20 cosy restaurants to eat in this autumn and winter

As the nights grow cooler, we recommend places with crackling fires and hearty dishes

 Liz Matthews of Uno Mas and Etto. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Liz Matthews of Uno Mas and Etto. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

There have been some unexpectedly sunny days of late, but we are now solidly into autumn, and it will soon be time for cosy restaurants, crackling fires and hearty dishes. Here are 20 great spots where you’ll feel snug and well fed.

1826 ADARE
Church View, Blackabbey, Adare, Co Limerick, V94 R672; 1826adare.ie

There’s little cosier than a 200-year-old thatched cottage with a glowing stove and whitewashed walls, where three intimate rooms add to the warm and welcoming atmosphere. Wade Murphy is an accomplished chef, and winter dishes include slow-braised beef shortrib, Andarl Farm pork belly, and house fish pie.

CIRCA
90 Terenure Road North, Terenure, Dublin 6W, D6W RR82; restaurantcirca.com

The lights are kept low and the music is chilled for dinner in this smart neighbourhood restaurant. Goat with artichoke and girolles features on the evening three-course menu, and for weekend brunch you’ll find wild mushroom with bone marrow, crispy egg, Pecorino and sourdough. It’s worth checking out the cosy outdoor area which is totally snug no matter what the weather.

DAX
Pembroke Street Upper, Dublin 2, D02 AK20; dax.ie

Back open in November, Dax is renowned for its long lunch, and indeed its long dinners. It is cosy, in a reassuringly plush sort of way, and the classic French cooking here by Graham Neville is a match for the seriously impressive wine list compiled by owner Olivier Meisonnave. A complete escape from everything that’s going on outside.

Dax restaurant. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Dax restaurant. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

ELY WINE BAR
Ely Place, Dublin 2, D02 AH73; elywinebar.ie

Just off Stephen’s Green, the ground floor dining room has a traditional fireplace with a big, open fire, while the cellar below is more minimalist, with mood lighting, brick walls and hundreds of wine bottles. Small plates of slow-cooked lamb croquettes, aubergine parmigiana, ox tongue, terrines and the ever-popular Ely beefburger are just what you need to go with the impressive selection of wines.

ETTO
18 Merrion Row, Dublin 2, D02 A316; etto.ie

It is hard to choose between Etto and its sister restaurant Uno Mas, and we’re not suggesting that you do. There are few better places than Etto to escape the world outside, and meet up with old friends for a good old gossip over their côte de bœuf, Bordelaise sauce and crispy garlic potatoes and some great wine, finishing with their red wine prunes and vanilla mascarpone.

FALLON & BYRNE WINE CELLAR
11-17 Exchequer St, Dublin, D02 RY63; fallonandbyrne.com

Back open with a new look, new wine list and new food menu, the Cellar Bar now has a bright orange pizza oven dishing out classic Neapolitan pizzas topped with top-notch ingredients from the food hall. As well as pizza and pasta, there are boquerones and handcut jamon iberico, and a plant-based menu for vegans. Well worth visiting on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday when corkage is €1 for any of the 200 bottles on the shelves.

LAMPLIGHT WINE BAR
Market St, Clifden, Co Galway, H71 P789; thelamplight.ie

An archway leads to a secluded wine garden with sheepskin rugs and feathered cushions. Wine is a huge part of the offering here, with really interesting low-intervention bottles selected by co-owner Anke Hartman. Wild Connemara clam and mussel chowder, in-house smoked duck and grilled monkfish are some of the dishes on the fire and wine menu.

LOCKS
1 Windsor Terrace, Portobello, Dublin 8, D08 HT20; locksrestaurant.ie

Locks Restaurant, Windsor Terrace, Dublin 8. Photograph: Alan Betson
Locks Restaurant, Windsor Terrace, Dublin 8. Photograph: Alan Betson

An open fire, cosy corners and 12 big round tables mean that this is the perfect place to settle into for a long lunch or convivial dinner in the evening. The cooking here under Andy Roche is top-notch, and winter dishes are starting to come onto the menu, including stuffed pheasant with charred calçots (onions) and potted leg, and salt-baked celeriac with smoked Durrus espuma.

MULBERRY GARDEN
Mulberry Lane, Donnybrook, Dublin 4; mulberrygarden.ie

A cosy bar area, and a heated garden with an open fire, both contribute to the sense of escaping in this quiet little corner of Donnybrook. The three-course menu is based around seasonal produce, so more wintry dishes such as Wicklow venison served with chanterelles, onion squash and cavolo nero are starting to come onto the menu.

NIGHTMARKET
120 Ranelagh, Dublin 6, D06 VF76; nightmarket.ie

A high banquette corner seat at the back of the bar is a prime spot here, as is the cosy corner upstairs by a wood-burning stove. Come with a group of friends, so that you can work your way through chef and co-owner Jutarat Suwankeeree’s dishes, which have their origins in the nightmarkets in Chiang Mai and Hua Hin where she grew up.

Nightmarket restaurant in Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Nightmarket restaurant in Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

PADDY COYNES PUB
Tullycross, Renvyle, Co Galway; paddycoynespub.com

This 200-year-old pub in the little village of Tullycross on the stunning Renvyle Peninsula in Connemara, which in the past has attracted the likes of Fred Astaire, John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, is just the sort of place you want to head to for a decent pint and some very good food. Set yourself up beside the fire and check out the specials board for locally caught fish.

RASSAM
18-19 Glasthule Rd, Glasthule, Co Dublin, A96 H2N1; rasam.ie

The scent of fresh rose petals is the first thing you notice as you head up the stairs to this atmospheric restaurant with private alcoves, Balinese teak chairs, spacious tables and screens. Winter dishes include Dayal’s lamb – a slow-cooked-on-the-bone leg of lamb, flavoured with Rassam’s unique spice blend.

RÚIBÍN
1/2 Dock Roads, Galway; 091-399200; ruibin.ie

Opened in 2019, this restaurant run by chef Alice Jary and Richard Kennan is in the beautiful premises that was formerly home to Sheridan’s on the Docks. Organic and locally sourced produce is at the heart of what they do here. There are two dining options: in the bar it’s sharing plates; and in the restaurant there’s a more serious a la carte option with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.

SHA-ROE BISTRO
Main Street, Huntington, Clonegal, Co. Carlow, Y21 KH61; sha-roe.ie

Sunday lunch is a treat in this cosy restaurant in the historic village of Clonegal. With a stove in the dining room and an open fire in the lounge, it’s the perfect place to tuck into a starter of hunter’s pie with venison and smoked pork sausage, followed by coq au vin. There are plenty of winter warmers on the dinner menu too, including braised beef cheek Bourguignon.

THE WINDING STAIR
40 Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin 1, D01 R9Y5; winding-stair.com

The Winding Stair Bookshop and Cafe, just over the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
The Winding Stair Bookshop and Cafe, just over the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

There is nothing cosier than curling up in a room surrounded by books. Overlooking the River Liffey, this relaxed room with bentwood chairs, wooden tables and knobbly floors is home to some great Irish food, with dishes such as poached hand-smoked haddock from Sally Barnes with Coolattin (Irish cheddar) mash and grilled white onions; or roasted bone marrow, braised oxtail, with Gaelic escargots and garlic butter.

THE FISHERMAN’S PUB & RANJI ROOM
Ballynahinch Castle, Recess, Connemara, Co. Galway; ballynahinch-castle.com

Dark wooden tables and chairs, a blazing fire and hand-knotted rugs on a floor of well-aged red tiles all contribute to the incredibly cosy atmosphere in this pub in Ballynahinch Castle, where the panelled walls are lined with pictures of fishing expeditions. Wild Atlantic salmon, Killary prawns, and fish landed at Rossaveal feature alongside Guinness and steak pie, pork from their own farm, venison and woodcock. Advance booking required for non-residents.

THE BALLYMORE INN
Main Street, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare; ballymoreinn.com

Right in the middle of Kildare’s lush equestrian countryside, the fires are on each day in both the restaurant and back bar of this hugely popular restaurant, which has been owned and managed by Barry and Georgina O’Sullivan for the past 26 years. Fish is from Duncannon, dry-aged steak is from west Cork and much of the produce is from their garden.

THE FUMBALLY
Fumbally Lane, The Liberties, Dublin 8, D08 HFF2; thefumbally.ie

Time Out magazine recently named Dublin 8 as the 15th-coolest neighbourhood in the world to live in, saying that the “perfect day” starts with a visit to the Fumbally cafe. Evenings here are super cosy, and there’s a laid-back atmosphere, with tables nestled into the corners between plants and art canvases. Dinner is Saturday only, menus change each week and there’s a huge focus on wine.

THE OLD SPOT
14 Bath Ave, Dublin 4, D04 Y726; theoldspot.ie

A perfect neighbourhood spot, the cosy bar area in this gastropub has a mix of low seating and high tables, leading to the dining section, where there is plenty of corner couch seating for an intimate meal or family gathering. Winter dishes include ox cheek and red wine pie with seasonal vegetables, and pan-fried hake with white bean and morteau sausage cassoulet, and saffron aioli.

THE FARMGATE CAFE
English Market, Princes Street, Cork, E21; farmgatecork.ie

A cafe that is located above Ireland’s oldest indoor food market, featuring dishes made from the produce of the market stalls below, is always going to be of interest. This is such a beautiful place to go for lunch, with hearty soups, chowders, lamb’s stew and roast free-range chicken all featuring on the menu.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.