With the Irish food revolution long over and won, Dublin now has a city full of fabulous, hip, and suavely sophisticated restaurants. More realistic rents have seen a new cohort of experimental eateries crop up alongside award-winning Euro-toques and their sous-chefs who continue to come up with new and glorious ways to abuse your waistline. Instead of just spuds, glorious spuds, you’ll find delicious new entries to New Irish cuisine like roast scallops with spiced pork belly and cauliflower au gratin topped with a daring caper-and-raisin sauce or sautéed rabbit loin with Clonakilty black pudding. Okay, there’s a good chance spuds will still appear on your menu—and most likely offered in several different ways.
As for lunches or munchies on the run, there are scores of independent cafés serving excellent coffee, and often good sandwiches. Other eateries, borrowing trends from all around the world, serve inexpensive pizzas, focaccia, pitas, tacos, and wraps (which are fast gaining in popularity over the sandwich).
Dubliners dine later than the rest of Ireland. They stay up later, too, and reservations are usually not booked before 6:30 or 7 pm and up to around 10 pm. Lunch is generally served from 12:30 to 2:30. Pubs often serve food through the day—until 8:30 or 9 pm. Most pubs are family-friendly and welcome children until 7 pm. The Irish are an informal bunch, so smart-casual dress is typical.