When we think of a girls night out, it can conjure up images of handbags, high heels and sticky dance floors. The reality is when we’re planning a catch up we’re looking for something more than this cliché. We want good drinks, decent food, a chat-friendly atmosphere and maybe, the promise of dancing. So we’ve rounded up some slick spots around Dublin that will happily deliver this – it’s just up to you to gather the squad.
Ukiyo, 9 Exchequer St, Dublin 2
Image: Ukiyo via Facebook
When you need to belt out a good tune, head to Ukiyo. This Japanese/ Korean restaurant and karaoke bar serves up quality Asian food so you can get your Bon Jovi on with a full stomach. They do group deals which are a no-brainer and take the hassle out of organising. Sharing dishes, tasty cocktails and karaoke in your own dedicated room with a playlist of 40,000 songs – what’s not to love? On the weekends, the dining room transforms into a busy dance floor after dinner so you can keep the catch-ups going until the wee hours.
The Old Spot, 14 Bath Avenue, Dublin 4
Image: The Old Spot via Facebook
This bar & restaurant is the place for the gang who likes to catch up over good food. The cosy pub interiors, all-leather booths and brass-detailed fittings provide great options for groups small and large. An elevated pub menu features Irish oysters, Prawn Pil Pil with sourdough and tuna tartare with apple and miso for starters. Mains are, for the most part, the warming comforting kind: smoked pork shoulder, roast duck with pomegranate and orange, dry-aged rib eye with hand-cut fries. Desserts like pecan tart with salted caramel ice cream sound too good not to order. Perfect food for group dining with something for everyone, well-balanced cooking and downright tasty dishes.
777, 7 Castle House, South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
Image: 777 via Facebook
Behind an unassuming black exterior on George’s Street lies a buzzing kitsch restaurant inspired by the traditional ’70s-style taquerias of Mexico. Head here for refreshing takes on tacos, tostadas, tequila and arguably the best margaritas in town. Order from an extensive contemporary Mexican menu packed with fresh, moreish dishes like crispy tostadas topped with yellowfin tuna sashimi or braised brisket with corn polenta. They also do a family style menu for even easier sharing. Party vibes and pumping tunes make for a spirited dining experience, plus you’re in a prime location to kick on after.
Suesey Street, 26 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2
Image: Suesey Street
Feeling sophisticated? Book into the beautiful Suesey Street dining room, nestled in the basement of a lovingly restored Georgian townhouse. Their Friday night supper clubs offer wonderful value and chilled live music and Saturday nights are for swing with a resident jazz singer. Work your way through an extensive list of decadent cocktails and gins. A top-notch front of house team and a refined menu using plenty of Irish ingredients make for an ideal group dining option and they also have some plush private rooms for a bigger affair.
Drop Dead Twice, 18/19 Francis Street, Dublin 8
Image: Drop Dead Twice via Facebook
Head to this uber-hip Francis Street bar for cocktails with a twist; the twist being you bring your own booze. Drop Dead Twice is Dublin’s first BYOB cocktail bar. The idea is you bring along your spirit of choice, hand it over to your mixologist and after a quick chat, they’ll be shaking up concoctions with their fresh and homemade ingredients. There’s a food menu full of booze-friendly sharing bites like fries, nachos and pizzas if you’re feeling peckish. There is also The Taproom downstairs that boasts over 20 craft beers and hosts live music and entertainment.
Fallon & Byrne Wine Cellar, 11 -17 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
Image: Fallon & Byrne
Beneath the bustle of the charming Fallon & Byrne food hall, lies a wine lover’s dream. Their dark wood cellar houses around 600 wines on the packed shelves, many of which you can try by the glass or purchase to drink in-house. Take your time browsing or ask for a recommendation and then grab a stool by the wooden barrels or cosy up on a communal table. There’s a selection of cheese, antipasti and charcuterie boards full of artisan Irish treats, as well as a tight list of wholesome mains which should see you through the night. The ideal place for impromptu assemblies but they can also take bookings for groups.
BoCo Pizza, Bolton Street, Dublin 1
Image: BoCo via Facebook
Pared-back pizzas served up in sleek, industrial-chic surrounds, BoCo keeps things simple which makes for a great, fuss-free night out. An open kitchen fills the restaurant with that irresistible pizza aroma, with a great selection of classic combinations and chewy sourdough bases as well as a weekly pop-up special. Outside of pizza, they do antipasti sharing boards, generous flat breads, garlicky prawns and woodfired spicy buffalo wings. There’s only one dessert option but it’s a Bean & Goose sharing special – single origin craft chocolate smashed on a board. They stay open a little later on the weekends so it’s perfect for those after dinner chats.