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

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…

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

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 sandwich 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. 

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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 spontaneous occurrences 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. 

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