Revealed: The best things to eat and drink at Taste of Dublin 2022

The pick of signature dishes, cocktail mixing sessions to pre-book, and who to watch on the cookery demo stage at the annual food and drink festival, which opens today in the city’s Iveagh Gardens

The good news: The weather gods are happy and the forecast for the weekend is for warm, overcast weather, with no rain on the horizon. The admission process seems to be streamlined, with separate entrances for corporate guests, VIP ticket holders and general admission. Check your ticket before arrival for the location of your entry point. The layout of the festival has changed, with the VIP area nearer the entrance, with its own designated access route. The festival runs until Sunday, with two sessions, afternoon and evening, each day.

The bottom line: Ticket prices are from €17 for general admission, to between €51 and €77 for VIP tickets which include fast-track entry, access to a private area with seating and tables, a glass of Champagne and a Fercullen whiskey cocktail (sold out for the Friday evening session). Dishes from the participating restaurants cost between €6 and €12 each and payment is contactless.

What restaurants are taking part? There is a strong street food and Asian cuisine theme again this year, at the 19th iteration of Taste of Dublin. The food suppliers are: Bahay (Filipino); Red Torch Ginger (South East Asian); The Salt Project (Irish Street Food); Dosa Dosa (South India); Julia’s Lobster Truck (Irish Seafood); Pickle (Indian); Ramen Co (Asian); Bake by Graham Herterich (Baking); Nomadlads (Sliders); Chimac (Korean); Hakkahan (Chinese); Bites by Kwanghi (Asian Street Food); Los Chicanos (Tacos).

What dishes are not to be missed? Pickle’s Icon dish is a previous winner of the Best in Taste award at this festival. The Rajasthani goat curry with Khameera kulcha, served with fermented flat bread, is a generous portion of a real crowd-pleaser, and definitely worth queuing for. Caomhán de Bri’s The Salt Project pop-up has an interesting Icon dish of Burren beef bunny chow with sourdough, garlic scapes, fermented Irish chilli honey and organic leaves. The Salt Project won best use of local and artisan produce in the Best in Taste awards on the opening day.

If you’ve ever wanted to try the critically acclaimed south Indian fermented pancakes from Dosa Dosa, or the superlative tacos from Scott Holder’s Los Chicanos, now is your chance, in fact that’s one of the attractions of this festival, the opportunity to try lots of different street food in one place. Los Chicanos won the Best Restaurant Dish at the Best in Taste awards, with Dosa Dosa runner-up. Richie Castillo and Alex O’Neill’s Bahay were judged to have created the best front of house display and their Icon dish is Piaparan Manok, grilled chicken thighs, palapa, coconut milk spiced broth and garlic rice.

On a more local note, Julia’s Lobster Truck, more usually spotted on the west coast, has pulled into Iveagh Gardens for the weekend, serving brioche lobster rolls, lobster bisque and mussels. Kelly’s Oysters are also on site, in collaboration with the King Sitric. Single oysters with a choice of (optional) dressing are €3.

If you want something sweet, Graham Herterich, aka the Cupcake Bloke, has a stall selling bakes from his forthcoming cookbook, including an Icon dish of raspberry and rose jelly, black sesame and tahini cupcake, mahaleb and orange shortbread. Chimac’s legendary ice-cream sandwiches are also on site at their stand, and the festival flavour is salted caramel between pretzel and chocolate chip cookies.

Thirsty, now? There are plenty of bars on site, with pints, mixed drinks, cocktails, wine and sparkling wine on offer.

Did someone say free drinks? You can sign up for a complimentary Schweppes cocktail masterclass, or a De’Longhi coffee cocktail making masterclass, but do so on arrival as places are limited.

Need a sit down? Check out the Neff Taste Kitchen cookery demo tent, where Irish and international chefs will be cooking in front of an audience. You can check out the programme for each session here. Today is World Tapas Day and a team of six chefs has flown over from Spain to take part in demonstrations throughout the weekend. Also, Dee Laffan and Ali Dunworth are hosting a stellar line up of guests for their Food for Thought panel discussions, producer tastings and skills demo. The timetable for each session is here. There is also a full programme of musical entertainment at each session.