Home » Gastronomic Travel » Gastronomic Ireland Part 2 – Traditional Dublin Restaurants and Modern Gastropubs
Gastronomic Ireland Part 2  – Traditional Dublin Restaurants and Modern Gastropubs

Gastronomic Ireland Part 2 – Traditional Dublin Restaurants and Modern Gastropubs

Dublin temple barDublin is awash in history and a strong outlook to the future; the cuisine in Dublin reflects this attitude. The city has many types of gastronomic experiences to offer, so I am splitting Dublin up into a couple posts. This post will cover where to find my favorite Dublin Restaurants that  traditional Irish cuisine and modern gastropubs. Subsequent Dublin posts will cover fine dining, breweries and craft food markets.

 Other Ireland Articles

Roots of Traditional Irish Cuisine and Modernization

Ireland peasant foodTraditional Irish food is based on an agrarian peasant lifestyle with dishes like stew. Early peasant dishes were very rustic and relied on ingredients that  could be foraged, caught, hunted or milked. After the introduction of the potato, from South America, the peasant diet changed considerably to be highly based on potato consumption. Modern traditional Irish cuisine reflects the tradition of classic peasant dishes, but with modern cooking techniques and presentation.

Gallagher’s Boxty House

Ireland Dublin Boxty House Exterior 2If you are looking for modern cuisine that pays serious homage to classic Irish dishes, then Gallagher’s Boxty House is an absolute must for any traveler. The owner of Gallagher’s Boxty House is  Chef  Padraic Gallagher, who is Failte Ireland’s Dublin Food Champion and the President of the Ireland Restaurant Association. Chef Gallagher has gained strong acclaim for his revitalization of classic dishes, including his famous boxty.

Padraic Gallagher of Gallagher's Boxty House in Temple Bar, Dublin

Padraic Gallagher Chef/Owner of the Boxty House with Tom and Daniele

potatoWhat is Boxty? There are several types of Boxty, although the common ingredient is a potato based dough. The potato dough can be made into many different dishes including pancake, dumplings, and breads loafs. Dumpling boxty can be boiled, cooked in a stew, or pan fried with butter.


Ireland Dublin Boxty House Boxty Platter DumplingThe Boxty Platter – The platter includes sautéed boxty dumplings (similar to gnocchi) in a Cashel blue cheese sauce, pancake (like a combination of a crepe and latke) with Ardsallagh goats cheese filling. and toasted boxty loaf (potato bread) with a black olive tapenade and tomato. This is perhaps one of the best ways to try a modern spin on boxty. Each of the preparations have been modernized and enhanced the overall experience.

Ireland Dublin Boxty House Boxty Platter cake

Gallagher’s Boxty Houses – The Boxty Platter


Ireland Dublin Boxty House seafood platter fish forward

The Seafood Platter– Seafood was a staple food for people who lived along the coast.  This platter consisted of smoked Galway salmon, Kilmore Quay rock oyster, Dunanny Irish crab meat & smoked mackerel pate with wholemeal dillisk bread. I really enjoyed the smoked fishes on the platter, the flavor was fresh and and the preparation was artful.

Ireland Dublin Boxty House seafood platter oyster

Gallagher’s Boxty House – Seafood Platter


Gaelic Boxty – Tender medallions of Irish fillet beef are seared and sautéed in a whiskey & mushroom cream sauce  and wrapped in a pancake style boxty. The flavor was rich , creamy and remarkably balanced. The boxty served as the common thread that tied together the beef, cream and mushroom flavors. This is another must try!

Ireland Dublin Restaurants Boxty House Gaelic Boxty

Gallagher’s Boxty House – Gaelic Boxty You have to try this dish at least once when you visit Ireland


Ireland Dublin Boxty House pork on pancake

Fergus Dunnes Free Range Pork –Free range native Irish pork from the Fergus Dunnes farm, is braised with in a sweet and tangy sauce. The pork is accompanied with a wholegrain mustard coleslaw and a stack of sage-flavored mini boxty pancakes. I ordered this dish after I asked Chef Gallagher what he had for dinner the night before; I always order what the Chef eats. If you try this dish, I highly recommend you order a a dry cider with it, as ties together sweet, savory, tart flavors into a single bouquet.

Ireland Dublin Restaurants Boxty House Fergus dunes pork

Gallagher’s Boxty House – Fergus Dunnes Free Range Pork – It reminded me of a predecessor of North Carolina BBQ

Bailey’s Cheesecake – Light whipped Bailey’s chocolate cheesecake with Bailey’s syrup and fruit topping. The cheesecake in Ireland is nothing like a hard baked New York Cheesecake, but rather soft and creamy. Case in point, The Boxty House’s cheesecake is creamy and coats the mouth as you chew. The flavor of  Bailey’s and fruit amp provide flavor and texture contrasts. I’m getting hungry.

Ireland Dublin Boxty House cheesecake

Gallagher’s Boxty House – Bailey’s Cheesecake – Smoother and Creamier than a N.Y. Cheesecake

Gallaghers Boxty House on Urbanspoon

Corned beef, not so Irish?

immigrants2Although Americans have come to associate corned beef and cabbage as Irish, the popularity of this dish actually has its roots in America. During the majority of Irish history, beef was a luxury item for most Irish people. As a result of the famine in Ireland, waves of Irish immigrants moved to America. They settled in poor immigrant neighborhoods alongside with Eastern European Jews, who consumed the cheap cut of beef known as brisket. Irish immigrants learned to use this cut of meat by braising it, similar to the Eastern European recipe. Irish immigrants would send letters back to their Irish relatives telling them that they ate beef for their meals. As you can imagine, the relatives back home probably thought that they were prosperous in America. Today, corned beef and cabbage is not a common dish in Ireland and I only found it served in a couple restaurants. Keep this in mind next time you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

 Modern Gastropubs 

Ireland Dublin Tradditional Bank Exterior

Pubs being a major community gathering spot in Ireland and  food service is common. If you want a high-end version of pub food, I highly suggest you find one of Dublin’s many modern Gastropubs that place a strong focus on craft food and cocktails.  Gastropub food is typically modernized Irish fare  that brings in modern techniques, international influence, and a rustic presentation.

The Bank on College Green

bank on college greenThe Bank on College Green, which is an upscale Gastropub with reasonable prices.  Located down the row from Trinity College,  the building was originally Belfast Bank. The Bank was  built in 1892 and displays the lavish Victorian style. As I sipped on my Bushmills Old Fashioned, I imagined the deals and historical characters that must have walked through the doors. Here is what we ordered:

Ireland Dublin Tradditional Bank Interior wide

The Bank on College Green Gastropub – The interior is a lesson on Victorian Architecture


Confit of Duck Liver Parfait – Confit of duck liver is prepared into a fluffy parfait and served in a mason jar and accompanied with toast and house made jam. The liver parfait was extremely rich and delicious. This rich creamy flavor paired perfectly with the sweet berry jam.  In California they have outlawed foi gras and its derivatives, so this dish was a real treat.

Ireland Dublin Tradditional Bank food Pate 2

The Bank – Confit of Duck Liver Parfait


½ Dozen fresh oysters served in a bucket of crushed ice with the house made cocktail sauce and garnished with seaweed. The Dublin Bay oysters were extremely fresh, they had a pleasant smell of salty brine. The oysters were smooth with a slight crunch. I loved the presentation in the bucket with the seaweed garnishment. These oysters slept in the ocean the night before.

Ireland Dublin Tradditional Bank ousters1

The Bank – Dublin Bay Oysters presented in a bucket of ice

Crottin De Chavignol (fried goat cheese balls) –  Their award winning goat cheese balls are fried in a crispy batter and served with a slow roasted beetroot, horse radish,  Dublin honey,  and organic leaves.  This dish is very common in Ireland, although The Bank made one of the best. I liked the light crust and the goats cheese took center stage in both flavor and texture. Although the name of this dish suggests the French influence, this dish is very Irish.

Ireland Dublin Tradditional Bank food Goat Cheese Croquete

The Bank – Their award winning goat cheese croquet

 ½ Boneless roast Chicken  – Roasted chicken stuffed with herb sausage bread stuffing and served with butter roasted potatoes, fresh vegetables organic salad and roast gravy.  We both loved this dish, the chicken was juicy and the flavor of herbs, sausage and butter infused into the meat. Daniele normally doesn’t like sausage, although she loved the subtle sausage influence on the chicken’s flavor. 

Ireland Dublin Tradditional Bank food chicken1

The Bank – 1/2 Boneless Chicken stuffed with sausage laced stuffing. It was extremely delicious and I loved the presentation

The Bank on College Green on Urbanspoon

Other Similar Restaurants

One of the toughest parts of visiting a city for just a couple days is not getting the opportunity to try all the restaurants that you want to try before you leave. Below are a list of restaurants that serve modern interpretations of  traditional Irish food or gourmet gastropubs. Pick any one of these restaurants and they will be a winner. All of these restaurants have been recommended by local Chefs, Irish food bloggers, T.V. personalities and local Dublin foodies.

The Winding Stair

The windy Stair

This was a popular hangout for artists and musicians, keeps the original ambiance and serves High Quality Organic Irish homestyle cooking. http://winding-stair.com/ 40 Lower Ormond Quay Dublin 1




Mulligan Grocer Gastropub  

Mulligans Gastropub

They describe themselves as a eating and driking emporium. This establishment has received positive reviews from many critics and bloggers. http://www.lmulligangrocer.com/  18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7.




Other Gastronomic Ireland Posts

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. Deanna Heiliger

    This is so interesting, especially about the potato. I would love to try the boxty, as I love dough…so versatile!

  2. Christy Garrett

    Looking at all of this food is making me hungry. I think it is time to go fix some lunch. :)

  3. I want to be a foodie!! Those experiences and the food looks awesome..

  4. I’m with Rob. Let’s all be foodies! The information about Boxty and potatoes was really interesting.

  5. Now I really want to go to Ireland!

  6. I want to try Bailey’s Cheesecake. I love cake so much and your review makes me want some cake

  7. See food platter for me please with fresh raw oysters and fresh :)

  8. You made me very hungry!!

  9. Heather Petersen

    I learned some new things today! The food always looks so good!

  10. I have a feeling there will still be a lot of great things to have even though I’m gluten free!

  11. Life IS too short for bad food and bad wine.

  12. Hello Tom,

    Long time no talk, I’m glad to see you’re continuing on maintaining the blog.

    Great info on Boxty and your travels through Ireland. Hopefully I’ll be just as fortunate to learn more about this place beyond Guinness and Shepherd’s pie.


  13. The seafood platter looks SPECTACULAR!!!!

  14. Fantastic run down on Dublin restaurants creating great dishes from someone who obviously knows and enjoys good food!
    It is a big help in planning our upcoming visit and I agree much easier than sifting through Trip Advisor!

  15. I agree the seafood platter looks amazing!

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