Words: Emily Mullen
From pizzas, pints to Michelin Plates we got you covered (literally)
The reality of dining outdoors in Ireland is just sinking in over the last couple of days. The June 5th reopening happened in dry, bright, sunny weather, with businesses around the country dusting off tables and chairs, setting them on paths, streets and reclaimed car-parking spaces. Days tripped into weeks of sunny Summer weather, it went on for so long it seemed like it was going to last forever. We were so wrapped up in the enthusiasm of seeing our favourite businesses reopening and eating on plates again that we never really thought what would happen when the inevitable fell from the sky: rain. Now the weather has turned, the reality of outdoor dining has hit. Photos from the rain-soaked city streets awash, of damp canopies, seats filled with puddles and brave customers sitting out under umbrellas. It’s terrible to see businesses that have waited so long to reopen, with employees standing in doorways glancing at the sky. Thankfully (if all goes to plan and the Government’s decision on Friday, July 2nd goes to plan) indoor drinking and dining will resume on July 5th, but until then here are 16 covered outdoor dining spots to eat in Dublin when it’s raining:
This pub out in Rathmines is in a sheltered spot, but the team have also erected big umbrellas and are providing hot water bottles too if it gets a bit nippy. They’ve got a pretty solid sandwich menu for customers to scoff on as they enjoy hiding from the rain. You can find Rody Bolands on 12-14 Rathmines Road Upper, and they only accept walk-ins, visit their website for updates.
Juniors out in Beggars Bush have a pretty compact terrace that’s recently opened out the front. The Italian-American style restaurant have an enclosed area that is completely covered and great for peaking out and watching the antics on Haddington Road junction. You can find Juniors in Dublin 4’s 2 Bath Avenue, visit their website for bookings.
Rascals have a pretty healthy-sized outdoor area, but part of it is covered over with massive covers and canopies. Stillgarden Distillery situated beside Rascals also have a big marquee set up for those looking for cocktails. You can find Rascals in Inchicore off the Tyrconnell Road, visit their website for booking information.
To be fair, Mr Fox’s food is good enough to sit out in the lashings of rain for, but the team have made the most of their outdoor dining space and have collected some larger and smaller tables for customers. Most tables are covered over by a variety of different means, and they are nicely spaced out from one another. You can find Mr Fox’s in the Ratunda’s 38 Parnell Square West, visit their website for more information about booking.
Balfes have no need for umbrellas, makeshift marquees or canopies since they already have an outdoor area thanks to The Westbury Hotel. The French-style bistro has plenty of seats outside which has a very luxe and permanent look to it. You can find Balfes on 2 Balfe Street, Dublin 2, visit their website for booking information.
The Woollen Mills have a pretty sizable spot on the quays and have turned it all into a spacious for outdoor dining. The area is covered by see-through plastic and is covered on all side to prevent that Liffey breeze from getting in. There’s also the terrace upstairs if the sun is shining which has a collaborative food effort from The Winding Stairs and The Woollen Mills. You can find The Woollen Mills on 42 Ormond Quay Lower, visit their website for booking information.
Glas know the drill and have erected an entire row of marquees, in the front of their Chatham Street restaurant. As the rain plops down you can enjoy their top-end vegetarian and vegan from under a covering. You can find Glas on Dublin 2’s Chatham Street visit their website for bookings.
L’Gueuleton has always had stunning Parisian-style canopies, over it’s red brick front, but now they are really coming into their own. They’ve got seats and barrels for customers to sit or stand at, and twinkly lights overhead to gaze at. L’Gueuleton is a nice spot for a date and great vantage point to watch everyone run around Fade Street in the rain. You can find L’Gueuleton on Fade Street, visit their website for bookings.
The Bull and Castle have a pretty sweet outdoor dining set up, with twinkling lights strung over the tree to the side and a big canopy. It’s also corralled off so customers can have their dinners in relative peace in the heated and covered terrace area. Find The Bull and Castle which is run by FX Buckley near Christ Church on 5-7 Lord Edward Street, visit the Bull and Castle website for bookings.
Michael’s have claimed their prime real estate out in Mount Merrion for their outdoor dining area. The space is a healthy size, with heaters and blankets for guests. You can find Michael’s on 57 Deerpark Road, Mount Merrion, visit their website for booking information.
The 2021 Michelin Plate Awarded restaurant have a great outdoor space, which is covered and heated. There’s also some unreal Subset artwork on one end of the garden to look at while you are out there. You can find Circa on 90 Terenure Road North, visit their website for booking information.
It’s hard to argue with Luckys set up, their back is fully covered with up and their front is lined with tables for walk-ins. The one-stop bar-come-pizza-spot have had their backer garden covered over for a while now, it’s the perfect place to meet a couple of friends and not get rained on. You can find Luckys in Dublin 8’s 78 Meath Street, visit their website for bookings.
One of the town’s best-kept secrets has to be the Italian wine bar and restaurant, Cafe Amore. This narrow little spot on the bottom of George’s Street has a massive outdoor area, which is completely covered. Since they aren’t that well known, it is a good shout for last-minute bookings. Call them on 0870667060 or visit their Instagram for information on bookings.
The make-up of the Market Bar is perfectly designed for indoor dining, covered overhead with huge big arches in the front. The Fade Street spot is certainly open-air but its high ceilings stop the rain from pouring in. You can find Market Bar on 14A Fade Street, visit their website for bookings.
In typical 777 style, they have made something as regular as outdoor coverings into a form of expression. The George’s Street spot has launched Afuera, which is their outdoor area covered over by see-through covering, with jazzy lights fitted underneath. You can find 777 on 16 South Great George’s Street, visit their website for bookings.
Let’s face it Café en Seine was built for outdoor dining. The cocktail bar come restaurant is set in a literal atrium, which is like being outside without the rain. The place is spacious, with super high ceilings and a good bit of distance between the seats. You can find Café en Seine on 40 Dawson Street, visit their website for booking information.
Elsewhere on District: Government criticised over lack of clarity for July 5th indoor reopening