Whether you’ve swiped successfully or you're looking for something special for your regular date night we’ve tackled the next step and found some foolproof Dublin gems for a romantic rendezvous. From white-tablecloth romance to cosy and casual these will all deliver on brilliant food & drinks, but the rest is up to you...
Chameleon, 1 Fownes Street Lower, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Tucked away on a cobbled Temple Bar street, Chameleon’s twinkly lit and cushiony surrounds are bound to set the right mood for a relaxed date. An extensive, aromatic Asian tapas and a brilliant choice of set menus means ordering are easy plus they cater for veggies, vegans and the rest. Surely only good things can come from indulging in a few lychee bellinis and delving into some bao-filled bamboo steamers?
Delahunt, 39 Camden Street Lower, Dublin 2
This effortless and cool contemporary Irish restaurant is a design lover's dream from the impeccably restored Victorian interiors to the chic sitting room cocktail bar upstairs. Then there’s the food - an always interesting menu full of local, seasonal goodness woven with old school classics; think home smoked salmon on Guinness bread, treacle pudding and plenty of game dishes when in season. To really impress, get your booking in early for their coveted two-seater window table.
Locks, 1 Windsor Terrace, Portobello, Dublin 8
If fine dining is what you're after, this canal-side spot delivers but without the fuss that usually comes with the fancy fare - it feels more like an elevated local. There’s all manner of options menu-wise throughout the week, small refined plates such as ham croquettes, duck hearts, cod brandade soft boiled eggs and masterpiece mains that deliver on presentation & flavour. Push the budget and get the matching wines and a tasting menu for a really wow evening.
Mr. Fox, 38 Parnell Sq. West, Dublin 1
An absolute must for nostalgic dessert lovers, Mr Fox’s sweet menu is full of palate pleasers like homemade ‘Iceberger’, the Clementine Super Split and the delightful walnut whips. Dinner doesn’t disappoint either with plenty of brave, bold meaty plates like beef cheek, venison and pheasant as well as a dedicated vegetarian menu for the less carnivorous date. A cunning spot indeed.
Piglet Wine Bar, 5 Cow's Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin 8
Instantly add a bit of amore to your evening in this tiny, sometimes chaotic, Italian wine bar that oozes charm and has one of the finest and most fun wine lists in the city. Local suppliers and seasonal food are the order of the day with a wonderful menu of simple suppers and small plates, which lends itself well to snacking and sharing. On weekends, smouldering live music fills the cosy gallery seats and outdoor terrace. In boca al lupo...
Charlotte Quay, Millennium Tower, Charlotte Quay Dock, Ringsend Road, Dublin
A simple waterside location can add an extra dash of romance to an evening. Add slick surrounds and excellent cocktails and you’ve got a recipe for success. Book a table with a canal side view, hope that the sharing cotes de boeuf is on the specials. Als,o an excellent choice for a chilled out, boozy brunch on the weekends. Love is the quay.
Forest & Marcy, 126 Leeson St Upper, Dublin 4
If you have a food lover to impress, their interest will definitely be piqued by a booking in this small neighborhood wine room and kitchen. Nab a couple of bar stools to peer in on all the action and soak up the down-to-earth clever dining and decor. Tuck into sublime snacks like quinoa crisp with cheese, onion and truffle and their famous fermented potato bread with bacon and cabbage and let the knowledgeable team match your wines. An epicureans dream.
Voici, 1A Rathgar Rd, Dublin 6
Unabashedly French in appearance, the staff are clad in Breton stripes and crêpes are cooked in a repurposed Citroën. Up the wooden staircase is a more sedate, candle-lit affair perfect for an easy going rendezvous. Choose from authentic galettes crafted with black sarrasin flour from Brittany served with Irish twists - The Allez Les Bleus is stuffed with pear, Cashel blue and walnuts & drizzled with honey or try Le Traditionnel with Irish ham, cheddar and Ballymaloe relish. Share a Sheridan’s charcuterie board, a bottle of red and finish with a flambé crepe suzette for a laid back evening full of l’amour.
Kimchi Hophouse, 160-161 Parnell St, Rotunda, Dublin 1
Tucked away in an old school pub on Parnell St, this may not strike you as a great date spot but stick with it. The somewhat riotous vibe and unfussy interiors mean there’s plenty to chat about so no fear of an awkward silence and the broad Korean Japanese menu lends itself perfectly to sharing. Try some Korean tapas, a bit of sushi, steamed wontons, sizzling bowls of bibimbap, washed down with some cold beers, it will be a night to remember.
Devilles, 25 Castle Street, Dalkey, Co. Dublin
Sometimes a gem of a local is just what you need for a easy-going date and this atmospheric Dalkey establishment will deliver just that, all low lighting, leather booths and white table cloths - it wouldn't feel out of place in downtown Manhattan. There’s an old fashioned charm to the menu packed with French-leaning classics and steakhouse staples - French onion soup, oysters, ribs, steaks and plenty of indulgent sides. Settle into a booth, order some martinis, call for extra fries and finish the night sharing a hot fudge sundae - I defy your date not to be charmed.