Ireland’s capital city may be best known for its typically Irish pubs, long running literary legacy and free flowing pints of the black stuff, but stray just a little from those well-trodden cobbled streets and you’ll find another side to Dublin – a side usually reserved for locals in the know.
Once the tourist in you is sated, and you’ve ticked Dublin Castle, Trinity College and the Temple Bar off your to do list, it’s time to head into the unknown. Follow the insider’s guide to Dublin’s best kept secrets…
Leave aside the pie and mash in favour of some adventurous nouveau cuisine at The Greenhouse . This foodie’s favourite serves up innovative dishes such as Foie Gras Royale, Walnut, Sea Buckthorn and Frozen Foie Gras Toast or Chocolate, Stout, Passionfruit and Rye Ice Cream.
For more hearty grub try ely gastro bar, which proudly serves up dishes made from fresh local produce like Irish Goats Cheese and Beetroot Carpaccio Salad or 28 Day Dry Aged Rib Eye Steak. There’s also an impressive beer selection, offering much more than just your standard Guinness.
If the sun’s shining, head to Murphy’s – Dublin’s best kept secret for delicious ice creams. Choose from imaginative flavours like brown bread and honeycomb caramel, olive oil brownie, or if you’re feeling really adventurous…candied chilli pepper. As if the crazy flavours weren’t enough to persuade you, this ice cream is made from the rare Kerry cow’s milk too.
Talking of beer, there are plenty of places in the Irish capital where you can wet your whistle on something more akin to what a local would sup.
Perhaps the most popular amongst locals is The Porterhouse Brewing Co. which imports good beer from across the globe, with a particular penchant for Belgian brews. The pub even has its own brewery, crafting tasty beer that doesn’t contain any nasty additives or chemicals. Slainte!
For something a little more classy, head to the swanky Central Hotel Library Bar. Its resplendent interior combined with comfy couches and dog-eared old books lends the place a unique atmosphere, and offers a pleasant break from the rest of Dublin’s revellers.
The Blind Pig Dublin is a 1920s speakeasy style pop up cocktail bar that appears on only a few days each month. And it’s a proper secret, because you can only find out the location 12 hours in advance via their Twitter or Facebook page.
Check out the Ferocious Mingle Market for all your quirky jewellery, candle and vinyl needs. Once you’ve eaten all the traditional sweeties you can handle and had your fortune told, relax with a few of the locals in cinema style seats and enjoy the bands that play here during the afternoon.
When the sun goes down, head along to the Temple Bar Night Market where you can listen to local bands and browse the arts and crafts on sale. You can also see live painting at this night-time event which shines a spotlight on lesser known graphic and street artists.
Catch a flick at the Denzille Cinema – Dublin’s secret big screen, hidden away on Denzille Lane. This tiny, 30-seat theatre is easy to miss, but is a Dublin hidden gem certainly worth uncovering for film fans.
After a riotous adventure around the Irish capital city, seek some refuge in Blessington Street Basin – otherwise known as Dublin’s secret garden. The former city reservoir offers a quiet haven for visitors and wildlife alike.
So while you may not be a true Dubliner, at least with plenty of cheap flights to Ireland leaving from across the UK, you can certainly pretend you are for a day or two….