There’s something wonderful about tucking into a really fresh plate of great seafood. It can bring a hint of salty sea air to your palette and a nostalgia for the freedom of summer holidays. But not all seafood is created equal so we’ve trawled the city for some spots that we know strive to serve their fish straight from the sea to the table, as much as possible. From old school fish and chips to luxurious lobster, these are our Dublin fishy favourites:
Fish Shop, 6 Queen Street and 76 Benburb Street, Dublin 7
From humble beginnings in a converted shed in Blackrock market, Fish Shop has grown to two Dublin 7 bricks and mortar restaurants serving some of the finest seafood in the city. At Fish Shop Benburb Street, they continue to serve their excellent fish and chips along with a casual menu featuring oysters, fish pintxos and plenty that can be shared and enjoyed with a great biodynamic, natural and organic wine list. Head to Fish Shop Queen Street for adventurous, multi-course set menus showcasing lesser-known fish and seasonal Irish ingredients.
Tokyo Kitchen, 42 Bow St, Smithfield, Dublin 7
Good sushi needs spankingly fresh fish and Tokyo Kitchen couldn’t be better located, setting up shop with seafood specialists and suppliers Kish Fish in Smithfield. The compact takeaway restaurant is only open 11 am – 4 pm, Tuesday to Sunday but they are doing a roaring trade, doling out superb sushi and hot wok dishes. Choose from classic nigiri and maki with tuna, salmon and rotating specials using ray, monkfish, sea bass and whatever takes their fancy from the shop. King prawn tempura and soft shell crab rolls are a must try with perfect, soft sushi rice served every time.
Klaw, 5A Crown Alley, Dublin 2,
Seafood Cafe, 11 Sprangers Yard, Fownes Street Upper, Dublin 2,
Poke, 159 Capel Street, Dublin 1
There are now three Klaw outposts and they all celebrate seafood in their own way, doing a stellar job promoting and using lesser-known, Irish-caught fish. The tiny Klaw Temple Bar continues to rock the crab shack vibe. You can perch on high stools and dig into their seafood platters and mix and match oysters from around the Irish coast; Galway Bay, Waterford, Dooncastle, Flaggy Shore, and eat them naked, dressed or torched. Seafood Café around the corner is an upbeat space made up of cosy banquettes and bar seats with ‘Island Nation’ written in bright neon on the wall. Feast on fish & chips, seafood pies, lobster rolls and well-cooked fish mains. Poke fans should head over to Capel Street where they specialise in these uber trendy bowls of fish and bright fresh ingredients. All brought to you by an enthusiastic, fish-loving crew.
Rosa Madre, 7 Crow Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
This is a rather glamorous seafood experience in Temple Bar, with white linens and a refined Italian menu focused on all things aquatic. Their super-fresh fish is used perfectly in their carpaccios and fresh fish of the day cooked grilled, baked or salt crusted. Whole lobsters are served along with excellent pasta, risotto and a host of Italian classics. The dining room walls are lined with wine, indicating that they have an excellent selection, along with an extensive champagne list. A wonderful example of how high end our excellent fresh seafood can be.
The Kingfisher, 166 Parnell Street, Dublin 1
Cliff Townhouse and Urchin, 22 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
Upstairs at Cliff Townhouse is an elegant Georgian dining room, featuring a decadent oyster and champagne bar. This is the place for a relaxed seafood lunch with menus focused on sustainable seafood from Irish waters. Their Afternoon Sea is a must for die-hard fish fans – imagine afternoon tea where, instead of the usual suspects, you’ll feast on fresh brown shrimp croquettes, crab sandwiches and Rockefeller oysters. Downstairs, you’ll find the funky Urchin, a beach-inspired cocktail bar with a fun tapas menu including Flaggy Shore oysters, sea urchins, scallop ceviche and a seafood sharing plate. Shore why not?
Catch 22, 32 Clarendon St, Dublin 2
Grab some seaside vibes right in the city at this punningly named fish restaurant. At Catch 22, they serve up an extensive fresh fish menu in their chilled out, seaside style dining room. Fishy starter favourites include Carlingford oysters, prawn salad, fried calamari and chunky seafood chowder. Mains, or ‘Big Catch’ as they call them, include baked sea trout, crusted hake and fish pie and all come with hand cut chips or sweet potato fries. They also do fish-free dishes, salads and seasonal specials. Beers on tap and a succinct selection of fish-focused wines make it a brill spot for a casual, crowd-pleasing dinner.