The weather in Ireland is always a bit touch and go but for the brief periods when the rain finally goes away and the sun comes out, there’s nothing better than grabbing your knife and fork and heading outside. You might also want to bring a blanket and a heater but these things will only serve to enhance your enjoyment of dining al fresco. Whether you want to enjoy some people watching or some beautiful scenery, here are some of the best spots in Ireland for it.
The Rooftop Bar & Terrace at The Marker Hotel – City hotels have to build high so views don’t get much better than this. Serving taste plates and brunch throughout the summer and a great spot for cocktails.
The Woolen Mills – Is there a better way to spend a lazy evening than people watching with the ha’penny bridge in the background. The Woolen Mills have a fully retractable roof and plenty of heaters so you can enjoy their terrace and views in all weather conditions.
The Old Music Shop, North Frederick Street – This hidden gem is tucked away at the back of The Castle Hotel off Frederick Street and is an oasis of calm ambience and natural light. The food offers the best of Irish produce and the terrace is also quite popular for afternoon tea enthusiasts.
The Rooftop Terrace, Sophie’s at The Dean – A more urban feel in Sophie’s as the stunning views are of Dublin City. Enjoy Sophie’s signature Italian cuisine out on the terrace or sample some of their BBQ fare, fresh from the pit.
Winter Garden at Fade Street Social – Enjoy a wide range of flatbreads and cocktails perched on top of Dublin’s Creative Quarter. A hidden oasis in the heart of the city, the outdoor Winter Garden is a great spot to relax away from the crowded streets.
Marco Pierre White’s Courtyard Bar & Grill – The buzzy courtyard here is a haven during the summer months. Relax in the cosy couches and chairs and soak up the sunshine with a drink in your hand and a smile on your face.
Suesey Street – Tucked away on Fitzwilliam Place is a stylish little sun trap. The perfect place to enjoy modern Irish food while sipping a glass of bubbly or a bespoke cocktail, the terrace at Suesey Street is a real hidden gem.
House – Nearby on Leeson Street, House has created a gorgeous outdoor area with a quirky garden and a stylish conservatory. Ideally located for after work drinks and a bite to eat, make the most of the Dublin sunshine in this city centre garden.
Angelina’s – Down at bustling Baggot Street, you can step away from it all and relax on the terrace at Angelina’s. Sitting right on the canal you can watch passers-by on the bridge while you relax with some authentic Italian food and a glass of wine.
l’Gueuleton – Take some time out of the sun and do some people watching on Fade Street as you tuck in to some authentic French cuisine. Sip on some Old World wine as you watch everybody else rush by.
Wright’s Findlater – There are several options for dining outside in Howth but if you’d rather be looking at the pier than eating on it, the Sky Bar at Findlater’s is the place for you. From the second floor you get spectacular views of the bay and some great seafood to boot.
Hotel 7 – Gardiner Row, Dublin – This new addition to Dublin’s Al Fresco scene is a hidden haven with a relaxed and intimate vibe. The heated courtyard is open for lunch, dinner, afternoon tea or even just to unwind with a cocktail.
Castlemartyr Resort – The five star treatment gets the wow factor when the resort is bathed in sunshine. Choose a seat on the terrace for an afternoon tea experience or a top quality lunch looking out over the croquet lawn and manicured gardens.
The River Club – Hanging out over the River Lee, you won’t get closer than this. A popular spot at night time for drinks and socialising, the terrace gets a great amount of sunshine during the day and is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy some food and great cocktails.
Castle Café Restaurant – In the shadow of Blackrock Castle this venues ambiance is something special. With a bit of sunshine, the castle behind you and a good honest plate of food in front of you, this is a little corner of paradise.
Il Vicolo at The Bridge Mills – A very charming and contemporary riverside Italian restaurant which boasts a 100% Italian wine list also. The building itself was previously the old Mill but now it has been given life with the best of what Italian passion for food has to offer on Irish soil.
The Veranda Terrace at The Galmont Hotel – This outdoor area was made for the good weather of the summer months. With a new barbeque menu available, you can enjoy all the delights of summer with some of the best views in Galway overlooking the gorgeous Lough Atalia.
Martine’s Restaurant & Wine Bar – Quay Street is a great spot for watching people come and go in the Galway sunshine and Martine’s is in a prime location. With great local produce and a wide selection of wines, you can while away several hours sitting right on the street.
Moran’s Oyster Cottage – You can get a real taste of Ireland here with fresh local oysters and seafood which perfectly complement the stunning views out over the wier. Moran’s have been serving tourists and locals for over 250 years so you can bet they know what they’re doing.
The Wineport Lodge in Athlone – This luxury lakeside lodge leaves you with a feeling of total escape and relaxation while dining on the banks of Lough Ree. The unpretentious food is well presented and to dine at sunset over the water is so blissful.
Avoca in Kilmacanoge – Avoca have more than 10 stores and venues around Ireland but the Kilmacanoge branch is definitely worth a mention in our Al Fresco Dining in Ireland article because of its 2 award winning restaurants, beautifully designed terrace and of course the tall ancient trees and landscaped gardens. The shop is definitely worth a trip also before you leave to pick up some products to enjoy at home.
Brook Lodge – Their food is renowned for its organic nature and great flavours and the grounds are spectacular with a running brook and a chapel sitting across it. Add sunshine to the mix and the al fresco experience at Macreddin Village is close to perfection.
Randles Hotel Killarney – An elegant and stylish hotel that has been operating since 1906. Their conservatory and outdoor terrace / pergola offers guests and diners a lovely view of the McGillycuddy Reeks while sitting by the fire perusing their menus designed by head chef Michael O’ Sullivan.
The Terrace Bar at Aghadoe Heights Hotel – The bustling bar opens on to one of the country’s most striking views, the Lakes of Killarney. If you are lucky enough to be blessed with some sunshine while you are in this part of the country, a meal or a drink out on the hotel balcony is a unique experience.
The Killarney Park Hotel – Looking out over the hotel’s gardens, the chic terrace is a fantastic extension of the Killarney Park’s popular Garden Bar. With great dining options and a barbeque pit, you will feel a world away from modern life in this relaxed setting.
The Carriage House of Adare Manor – A purpose built luxurious dining area for the Manor which is just a few minutes walk from the main estate. The Carriage House in also open for non-residents for lunch, brunch and dinner if you wanted to visit and enjoy the breathtaking estate.
The Kilkenny Rivercourt Hotel has a beautiful courtyard which overlooks the river Nore and also Kilkenny Castle. When you are looking for al fresco dining in Ireland with a view, it doesn’t get much better than this. They host summer BBQs on their outdoor terrace and serve some of the best cocktails in Kilkenny city,
The Mount Juliet Estate is a perfect place to getaway from the hustle and bustle of modern life. To try something different, why not indulge in one of their gourmet bespoke hampers which you can get from the hotel and enjoy the grounds of the 500 acre luxury estate while dining.
Cliff House Hotel – When you combine award winning food in a five star hotel with a terrace that looks out to endless sea and a good stretch of sunshine, it can be impossible to leave. Diners will be clamouring to get a spot on the beautiful terrace during the summer months.
The Coq & Bull Brasserie at Clandeboye Lodge -With Summer on the horizon, the Coq & Bull terrace is perfect for some alfresco dining. With its elegant glass wall panels and each table featuring a cosy heater, it’s well-equipped for all kinds of Northern-Irish weather! The perfect outdoor dining experience to catch up with friends and family over a delicious meal. Book online: https://bit.ly/coq-bull-book-table’
Harry’s Shack – Kick off your shoes and stick your toes in the sand. Nothing says summer like the beach and in Harry’s Shack you are lucky to be sitting right on it. The amazing seafood and great service makes the whole experience unforgettable.