We all love the idea of a group dinner, especially at this time of the year, but the reality of making it happen is not always the easiest. Affordable, big enough, atmospheric enough... finding an all-rounder is a challenge. Here's our essential list for group dinners. Just don't ask us for help splitting the bill.
Market Bar, 14a Fade Street, Dublin 2
A go-to for group get-togethers with good reason, Market Bar is enviably located on Fade Street and they take bookings for up to 500 people. For the more casual gettogether, the tapas menu and extensive bar list should keep the masses happy and it’s pretty much buzzy in here all the time.
Ka Shing, 12A Wicklow Street, Dublin 2.
Ka Shing is your classic old-school Irish Chinese, all elaborate interiors and massive menus. They have private dining areas available and those brilliant massive round tables, perfect for sharing their extensive dim sum menus. This will suit both the most and least adventurous eaters you have.
Piglet Wine Bar, 5 Cow's Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin 8
When the group wants great wine head to this Italian wine bar that oozes charm and has one of the finest and most fun wine lists in the city. An escape from the set menus, you can order simple dishes and small plates, perfect for snacking and sharing. The upstairs can seat a few small groups nicely.
Kerala Kitchen, 5 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4
At Kerala Kitchen, courses are out and sharing is in. Their vibrant Indian menu is perfect for a gang that likes a table of relaxed curries and naans being passed around. Upstairs they have a bookable private Georgian dining room that can seat up to 36.
Crow Street, 1 Crow Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
A fun crowd-pleaser, Crow Street specialises in American comfort food and offer various group menus, lots of bookable areas and a private dining room for 24. There's an appealing cocktail list to get through too.
Arisu Korean, 120 Capel Street, North City, Dublin 1
There are plenty of options on Capel Street for tasty, casual food that suit groups but Arisu stands out for the Korean BBQ, which is great fun. The meat arrives raw and is cooked on a grill built into your table, then you build your own bites with crunchy lettuce shells and scoops of kimchi.
The Yarn, 37 Liffey Street, Dublin 1
Follow the neon ‘Pizza & Booze’ sign on Liffey Street up the stairs to find The Yarn, a buzzy restaurant serving just that — pizza and booze. A laidback pizza-focused menu is joined by a strong drinks list, plenty of craft cans, rotating guest draughts and lots of fun cocktails. The three courses for €30 menu is a winner too.
Ukiyo, 9 Exchequer St, Dublin 2
Anyone who likes a good night out knows Ukiyo does it well. They do group deals which are a no-brainer and take the hassle out of organising. Expect sharing dishes, tasty cocktails and karaoke in your own dedicated room with a playlist of 40,000 songs — what’s not to love?
Drop Dead Twice, 18/19 Francis Street, Dublin 8
Head to this uber-hip Francis Street bar where you can book into their BYOB cocktail bar upstairs or downstairs for craft beer and music. Ugly Duckling supply the food and their nibbles, burgers, slow-roasted meats and fries are perfect for sharing.
Charlotte Quay, Millennium Tower, Ground Floor, Charlotte Quay Dock, Ringsend Road, Dublin
Slick surrounds, excellent cocktails and waterside setting make for a great party venue. Charlotte Quay also do great value set menus and canape and bowl food party options with in-house entertainment on Thursday and Friday nights.
The Legal Eagle, 1-2 Chancery Place, Dublin 7
An extensive menu that features lots of great Irish food and sharing dishes suits group eating well. Enviable set menus will keep foodies happy and the drinks lists are great including cocktails, craft beers and a stellar wine list. Private dining is available also.
Tippenyaki, 39 Castlewood Ave, Rathmines, Dublin 6
If you’ve never done Tippenyaki I urge you to book. And it works best with a lively gang. Your table is hosted by a chef who puts on a show as your Japanese delights and sushi are prepared. Warning, it can get quite interactive. You’ll need to book early to get one of these coveted spots.
Chai Yo, 100 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
Another great teppanyaki option is Chai Yo on Baggot Street where the menu spans Japanese, Thai and Chinese. But don’t worry about that too much, you’re here for the fun and these guys know how to throw a party. You’re guaranteed to hear Happy Birthday at least a few times in a night.
The Old Spot, 14 Bath Avenue, Dublin 4
This bar and restaurant is the place for the gang who likes to catch up over good food. They offer enticing menus for group dining with something for everyone, well-balanced cooking and downright tasty dishes. A strong drinks list rounds things off nicely.
Yamamori, various locations
All three Yamamori locations are great for group dining. Fun, buzzy spots serving informal sushi, tempura, sake, cocktails and Japanese craft beers. Their signature Japas menu suits a laidback meal — Japanese favourites served tapas-style where you can mix and match tempura, wonton, chashu, yakitori and lots more. Late-night fans should check out Tengu at Ormond Quay and downstairs at Izakaya.
Ely Wine Bar, Dublin 2 and Ely CHQ
A danger of group dining is wasting your money on mediocre house wines. This won’t happen at Ely. Their wide-spanning list suits all palates and pockets. Head to Ely Wine Bar for smaller bookings or the private dining room for 30. Ely CHQ can cater for all size groups and up to 250 guests for drinks and canapes.
Pickle, 43 Camden Street, Dublin 2
This lively Indian street food spot on Camden Street is one to book for the foodie friends. The unique sourcing and concoction of spices mean you literally won’t taste anything else like this in Dublin. Various feasting and set menus are available, much needed when the menu is this exciting and vast.
FX Buckley, various locations
With five locations around town and a great reputation for group dining, it’s worth looking at FX Buckleys. They offer group menus that are paired down versions of what’s usually on offer, but still with something for everyone. There’s a considerable drinks list of good wines and cocktails too.
Lucky Tortoise, 8 Aungier St, Dublin 2
Lucky Tortoise offers a unique take on Asian eating in Dublin serving a mix of modern dim sum, made from scratch and served family-style. Order the whole menu for €20 and there’ll be no arguing when the bill splitting comes. They serve affordable and very drinkable wine on tap too.
Stack A Restaurant at Urban Brewing, CHQ Building, Dublin 1
Located in the historic CHQ building, this smart-casual restaurant is well suited to intimate small tables, social gatherings or larger groups, with a capacity of up to 250 people. There is also a very well-equipped bar with over 200 beers and plenty of cocktails to keep the party going.
Brother Hubbard, 153 Capel St, Dublin 1
Brother Hubbard Capel Street is one of the best-loved cafes in Dublin but they also serve dinner and their extended restaurant space offers plenty of options for group bookings. The evening mezze menus are specifically designed so that meat-eaters, vegan, veggie and gluten-free diners can all enjoy a shared meal together.
Rascals Brewing Company, Inchicore, Dublin 8
Craft beers and wood-fired pizzas are a big draw here, as is the variety of spaces. Smaller groups can book a table, area or their loft which fits 40 people. If you’re going bigger consider taking over the restaurant which seats 120 or perhaps even the whole venue. They do bookable brewery tours and can help with other add-ons for any manner of party.
Damascus Gate, 10 Upper Camden Street, Dublin 2
A classic mezze feed is a no-brainer when it comes to pleasing a big group. At Damascus Gate, a Lebanese and Syrian focused menu boasts an incredible array of tempting dishes. Try the Beirut or Jerusalem mezze plates. For the full experience, enjoy a shisha afterwards in the dedicated hookah lounge.
Mykonos, 76 Dame St, Dublin 2
They pitch themselves as a little bit of Greece in Dublin city and it really is from the blue and white decor to the music and the Mykonos murals adorning the walls. And the laidback dining, of course. Mix and match Greek dishes of slow-cooked meats, fried cheese, pitta and dips to make your own mezze or order from their varied group and set menus.
Sano Pizza, 1-2 Exchange Street Upper, Temple Bar, Dublin
Fresh, affordable pizza in the middle of Temple Bar. Their Neapolitan Pizza menu prices start from €6 and they’ve received plenty of rave reviews for them. Add an extremely affordable drinks menu with glasses of wine from €4 and you’ve got a recipe for quite a delicious bargain dinner.
Zakura, Wicklow Street & Baggot Street, Dublin 2
Zakura is a relaxed Japanese eatery usually full of hungry hordes that flock for its affordability and generous BYOB policy. The menu covers several styles of Japanese cuisine, including gyoza, tempura, yakitori, sushi and sashimi, so there’s going to be something for everyone.
Clanbrassil House, 6 Clanbrassil Street Upper, Dublin 8
If you're a gang that are into their food, consider heading to the growing gastro-hub of Dublin 8 for Clanbrassil House. Casual small plates and well-sourced ingredients cooked on the charcoal grill are great for groups, especially if you nab the long table.
Bow Lane Social, 17 Aungier Street, Dublin 2
When the brief includes a need for food, cocktails and dancing, Bow Lane delivers well. A fairly standard Irish brasserie menu will tick the people-pleasing boxes with steaks, wings and ribs. Their Free Flow Supper Club gives you the option to add bottomless (selected) drinks for only €30. No surprise then that the bar turns into a dancefloor fairly early on.
The Vintage Kitchen, 7 Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2
Serving Irish food with charm and taste, the BYOW (bring your own wine) policy makes this already good restaurant an incredibly popular choice. You’ll need to plan ahead for this one but it’s worth it. You can also bring along your own vinyl.
Dada, 45 South William Street, Dublin 2
This cosy and welcoming Moroccan spot is a favourite for group dining, and for good reason. The menu, full of aromatic Moroccan favourites, lends itself well to big gangs and sharing dishes. There are plenty of vegetarian options, you can bring your own wine and there’s a bookable private space for up to 60.
Feature image via Yamamori
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