Eat, Drink, Dance: A Curated Tour of Dublin’s Culinary Culture

French cuisine at L'Gueuleton
French cuisine at L'Gueuleton

The most determined Dublin Fringe Festival fans might power through the 17-day festival without a single stop for food, satisfied beyond hunger and thirst by the enormous menu of theatre, art and performance already on their plate…

But realistically, you’re going to need a bite to eat. 

Neil Watkins is a big cheese on the Dublin Fringe scene and knows a thing or two about dining out in Dublin to boot. 

This year he presents Dinner and a Show, a decadent feast of disco and food. What a combo! What better man to guide us around his favourite Dublin spots for pre-theatre dinner and post-show drinks?

The Lunch: The Fumbally Café

It may only be open a little over a year but the Fumbally has become a foodie hub thanks to its simple, but delicious spreads and chilled-out atmosphere. Its food comes from some of the city’s finest sources and is melded into something wholly unique.

Neil says: I love this space so much I got a job here. Fumbally opens occasionally for evening gigs and you can enjoy a dish of something mighty tasty for a reasonable price.

We recommend: The Fumbally’s porchetta and apple sauce ciabatta is so good it earned it a place in the Observer’s Top 50 Foodie Picks

The Dinner: L’Gueuleton

French restaurant, L’Gueuleton, is set in the heart of Dublin’s creative quarter – as good for the people-watching as for the soupe a l’oignon. And if you’re there in seson they do an amazing venison dish. Magnifique! 

Neil says: I love the atmosphere there. The food always hits the spot – if you don't want to gorge, you can't go wrong with French onion soup and fries. 

We recommend: L’Gueuleton might bring out the best in Gallic flavours, but its Rare Breed Pork Belly is Irish meat at its freshest and most flavourful.

The Post-Show Pint: Grogans

In a city of full of pubs, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. But that’s exactly what Grogan’s does. The perfect place to grab a sandwhich and a pint and escape the bustle of the city. Or, come night time, a buzzing spot with a traditional heart. Unfussy and authentic, it’s a winner. 

Neil says: Friendly clientele, a laid back atmosphere and a lovely Guinness. It’s usually a pint of blackcurrant for me, but we'll see how long that lasts…

We recommend: Officially the king of the Dublin toastie, the delicacy that’s so prevalent it’s earned its own poster dedication

The Afterparty: Damson Diner

The former home of the much-loved South William club, Damson Diner has quickly established itself for offering the city’s best spot for cocktails – dinner and dancing, all rolled into one. 

Neil says:  I ended up in the Damson Diner on South William Street. Great tunes played by Sally Foran – though I much prefer dancing outside, when the opportunity arises. Recently, nearby at the Stag’s Head a guy randomly set up a sound system and had a whole street party brewing, you get these spontanious occurences a lot in Dublin City! 

We recommend: The disco scene is throwing glitter all over town at the minute. Try Together Disco, Damson Diner’s Damn Son!, Nightflight and Mother for full-on glam.

And if none of that tickles your tummy’s fancy, Supperette is a transient food station that will be set up in the Project Arts Centre from the 7 until the 14 of September, or chow down at Dinner and a show with Neil Watkins himself from the 17 until the 20 September. 

Don’t forget your appetite because Dublin is getting tastier by the second.