Dublin, Ireland may be heralded as a pub-crawl capitol for tourists, and yes, you do want to belly up for a Guinness (or two) while in town, but when it comes to family-friendly dining, it’s a home run. Kids are welcome in pubs and tea and coffee houses, and parents may also be surprised to find a wide variety of ethnic dining options as Dublin becomes more and more diverse.
Dining in Dublin: where to eat with kids
Some of the best eats in Dublin with kids are found in the Temple Bar area. Yes, this section of the city is touristy, but for good reason. It’s beautiful, walkable, and if you go for breakfast instead of late night drinking, it’s relatively quiet and even tranquil. We can vouch for the hearty breakfasts at Elephant and Castle.
Even better, coming from someone with a definite sweet tooth: head to Queen of Tarts. This popular (and I do mean popular!) brunch spot appeals to tourists and locals alike. In fact, when Pit Stops for Kids’ east coast editor Kate lived here, we ate at Queen of Tarts regularly. You can find homemade pastries, breakfast menu items, and, of course tarts, as well as decadent desserts and a wide selection of coffees and teas. Come mid-morning, and expect to remain full most of the day.
More in the mood for traditional pub fare? Try Gallagher’s Boxty House, where the kids can sample entree items like blood pudding, corned beef, or shepherd’s pie, or stick to familiar fare such as burgers and salads.
Not far from Temple Bar near Trinity College in the South Inner City neighborhood, The Pig’s Ear serves bistro-style fare that’s simple yet inventive, making it fun for both kids and the adults in your group. Just a short walk away, Lemon Crepe and Coffee serves up quick breakfast favorites like nutella crepes and egg dishes. This is the best location to get a breakfast on the go before touring the Trinity section of the city.
As mentioned above, Dublin also boosts great ethnic restaurants, particularly Indian. We love Jewel in the Crown, located in the South Inner City. Nothing very fancy here…just good, homemade, authentic Indian cuisine, and plenty of it. Nearby on Georges Street, Jaipur vies for your attention…and is a worthy pick, though more expensive.
For more Dublin dining picks from a once-local, click to WanderMom’s Ireland with Kids travel guide.
Where to eat outside the city:
We wrote recently about best day trips from Dublin families can take by renting a car in Ireland. Here’s where to stop and grab a bite in four Irish country towns:
Enniskerry: Get a good breakfast or lunch at Poppies, which advertises ‘country cooking’ and a very cute storefront with patio street-side seating. Poppies goes beyond sandwiches and soups to deliver on home cooked, hot meals that lean toward the heavy side. Think meat pies, roasted chicken, and the like.
Glendalough: Located in the Glendalough Hotel, the Glendalough Tavern is where to go when you’re looking for authentic Irish pub fare. Want something lighter? Try Glendalough Green, which serves vegetarian and Mediterranean dishes.
Kilkenny: Tour the Kilkenny castle, then stop to eat sandwiches at BlaaBlaaBlaa. Also consider a detour on the M9 to Tulley, Ireland, where kids can indulge at the Chocolate Garden of Ireland. Kids will love the outdoor, innovative play space, but be even more enthralled with the chocolate workshop!
Tip while driving in Ireland: be on the lookout for Irish mini-markets. We found them to be better stocked than the US version, with quite a few healthy snack and meal options for lunches on the go.
This post was done in partnership with Enterprise Rent-a-Car but they had no input on the content. All opinions are my own.
Photo credit: Abigail Silvester and Flickr commons