Lauren's Dublin City Guide

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Note: As the Eight live in different cities across the globe, we thought a good way to get to know us would be for us to create guides to all the cities close to our hearts. Once a month, you'll hear from one of the Eight, and here to kick us off is Political Editor Lauren Olmeda's guide to Dublin.  When I chose to complete an internship in Dublin in the summer of 2013, I had no idea what adventures were in store for me. I ended up falling completely in love with the little island of Ireland for its culture, scenery, weather, and people. I returned to study for a master’s degree in 2015 and have lived here ever since, and the magic of Dublin has yet to fade for me. Whether you are visiting for the pubs and music or for the fantastic green landscapes, there’s a bit of something for everyone down Dublin’s old cobbled streets.

Restaurants

  • Avoca Café ● This is without a doubt my favourite restaurant in Dublin. The location consists of four floors: a deli and food store on the lowest level, two levels of homeware, clothing, stationery, and more (including Avoca’s throws and blankets handwoven in County Wicklow since 1723), and a beautiful café and restaurant on the top level. The food is reasonably priced for how gorgeous it is; I recommend stopping by for brunch and treating yourself to the full Irish breakfast and a mimosa. Scones are absolutely essential to an Avoca visit – these are by far the best scones in the city, and I never say no to one covered in clotted cream and jam. Located on Suffolk Street in Dublin city centre. No reservations necessary, but there will be a wait if you’re late on a Sunday!
  • The Woollen Mills ● This restaurant has a rooftop terrace perfect for lunch and a glass of wine. Situated right on the banks of the Liffey River and the Ha’Penny Bridge, it offers a shady, secluded spot for dining in what was once (as the name suggests) a mill where none other than James Joyce once worked. Prices are on the higher end, but there is a lovely early bird menu – I suggest the feta and watermelon salad. Located at 42 Ormond Quay. Reservations recommended.
  • Bunsen ● Without a doubt, this is the best burger place in Dublin. Its genius is in its simplicity; the menu is the size of a business card and consists only of burgers and chips (including sweet potato chips). Milkshakes and beers are available as well to round out the experience. The burgers are juicy, the buns are perfection, and the result is a full, happy belly. Located on Essex Street in Temple Bar, no reservations necessary.

Coffee

  • Two Boys Brew ● This local coffee shop and café is located quite near to where I live and after passing by daily on the bus, I decided to stop in for a latte and a scone and wasn’t disappointed. The staff are warm, friendly, and helpful – especially since drinking “real” coffee can be somewhat intimidating as there are coffee snobs aplenty nowadays. The coffee is strong and the brunch menu is ambitious and trendy without being unapproachable. 375 N. Circular Road, Phibsboro
  • Love Supreme ● Love Supreme is a hipster’s dream. There is no menu, no prices anywhere in sight, just a few beautiful looking machines and pastries on the counter and Instagram-worthy décor dotting the exposed brick walls. A tried and true fan of lattes, mine was made with oat milk (the only dairy alternative served) and it was creamy and delicious. 57 Manor Street, Stoneybatter
  • Two Pups Coffee ● Ideally located just around the corner from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Two Pups Coffee is the perfect place to drop in after a guided tour around the church. The interior is lovely, but I recommend taking your (delicious) coffee to go and sit in the sunshine in St. Patrick’s Park, where the pups are truly plentiful. 74 Francis Street, Merchant’s Quay

Museums

  • National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology ● Don’t miss the amazing bog bodies in the Archaeology museum – preserved in the peat for thousands of years, these incredibly preserved human remains are a testament to the age of the island of Ireland itself. The Museum also boasts a massive collection of Viking history and artifacts, beginning with the first invasion in 798 AD. Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free admission!
  • The Little Museum of Dublin ● The Little Museum is just that – little – but it packs a big punch. It has one of the few remaining original prints of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic among hundreds of other historical objects (like a first edition Ulysses!) The U2 exhibit is also particularly interesting, even if you’re not a fan of the band. 15 Stephen’s Green. €10/adults, €8/students. Book tickets online.
  • The Chester Beatty Library ● I must admit that I have yet to visit the Library myself, but it comes highly recommended by many. Its collection of manuscripts from all over the world is meant to be astounding as it covers Islamic artifacts from Iran, Turkey, and India, East Asian religious imagery from China, Japan, and Tibet, and Western texts and artworks from the third century B.C. onwards. Complete your visit with a stop in the Silk Road Café, which specialises in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Clock Tower Building, Dublin Castle. Free admission

Pubs/Bars

Disclaimer: feel free to visit Temple Bar. But please, for the love of god, don’t waste your money on a pint in any of the pubs - I guarantee you’ll pay about twice what you should.

  • Sweetmans ● Sweetmans is my favourite pub in Dublin. In addition to being a massive, three-floor pub, it’s also a brewery and producer of delicious beers. The interior is stunning, the view of the River Liffey is unbeatable (especially at sunset), the traditional music is loud, and the craic is mighty. City Quay, just off the O’Connell Bridge.
  • P. Mac’s ● With a wide selection of craft beers and a cozy vibe, P. Mac’s is always full of locals. It’s less of a traditional pub than most in the city centre but that means it lacks that dreaded tackiness and is truly authentic. 30 Stephen Street Lower.
  • O’Neill’s ● This is by far the most touristy pub on the list, but touristy doesn’t always mean bad. I bring most visitors here because it’s a typical pub experience, complete with a delicious selection of food, a wide range of whiskey, and plenty of live music to complete the night. Suffolk Street, just off Grafton Street.