Outdoor dining: 100 great places to eat outside in Ireland

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It’s the summer of outdoor dining. Here’s our pick of the best places if you’re after fabulous food

The great outdoors beckons this summer, with outdoor dining returning next week. We’re so over lockdowns, meal kits and the endless packaging and brown cardboard boxes – not to mention cooking meals, day in, day out – that contemplating where to go is a bit mind-boggling now we are permitted to roam free in our own country.

Food trucks, converted horseboxes, picnics, outdoor terraces: they’re all waiting for us, but where to begin with outdoor dining? The key to great holidays at home is a bit of advance planning, so we’ve put together a list that includes those special places where food is made with a bit of thought and carefully sourced ingredients, coffee is worth stopping for, and there’s something memorable about the conviviality of people who put hospitality at the centre of their business.

There is, of course, the whole question of the weather, and we won’t be making any predictions on that. But there are an increasing number of covered terraces, and all we can say is, just go prepared and wrap up well if need be.

Opening times change on a regular basis, so be sure to check details on the restaurant's website or social media before you head out. And whatever you do, don't be that person who books and cancels at the last minute – or, worse still, doesn't show up. Corinna Hardgrave


Our 100 places to dine outdoors are arranged by county
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Unit 7 Castle House, South Great George's Street, Dublin 2, 777.ie
Takeaway empanadas, tacos, and tostadas from 777's hatch are just some of the things that kept us going during lockdown and on June 7th, they will be reopening for outdoor dining with a dramatic new Afuera area. They are also doing a €44 margarita picnic pack, which comes in a sturdy tote that multi-tasks as a cooler bag and has cups, straws and all the fixings for four margaritas. CH

Baste BBQ
39 Clanbrassil Street Upper, Dublin 8, bastebbq.com
Andy Noonan's Baste has evolved into an outdoor food market, coffee shop, wine bar, and cooking store as well as a venue for smoky low and slow barbecue. There are also a number of other vendors operating from the site, including Sharkbait Shelbeys, The Big Blue Bus and Vice Coffee. Open Thursday to Sunday, with plans to open Wednesdays when outdoor dining returns. CH

Big Fan
16 Aungier Street, Dublin 2, bigfan.ie
For most of us, going abroad this summer still feels like a pipe dream, but Big Fan has the potential to briefly transport you to a buzzing Chinese street food market with their beef-filled jiaozi, pork and peanut bao buns and xiao long bao (soup dumplings). The sourcing is fantastic, the flavours are explosive and the wonton crackers with chilli and Parmesan will keep you coming back for more. Takeaway, plus planned outdoor seating. Lisa Cope

Charlotte Quay
Charlotte Quay Dock, Dublin 4, charlottequay.ie
The extensive covered terrace at Charlotte Quay gets the full blast of the evening sun, making this the perfect waterside spot for sundowners. Food is casual with a Mediterranean influence, and their new mobile bar on the terrace serves takeaway crab and crayfish brioche rolls and homemade ice-creams, perfect for a stroll along the dock. Open Tuesday to Sunday. CH

Dosa Dosa
Albert Court, East Car Park, Grand Canal Street Lower, Dublin 2, dosadosa.ie
Word was quick to spread about the crisp, light dosas being made at this south Indian food truck. Made from a fermented batter, the dosa fillings range from a potato masala to Chettinad chicken, paneer and mixed vegetable. Parottas and homemade masala chai tea are also on the menu. There are plans to set up a shipping container and add outdoor seating. Open Saturday and Sunday. CH

Crossguns Bridge, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, the-eatyard.com
Eatyard's proximity to the Royal Canal and its range of options make this a top street food market. You'll get gyoza, char siu pork bao, and rice bowls from Janet's; tacos from Orale, cheese toasties from Griolladh, an impressive selection of tasty vegan options from The Saucy Cow, as well as burgers, pizzas, 3fe coffee and cocktails from The Bernard Shaw bar. Open Thursday to Sunday. CH

Glas Deli
15/16 Chatham Street, Dublin 2, glasrestaurant.ie
Vegetarian food is now mainstream and the vegan wave is surging steadily in that direction. Yet there are still so few places to get good vegan food. Glas in Chatham Street will be serving fixed price vegetarian and vegan menus at their outdoor seating area for the summer, from Monday to Sunday, and the new Glas Deli in Ranelagh has an impressive range of prepared dinners and takeaway options. CH

Goats Gruff
Strawberry Beds, Dublin 20, facebook.com
Drive-through coffee, wood-fired sandwiches and pizza in the scenic Strawberry Beds. Queues can be long at peak times (a marker of the quality), but smiling staff manage orders efficiently and keep things moving. Their riverside garden reopens on June 7th for outdoor dining, with heated tents to follow, or take your food to the Phoenix Park, which is a couple of minutes up the road. LC

Green Man Wine
3 Terenure Road North, Dublin 6, greenmanwines.ie
The prospect of sitting on a high stool outside Green Man Wines, sipping a glass of something beautiful and grazing on charcuterie once outdoor dining returns fills us with joy. The fridges here will continue to be stocked with takeaway food, and we love the sound of the new picnic boxes, with wine option, and fully compostable packaging, which will include tartlets, cheeses, charcuterie, bread and desserts. Open Tuesday to Saturday. CH

Hong Kong Taste Bakery
21 Eden Quay, North City, Dublin 1, instagram.com
Baked char siu buns, butter loaves and Hong Kong-style sausage rolls have been drawing crowds to Eden Quay since the Hong Kong Taste Bakery opened in March. From the same owners as Wicklow Street dim sum restaurant Ka Shing, the value to be had here is some of the best in the entire city, and you'll feed four people very well for under €25. LC

Lennox Street
38 Lennox Street, Portobello, Dublin 8, lennoxstreet.ie
This neighbourhood grocer, run by siblings Chris and Claire Arnold is all about quality suppliers, and you can get a taster-selection in their new picnic box which can be ordered online. Expect to see sandwiches from Greenville Deli, sweet treats from Rua Foods, Perello olives, and homemade quiches accompanied by a superb bottle of low-intervention wine, low-abv wine or natural soft drinks. Open Tuesday to Sunday. CH

1 Windsor Terrace, Dublin 8, locksrestaurant.ie
Dining outdoors, canal-side, is what we are all yearning for right now, and Locks, which added a cosy, covered outdoor space last year, now has an extended area as they trial Dublin City Council's pilot project to increase uncovered, seated greenery areas. Offering a simple brasserie-style menu when they open back up, typical dishes will include tempura fish and chips, salt-aged beef and bone-marrow burgers, and poached lobster. Open Thursday to Sunday. CH

The Marker Hotel
Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2, themarkerhoteldublin.com
Sundowners and city views don't get much better than the roof top terrace at The Marker where the Al Fresco with Friends menu includes their Solero cocktail, salt and pepper calamari, John Stone fillet steak and lemon posset. Or you can splash out on the €120 BubbleClaws special for two which gets you flame grilled blue lobster, tomato salad, Parmesan fries and a bottle of Ayala Brut Majeur Champagne. CH

Harbour House, Harbour Road, Howth, Dublin 13, mamorestaurant.ie
Getting a table on the outdoor terrace at Howth's Mamó this summer, sipping one of their eight rosés by the glass and feasting on cod chips and clams Portuguese, is likely to feel like a dream after the past year, so you'd better get booking. For a more casual option, express and deluxe picnics are available from their upmarket food shop, Margadh, a few doors down. LC

2-3 Gallery Quay, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2, nutbutter.ie
At Nutbutter, vegan favourites feature along with carnivorous classics and everything looks va-va-voom good. But that's not all, there is care taken in salad sourcing which is refreshing to see, with seasonal leaves coming from Wicklow and Irish curly kale from north Co Dublin. They have some waterside outdoor seating with more to come and plenty of the menu works well for picnics and takeaway. Ali Dunworth

Overends Kitchen
Airfield Estate, Overend Avenue, Dublin 14, airfield.ie
Overends Kitchen at Airfield Estate is a food destination worth making a special trip to this summer. Takeaway, covered outdoor dining, picnics and afternoon tea celebrating Irish producers are all options when you're there, and so much of their output comes from their own animals and vegetable plots, including rare breed beef, lamb and Jersey milk. A seriously impressive operation that was awarded three stars (the highest possible) from the Sustainable Restaurant Association. LC

Peggy Kelly's
163 Harold's Cross Road, Dublin 6W, peggykellys.ie
Graffiti artist Aches got more than 60 million views on TikTok for the video of his One Love piece at Peggy Kelly's, bringing serious festival vibes to this festoon lit outdoor space. Cocktails and pints are on tap from the bar and there are plans for more food trucks, which so far have included Salty Buoy and Serious Dough Pizza. Wednesday to Friday 4pm-11pm; Saturday and Sunday 2pm-11pm. CH

40 Drumcondra Road Lower, Dublin 9, shouk.ie
Middle Eastern mecca Shouk is as popular as ever due to the consistently high quality of the food, and with an extensive, covered, extremely atmospheric dining area out the back, they're well set up for a summer outdoors. Owner and chef Alon Salman uses as much local produce as he can and imports the rest from Palestinian territories, including Shouk's tahini, which he calls "the best in the world". Takeaway too. LC

The Merrion Hotel
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2, merrionhotel.com
Outdoor cabanas with individual heaters promise to be a real treat at the Merrion hotel, and there will be further outdoor seating in the garden and on the terrace. The seafood platter with Burren smoked salmon, a Kelly's oyster, marinated calamari, crabmeat and tiger prawn Marie Rose on the new summer menu sounds like the perfect thing to order. CH

Tiller + Grain
23 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2, tillerandgrain.ie
The €25 picnic bags from Ottolenghi-trained Clair Dowling are likely to be the best you will find in Dublin. Herbed focaccia comes with mixed salads and grains, homemade seasonal dips like baba ganoush and red beetroot butterbean hummus, gochujang-marinated chicken thighs, mini milk buns filled with Irish free-range chicken, beef or veggie options, seasonal crudites, and sweet treats such as yuzu meringue tarts. Open Wednesday to Saturday. CH

Tir Deli
9 Baggot Street Upper, Dublin 2, tirfood.ie
It may seem like it's the summer of sandwiches and toasties, and Tir Deli's will set you up nicely for a picnic along the canal. There is a choice of four, produce is top notch, and the bread is from Tartine. We love their gooey cheese, which is quite different from your regular toastie, with cheese melting through layers of kale, smoked cauliflower, leeks and greens, slicked with fermented hot sauce. Open Monday to Friday, 8am-3pm. CH

Urban Brewing
Custom House Quay, IFSC, Dublin 1, urbanbrewing.ie
When outdoor dining returns next week, this sun-drenched terrace is sure to be one of the more popular spots, and there will be an extended area serving beer and pizza outside the Epic museum. Picnics are available for pick up, €27 for two people, and include plenty to graze on, a sourdough baguette, house made chicken liver parfait, hummus, tapenade, cheese, crudités and other treats. Open daily. CH

Unit 7, The Village, Stepaside, Dublin 18, woodruff.ie
The little south Dublin village of Stepaside has somewhere very special in neighbourhood restaurant Woodruff, where the effort that goes into every plate (or box) of food would be unimaginable for most. This is a kitchen that not only forages and ferments, but cultures butter, makes their own crème fraiche, labneh and ricotta, and cures some of the best charcuterie available in the country. Don't miss their exceptional wines either. Takeaway with limited outdoor seating. LC

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3 Leaves
Blackrock Market, Blackrock, Co Dublin, 3leaves.ie
We might not be able to get to India this year, but we can get to 3 Leaves, and as far as food goes that's basically the same thing. From chef Santosh Thomas's lip-smacking pav bhajis and vada pavs (bread filled with delicious things), to his deeply fragrant curries, flaky parathas and rainbow-coloured rice, it doesn't take long to understand why 3 Leaves has such a dedicated fan club. Takeaway and limited outdoor dining. LC

Aventura Cafe
Portmarnock train station and Paddy's Hill, Portmarnock, Co Dublin, aventuracafe.ie
Aventura owners Mercedes Olivares and Orlando Contreras emit sunshine, and it must be contagious because no matter who is making the coffee, handing over choripan rolls with chimichurri or bagging up dulce de leche choux buns, customers seem to always leave smiling. Find hot food at the train station with coffee, pastries and cakes on Paddy's Hill, and in June they're opening a drive-through in the car park of Portmarnock leisure centre, serving ice-pops, tropical bowls and fresh juices. LC

A Dó cafe
2 Ross Terrace, New Street, Malahide, Co Dublin, facebook.com
Krishna Padayachee and Anna Maria Brady are serving up their father's Indian recipes from a hatch in Malahide, and the seaside village is all the richer for it. Their potato curry (in a box or a sandwich) has layers of soft spice, parathas are soft and chewy, and chutneys are vibrant in colour and taste. Perfect for a picnic on the newly opened green at the marina or to take in to Malahide Castle. Coffee is from Ariosa, pastries from Tartine and vegan treats from Mammy Granola. LC

4a The Crescent, Monkstown, Co Dublin, bresson.ie
Peter Byrne has recently joined the team at Bresson as head chef, and no doubt is all set for outdoor dining in the stunning courtyard and extended dining area, which are both heated and covered. Top-quality producers all feature on the list of suppliers, and lunch will be a three-course set menu for €35, while dinner is a little bit fancier with amuse bouche for €59.95. Open Friday to Sunday. CH

Haddington House
9-12 Haddington Terrace, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, haddingtonhouse.ie
A stunning view out to Dún Laoghaire Bay brings a real taste of summer to Oliveto's outdoor dining area, which opens on June 7th. The food from the wood-fired oven is simple but tasty, and flat breads come with a variety of toppings: smoked Knockanore cheddar, Gorgonzola and kimchi; crispy lamb shoulder with baba ganoush; and meatballs with nduja, Toons Bridge fior di latte, and fresh tomato. Open daily. CH

La Cocina Cuevas
Rath Great, Naul, Co Dublin, facebook.com
Jeremy Cuevas started out working in his grandmother's Mexican restaurant in Lodi California, and now with his partner Laura Duffy, sells a drive through sizzling line-up of tacos, carnitas and burritos from their food truck, parked in their garden at Naul. Formerly also open in Rathgar, but for now, only this Co Dublin location. Open Fridays from 4pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm. CH

Michael's and Little Mike's
57 Deerpark Road, Mount Merrion, Co Dublin, michaels.ie
It's hard to keep up with all that Gareth "Gaz" Smith has done during lockdown, expanding from his base in Mount Merrion to Higgins Butchers in Sutton. And while he will be continuing with his hugely successful takeaway food, it is going to be a real treat to dine al fresco in Michael's where heaters and rain cover mean it will feel like a proper return to the personal hospitality he is known for. CH

Whelehan's Wines
Loughlinstown, Co Dublin, whelehanswines.ie
A French-style farmers market brings real charm to the car park outside Whelehan's Wines on Fridays, and is host to the brilliant China Sichuan pop-up on Saturdays. Good-quality burgers are available from the Feed food truck, there's bread from the Sugarloaf Bakery, sugar-free treats from Pure, and coffee from Treo Coffee Co. CH

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33 Donegal Street, Belfast, Co Antrim, jamesstandco.com
You can enjoy the buzz of Belfast's Cathedral Quarter in the substantial outdoor dining area at this popular restaurant, which seats 40, 20 of which are under cover. Initially for walk-ins only, with a casual menu of pasta, fried chicken, burgers and fish; it will be moving back to the a la carte format for indoor dining. Open Thursday to Saturday. CH

Made in Antrim
72 Lough Road, Antrim Loughshore Park, Co Antrim, instagram.com
You'll find this fun street food van parked at Antrim Lough Shore Park, right by Lough Neagh. Choose from a menu of breakfast baps, stuffed bao buns, tacos and their signature loaded fries. Enjoy them waterside on the picnic benches or in sheltered pods if the weather is being a big Irish. AD

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1a Fisher Street, Doolin, Co Clare, doolininn.ie
If you're heading off on the Doolin Cliff Walk, make your adventure even more special by picking up a picnic here. Or you can dine at the outdoor or indoor tables (because if you're a resident, indoor is already open) and tuck into the best from the Burren, including seafood from local fishermen, and Hawe's Burren Beef. Open Tuesday to Saturday. CH

Julia's Lobster Truck
Bellharbour and Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, instagram.com
Like the sound of beachside lobster rolls? Then seek out Julia Hemingway's delightful food truck this summer. Find her on Fridays and Saturdays at Bellharbour and on Sundays in Ballyvaughan. Local sourcing is paramount, with lobster, mussels and clams coming from Burren Seafoods in New Quay and Flaggy Shore oysters from down the road. AD

Pot Duggans
New Road, Ennistymon, Co Clare, 065-7071480, potduggans.com
Anyone looking for outdoor dining in Clare this summer should have Pot Duggans at the top of their list. Chef Ashley Gribbens (ex Little Fox) is taking over the kitchen for a summer of Middle Eastern sharing plates at outdoor picnic benches with riverside views. It's run by Bodytonic, so you know the drinks will be good too. LC

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Caitlin Ruth's Food Truck  
Various locations, Co Cork, instagram.com
After a successful pop-up last summer at Levis' in Ballydehob, chef Caitlin Ruth has decided to take her show on the road and will be popping up all around Co Cork this summer, announcing her locations on Instagram. Expect delicious ingredient-driven dishes showcasing local food and beachside settings. Not to be missed. AD

Craft (Celtic Ross Artisanal Food Truck) 
The Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, Co Cork, celticrosshotel.com 
The Celtic Ross Hotel has always been a worthy stop-off thanks to its picturesque setting on the shore of Rosscarbery Bay. The addition of CRAFT, its new food truck serving coffee, cakes, sandwiches and salads, gives even more reason to visit. On weekends they turn it up a notch with dinners and a busy brunch service. Think family-friendly food, featuring lots of local suppliers. AD

Dede at the Customs House 
The Customs House, Baltimore, Co Cork, customshousebaltimore.com 
Landing a Michelin star in a pandemic is a bit spectacular, which pretty much sums up Ahmet Dede and all he has been doing at this Baltimore restaurant since it opened last year. Open daily, there's takeaway picnic food and rotisserie chicken from the deli, Turkish breakfast is cooked in the wood-fired oven, and lunch and dinner, which may include a selection of fish, kebabs and koftas in the outside dining area. Runs from Monday to Wednesday. For a Michelin experience, the €85 fine-dining menu is served from Thursday to Saturday. CH

Good Day Deli 
Garden Cafe, Nano Nagle Place, Douglas Street, Cork, gooddaydeli.ie 
A meal at Good Day Deli, in the elevated gardens of Cork's Nano Nagle Place, should be prescribed as an antidote to the past year. Sheltered outdoor tables line the patio along the glass box containing the restaurant. Garden gazebos are covered and heated, and have some of the best views across the city. Everything on the menu is designed to spark (predominantly meat-free) joy, from the Bushy Berry Pancakes to the Big Kiwi Burger, the apple caramel choux to the raspberry and rose vegan opera cake. LC

38 Pope's Quay, Cork, facebook.com
The perfect chaats and dosas from Iyers are worth a diversion whatever direction you're going in. Chef/owner Gautham Iyer's pancake-like dosas are light, crisp and incredibly good value, and the accompanying chutneys are the icing on the cake. Almost all of the home-made, wholesome Southern Indian dishes are vegan, and get there early if you want to try his samosa chaat (you do). Takeaway only for now. LC

L'Atitude 51 
1 Union Quay, Cork, latitude51.ie 
It's great to see this much-loved Cork spot back open (pre-pandemic, a fire had closed them down for a considerable time). It is serving an enticing selection of wines by the glass, craft beers and cocktails, along with a simple menu of small plates full of locally sourced food. Ideally you'd nab a seat on its new riverside terrace on a warm sunny day. It also offers weekly wine and food boxes, perfect to be enjoyed at home or as a picnic. AD

Levis' Corner House 
Main Street, Ballydehob, Co Cork, leviscornerhouse.com 
Levis' is a small local pub with a mighty reputation thanks to its traditional vibe, enviable live music programme and more recently its food offering. Last summer Levis' opened its backyard to food trucks and will do the same this year, including having the brilliant Belfast-based Bia Rebel Ramen join them from mid-July to the end of August. It also runs a lovely fruit and vegetable stall from the pub on Wednesdays. AD

Marina Market 
Marina Market, Centre Park Road, Ballintemple, Co Cork, instagram.com
Burnt Pizza, Vegan KO, Lekker, Young Plant, Wild Hogs, Taylors, Hansum Rotisserie, and Guji Coffee are just some of the vendors at the new Marina Market, where the emphasis is on community. Open daily, it features a farmers' market every weekend in June with CRAFT and more added food stalls in a relaxed open-space area with plenty of room for social distancing. CH

Ballycotton Cliffs, Co Cork, instagram.com
Perched on the cliffs in Ballycotton, Sinéad Doran's Orbit food truck will be operating from Friday to Sunday, with plans to trade in Cork city during the week. Grilled cheese toasties, Turkish flatbreads and Sunday brunch will all feature on the menu. Bread is from Arbutus, meats and cheese are from Gubbeen, and coffee is from The Golden Bean Coffee Roasters. CH

Restaurant Chestnut  
The Chestnut Tree, Ballydehob, Co Cork, restaurantchestnutwestcork.ie 
Following on from their picnic baskets last summer, Rob Krawczyk and his partner Elaine Fleming will be offering their Crann Box for guests to collect and picnic with while they enjoy the magnificent surrounds of west Cork. The restaurant won't be opening until indoor dining is permitted, so it is continuing with its three-course Sticks & Twigs meal kit for two, €72, and plan to keep this going for Sunday collection when indoor dining resumes. CH

Saint Francis Provisions 
Market Quay, Kinsale, Co Cork, instagram.com 
A small setup boasting big flavours and outdoor seating makes this a must-visit if you're in Kinsale this summer. It is open in the mornings with Red Strand coffee and freshly baked goods. Lunches are fine sandwiches and market plates featuring their own breads, Irish farmhouse cheese and charcuterie, local vegetables and house-made pickles. Dinner is served on the weekends along with a very covetable five-course meal kit and excellent picnics and platters can be pre-ordered Thursday to Sunday. AD

Sonny's Deli 
3a Marina Villas, Albert Road, Co Cork, sonnysdelicork.clickandcollection.com 
People come from all over to queue for Sonny's stuffed salt-beef Reuben – its signature sandwich, and a nod to the Jewish history residential redbrick area where you'll find this outstanding sandwich bar and deli. The salt beef sandwich is served (and sells out) daily alongside an eclectic takeaway menu featuring kimchi pancakes, colourful salad boxes and curries. This is grab-and-go food at its finest. AD

The Fish Basket 
The Long Strand, Castlefreke, Clonakilty, Co Cork, thefishbasket.ie 
Make sure you're hungry if ordering The Fish Basket's famous sharing box with breaded and battered hake, lemon sole scampi, squid, mushy peas, home-made tartar sauce and hand-cut chips. The fish is local (don't miss the monkfish scampi from Union Hall), the staff are warm and the beachside setting is what Irish summer dreams are made of. LC

The Lodge Bar and Kitchen 
Ballinluska, Myrtleville, Co Cork, thelodgebar.ie 
You could be fooled into thinking that takeaway from The Lodge consists of just burgers and pizza (albeit home-made and locally sourced), but go straight to chef Adam Kavanagh's specials and you could be eating prawn and bacon okonomiyaki, Sarawak laksa or crispy tapioca fried cheese fritters, from its multicultural kitchen. Outdoor dining is available, as well as at its sister restaurant, Bunnyconnelan, around the corner, with spectacular views across the Atlantic. LC

Toons Bridge Dairy 
Toonsbridge, Inchigeela, Co Cork, toonsbridgedairy.com 
No trip to west Cork (or Cork city or Killarney) is complete without a trip to the cheese, charcuterie and cannoli-filled heaven that is Toons Bridge Dairy. The majority of its cheeses are made in the dairy next door (including the ricotta for the cannoli) and no matter how much money you spend here, you won't regret a cent of it. The dream for picnic provisions or sit on the benches in its flower-filled garden or polytunnel. LC

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Lost and Found
3 Berne Road, Portstewart, BT55 7PA, shop.wearelostandfound.com
Perched on the edge of the sea, overlooking Portstewart Strand, Lost and Found has outdoor seating for 40, with views of Malin Head, excellent coffee and a menu reflecting the Causeway Coast. Local suppliers are shown off in dishes such as their North Coast Smokehouse salmon open sandwich, and they've even got their own clothing line. There's another Lost and Found 10 minutes away in Coleraine. LC

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Fisk Seafood
Harbour Bar, Downings, Co Donegal, fiskseafoodbar.com
A menu focused on local seafood in a bar in the beautiful Donegal town of Downings, with local oysters, buttermilk-battered fish tacos and barbecued squid. There's outdoor seating overlooking the beach and bay, and another covered outdoor area at the back, complete with log burner. LC

Killybegs Seafood Shack
Shore Road, Killybegs, Co Donegal, facebook.com
If you're looking for the quintessential summer holiday experience of seaside fish and chips, look no further than Killybegs Seafood Shack. Located right on the water in Ireland's busiest fishing port, the fish couldn't be fresher. AD

Rathmullan House
Rathmullan, Co Donegal, rathmullanhouse.com
Stone-baked pizza and ice cream is on the menu at Rathmullan House, where fruit and vegetables come from their walled garden and carefully sourced produce includes Corndale Farm Chorizo, and cheese from Blue Goat Ramelton. You can order takeaway pizza and have it on the beach at the bottom of the garden, in the traditional canvas kingpole tent, or in one of the outdoor pods dotted throughout the garden. Open Thursday to Monday. CH

The Olde Glen Bar and Restaurant
Glen Village, Carrigart, Co Donegal, oldeglen.ie
Ciaran Sweeney, the chef who put Forest & Marcy on the map, is heading the kitchen at the newly refurbished Olde Glen, and,with access to fish from Greencastle and Killybegs, shellfish from day trawlers, and vegetables from Gortahork, we expect the food to be spectacular. It's a guest house, so indoor dining is permitted if you're staying there, and there is an outdoor barbecue. Soup and sandwiches are available at Bia Box, a converted horse box which is soon to be transformed into a gin bar. The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Sunday. CH

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Dooncastle Seafood Trailer
Kylemore House, Kylemore, Co Galway, instagram.com
Oyster farmer John Ward is in a particularly stunning location on the shore of Kylemore Lake, where he's serving seafood from his trailer every Friday to Sunday. He has access to his own excellent Dooncastle oysters, of course, along with razor clams from Bernard Whelan, local mussels and fish and chips. AD

Éan Bakery & Wine Bar 
Druid Lane, Galway, eangalway.com
Christine Walsh is one of the country's top chefs and has created quite the buzz with Éan in Galway. With a new outdoor seating area, we can soon be tucking into salads, open sandwiches, and small plates for lunch, and a more extensive small plates menu in the evening. Oysters with lacto plum and pickled laver seaweed; grilled fresh sardines on katsobushi butter toast; and fresh Jersey curds, with kohlrabi and watercress are some of the dishes that will be featured. Open Thursday to Sunday. CH

Misunderstood Heron
Derrynacleigh, Leenane, Co Galway, misunderstoodheron.com
Misunderstood Heron describes itself as a "wild outdoor eatery", and it doesn't get much wilder than eating a Korean pork belly rice bowl followed by a salted Renvyle honey cheesecake on the edge of Killary Fjord. The menu is hyper-local, the setting is breathtaking, and there's a 2km coastal walk that starts and ends there if you need to work up an appetite. LC

Nóin at the Twelve Hotel
The Twelve Hotel, Barna, Co Galway, thetwelvehotel.ie
The team at the Twelve were quick off the mark last year, repurposing an outdoor area with seating, heating and cover to launch Nóin, and it's back again this year. Open daily from June 7th, all-day food ranges from poached eggs to pancakes for brunch, and classic burgers, fish and chips and pizza. Be sure to check out the cocktails. CH

Fairgreen Road, Galway, phigalway.com
Loam chef Damien Martin has launched a tasty picnic box for two, running until late autumn. It includes seasonal salad with roast vegetables, breads, dips, a selection of Sheridan's cheese, cold meat or fish (pork neck and kimchi, featherblade and horseradish, sardines with tomato and lovage), a sweet cake of the day, and kombucha. Collection Friday and Saturday. CH

Restaurant Darcy Twelve
Market Square, Clifden, Co Galway, darcytwelve.ie
In the centre of Clifden, the takeaway menu here has included Connemara lamb burger, Thai green curry, chicken Caesar burger and the fish dog using local fresh fish. There are plans to serve an extended menu at their covered outdoor seating area at the front of the restaurant. Local suppliers are namechecked and coffee is Calendar Coffee Roasters based in Barna. CH

1/2 Dock Roads, Galway, ruibin.ie
This restaurant pivoted to a delicatessen and wine shop last year, much to the delight of Galway locals. Now everything on the menu is designed to be eaten as takeaway. Lunches are full of locally sourced delights, homemade bagels, sourdough and delicious dulce de leche brownies. There is outdoor seating overlooking Galway's Harbour and picnic boxes are being added to the menu for pre-order – think black pudding scotch egg, baked ham and potato salad. You could add a bottle of wine from their shop too. AD

Sweet Nothings
Main Street, Ballyconneely, Co Galway, facebook.com
The tiny town of Ballyconneely in Connemara might not be where you would expect to find a buzzing vegetarian/vegan café, but locals have been queuing up for the barbecue jackfruit wraps, feta and mulberry couscous and sweet potato korma with coconut naans at Sweet Nothings cafe since it opened. Food writer and Connemara resident Aoife McElwain calls owner Justyna Janusiewicz "one of the best vegan bakers in the country"; with options like marmalade brownies with sourdough crumbs, and banana and toffee muffins, it's worth a diversion. Outdoor seating and takeaway. LC

The Sea Hare
The Pier, Cleggan, Co Galway, theseahare.ie
When it comes to the dishes synonymous with last summer's national staycation, the Cleggan Bay lobsters with garlic butter, lemon mayonnaise and a glass of wine served at The Sea Hare in Connemara had many of us jumping on to Airbnb hoping for a last-minute reservation. This summer they're back with the freshest seafood, coastally grown vegetables and chef Phillipa Duff's homemade cakes, and there's lots of outdoor seating, complete with sea views. LC

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Solas Tapas & Wine
1-5 Dykegate Street, Dingle, Co Kerry, solastapas.com
While restrictions keep the doors closed to sit-in diners, chef Nicky Foley has pivoted from his signature Mediterranean-style "plátaí beaga" to offer tasty takeaway options. You'll find the same bold flavours and the best of local Kerry produce in his Grab & Go Street Tapas, served at lunchtime Friday to Sunday, and take-home dinner, available in the evenings. AD

The Boathouse Bistro
Kenmare, Co Kerry, dromquinnamanor.com
There are dazzling views over Kenmare Bay at the outdoor seating area of this casual restaurant with bistro classics on the menu. Fish and meat is from local suppliers, and vegetables come from the kitchen gardens at Dromquinna. Pizza is also available from Shutters Pizza on the Pier. Open daily. CH

The Fish Box
Green Street, Dingle, Co Kerry, thefishboxdingle.com
It's a joy to know that much of the seafood on the extensive menu at The Fish Box is caught by its own family trawler Cú Na Mara. The Flannery family also support local day-fishing boats by buying crab and lobster when in season. Freshly-cut chips are from the O'Connor brothers' Maharee potatoes and beer is from the Flannerys' neighbours at Dick Macks Brewhouse. The menu is great for takeaway and they also have outdoor seating for up to 50 people. AD

The Hungry Donkey
Ross Road, Killarney, Co Kerry, instagram.com
The Hungry Donkey, a crowdfunded pandemic project from chef Chad Byrne, has been a welcome addition to the Killarney food scene. The "small menu with big flavours" features weekly tacos, a generous homemade spice box and scrumptious-sounding specials along with vegan and vegetarian options. All picnic perfect. AD

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Cliff at Lyons
Celbridge, Co Kildare, cliffatlyons.ie
When somewhere is as exquisite as the Cliff at Lyons, you expect it to be a little intimidating. But locals and visitors are really welcome, and there are so many charming places to enjoy one of their picnics or pizza from The Pantry. You can pick up a take-home barbecue box from Aimsir, or dine outside beside the waterfall at the Mill restaurant from June 7th. Sean Smith heads the kitchen here, and brings an indulgent take on Irish classics for lunch and dinner. Open Wednesday to Sunday. CH

Ely Wine Store
Convent Lane, Maynooth, Co Kildare, elywinebar.com
What was originally a wine bar and restaurant has now blossomed into a well-stocked wine shop, grocer and busy delicatessen. Takeaway sandwiches and seasonal salads are ideal for picnics in the nearby Carton Avenue or the Royal Canal Greenway, and there is outdoor seating in front of the beautiful stone building. They do a selection of popular meal boxes on the weekends also. AD

Market Square, Kildare town, firecastle.ie
Bring a big bag if you stop by Firecastle in Kildare town. This shop is full of covetable ingredients and has a glorious delicatessen too. Orderly queues snake around the well-stocked shelves, where you can choose from a menu of sandwiches, salads, soups and a great selection of baked treats – the gigantic sausages rolls are a must. There is seating outside in the square or you could head to the Curragh for a picnic. AD

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Arán Bakery
8 The Arches, Barrack Street, Kilkenny, arankilkenny.ie
The menu at Arán bakery and bistro is a who's who of Kilkenny food producers, with The Little Mill flour, Dizzy Goat Farm's cheese and Riversfield organic vegetables to name just a few. Bread is a big draw here, but so are pastries, brunch and lunch, with everything available to go. LC

Barrows Keep
Marsh's Street, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, barrowskeep.com
Morgan VanderKamer and Stephen McArdle have brought a bit of magic to Thomastown, and their large outdoor area, where a wood-fired pizza oven has been getting plenty of use during lockdown, is a wonderful place to unwind and have a casual meal. Open for outdoor dining from June 7th, this area is covered and kept cosy with heaters and firepits. Order some wine from Morgan's impressive wine list and you're set. Open Wednesday to Sunday. CH

Muse Coffee + Food
Butler Gallery, Evans' Home, Kilkenny, musecoffeefood.ie
Located in the historic Evans' Home in Kilkenny city, Muse Coffee + Food is picture perfect, as you'd expect from an art gallery cafe. The menu is modern cafe classics, with gourmet sandwiches, salads and a selection of house-made flatbreads all available for takeaway along with a "best of local" cheese and charcuterie boxes perfect for picnics in the surrounding gardens. AD

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The Red Bank Restaurant
St Georges Terrace, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co Leitrim, theredbankrestaurant.ie
With a terrace overlooking the River Shannon, the food might just match the view in this new restaurant in a former bank – if the produce list is anything to go by. Designed to have a broad appeal, there's a bites, children's and vegan menu, and Andarl pork, Leitrim Hill goat's cheese, and beef from Gilligan's Farm in Roscommon all feature. Open Tuesday to Sunday. CH

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Rift Coffee & The Larder
29 & 30 Mallow Street, Limerick, limerickriftcoffee.com
Come for the coffee, it's always great, and stay for the gorgeous food and wines. There is outdoor seating for brunch, lunch and small plates in the evenings. Or if it's takeaway you're after, build your own picnic from its selection of artisan Irish meats, cheese, chutneys, crackers and fruit. Maybe grab a few cans of Ramona spritzer too. AD

The Milk Market
Cornmarket Row, Limerick, milkmarketlimerick.ie
Every weekend Limerick city hosts this dynamic market, with Saturday being the main food-focused day. Local producers pop up from all over selling fresh fruit and vegetables, local cheese, fish, breads, meats and plenty more. There are lots of picnic potentials along with hot food to take away. Look out for Peter Ward's Country Choice stall where you'll find all manner of gourmet treats and Nutshed for excellent peanut butter and plant-based goodies. AD

The Treehouse
Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel, Adare, Co Limerick, woodlands-hotel.ie
If you've been to Adare, chances are you've been stuck in traffic so next time do yourself a favour and take a detour by the Woodlands House Hotel and visit its new outdoor food and coffee cabin, The Treehouse. Much of the ingredients used here are grown in its own organic gardens that you can also explore when you visit. There is also a half-covered outdoor seating area, a fairy trail and mini pet farm. A perfect pit stop. AD

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Fisherman's Catch
The Pier, Clogherhead, Co Louth, fishermanscatch.ie
Not many chippers in Ireland can claim the provenance of John and Michelle Kirwan's Fisherman's Catch. Fish is caught by their son Jonathan on the family boat, The Argonaut IV, and oysters are shucked while you wait. Eat them on a picnic bench overlooking the sea, and wonder why everyone doesn't do it like this. LC

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Jack Fenn's Courtyard Cafe
Belleek Castle, Garrankeel, Ballina, Co Mayo, belleekcastle.com
Bright coloured benches make for a very pleasant outdoor area in the carefully restored courtyard of Jack Fenn's Café, which is open for coffee during the day, as well as lunch and dinner. Bistro staples like Killary Harbour mussels, pan roasted hake and fillet steak feature. Check out the walk from the grounds of Belleek Castle down to the banks of the River Moy. Open daily. CH

Foxford Cafe
Providence Road, Foxford, Co Mayo, foxfordwoollenmills.com
Before heading off on one of the Foxford Way Loop Walks, you can pick up fixings for a picnic here, or stop for lunch and sit at the new outdoor seating area at the front of the mill building. Sandwiches on Cornrue sourdough include fillings like smoky bacon, Dozio's Barr Rua farmhouse cheese and apple slaw. There are soups, salads, breads and cakes; and, of course, a wonderful shop to browse in. CH

This Must Be the Place
Westport, Co Mayo, thismustbetheplace.ie
The hatch at this vibrant cafe has kept the people of Westport well fed during lockdown, and the new outdoor dining area extends to the alley way beside the cafe as well as tables out front. Oozing cheese toasties are made with Cornrue Sourdough, a different soup features daily, something like lentil and chickpea curry, and coffee is from Anam Coffee. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 9am-4pm. CH

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Roots at Slane Castle Estate
Slane, Co Meath, slanecastle.ie
Chef Keith Coleman's Roots food truck offers a crowd-pleasing menu of baked goods, sandwiches and seasonally rotating hot dishes with much of the ingredients coming from the estate and the rest from brilliant Boyne Valley producers. Eat at the picnic area or on Slane Castle's Lawn Field with views of the castle and the Boyne River. On Thursdays they host a farmers' markets with lots more food to choose from. AD

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Koha Street Kitchen
Doorly Park, Riverside, Sligo, facebook.com
New Zealand native Sascha Viertel has parked his new food trailer on the premises of the Blue Lagoon Bar, along the Garavogue River, so there's plenty of room to sit down in the beer garden. Brunch dishes feature during the day and, in the evening, the menu changes to beer-battered Killybegs haddock and chips, fish tacos and beef burgers. Open Wednesday to Sunday. CH

Pudding Row The Grocer
Easkey, Co Sligo, puddingrow.ie
We're totally in love with Dervla James and Johnny Conlon's amazing grocer, where the bread and bagels are baked fresh each morning and used to make astonishingly good sandwiches. Add some sausage rolls, cakes, vegan flapjacks, homemade lemonade and wine, and they will pack it up in a picnic basket with plates, cutlery, and glasses, which can be returned along with all packaging afterwards. Open daily, 9.30am to 5pm. CH

Shore Road, Strandhill, Co Sligo, shellscafe.com
This well-regarded seaside cafe is enviably located on Sligo's sweeping Strandhill Beach and it has just extended its outdoor seating area so there is even more space to sit and enjoy your food with the sounds and smells of the sea. It does picnic boxes when the sun shines with mini Champagne bottles available as an add-on. The adjoining Little Shop is a trove of delights. AD

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Dooks Fine Foods
Kerry Street, Fethard, Co Tipperary, dooksfinefoods.ie
Salads that include roasted aubergine, fermented chilli yoghurt dressing and ricotta with organic leaves would certainly hint at a Yotam Ottolenghi influence, and Richard Gleeson, the chef and co-owner here, learned from the master himself. Operating as a delicatessen and takeaway since June last year, there is now an outdoor dining menu, and the seating area has been extended and sectioned off with planters. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 8am-5pm. CH

Mikey Ryan's Bar and Kitchen
76 Main Street, Cashel, Co Tipperary, mikeyryans.ie
If you're looking for somewhere to celebrate a special event, when it's permitted, the walled Secret Garden with canvas cover, an outdoor stove, a Kamado grill barbecue and heaters can be booked for up to 50 people. In the meantime, the garden at Mikey Ryan's at the Cashel Palace Hotel will be open for brunch, lunch and dinner, with pizza from 3pm to 7pm daily. CH

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The Quay, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, andchips.ie
With an extended outdoor seating area, Eunice Power's Andchips is the place to head to for stunningly good fish, and there's more than a nod to sustainability, with ling and gurnard featuring on the well-priced menu. Michael McGrath of Lismore supplies the beef for their burgers which, of course, are served in a Waterford blaa, ice-cream comes from Freezin' Friesian, and the house wine is just €14.50. Open Tuesday to Sunday, and daily July and August. CH

Cliff House Hotel
Ardmore, Co Waterford, cliffhousehotel.ie
If you can't get a seat on the stunning terrace at the Cliff House Hotel, which has breath-taking views across Ardmore Bay, head to its Airstream Pantry which is open Friday to Sunday, serving lobster rolls, hot dogs, fish pie, custard tarts and coffee. The Terrace will be serving food from The Bar restaurant menu with a different menu for lunch and dinner, and includes oysters, chowder, steamed mussels, and fish and chips. Open daily. CH

Dungarvan Castle Huts
Castle Market, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Expect a festival vibe by the castle walls in Dungarvan, where three wooden huts will be selling takeaway food. The 360 will have burgers, beer and flatbreads; Crews Restaurant will be concentrating on seafood; and Paul Flynn of the Tannery will have a tempting menu of toasties, seafood sandwiches, sausage rolls, and chowder, as well as a selection of savoury doughnuts – crab brûlée, chicken liver parfait, and bacon jam. Look out for his Diamond Dogs NYC hot dog cart beside his hut. Open Friday to Sunday. CH

Grow HQ
Farronshoneen, Dunmore Road, Waterford, giy.ie
Clocking up your five a day will be easy with the full cafe menu being served at Grow HQ's new southfacing, covered terrace which overlooks the organic kitchen garden. Vegetables are, of course, the hero on the menu here, but you'll also find local fish from Dunmore East, Butler's chicken, lamb from Dunphy's in Waterford, Crowe's Farm outdoor reared bacon, and Jane Russell sausages. Open daily for breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon snacks. CH

The Beach House
Turkey Road, Tramore, Co Waterford, beachhousetramore.ie
Peter Hogan and Jumoke Akintola's Beach House restaurant is reopening on June 9th and the outdoor dining area, overlooking the raised beds of vegetables, promises to be just as magical as the handsome, uncluttered interior. The menu is a la carte with plenty of local seafood, and dishes from the wood oven, and the wine list is well worth exploring. Food will be served all day, and it's walk in rather than bookings. Open Wednesday to Saturday. CH

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4 Hands Food Studio
Rathaspick, Rathowen, Co Westmeath, 4handsfoodstudio.ie
Rose Greene and Margaux Dejardin's fermented, foraged and sustainable-eating focused food company launched a takeaway business at the start of the pandemic, and each week lucky locals get to collect a set menu of produce they've grown, raised and hunted down themselves, as well as from the best producers in the midlands. This summer sees brunch packs, sweet packs and raw cheese boards added, as well as individual items from their seasonal larder. LC

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Fethard on Sea, Co Wexford, facebook.com
Grálinn is gearing up for a second summer in Fethard on Sea serving its no-fuss, all about taste, cafe favourites. Expect delectable takeaway sandwiches, a mix and match salad bar for picnic boxes and doughnuts that are worthy of a detour. There are only a few outdoor seats available but there is plenty of gorgeous coastline nearby for picnicking. AD

The Cheeky Cod
28 Paul Quay, Ferrybank South, Wexford, twitter.com
Fish cakes, cod spring rolls and fish burgers are just some of the dishes you can pick up from Edwina and Paul Hynes' new food truck, which is parked across from their La Côte restaurant on Custom House Quay. Given the go-ahead, they will also be opening an outdoor area outside their restaurant. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am-8pm. CH

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Macreddin Village, Co Wicklow, brooklodge.com
There are plenty of options for dining outdoors on the pleasant grounds of BrookLodge and Macreddin Village but it's the takeaway afternoon tea and picnics that look most tempting – sandwiches from The Strawberry Tree restaurant, cakes and scones from Macreddin bakery, homemade jams and wild elderflower prosecco. They provide rugs, cutlery and glassware too. Head off around Wicklow or settle in on the grounds beside the duckpond. AD

Grangecon Kitchen
Grangecon, Co Wicklow, grangeconkitchen.ie
A new wood-fired pizza oven, which is fired up on Fridays and Saturdays, gives us even more reason to get back to Laura McEvoy and Stephanie Myerscough's cafe in the pretty village of Grangecon. The garden beside the cafe will have a marquee from June 7th, and a refurbed ambulance with coffee, cakes and ice-cream. A perfect spot for breakfast or lunch, or to pick up a picnic before heading off to Lug na Coille. Open Wednesday to Sunday. CH

Pok! Ramen
The Horse and Hound Car Park, Delgany, Co Wicklow, facebook.com
A horsebox serving homemade ramen from the car park of a pub (called the Horse and Hound ironically) in Wicklow. Chef Sean Farrell has kept it simple with two options – the vegetarian with pok choi and tofu, and the meat with chicken soup and pork chashu. Bowls are excellent value and locals are loving it. LC

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