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Great restaurants to try along the north side of Dublin bay

Clontarf and Howth offer plenty of classic seaside dining along with some more adventurous options too

The coastline of Dublin city’s northside offers lots of dining options for residents and day trippers alike. The best places tend to be clustered around Howth and Clontarf where many do a fine line in that seaside classic: fish & chips. Plus we’ve thrown in a couple of ice-cream spots for dessert.

King Sitric

Address: 6 East Pier, Howth D13 F5C6

The King Sitric restaurant used to be a decidedly posh affair, all white linen-clad tables and sole on the bone. Now the upstairs is closed, and the more casual seafood bar downstairs, with its wooden tables and comfy chairs, has inherited the lauded name. There’s a bit of a nautical theme with anchors and lighthouses, but it’s not overdone.

A seafood restaurant that sticks solidly to locally landed fish is rarer than you’d think. There is no farmed sea bass, sea bream or salmon on the menu, no dubious smoked salmon bulking out an Irish abomination of fruits de mer. While a crisp linen tablecloth can be quite the thing for a special occasion, for a more regular dining experience, prioritising the fish over the furnishings is a smart idea. Corinna Hardgrave


Harbour House, Harbour Road, Howth

If you’re expecting chintz and granny-style nostalgia, Mamó is a classier dame than that. The restaurant is the work of the husband-and-wife team of Jess D’Arcy and the chef Killian Durkin. Inside is the smell of buttery fish and the hum of happy conversation. It is a breath of fresh sea air, a delicious alliance of place and people. Mamó is an indulgence, not cheap, but worth every cent.


D’Arcy and Durkin also added a neighbourhood food and wine shop to their business in October 2020. It offers a range of restaurant-quality ready meals, sandwiches and coffee, and the morning bakes, brownies and sausage rolls, have attracted plenty of fans. Cheese is from Sheridans and Lilliput Stores, and you’ll find local Howth honey, fermented products from Four Hands Food Studio, and a selection of sustainably produced wines. Catherine Cleary and CH

The House

4 Main Street, Howth

The House is just that, a restaurant in a house. It’s one of those great old Irish village houses where you step out of the front door and on to the footpath. It’s reputed to have been the home (or lodgings) of Captain Bligh, he of mutiny on the Bounty fame, who designed the North Bull Wall at the end of his seafaring career. The food is fresh and honest; It’s all more than worth the trip and will help you relax into a Howth state of mind. CC


1 West Pier, Howth, Dublin 13
01-832 0690,

Dublin’s best diningroom view, good fish and great veg. The true star here is the room, which gives you so much sea view you feel like you’re on a cruise ship that’s just docked at the pier. The floor is like a ship’s deck with glossy pale timbers and silver and purple velvet curtains (which match the chair upholstery) hanging from a velvet covered pelmet. The Scandi-style lights just add to the look and beyond all that are acres of glass and sea. CC


5 E Pier, Howth D13 HC58
085 130 5960,

For a classic 99 you can’t go wrong with Ann’s in Howth. The small shop is part newsagent, part gift shop, with a small window at the side where you can skip the queues and get straight to the ice-cream. Located beside the East pier, the shop is in the perfect location to buy your ice cream and then take a stroll along by the sea. While the flavour choices might be a bit limited, it tastes very, very good. Roisin Guyett-Nicholson

Amore Gelato

Unit 3, Howth Market, 3 Harbour Rd
01 839 4141,

If you are looking for some adventurous flavours, then take a stroll back up the village to Howth Market, where you’ll find Amore Gelato. Located in the permanent food market, flavours include limoncello, Jaffa Cake and Smarties. Crepes and churros – fried-dough pastry served with chocolate – are also available. RGN

Love Falafel

St Anne’s Park Market, Clontarf, Saturdays, 10am to 4pm
086 332 6015,

Laid and Denisa Kaloune, who have been living in Ireland for the past 17 years, launched their Love Falafel food truck in 2014. Laid is from Algeria, and is a keen cook of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, and Denisa, who is from the Czech Republic, works on the business end of things. They trade mostly at food markets but also offer a catering service, with falafels, lamb and chicken koftas, home-made hummus, samosas and aubergine dip being their speciality dishes. The food is delicious and there are plenty of good vegetarian and vegan options. CH


318 Clontarf Rd, Clontarf, Dublin 3 D03 HD91
01 833 6759,

One proudly Pakistani kitchen that has stood out in the Irish restaurant scene for years is Kinara Kitchen – and it is one of the best Pakistani restaurants in Dublin. Their dish of Nihari Gosht is highly spiced coriander and ginger beef, a meat that is forbidden for Hindus, but also precious to the Irish. Chefs remark that Pakistani food is better suited to Irish tastes. For one, it is more meat-oriented, such as Peshawari Namkeen Gosht, a lamb rubbed in garlic and roasted whole. Mei Chin

The Yacht

Clontarf, Dublin 3
01 833 6364,

A reader’s favourite: “Myself and some friends (a group of six) met for a brunch in the Yacht’s Upper Deck last weekend to celebrate two of my friends’ birthdays,” says Kat Piszczek. “The roof terrace we sat on was amazing: overlooking the sea, lined with artificial grass and sheltered from the wind. Service was great, food amazing as always, couldn’t have wished for a better day out.”

Happy Out

Bull Wall, Bull Island
086 130 3925,

Happy Out is over the wooden bridge on Bull Island surrounded by a deck with picnic tables and a panorama of Dublin Bay. This shipping container has more outside space than in so it’s a great spot on a sunny day. Go for any of their toasties on Tartine sourdough bread. You can’t go wrong with an Iced coffee either.