14 great places to eat in the sunshine

As Ireland goes al fresco here’s our pick, and yours, of some of the best places to eat outside


Pull up a chair at one of our picks of the best places to eat outside and make the most of the sunshine.

1. The Terrace at Fire Restaurant and Lounge, Dublin 2

A  revamped dining terrace just opened at this city centre location, with sturdy wooden tables and cheery red parasols to offer shade from the sun. It is surrounded by lush planting that gives a definite oasis in the city feel.
What to eat? Chef Richie Wilson has introduced a new summer early bird menu. Dishes include salmon Nicoise salad and Irish Hereford sirloin steak with tobacco onions, Pont Neuf chips and brandy and pepper sauce.
What to drink? New drinks additions include a pistachio and lime cocktail, and  limoncello, lemon vodka and coffee take on the espresso martini.
Fire Restaurant and Lounge,  Dawson Street, Dublin 2, 01-6767200. Open from 5pm (Monday to Friday); Saturday from 3pm and  Sunday from 1pm.

2. The Nurserie at Dylan Hotel, Dublin 4

The revamped Dylan Hotel is hosting Friday night barbecues (5-9pm) at its new outdoor terrace, The Nurserie, which gets direct sunshine from early afternoon until sunset.
What to eat? You can expect much more than burgers and bangers here; it’s more like restaurant cooking done outdoors, over fire. Menu items include smoked short rib of beef with barbecue honey glaze, and grilled oysters with paprika, lemon and tomato butter. The menu also has plenty to keep vegetarians happy too, including  grilled courgettes with fine beans and ricotta, and chargrilled aubergine with quinoa, basil and chilli
What to drink? Not so much a drink as a refreshing hot weather cooler ... try one of the hotel’s Champagne ice-pops, or a no-alcohol Seedlip and soda.
Dylan Hotel, Eastmoreland Place, Dublin 4, 01-6603000

3. The Terrace, Cliff House Hotel

The views of Ardmore Bay from this expansive terrace just off the hotel’s casual restaurant and bar, not so imaginatively named The Bar, are stunning.
What to eat? There is a new summer menu, which includes a Ploughman’s platter, to share
What to drink? The cocktail list has been given a summery refresh, and the house Champagne is Billecarte Salmon.
Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co Waterford, 024-87800

4. The Terrace at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin 2

The Terrace is a new outdoor drinking and light dining space, adjacent to the new 1824 Bar, at the top of the hotel’s central staircase, leading off the entrance foyer. Comfortable and with lots of shade, it is a big draw on a sunny day.
What to eat: Sharing platters of Irish cheese and charcuterie platters are a speciality of the new outdoor space and are served from noon to 7pm daily. For the month of June, a sharing platter for two, with a sommelier’s selection of wine by the glass, will be on offer for €50.
What to drink: Full bar menu here, including drinks including their Summer Spritz cocktails and a new “sparklers” wine menu downstairs at No 27 Bar & Lounge for when the sun goes down.
The Shelbourne Hotel, 27 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, 01-6634500. Terrace open noon-7pm

5. The Marker, Dublin 2

Order food and drinks while enjoying the thrill of a massive Dublin sky on the sea side of the city. The Rooftop has a Wimbledon theme coming up during July and  some menu additions including strawberries and cream, free to guests during finals weekend, when they will also screen the action on large screens.

What to eat? Grazing plates, serving three to four people.

What to drink? The Marker Pimm's jug with fresh fruit.
The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2, (01) 687 5100. Open  every day.

6. Kennedy’s, Dublin 7

Sarah Kennedy has opened a terrace at the back of her small friendly cafe with a retractable roof and the seats have quickly become the most popular in-house.

What to eat? The BLT twist, maple cured bacon with avocado, tomato and sumac mayo or a veggie feast with buffalo mozzarella and roast carrot hummus. Follow with a house made coconut and raspberry scone.

What to drink? Pomegranate and raspberry pressé or an Irish fruit smoothie.
Kennedy’s, 166 Phibsboro Road, Dublin 7, (01) 850 0867

7. Suesey Street, Dublin 2

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Entirely hidden from the street the courtyard behind the basement restaurant Suesey Street is a secret place for a proper outdoor lunch. It had a revamp earlier this year and is even smarter and more comfortable than it was.

What to eat? Lots of salads and fish and a very tasty burrata and tomato salad with smoked tomato and lovage emulsion.

What to drink? Manager John Healy recommends the Tanqueray gin with passion fruit, orange bitters and dehydrated orange.
Suesey Street, 26 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2, (01) 669 4600

8. Eatyard, Dublin 8

The Eatyard outdoor food market on South Richmond St

Fans of this courtyard of street food stalls and caravans will eat in the yard in all weathers but they get a big crowd when the sun shines. There aren’t many seats so if you get one hang on tight.

What to eat? In homage to famous vegetarian George Bernard Shaw try Vish Shop, Mark Senn of Veginity’s take on plant based fish and chips. The battered “vish” is made from cassava and seaweed. Or try the recent winner of Ireland's best burger - from Handsome Burger

What to drink? Anything from the bar of the George Bernard Shaw.
Eatyard, Richmond Street South, Dublin 8, (01) 906 0218

9. Glebe Gardens, Baltimore, west Cork

Glebe Gardens, Baltimore, West Cork

They have nine tables in the garden and three on the veranda at Glebe Gardens in the West Cork village of Baltimore, where some of what you eat will have been grown. Eating in a garden makes everything taste better. Eating in a sunny garden is pure pleasure.

What to eat? A Baltimore burger, Walsh’s beef with herbs and spices, cucumber pickle and sweet chilli mayonnaise. Chefs Tessa Perry and Grace O’Sullivan also make a creamy crab and tomato tart and a summery courgette and basil quiche.

What to drink? Prosecco and elderflower. Later in the summer the elderflower will be from their own house-made supply.
Glebe Gardens, Baltimore, west Cork, (028) 20579

10. Happy Out, Clontarf, and Container Coffee, Thomas Street

Happy Out, Clontarf

Both these shipping containers have more outside space than in. Happy Out is over the wooden bridge on Bull Island surrounded by a deck with picnic tables and a panorama of Dublin bay. Container Coffee is on a street but there’s a lovely large yard out back and all coffees cost €1 this Saturday to celebrate their first birthday. Both offer a 10 per cent discount to anyone using a reusable cup.

What to eat? In Happy Out any of their toasties on Tartine sourdough bread. In Container Coffee a bacon and Ballymaloe relish sausage roll.

What to drink? Iced coffee in Happy Out. Those €1 bargain brews in Container Coffee.
Happy Out, Bull Wall, Bull Island, Clontarf, (086) 154 7053. Container Coffee, 161 Thomas St, Dublin 8

11. O’Grady’s on the Pier, Barna, Co Galway

There’s a small terrace to one side of O’Grady’s pub and a small number of very lucky people will get to sit and watch the sun go down over Galway Bay, looking out to the Burren – one of the loveliest views in the country.

What to eat? Killary Mussels or butter fried plaice with floury spuds

What to drink? A pint. Of Guinness.
O’Grady’s on the Pier, Seapoint, Barna, Co Galway, (091) 592 223

12. The Courtyard at Sage, Midleton, Co Cork

The outdoor tables in chef Kevin Aherne’s lovely courtyard are under a lean-to and equipped for chilly weather but should come into their own this weekend. Like the sister restaurant Sage, the Greenroom cafe menu sources food from farmers growing and producing food within a 12 mile radius of the cafe.

What to eat? Greenroom's The Whole Shebang, a starter selection to share.

What to drink? A cold Fox’s Rock IPA on tap
The Courtyard, 8 Main Street, Midleton, Co Cork, (021) 4639682

13. The Duck Terrace Restaurant and Cafe, Gorey, Co Wexford

The Duck Terrace Restaurant and Cafe, Gorey, Co Wexford
The Duck Terrace Restaurant and Cafe, Gorey, Co Wexford

They don’t take reservations for the outdoor tables in The Duck but there are 13 of them, some of them set up for larger groups so it’s first come first get. The tables overlook the kitchen gardens where some of what you’re eating has been grown.

What to eat? A tostado or flat bread with fresh crab, lime and chilli, mango and cucumber salad or a kitchen garden sharing board of dips.

What to drink? The Not so Ugly cocktail featuring Hendricks gin and Limoncello, “really refreshing on a nice day.”
Marlfield House Hotel and Restaurant, Courtown Road, Gorey, Co Wexford, (053) 942 1124

14. The Woollen Mills, Dublin 1

With 60 seats on their terrace The Woollen Mills has one of the largest outdoor eating areas in the city centre. And at one floor up it’s nicely removed from the madding crowd.

What to eat: Potted Lambay Island crab and brown shrimp, nduja butter, wild Irish seaweed and toast, or Irish beef cheek and shin burger with a London bath bun, tomato, pickled red onion, Baby Gem, bacon Cheddar and mayo.

What to drink? A cocktail of gin, nettle and thyme or an apple beet, carrot and ginger cold pressed juice.
The Woollen Mills, 42 Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin 1, (01) 828 0835

Over to You: We asked readers to  suggest their own favourite outdoor drinking and dining spots. Here are a selection of the responses.
Fisk Seafood Bar, Downings, Co Donegal;  The Harbour Bar, Bray, Co Wicklow; The Moorings, Dungarvan, Co Waterford;  Bresson, Monkstown, Co Dublin;  Stoop Your Head, Skerries, Co Dublin; The Garden House, Malahide, Co Dublin; The Glyde Inn, Dunleer, Co Louth; Jack Fenn Cafe, Belleek Castle, Ballina, Co Mayo;  Whelehan’s Wines, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin;  Waterfront House & Restaurant, Enniscrone, Co Sligo;  The Donkey Shed, Newbarn Farm, Ashbourne, Co Meath;  Riverside Terrace, Il Vicolo, Galway;  Gregory’s Garden, Castlegregory, Co Kerry; Blossom Grover Terrace at The River Club, Cork; Ballynahinch Castle, Connemara, Co Galway, Clontarf Castle, Dublin 3; Skinny's Ballycotton. Co Cork.

Dunne & Crescenzi, Dundrum; The Bailey, Dublin 2; canal terrace at Angelina's, Dublin 4; terrace at The Europe hotel, Killarney; The Strand, Cahore; The Bulman, Kinsale; Murray's bar, Inishbofin; The Grayson, Dublin2; Blackrock Castle, Cork; Greene's, Cork; O'Neill's Railway Tavern, Camp, Kerry; The Duck, Dalkey; Bunnyconellan, Myrtleville, Cork; The Garden Room, Merrion Hotel, Dublin 2; Moran's Oyster Cottage, Kilcolgan, Galway; McDonagh's Seafood, Quay Street, Galway.

Beaufield Mews, Stillorgan, Co Dublin; The Tap Room, Rathmullan House, Donegal; Olivetos, Dun Laoghaire; walled garden, The Pantry, Portlaoise; One Society, Dublin 1; Curragower Bar, Limerick; Cornstore, Limerick; walled garden at Burtown House, Co Kildare; Vaughan's Liscannor, Co Clare; terrace at Radisson hotel, St Helen's, Co Dublin; St Ktran's Country House, Co Cavan; Mikey Ryan's, Cashel; Pot Duggan's, Ennistymon; Mary Barry's Bar, Kilmore, Co Wexford.

The Boathouse, Dromquinna, Kenmare, Co Kerry; Harry's Shack, Portstewart, Co Derry; the terrace at Park Hotel, Kenmare; The Salmon Inn, Mullinasole Pier, Donegal town; Cornstore, Cork; Gourmet Food Parlour, Santry, Dublin 9; the terrace at Intercontinental hotel, Dublin 4; The Wilds, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

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