Balmy evenings are stretching ahead and minds have turned to one of the summer's greatest activities; finding the perfect place to soak up the sun, with refreshments in hand.
Here is our little black book of outdoor spots that should allow you to drink and dine well al fresco.
The Shelbourne Terrace, 27 St. Stephens Green, Dublin 2
The Shelbourne has emerged (after an extensive refurbishment) even more fabulous than ever. The great news is that they’ve even added a brand new outdoor terrace area. A relaxed plaza with a view of the sky from within the hotel is the perfect outdoor spot when you fancy something a little bit special. The Terrace Platter menu was made for grazing; choose from salmon and seafood options or platters laden with Irish farmhouse cheese and charcuterie. There’s even a crudite option if you’re feeling pious. Add excellent cocktails and wine and you could easily lose an afternoon in these cool, plush surrounds.
The Yarn, 37 Liffey Street Lower, Dublin 1
Photo: The Yarn via Facebook
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 laid-back food menu is joined by a strong drinks list, with plenty of craft cans, rotating guest draughts and lots of fun cocktails. Most of the restaurant is on the roof terrace, adorned with festoon lights, covered in winter and opened out on the better days we are hoping for. A great place for a chilled sunny evening.
Bonobo, 119-121 Church Street Upper, Smithfield, Dublin 7
One of the hottest new openings of this summer, Bonobo in Smithfield is garnering plenty of attention for its massive new beer garden out the back of the pub. Brought to you by the brilliant team behind Caribou in Galway, expect more of the same here. A stellar drinks list with plenty of craft drinks to choose from and a fun attitude. And for food? They’ve only gone and added Dublin Pizza Company who make some of the best pies in town. They are also always topped with the finest Irish ingredients along with those moreish dips for the crusts. Enjoy your feast in the beer garden, which has ample seating, now, all we need is the sun.
L'Gueuleton, 1 Fade St, Dublin 2
A small but well-formed outdoor area, all rustic wooden chic, offers up some of the most coveted streetside seats in the city. L’Gueuleton is well known for superb French bistro-style lunch, dinners and weekend brunch and this splendid fare is even better eaten al fresco. The drinks list doesn’t disappoint either, served from a busy bar to the side of the restaurant; perfect fuel for Fade Street people-watching.
Ely Bar & Grill, CHQ Building, IFSC, Dublin 1
Photo: Ely Wine Bar
You may not stumble upon Ely’s CHQ outpost unless you have reason to be in the IFSC, but it’s worth seeking out for their buzzy, sprawling outdoor terrace. It helps that the food and drinks are great too. They offer probably the most extensive wine list in the city, so you won’t be stuck with the token bottle of rosé. There’s a great selection of beers, gins and cocktails. You can choose to tuck into a full-blown meal or lighter sharing bites, all with admirable Irish sourcing.
Eatyard, 9-10 South Richmond Street, Dublin 2
This bustling, street food market really comes alive when the sun shines. There are plenty of eating options; Box Burger from Bray is always a big draw, as is Vish Shop, dolling out an all-vegan menu including mouth-watering Cauliflower Wings and Carrot Dogs. Pop next door to the Bernard Shaw for cold beers and check out their new 99 ice cream machine for dessert.
Angelina’s, 55 Percy Place, Dublin 4
Located in leafy, Georgian Dublin 4 on a rather pleasant strip of the canal, Angelina’s is a great spot for lazy weekend brunches. Grab a seat by the water, sip on mimosas and dig into a selection of sourdough toasts and egg classics. Also, wholly recommended for a languid afternoon or evening by the water working through a bottle of chilled white and some stone baked pizza.
Marks & Spencers Cafe, Top Floor, 15 - 20 Grafton Street, Dublin 2
Yes, I’m recommending a supermarket café, but when you get an eyeful of the terrace, you will understand. On the top floor of this historic block (the original Brown Thomas), you’ll find the M&S cafe with a bright open balcony at roof level. You won’t get a view like this anywhere else on the street. The perfect place to perch in the sun, pop open a bottle of prosecco and tuck into some of their posh crisps.
The Merrion Garden Bar Terrace, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Image: The Merrion
When weather permits, the elegant Merrion throws open its doors and linens onto the tables of The Garden Terrace. If you are lucky enough to secure a seat, order plenty from the chic all day sharing menu, with dishes like Liscannor crab sliders, saffron arancini and The Garden Room chips. And while there’s plenty on offer drinks-wise, I think something cold and sparkling would be in order.
The Marker Rooftop Bar & Terrace
Image: The Marker
A slick rooftop bar offering the best views in the city can be worth the wait on a sunny day. The Marker works on a first come, first up basis. Ascend the hotel lift to take in unparalleled views of Dublin, showing off the mountains, the sea and the city while you order from an extensive cocktail list. For the ultimate summer holiday vibes order the Solero, a vanilla and passionfruit vodka concoction. Food is limited to sharing boards, but they are good and will keep you going while you wait for the perfect sunset photo.
Suesey Street, 26 Fitzwilliam Terrace, Dublin 2
Tucked away at the back of this cosy Georgian basement restaurant is a delightful terrace. Open year-round (with a retractable cover), but it really comes into its own on a warm evening. Head here for relaxed al fresco dining vibes, with their full menu being served outside and a divine cocktail list to work through. Add live music on Friday and Saturday night and, honestly, where else would you want to be?
Kinara Kitchen, Upstairs, 17 Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6
Sitting above Kinara Kitchen in Ranelagh, you’ll find an excellent, vintage-style cocktail bar with a marvellous drinks menu and a sunny little roof terrace to enjoy them on. It’s compact, well hidden and you are advised to book, but it's well worth seeking out for speakeasy vibes, well-crafted cocktails and you can order from the downstairs menu, including some lighter bar bites from the tandoor.
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