Where to eat in Dublin

Last weekend I went to Ireland with my friends and I was extremely excited to have Guinness beer and Jameson whiskey in their home country. I was sure the drinks were going to be the highlight of the trip, but little did I know delicious the food was!!
Tasting different dishes turned out to be the favourited activity and one of the most delicious foodie trips I’ve ever had!

Every dish kept getting better – all with rich flavours and high-quality ingredients. And it wasn’t just authentic dishes that the Irish perfected, even international foods like burgers and toasts were also top notch.

Here are all the delicious places I tasted this weekend:

1. SoMa – Brunch and Burgers
This cute restaurant is full of delicious dishes perfect for brunch. Complete with burgers, avocado toast, club sandwiches, juices, milkshakes and fresh coffee. 
One of their locations is right in front of the Spire monument, at the centre of the city, a great place to watch the street life.

I had the delicious avocado toast with poached egg and grilled potatoes.

2. Leo Burdocks Fish & Chips

This Irish restaurant chain has been serving fresh fish and chips since 1913. It has become a favourite by locals and highly recommended to anyone who’s craving a classic fish and chips.

The reason for their popularity is that fresh fish are cooked on coal-fired pans that give that special taste. The fries are perfectly done and the cod is also equally perfect cooked inside and crispy on the outside.

3. Bunsen – Straight Up Burgers

In all seriousness, this is the BEST BURGER I’VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. And trust me I’ve had a loot of burgers in search for the best burger and no ground beef has ever come close to this flavourful and crispy burger. 

Their success is expected from a joint that has dedicated to only specialising in burgers and fries. Visitors get to choose exactly what they want in their burger from a business card-sized menu and three different types of crunchy fries (including sweet potato fries!!).

If you have to pick between one of these restaurants to visit, this is definitely the one. 

4. O’Neills

This historical bar/restaurant/lounge/pub is over 300-years-old and is the perfect place to spend a typical Irish afternoon where you can have a delicious homemade dinner and have drinks all in one huge place!

Every nook and cranny (Irish slang for part of a place) is beautifully decorated creating a cosy atmosphere local beers and whiskey. When hunger strikes, head over to the restaurant where all the traditional food is cooked there. If you are in the mood for something lighter after all the beers, there is also a fresh salad bar right next to the restaurant. 

5. Third Space

This authentic Irish breakfast chain cafe is located in several locations of the city where you can taste the traditional all Irish breakfast in two different sizes – the large (hungover and hangry) and normal size.
The interior of this place makes you feel at home with big windows to let the sunshine in and books and tables everywhere.

The brewed coffee was also delicious and if you don’t have time to stay, you can also take it to go!

6. The Seafood Cafe by Niall Sabongi

This fresh seafood restaurant has won the 2018 and 2019 Irish restaurant award for its rich and fresh dishes and quality of ingredients.

The place is quite small, which could make it hard to find a spot (so make sure to book your spot as soon as you read this), but it also creates a cosy atmosphere and it gives you the perfect angles to watch the magic in the open kitchen happen.

I had the local oysters as appetizer then the fish taco and the clam chowder as main dishes. All incredibly delicious!

Overall, this foodie trip to Dublin was one of the best and most successful food trips I’ve ever had. Not a single bad or meh dish. Even the sandwiches I bought at the Guinness museum and at the airport were delicious!

Note: Although every dish was delightful, the prices were not as much. Judging from the cheap flight and hotel prices, I assumed the food prices wouldn’t be too far off. Although, everything was completely worth it for the quality and quantity of every food.

How To Travel Like an European

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.

By Martin Buber

Just like every continent, Europe has its own way of doing things and to help you make the most of your trip, here are 8 travel tips to help you get around Europe as the locals do and make the best of your trip!

PUBLIC TRANSPORT IS THE WAY TO GET AROUND

In some countries taking public transportation might not be the most efficient way to get around, but in Europe, it is definitely the way to go.

Lisbon tram
  • In big cities like London, Amsterdam and Berlin there are multiple ways of getting around, such as train, tram, metro, bus and boat. That reaches a greater part of the city with easy access. Smaller cities might only have a bus system but they are usually reliable and punctual as well.
  • At night in Sweden’s capital, when the trains stop running, the city makes sure everyone can still get home by providing night busses. They run right from the central station and it goes to every destination the still-running metros don’t go.
  • Europe also has lots of historically fun transportations like the Portuguese trams, Dutch boats and the Swedish ferries. The Portuguese tram is particularly beautiful because it goes to Bairro Alto, a neighbourhood on top of the city full of delicious restaurants and a great view.
  • Some public transportations provide Wi-Fi and USB plugs for you to charge your phone. Which is a life saver when you need to get somewhere and your phone is dying.
  • In the Netherlands the most common form of transportation are bicycles. You get to leave whenever you want without having to when your train comes next, exercise and save money all at the same time! European streets are much more narrow and one way, making them much more suitable for bikes than cars. When in Amsterdam, make sure to rent a bike for at least a day. YourCityBike is a great company to rent strong and easy city bikes.

Eating Out

Seafood plate from Santorini

If you are a foodie that loves authentic and traditional dishes, make sure to go to local restaurants. They might not create a big impression from it’s size and location. But trust me, the oldest and family-owned it looks, the better the food will be. Especially at the beach, it’s very common for the chef to catch their own seafood and prepare it themsevles. These chefs always know everything there is about their sea life. Not only is the food amazing but it also has other benefits:

  • Get to try local wines, liquors, teas and coffee brews from regional brands. Homemade wine in Italy is a million times better and stronger!
  • In Mediterranean countries, restaurants have “out of the menu” dishes for the locals that are familiar with the region’s food. The trick is to know the local sea life so when you are ordering, ask the waiter what’s freshly caught.
  • For those who like to meet new people, local places are the best places to hear stories. There might be some language barrier but there is always a foreigner that quit their jobs, moved abroad and has an incredible story to tell.
  • For a foodie trip to the Netherlands, I suggest joining the “small meals” Dutch culture instead of dining at a restaurant. In every city of the Netherlands you can find food stands that sell everything Dutch, like thick fries, bitterballen (fried little balls), raw haring, stroopwafles (baked caramel waffles) and fried seafood. All the dishes are cheap, fast and very easy to find. There is also the FEBO wall vending machine that sell frikandels (minced meat hot dog) and other fast food dishes.

Stay at a bed and breakfast or at a rented house

Amsterdam canal house

Staying at an airbnb will give you the opportunity to stay at a local’s house and get to see first-hand the country’s interior architecture.

  • For example, in warmer countries like Greece and Italy, houses don’t have carpeted floors and double glass windows like Scandinavian houses do. Staying at a local place will give you the chance to see these small details you wouldn’t be able to see at a hotel.
  • Netherlands is a country that I mainly recommend staying at a rented city apartment, because of the beautiful Dutch colonial architecture. Specifically for their large iroko wood-framed windows. Another perk is that the apartment will most likely be in front of or close to a canal. Imagine waking up every morning to beautiful sunlight and a canal view.
  • The best time to rent a house in Europe is off Catholic holiday season. During these holidays, it’s not as common for people to travel, instead they host large dinners and parties for their entire families.

Take a bus or car when traveling within Europe

Traffic light in Vienna

European countries are much smaller compared to other countries like the United States, Canada and China. Where travelling outside of the state can take over seven hours. Au contraire, in Europe, you can get to a whole other country in the same amount of time, even more than one in some cases.

  • This specifically applies to those that are planning on seeing as many countries as possible. It gives you the opportunity to pass by and explore smaller towns that you would have never gone to otherwise.
  • If you are on a budget, buses are going to be your home. They are much cheaper compared to trains, planes and boats. Flixbus is a good company to use and GoEuro suggest and compares the best way to get to your destination.
  • Busses might take the longest amount of time but most companies offer night buses that leave late at night and arrive early in the morning at your destination, giving you plenty of energy to go explore upon arrival.
  • If you are travelling with the family, it would be better to travel by car with Europcar. It still gives you the opportunity to pass by beautiful small cities, stopping whenever you want with the comfort of your own vehicle.
  • European cars are also pretty different. Due to their street sizes, the cars are much smaller. And in countries like the United kingdom, Ireland and Malta (first colonised by the U.K.) and Cyprus all driver on the opposite right side.

Adapt yourself to the local time & schedules

Veguetta, Las Palmas

Since each country in Europe has it’s own culture, they also have their own schedules.

Observe and learn what time the locals go out for dinner, have drinks and go clubbing.

  • In northern countries like Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom they tend to eat earlier. Lunch is around 11:30 AM to 12 PM and dinner around 6:00 PM. Southern countries like Italy, Greece and Croatia eat much later around 8.00PM to 9.00PM. Central countries such as the Netherlands and Switzerland also eat around 6 PM, but not all central countries do. For instance, France has adapted a much later dinner etiquette.
  • Eating times can give an idea of when the happiest of hours happen and what times do clubs open. In most countries, the main rule is; the earlier dinner time is, the earlier closing times are.
  • In most European cities, clubs start charging for entrance after a certain time, around 10.30PM or 11 PM. In others like London, you need a promoter to get into the clubs. I know it sounds super difficult to go out in London, but in reality, promoters come to you at the entrance of clubs. They become your guide and make sure you’ll have the best time.

  • Each country also has its own deals and offers of the day. In the Canary Islands, on Thursdays, you can get a tapa and a drink for just €1 in the streets of Veguetta, Las Palmas.
Left to right: Sangria from San Miguel market, drinks in Las Palmas & a drink from Sexy Fish in London

Go to markets

Europeans love markets, of every kind. Full of all the foods and goods you’ve been dreaming

of before your trip.

  • Stockholm can get pretty cold during winter up to -13 degrees, so the city mainly has indoor markets like Hötorgshallen and Östermalm Saluhall. Hötorget also has an all-year-round farmers market right at the main square. Where you can get incredible mushrooms and other Swedish goods. On Sunday mornings the market becomes antique with beautiful paintings, china, decor and others.
  • The San Miguelindoor market in Madrid is in a beautiful steel building with ornate iron and glass walls. This market is much more elegant and pricy because of their delicious gourmet food and sangrias. Definitely worth going there for lunch or dinner.
  • Personally I love outdoor markets, like the El Rastro (open on Sundays), also located in Madrid. I love this place because you get to shop for vintage goods while walking around the city and admiring the architecture.

No need to tip

In Europe you are not required to tip at all- unless you want to, of course. Which is great when you are travelling on a budget.

In fact, some countries might consider the act to be rude. Italians take pride on having the best service and a compliment with a smile is much more appreciated.


Always keep coins with you

Germany

In countries like the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany, you have to pay for public bathrooms and these bathrooms include inside malls, some restaurants, clubs and bars. Which can be stressful when you’ve had a couple of drinks and reeelly need to go.

  • So when travelling, make sure to always exchange cash and keep it with you.
  • Also, the smaller the city the smaller the chances of you being able to pay with credit card, or for your card to even be available. Especially in Mediterranean countries like Croatia, Greece and Italy.
  • On a positive side, at least the bathrooms are always clean and have toilet paper.
  • If you find yourself without any cash and super hungry, I suggest going to an international chain or fine-dining restaurant because they will most likely accept cards. The bill might be expensive but at least you got a delicious meal out of it, right?

Disclosure: Of course, these tips do not apply to every single country in Europe, it is marely a generalized guide to help travellers make the best of their trip by suggesting alternatives.