When it comes to drinks, Dublin – and Ireland – is most famous for two things: Guinness and Whiskey. There is no shortage of opportunities to drink either in Dublin. Perhaps best known is the Guinness Storehouse, which you can tour (skip the line with this link) before enjoying a pint overlooking the city, and the iconic Temple Bar pub which has a lengthy Whiskey list (as well as plenty of Guinness taps).
Winetravelers will be glad to know that after ticking those tourist hotspots off the list, there are plenty of great places to buy and drink wine, too, if you know where. Here is our list of top restaurants and wine bars to explore around Dublin.
BEST WINE BARS & RESTAURANTS IN DUBLIN:
- Montys of Kathmandu
- Ely Wine Bar
- Piglet Wine Bar
- Frank’s Dublin
- Port House Cava
- Neighborhood Wine
- Sova Vegan Butcher
- …and more
Montys is hiding in plain sight. This wine-focused Nepalese restaurant is set in the heart of Temple Bar, the most touristed part of Dublin. Above ground, it looks like any normal family restaurant: A simple wooden exterior, deep-red painted walls, and dark wooden floors. A banner outside displays its name.
Tourists wander in from the street. Others are here for its famous wine list. Owner Shiva Gautam, who opened Montys in 1997 with his wife and talented chef Lina, fell in love with wine quickly after entering the restaurant scene. Today he oversees its impressive underground tasting room and cellar, which holds the bottles offered in its 74-page wine list.
Etto is a real treat. This small restaurant boasts a big wine list, which arrives on a clipboard. It’s filled with sommelier favorites like Envinate, Lopez de Heredia (including the whites), Occhipinti, Marcel Lapierre, and Comando G. Plan to spend some time debating which to pick – it’s not easy.
The food menu is small but well-formed, with modern and delicious food. Get started with the tomato and scamorza suppli – friend rice balls that are like a miniature and smoky take on arancini.
Ely Wine Bar is a short walk around the corner from Etto. At ground level, it has a few tables outside and bar stools indoors. The magic is at the bar downstairs: dimmed lights, brick walls and wine bottles lining the shelves. Over 20 different wines are offered by the glass, including classics from Chianti and Givry as well as more adventurous picks like Assyrtiko from Crete and Mencia from Ribeira Sacra. The full list is extensive.
A food menu is also available, offering various meat and fish dishes, and aubergine parmigiana for vegetarian guests.
Piglet is an unpretentious wine bar and restaurant with a lengthy wine list featuring plenty of magnums. A long lunch with big bottles would certainly be enjoyable in this pedestrianized side-street of Temple Bar.
For those who are feeling slightly less thirsty, it offers 14 wines by the glass. These are helpfully categorized as “weird” or “usual” to guide you towards (or away from) something a bit funkier. The list of regular-sized bottles includes sections on “posh Burgundy”, “ToSCANa/Chiantishire”, and “LES SWEETS”.
On the final page, the list concludes: “Life is too short to drink bad wine!!!!!” (That’s five exclamation marks.)
The food is very good too.
Is it a skin-contact Gewurtztraminer from the Czech Republic that you desire? Or perhaps an Aligote from Romania? At the time of writing, both are poured by the glass at Frank’s, which may boast Dublin’s most eclectic natural wine list.
Set in a former butcher shop, the sign above the door still advertises pork and bacon, but the store now focuses on natural wines of the world. Inside, guests can sit around a single, large metal table. Outside, wine barrels act as tables. Ten wines are poured by the glass, or you can pick a bottle off the shelf inside and pay a €15 corkage fee to drink in.
RELATED: What Exactly Is Natural Wine?
The Port House is a small group of restaurants with four locations in Dublin and one famous spot on The Strand in London. It specializes in tapas and wine from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal).
Port House Cava is one of the group’s central Dublin restaurants. It’s a direct neighbor of Frank’s, meaning that you can plan a full evening of wine drinking without needing to move too far.
Guests are handed a dense, two-page tapas menu and a pencil for making selections. Around a third of the options are vegetarian. The Flor de Calabacin – battered zucchini flower stuffed with goats cheese and topped with almonds and honey – is a particular delight. Portions are generous, so turn up hungry.
Neighborhood Wine is owned and run by Irish Master of Wine Mick O’Connell, and wine importer Shane Murphy. Their expertise has been put to good use: They’ve brought together a quality selection of wines with a slant towards organic and biodynamic producers, as well as fine wine.
The central Dublin store is around a ten-minute walk south of St Stephen’s Green. It has a second location in Dun Laoghaire, over on the south coast of Dublin.
And to detox…
After all that wine drinking, it might be time to detox with a healthy meal. Cue Sova Vegan Butcher near St Stephen’s Green which offers creative (and delicious) plant-based dining. You won’t leave hungry after one of the lunchtime skewers.
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