When I say Ireland, what comes to mind? Green fields, pots of gold, and may a good pint of rich ruby red Guinness? If you’re Anthony Bourdain, that Guinness is the first thing that comes to mind, and all the rest is just meals and sights and great conversations that fall in between pints.
Anthony Bourdain visited Dublin twice: first in the premier of season 3 in No Reservations (part of a larger “Ireland” episode), and again in episode 6 of season 2 of The Layover. These were the only times he visited Dublin on screen, but he certainly packs a lot in – during these two visits, he visits, dines, and drinks at more places than most destinations.
If you’re planning a trip to Dublin and want to follow in the footsteps and forkfuls of Tony Bourdain, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find a list of all the spots visited by Anthony Bourdain in Dublin, plus what he ate and drank at each – though I’ll bet you can guess his preferred drink in the vast majority of cases. Ready to dive in? Sláinte!
Where Anthony Bourdain Ate in Dublin
Anthony Bourdain ate in a number of great places in Dublin, but it’s helpful to see them all in one place, as on the map above. As you can see, some of these places are outside the city center – but there are plenty within walking distance if you don’t have a location scout or network television budget to spend getting from place to place.
As you can see, planning your own trip several of the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Dublin is easily walkable, and I plan to share one of my walking tour guides for Dublin soon. But first, let’s get into the full list of where Anthony Bourdain ate in Dublin so you can figure out which ones you want to visit too.
No Reservations (2006)
Anthony Bourdain’s first trip to Dublin occurred while filming season 3 of No Reservations; it was part of a bigger trip to sample several areas on the island of Ireland. At the time, he observed the economic prosperity in the city – though that was before the global recession set Dublin back a few steps. In any case, here are the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Dublin during his first trip.
Madina Asian Food Company (CLOSED)
Noticing the increase in immigrant groups in Dublin, Tony’s first stop is surprisingly un-Irish – and is also now closed. At Madina Asian Food Company, he has Tandoori chicken, vegetable samosas and pakora, and several vegetable curries.
King Sitric (Howth)
While Howth is technically outside of Dublin, I wanted to include it within this post since many people do day trips to the coastal town of Howth when visiting Dublin. In any case, Bourdain meets up with a friend there, Paddy, and they tuck into a huge fresh seafood meal at King Sitric.
Their multi-course feast includes boiled periwinkles; shallots, white wine, cream steamed clams and mussels; broiled razor clams; steamed Dublin Bay prawns; fresh oysters, and Irish lobster. You can still find all kinds of fresh seafood like this on the menu today.
The Layover (2012)
Tony’s second trip was for filming The Layover; as usual, it was a whirlwind trip of many meals… I honestly don’t know how Tony eats and drinks that much during a short time, and don’t recommend rushing your own time in Dublin to squeeze all this in – just plan a return trip if you can’t fit it all in (figuratively and literally!).
John Kavanagh The Gravediggers
Tony kicks off his second time in Dublin at one of the city’s most famous pubs – or at least it’s become famous since he visited. At John Kavanagh The Gravediggers, he enjoys a pint of Guinness, plus dishes of coddle (bacon, potato, and sausage stew), and pig’s feet simmered in cider. This shows off some of the hearty, protein-rich dishes that are traditional in Irish cuisine.
Speaking of traditional Irish cuisine, you might think that a “full breakfast” is an English thing – but Ireland does it too, and does it their own way. At Slattery’s Bar, Tony tucks into a “full Irish” which includes bacon rashers, sausage, white and black puddings, fried eggs, tomatoes, hash browns, and toast… along with a pint of Guinness, of course!
On my trip to Dublin in 2022, my husband and I ate at Slattery’s and I wrote a review about how it is to dine there now. Read my full review of Slattery’s.
I’m not sure how he does it, but Tony takes in another Irish breakfast, this time in sandwich form, at O’Donovan Cafe. The sandwich includes sausage, white pudding, fried egg, rashers, and hashbrowns in a long roll. This is a good one if you need a quick, hearty breakfast to go before heading out to see some of Dublin’s other sights.
Celtic Whiskey Shop
Need something to wash down all those Irish breakfasts in their many forms? Follow Tony’s lead to Celtic Whiskey Shop for a whiskey tasting; you can try a few different Irish whiskeys to see if any strike your fancy. (Personally, I don’t love Irish whiskey, but those who enjoy it are generally big fans as Bourdain was!)
Ireland is known for many great foods: good beef, lamb, and other proteins, fantastic whiskey, and delicious dairy. If you want to sample the latter, head to one of several Sheridans Cheesemongers locations in Dublin, to try local Irish cheese. Some that Tony tries during his visit include Durras, Gubbeen, and Ardrahan; he already knows that Gubbeen cheese is great as he visited their family farm during his other Ireland trip.
Unfortunately, chef Joe Macken’s Bear restaurant has been closed since 2018 (along with two other restaurants Tony recommended as alternatives – Crackbird (fried chicken) and Skinflint (artisan pizza)).
This is disappointing as it was one of the places that Bourdain really enjoyed during his 2012 visit; the restaurant was known for its creative use of alternative cuts like rump and shank. If you see these kinds of interesting steaks on another menu, you might give them a try in Tony’s memory.
The Palace Bar
If you need to drown your woes about the restaurants that are no longer open to enjoy, head to The Palace Bar. Here, Bourdain tucks into a pint of the good stuff followed by a whiskey. In particular, he tries the Palace Bar 9-year-old Single Cask, Single Malt whiskey. You might try the same during your visit!
Luckily, the other place Tony really enjoys in Dublin is still open: The Chophouse. This gastro pub served, as Bourdain said, the “best meal I’ve ever had in Dublin,” which is high praise and makes it worth the extra travel time it takes to reach this area outside central Dublin.
During his meal, Bourdain enjoys a multi-course meal that hits all the right notes: a charcuterie board of cured red deer and Irish mortadella with a clementine mustard, lamb belly sweetbreads and fresh asparagus, pan-seared prawns with lemon, chili, garlic, and smoked paprika butter, and a Porterhouse steak (which he shares with chef Kevin Arundel and his wife Jillian).
The Long Hall Pub
After a huge meal, Tony keeps it light at The Long Hall Pub, which is still open today and as busy as ever. There, Tony meets up with Joe Macken (from Bear) for another pint of Guinness and dram of Irish whiskey. You can absolutely enjoy the same during your visit, though I recommend arriving early or on weeknights (rather than weekends) if you want to have a place to sit.
Need another option for having a pint of Guinness? Head to Hogans – as Bourdain says, “everyone meets at Hogan’s.” This small Victorian-era and styled wood-paneled pub is popular with locals and visitors alike.
Roma II (CLOSED)
After all that booze, is it any surprise that Bourdain needs some food to restore himself? He heads to a dodgy late-night bites spot, Roma II, which is unfortunately now closed – you can still find equally dodgy spots in Temple Bar and along O’Connell Street if you’re in that area.
I don’t know that any other restaurants make some of these dishes, but here’s what Tony had along with the random Dubliners he befriended during the night: Taco Chip, Spice Burger, Whirly Burger, and smoked cod and chips (you can definitely find this all over!).
Matt The Thresher
Personally, I can’t imagine eating raw oysters on a hangover stomach, but that’s what makes Bourdain the professional and not me. After his late night out, he visits Matt The Thresher for oysters and (yet another) Guinness.
Lolly and Cook’s
If you – like me – need something more traditional for breakfast on a wobbly stomach (or just on any day), Lolly and Cook’s has a number of locations across Dublin, and it’s one of the places that Tony recommends for a more traditional Dublin morning meal of a sausage roll.
Alternative Spots Tony Mentioned in Dublin
As in all episodes of The Layover, Tony always recommends a number of alternatives to the places he visits. Here’s a shortlist of those ones that are still open today:
- The Cobblestone for live music and pints
- The Cake Cafe for an lighter breakfast option of “eggs and soldiers” (soft-boiled egg and toast)
- Chapter One for fancy food like crab, cucumber jelly, Irish seaweed, salted watermelon, and deep-fried sea spaghetti.
- The Winding Stair for a menu featuring “organic ingredients and an extensive wine list,” as Bourdain puts it.
- Mulligan’s for another pub option
You could always try adding these to your already extensive list of places to eat that were also visited Anthony Bourdain in Dublin!
Where Anthony Bourdain Stayed in Dublin
Lastly, The Layover episodes always have a special section on where to stay in Dublin, which I like to include for your reference in case you to follow his footsteps that way too!
- Four Seasons Dublin – Now the InterContinental Dublin, this is the ritzy spot that Bourdain was famous for staying at. Rooms start from $331 per night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
- The Davenport Hotel – Another nice spot at a better price point, this is a great budget option surprisingly close to the city center. Rooms start from $185 per night; book at Booking.com or Hotels.com.
- The Kinlay House (Hostel) – Looking for a nice hostel option? Here’s the spot Tony recommends – though it’s really not much less than just getting your own hotel room! Rooms start from $137 per night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
Dublin Food Tours to Try
As usual, I also like to include a few food tours that I think meet the admittedly high standard Bourdain might have for such activities. The reality is that we can’t all eat at a few dozen places on every trip, and food tours are a great way to sample the flavors of a place in a short time – and on a budget. Here are the Dublin food tours I think meet the standard:
Have any other questions about the many places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Dublin or how to visit them? Let me know in the comments below!