn’t mind you taking a bite from their plate. You’ll win brownie points for nabbing a table here too.
Address: 13 Ranelagh, Dublin 6
More info: hostrestaurant.ie
777 is a stylish venue great for a fun ‘small plates and cocktails’ type of evening. Expect an exciting menu packed with Mexican flair, with everything from Taquitos to Tostadas to Carne Asada to spice up your night. Handcrafted cocktails pair wonderfully with these tasty dishes, and the buzzing atmosphere here will make you lose track of time. Margarita Monday, anyone?
Address: Castle House, 7 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
More info: 777.ie
A historic Victorian building is the host of this contemporary Irish restaurant. Soak in the vintage accents at Delahunt and kick off the evening with a cocktail in the Sitting Room bar upstairs before lingering over their innovative 6 course tasting menu together in the sophisticates mahogany and marble clad dining room. The Sitting Room is engulfed with a mid-century feel overlooking Camden Street – a memorable way to start or finish an evening.
Address: 39 Camden Street Lower, Dublin 2
More info: delahunt.ie
If you’re on the lookout for a laid back candlelit spot for an intimate evening with your date, look no further than The Port House. Famous for their extensive Spanish tapas menu, this is definitely a place where you won’t regret over-ordering. An eclectic list of wines, ports and sherries will leave you spoiled for choice for drinks to pair with your feast. A reliable spot that’s always a hit.
Address: 64 South William Street, Dublin 2
More info: porthouse.ie/port-house
Want to really impress your date? Take them to WILDE at the five star Westbury Hotel. Here an evening of glamour awaits, you’ll be taken aback by the beauty vintage of this impeccably stylish spot. With views over Grafton Street, lush hanging foliage and marble accents, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more luxurious spot in Dublin. Indulge in delectable dishes – oysters and champagne, anyone? – and pair wonderful company for a night to remember. Finish with cocktails in The Sidecar Bar for the perfect romantic night out in the city.
Address: Harry St, Dublin 2
More info: wilde.ie
An iconic presence on Dawson Street, FIRE is a multi-award winning restaurant with a mouth-watering selection of dishes on offer, home to an extensive array of tempting steak and seafood options sure to whet the appetite. The dining room was once the Lord Mayor’s Supper Room, and features stained glass windows and a picturesque terrace overlooking the Lord Mayor’s Garden, a picture perfect setting for date night.
Address: The Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2
More info: firesteakhouse.ie
Locks is always a good idea, particularly if you are trying to impress in the romance stakes. Modern, elegant, seasonal dishes are served in this inviting neighbourhood restaurant nestled on the banks of the Grand Canal. A firm favourite on the Dublin dining scene, a delectable evening awaits at Locks, especially if it ends with a joint exploration of the cheese trolley.
Address: 1 Windsor Terrace, Dublin 8
More info: locksrestaurant.ie
Tapas lovers unite for Las Tapas de Lola. Award-winning Spanish tapas and drinks, they’re passionate about good food and good fun. An extensive menu, you’ll find something for everyone, and this place is great to test the waters and try something new. Why not show off your spontaneous side to your date? Some tasty sangria might help with that.
Address: 12 Wexford Street, Dublin 2
More info: lastapasdelola.com
There is nowhere better to share a few plates with your date than at Library Street. Literally, their motto is ‘Everything is meant to be shared’. Simple dishes with an emphasis on quality, choose from anything from Salt Crusted Wild Venison to Chargrilled Porcupine Bank langostine. The interior here will set the mood right, with beautiful florals dropping down from the skylight – the rustic chic atmosphere will certainly excite.
Address: 101 Setanta Place, Dublin 2
More info: librarystreet.ie
Another one for the sharers, your date will be impressed with everything on offer at Note. With the head chef’s previous experience at Amy Austin and 777, Essa Fakhry has curated a menu perfect for those who appreciate the finer things in life. Whether you’re in for more of a bar snacks and wine evening, or a glass of wine with each plate you order (no judgment), their drinks menu will delight just as much as their food. The romantic interiors top it all off for what’s sure to be a wonderful date.
Address: 26 Fenian St, Dublin 2
More info: notedublin.com
An atmospheric, candlelit wine cellar sets an amorous scene for an ideal date. Venture downstairs to Fallon and Byrne’s romantic venue to enjoy a choice of over 300 wines, as well as an array of beers, spirits and cocktails. Pair with one of their many cheese and charcuterie board options, because what’s better to facilitate conversation than discussing your favourite cheese and wine pairings? If you’re hungry, fear not, for they have delicious pizzas and a collection of quality mains.
Address: 11-17 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
More info: fallonandbyrne.com/restaurants/exchequer-street-wine-cellar
Seafood lovers, look no further. With luxurious interiors and silver service, you’ll be surrounded by an air of sophistication while you dine on a feast from the deep. Your date is sure to be wowed by their abundant seafood tower, and make sure you try all the oysters, they are an aphrodisiac after all…
Address: 18–19 South William Street, Dublin 2
More info: sole.ie
For the literary lover in your life, The Winding Stair is named after the Yeats poem and is the epitome of rustic chic. With a bookshop on the ground floor, you and your date will be surrounded by the comfort of its timeless charm. Devoid of bells and whistles, just good old-fashioned home cooking, here you can share dishes lovingly crafted with the best of Irish produce. Certainly one to relax in for a few hours overlooking the river Liffey.
Address: 40 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1
More info: winding-stair.com
Recommended by the Michelin Guide, Big Fan is a chic spot all about serving handmade dumplings and bao buns right on Aungier Street. A cool and buzzy place to bring a date, order a handful of plates to share (don’t side step the enoki mushroom dish, trust us!) and definitely dive into their handcrafted cocktails too – a date at Big Fan promises to tick all the boxes on the fun front.
Address: 16 Aungier St, Dublin 2
More info: bigfan.ie
Richmond is a cosy and intimate Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant you’ll want to return to again and again. Talented head chef David O’Byrne, formerly of Mulberry Garden, aims to create sophisticated dishes that encompass tradition without losing the core of seasonal flavours. Once a late night eatery, now converted to a rustic gem in Portobello, Richmond is a winner for any date with a passion for food and a love of comfort.
Address: 43 Richmond St South, Portobello, Dublin 2
More info: richmondrestaurant.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!