11 great family-friendly places to eat around Ireland

From The Irish Times’s Delicious List 2019: You’ll like them as much as your kids will

Gertrude, in Dublin: planned with children (and their food- and wine-loving parents) very much in mind

Gertrude, in Dublin: planned with children (and their food- and wine-loving parents) very much in mind

 

We’ve marked this year’s newcomers and used a to flag everywhere that serves a main course for less than €15

Gertrude NEW
130 Pearse Street, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2; 01-5157563

The first proper restaurant from the 3fe coffee roastery was planned with children (and their food- and wine-loving parents) very much in mind. The spacious interior is buggy friendly and has high chairs aplenty as well as a comfortable nappy-changing facility. Even better than all of that is that children aren’t condemned to chicken nuggets and chips. Half-portions of everything on the adult menu are available at half-price, and there’s a simplified menu, with beans on toast and pancakes, in case your mini-me doesn’t feel up to the pork tonkatsu sandwich or the duck buns – but why wouldn’t they? Lisa Cope

Gaillot et Gray
Clanbrassil Street Lower, Dublin 8, 01-4547781
It’s mesmerising to watch the bakers in this wonderful neighbourhood pizza place and bakery turn and fold pillowy sourdough loaves on the floured surface before popping them back into proving baskets for more time. The same dough goes into the pizza, and the toppings are just as beautiful. You may only ever want Emmental on your pizza after a visit here. Catherine Cleary

Camerino NEW
Goethe-Institut Irland, 37 Merrion Square East, Dublin 2; 01-5377755
Georgian basements can be inaccessible places for buggies and smallies, but not here. Thanks to the lavish refit of the German Goethe-Institut, this old building is now open to everyone. The beauty is matched by Caryna Camerino’s baking and cooking. Simple soups, salads and hotpots are the order of the day, and lots of mothers-to-be have made it a favourite spot thanks to its proximity to the National Maternity Hospital, on Holles Street. Decaf coffees all round. CC

Michael’s, Deerpark Road, Mount Merrion, Co Dublin
Michael’s, Deerpark Road, Mount Merrion, Co Dublin

Michael’s
57 Deerpark Road, Mount Merrion, Co Dublin; 01-2780377
You can (just about) see the sea from Michael’s; more importantly, you can taste it in a way that not many city restaurants manage. Generosity is the spirit here, from the beautifully cooked platters of the freshest fish and seafood glistening with butter to the chats with the customers on which the chef Gareth Smith (or Gaz, as everyone knows him) lavishes the rest of his time. If you’re a fish- or seafood-loving family, this is your place. CC

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Overends Kitchen
Airfield Estate, Overend Way, Dundrum Dublin 14; 01-9696666
Children get excited about food in a way that more jaded adults sometimes miss out. Airfield is a working model farm where warm eggs can be collected and milking watched, food grown or mooing within earshot of this lovely cafe. The food in Overends Kitchen is as impressive as the farm. Sunday lunch is a particular favourite, and the Woolapalooza Festival gets better every year. CC

The Ballymore Inn
Main Street, Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare; 045-864585
I love this place because they make chicken-liver pâté the way my mum used to make it. The old favourites remain and new dishes – falafel with tahini dressing, anyone? – are executed with the same attention to detail and flavour, giving plenty for a variety of family members to eat. When the house-made pizza dough is topped with as stellar an ingredient as Ballyhoura wild mushrooms, you know you’re in a good food place. CC

The Dough Bros
1 Cathedral Buildings, Middle Street, Galway; 091-395238
Rolling dough on Middle Street since 2016, the Dough Bros continues to serve up blisteringly good pizzas. The process is on view for all to see in the open-plan kitchen, where the wood-fired pizza oven takes centre stage. Aoife McElwain

Grow HQ: the view outside is gorgeous
Grow HQ, Farronshoneen, Dunmore Road, Waterford

Grow HQ
Farronshoneen, Dunmore Road, Waterford; 051-584422
You might recognise Grow HQ as the backdrop for the RTÉ TV series Grow Cook Eat. In the Grow HQ cafe, the head chef, JB Dubois, works closely with the head grower, Richard Mee, to design a cafe menu that makes the most of the produce grown on site, paired with great local suppliers like Seagull Bakery, with its sourdough. All dishes are available in Little GIYer size for under-12s. Check out the monthly junior cookery club and the Grow Cook Eat children’s camps held throughout the year. AMcE

Old Street Restaurant
Old Street, Malahide, Co Dublin; 01-8455614
Having two small children themselves, Mark and Adriana Fitzpatrick had family dining high on the priority list when they opened Old Street, in 2017. High chairs and nappy changing were a given, as was a thoughtful children’s menu with the option of half-sized portions of adult dishes. Last year they introduced kids-eat-free Sundays (one child for each adult) and sealed their fate as the go-to family Sunday lunch spot on the northside of Dublin. LC

BuJo NEW
6a Sandymount Green, Dublin 4

The day Michael Sheary’s daughter was born, in 2014, he made a promise he was going to do something to make the world a better place for her to live in. With a background in hospitality, and after several trips to the United States, he saw an opportunity for an Irish burger joint – BuJo – with “a Michelin-starred approach to sourcing and sustainability”. He hired Gráinne O’Keefe (of Clanbrassil House), and they spent two years working on the concept before BuJo opened, in early 2018. Almost every ingredient they use is Irish, with grass-fed beef and potatoes from north Dublin and burger buns from Kildare. They operate fully on renewable electricity, all packaging is compostable and even staff uniforms have been ethically made. Their commitment to sustainability was rewarded with a three-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association last year – the only burger restaurant in the UK and Ireland to have received its highest award. LC

Batch Coffee House NEW
Main Street, Falcarragh, Co Donegal

We came off Falcarragh beach famished recently and just came across this gorgeous new roomy, friendly place in the Gaeltacht village. The menu at Batch is based around the great bread they serve here, but there are other star ingredients, like Mulroy Bay mussels. An open prawn sandwich became something better again thanks to the leaves from Killult, an organic horticultural project between Falcarragh and Gortahork. Toasties were perfect postsurf fare. CC

Our 11 favourite family-friendly destinations feature in our list of 100 of the best places to eat 2019

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