Two places in Dublin you have to go.

There is a lot to see in Dublin, despite it being a relatively small city. Everything is pretty much walking distance from everything, which sometimes makes the city maps really confusing.

I digress.

If you find yourself in Dublin, there are typical touristy places like Dublin Castle and the Book of Kells. You should probably go there, but if you know anything about me then you know that I’m not a traveller who typically likes to visit tourist traps. What I enjoy when traveling is really good food and drink, and I have two recommendations that you must not miss.

The Winding Stair.

This is me being really excited that I'm finally eating at The Winding Stair. Do yourself a favor and get the bread pudding with whiskey sauce for dessert.
This is me being really excited that I’m finally eating at The Winding Stair. Do yourself a favor and get the bread pudding with whiskey sauce for dessert.

Nicely nestled on the River Liffey, The Winding Stair was recommended to me on two separate occasions as a place I had to go, and it did not disappoint. The restaurant is literally up a winding staircase from a street level book shop of the same name. You can order a two or three course theatre menu for a really reasonable price, or go a la carte. The food is seasonal, fresh, and authentically Irish (in an awesome way, not a bland potato kind of way… who came up with that rumor anyway?!?).

I went for an early dinner with two of my classmates, and had a blast. Great food, generous portions, wonderful service. Come to think of it, I haven’t had shoddy service the whole time I’ve been here.

The Fumbally.

The Fumbally reminds me of a chic Wicker Park slow food place... but more friendly
The Fumbally reminds me of a chic Wicker Park slow food place… but more friendly

Dubliners drink a lot of tea, but they’ve also developed a really serious coffee habit. The result of this is LOTS of coffee shops, including a plethora of Starbucks and even more Insomnia and Costa Coffee chains. Just like home, there are plenty of independent shops too, and The Fumbally is, by far, my favorite. It’s a little off the beaten path, and that’s part of why I like it. I’m pretty sure that actual Irish people go there to eat. When you pull up The Fumbally on Google Maps, it says, “The Fumbally, an unpretentious coffee shop.” When I walked in and saw the place, I thought Google was a lier.

“Oh no, Google” I said to myself. “This place is way too hip to be unpretentious.”

Coffee art is abundant in Dublin.
Coffee art is abundant in Dublin.

Nope. The people who work and eat at The Fumbally are really nice. The food is REALLY good. The coffee is really excellent. I liked it so much I went twice in two days, and I’m going to try and go twice more before I depart Dublin on Friday. Because, pulled porchetta

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Lauren

Lauren Warnecke is a freelance writer and editor, focused on dance and cultural criticism in Chicago and across the Midwest. Lauren is the dance critic for the Chicago Tribune, editor of See Chicago Dance, and founder/editor of Art Intercepts, with bylines in Chicago Magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, St. Louis Magazine and Dance Media publications, among others. Holding degrees in dance and kinesiology, Lauren is an instructor of dance and exercise science at Loyola University Chicago.