Dublin’s Best Food

  1. Fish-n-Chips

Hot, greasy and salty, this option is an Irish classic and a personal favorite. Hands-down the best fish-n-chips in Dublin is Leo Burdock’s. I am personally loyal to the original location at 2 Werburgh Street (downhill from Christ Church Cathedral, just past Lord Edward pub). This is carry-out only so I usually picnic by Dublin Castle or one of the cathedrals. However, if you want indoor seating then go for one of their newer locations: Temple Bar, Rathmines, Dundrum or The Square Tallaght.

Insider tip: The portions are huge! One order of chips will feed 2-3 people. Always ask for salt & vinegar.

Livy via flickr
Livy via flickr
  1. Avoca Cafe

More wholesome and comfortable than fish-n-chips, Avoca Cafe is the gold-standard in Irish cafe dining. Combining traditional Irish home-style cooking with more exotic fare, their seasonal menu always has something new. And the locations are beautiful! Mount Rushmore Gardens, Powerscourt Gardens, Fern House, and Avoca Village each deserve a visit in their own right – a lovely cafe is just icing on the cake.

Insider tip: For a budget-friendly meal, just order a salad and a dessert. They are to die for!

Avoca Ireland via flickr
Avoca Ireland via flickr

3. Marks and Spencers Rooftop Cafe

In the Grafton Street location of Marks and Spencers is one of Dublin’s best-kept secrets, a rooftop cafe. The views aren’t all that amazing but it’s a great spot to take a break and watch the world passing by down below on Grafton Street. Tea, cakes, and free wifi — what more do you need?

Insider tip: Downstairs in the “Food Hall” is the Marks&Sparks grocery store full of hipster goodies like pre-made meals and vegetarian sweets (Percy Pigs are the best).

  1. Farmers Markets

Every weekend Farmer’s Markets fill the parks throughout Ireland. Go in the morning for fresh veg or wander over around lunch time for street food. Nutella crepes are a childhood favorite. Some markets in the Dublin area include Christ Church Cathedral, Marley Park, Bushy Park and Dun Laoghaire. You can probably find one in your neighborhood.

Insider tip: Bring a grocery bag for fresh veg, second hand books, or locally crafted souvenirs – you won’t be leaving empty-handed.

  1. Carvery Lunch

A unique aspect of Irish pubs is their day-time business as a family-friendly restaurant. Each Sunday pubs across the nation fill up with families out for “Sunday dinner” i.e. late lunch. A carvery is a buffet-style meal where you choose from a selection of roast meats which are “carved” to order. Sides usually include boiled carrots and parsnips, sauteed cabbage, and plenty of potatoes. Pubs can gain quite a reputation for the quality of their carvery lunches so ask around to find your “local.” My old neighborhood’s best carvery lunch was The Eden (on the 16 bus route near Pearse Park).

Insider tip: Generally, the longer the line the better the food!

Jeremy Keith via flickr

Blog Post By Rebecca Robyn Thompson, for more see:  www.yournewnormal.wordpress.com  


Lifetime Lessons and Lifelong Friends

“It’s been almost 6 months now that I’ve been living in Dublin as part of the Work in Ireland program. Time sure does fly by. So far, it has definitely had its ups and downs, but I always remind myself in the tougher times that this experience is once in a lifetime and there are so many life lessons I am learning while over here. Not to mention, the craic in Dublin is great!!


After first getting here, I have to admit I was very overwhelmed, especially with finding housing and a job – the main priorities. I had a friend who was coming over to work in Ireland at the same time as me, so we decided to be roommates and at first, we were getting discouraged about finding an apartment. However, after sending plenty of emails on rent.ie and daft.ie, we finally found a suitable apartment in a suburb north of Dublin city centre. We have a nice little set up with a balcony and a lovely kitchen. Rent is a bit pricey, but we expected that when coming to live in the capital of Ireland.

As far as finding a job, it definitely was not the easiest task at first. I reached out to a few different recruitment agencies and spent the first week or two in the USIT office polishing up my CV and sending it off to employers. It would be discouraging after not hearing back or after getting rejected, but I tried to be positive and remember it would all work out one way or another.

I found an agency and they called me the day after receiving my CV. I had a good feeling about it and went in to interview the next day. I met with the manager there who told me that he would do his best to get me work as soon as possible. Well, turns out that he had work for me the very next day. He rang me in the morning to come in to the Bank to help out on the switchboard for the day. This assignment turned into an essentially full-time temporary role, and I have since got hired full-time through the Bank as a Business Services Assistant where I work in the reception department. I think my advice to anyone in this program would be to take advantage of agencies because they can be very helpful with finding work quickly for you, at least to start with when you first arrive.

As far as everything else, my experience has been great getting to travel around Ireland a bit as well as some of Europe. So far, I’ve been to Waterford, Belfast, and the Netherlands, and I have a few trips planned coming up including Barcelona, which I’m really looking forward to!


Overall, Dublin is a lovely place to live with plenty to do and with friendly people all around. I really enjoy exploring all of the coastal villages along Dublin Bay as there are so extremely beautiful towns just waiting to be explored. I feel very content now that I am all settled and in my work routine. Surely there are some things I wish I did differently in the beginning, but life is about learning from your mistakes and moving on.

Cheers to an amazing city and cheers to the second half of my adventure on this side of the pond!”


Blog Post & Photography by Valerie Stearns, a current Work in Ireland Participant.