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Ireland’s best restaurants: Seven top outdoor dining spots

Part of the Irish Times guide to 100 of the best places to eat in Ireland 2022

Allta Summer House

5th Floor, Trinity Street Car Park, Dublin 2,

Allta has been one of the hottest tickets around since last summer, when they left Setanta Place in Dublin 2 for a more open-air experience, pitching up on the banks of the River Boyne, in Slane, Co Meath. Winter saw a move to the roof of Trinity Street Car Park (covered by an enormous stretch tent with heaters above each table). With their full kitchen now on site, summer will see the walls come up. The €95 tasting menu is one of the best, most exciting and most delicious expressions of Irish food anywhere in the country. Lisa Cope

Camus Farm Field Kitchen

Camus Farm, Ardfield, Clonakilty, Co Cork; 023-8869199,

The availability of camping pitches for diners should give you an indication of the festival vibe you can expect at this farm restaurant, where there are plenty of benches for outdoor dining. It serves a €50, five-course menu, and Bob Cairn approaches seasonal and wild ingredients with a minimum of fuss. The menu is easily adapted to vegetarian and vegan diets, and the wine list has plenty of interesting small producers. Corinna Hardgrave

Grangecon Kitchen

Main Street, Grangecon, Co Wicklow; 087-7478863,

Everything changed for Grangecon Kitchen during the pandemic. It was originally a small two-room cafe at the village crossroads. Now one room houses a wood-fired pizza oven and the other is a walk-in deli/bakery. Enter the large garden tent, full of festival vibes, for menus of Turkish eggs with ‘nduja, hearty roast chicken sandwiches, flatbreads with Wicklow lamb, pizzas and homemade cakes. Keep an eye out for upcoming summer-evening pop-ups. Dog-friendly. Joanne Cronin

Good Day Deli

Nano Nagle Place, Douglas Street, Cork; 021-4322107,

Nestled among beautiful gardens, the glass pavilion and outdoor seating at Good Day Deli promise food that is both beautiful and sustainable. The ethos here is “mana tiaki”, which essentially means minding the world for future generations. So rejoice with Toonsbridge halloumi stacks, Kia Orana apple bruschetta with whipped Macroom ricotta or Hederman’s smoked mackerel benny and feel the goodness. JC



9-12 Haddington Terrace, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin; 01-2801810,

It’s hard to imagine a more idyllic place for summer dining than the outdoor terrace at Haddington House, with views out across Dún Laoghaire harbour. Pasta, pizza and tasty flatbreads from the wood-fired oven are exactly what you need to go with a nice glass of wine on a sunny day. CH

Pot Duggans

Pot Duggans, New Road, Ennistymon, Co Clare; 065-7071480,

By the river or in the courtyard? It makes little difference: outdoor dining here is on a level that makes you feel like you’re at a festival. Pints and Ashley Gribbens’s Middle Eastern–inspired dishes with big punchy flavours chime with the buzz of great sounds. CH

The Fish Box Dingle

Green Street, Dingle, Co Kerry; 087-602786,

It may sound simple to cook fish that has come straight off the family boat, but the key is getting the small things right and doing it at an affordable price. The queue for the fish box at this no-reservation and takeaway spot says it all. Better still, there’s a new outdoor area with a wine bar, booths, a stretch tent, heaters and enough room for 70 people to hang out and listen to cool tunes. CH

Follow a link below to read the other sections of this guide

Corinna Hardgrave’s introduction
Fourteen new places to eat great food
Thirteen top tables by the sea
Eighteen top places to eat on a special occasion
Twenty places dishing up great local produce
Eight great places for vegetarian and vegan food
Ten places with wonderful wine lists
Ten great places to eat — and stay over afterwards