15 Best Cheap (and Cheerful) Restaurants in Dublin

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Dublin is one of the most expensive cities in Europe to eat; it is a fact. With a 3rd of Ireland’s population living in the 3rd smallest county, prices have naturally inflated. Yet, with half of the people being under 25-year-old, feasting might be much cheaper than many think.

With thousands of restaurants in the capital city only, finding affordable spots that do not skimp on quality, is like looking for a needle in a haystack. As there is no such word as can’t, we found for you the greatest of most cuisines at unbeatable prices.

Take a tenner or two, and your trip is sorted. Over in Ireland is taking you on a cosmopolitan journey that will awaken each of your senses.  

Top 15 Cheap Resturants in Dublin 

From Tehran to Mexico, you are about to take-off on a world tour of premium cheap eats of the metropolis.

Buckle up, seatbacks and tables in the upright position; your course of the ’15 Best Cheap & Cheerful Restaurants in Dublin’ is about to start. Bon appétit!

#1  The Big Blue Bus at the Bernard Show

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What is it? The “BBB” is a 1979 blue double-decker surrounded by both an artistic and colourful beer garden. The quirky and trendy décor is engaging and release an authentic laid-back vibe.

The menu offers pizza, bruschetta, mint tea and shisha at unbeatable prices. Eating inside the bus requires a bit of precaution, as seats are scarce. If you’re not hungry, just take a pint at the bar and enjoy the great tracks.

If you need to avoid gluten, Eastyard (right next to the bus) offers vegan, fish and many other food options.  

Why people love it: People love the character of the place and define it as an “essential” when visiting Dublin. The pizzas have a reputation for being some of the bests in Dublin. Plus, the Karaoke Caravan (for up to 5 people for €10 an hour) is a must.

Price: Bargain (with €10 Pizza + Pint/ Buy one get one) to Average

Address: 11-12 Richmond St South, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2

Note: Open Monday to Thursday from 5:00PM to 11:30PM, Friday from 5:00 PM to 12:30 AM, Saturday and Sunday from 2:00PM to 12:30 AM

#2  Zaytoon

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What is it? Led by their passion for sharing their homeland cuisines, the two owners (and best friends) opened their first Persian eatery in 2005.  The fancy-fast menu offers a subtle delicateness of both Sumac and Saffron spices in recipes entirely made from scratch.

The meals are fresh and healthy as the establishment follows a strict “No Fryer, No Freezer” policy. Vegetables, halal meats, and fish derive from the top Irish suppliers. From Charcoal-grilled shish and doner kebabs to falafels and stuffed aubergines, your delicate palate sure won’t be disappointed.

Why people love it:  People love the biodegradable green packaging, the endless serving combinations, and the excellent value for money. They also love their transparency ethic (you can even find a nutritional table for each meal of the menu!)

Price: Bargain to Average (€7 to €11 for most meals)

Address:  Two ‘Zaytoon’ Venues

  • 15 Parliament St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
  • 45 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2

Note:

  • They offer family combos, multiple vegetarian and vegan options.
  • They both open Sunday to Thursday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 AM and close at 5:00 AM both Friday & Saturday.
  • Register online and get a 10% discount card

#3  Boojum

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What is it? With the first venue opened in 2007, this chain of Mexican burrito bar can now be found all over the city. A success story due to an active addiction to their authentic aromas and fresh components. The ingredients are prepared daily, and both Microwaves and freezers are banished from the kitchens. Order at the counter, and customise the classics of Mexico street dishes in the funky décor.

Why people love it: The staff is super friendly and, Boojum is advised as a “go-to place.” Their ‘Give Back’ program to charities and their constant effort towards an eco-friendly change.

Price: Bargain (no more than €6.5 a meal), a Loyalty card for a free meal every 10th purchased.

Address: Various (9) locations with the two most popular at:

  • Millennium Walkway, North City, Dublin 1
  • 3 Abbey Street Lower, North City, Dublin 1

Note:

  • Crowd is to be expected, but the line goes fast.
  • Closes between 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM (depending on the location)

#4  Umi Falafel

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What is it? Expect a Middle Eastern vegetarian feast at ‘Umi (Arabic for Mother) Falafel’. In this place, you surely will be cared for, well fed and feel the passion behind each bite. Another addictive spot focused on daily, spiced, homemade falafels. A fine choice of mezze, such as spinach filo roll or baba ghanoush, will accompany your chickpea bites or freshly baked sandwiches. Salads and soups are also part of the vegetarian-only menu alongside delicious oriental sweets.

Why people love it: Added in the “favourite” list of many customers for the freshness and the exquisite taste of their recipes and juices. The staff is both friendly and attentive. Additionally, the Palestinian wrap is a “must-try.”

Price: Bargain (under a tenner a meal or 6 euros a plate)

Address: Three ‘Umi Falafel’ Venues:

  • 13 Dame St, South City, Dublin
  • George’s Street Arcade, South-East Inner City, Dublin 2
  • 180 Rathmines Rd Lower, Rathmines, Dublin, D06

#5  Mongolian Barbeque

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What is it? During the 12th century, Gengis Khan’s warriors were conquering lands and camp in a different location each night. To easy dinner preparations, they used their shield to cook their meals. Today, a modernistic approach awaits you in a humble spot.

Customise your recipe with meat, fish, tofu and/or vegetables at the ‘Mongolian Barbecue’ buffet. Spice it up with fresh chili or Madras Curry and add some herbs. Let the grill specialist take over then. Your concoction will broil in a giant semi-circular hotplate right before your eyes. Add some black bean, Satay or honey & ginger and its time to savour your dish.

Why people love it: It is a unique experience to Dubliners and visitors alike. And, with endless dining options, there is always something for everyone.

Price:  Bargain to Average (€14.9 to €16.9 ‘All you can eat buffet’)

Address: 7 Anglesea St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Note:

  • No booking for lunch
  • Early-bird dinners up to 7:30 PM from Sunday to Thursday, otherwise up to 10:30 PM

#6  Kim Chi Hop House

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What is it? Kim Chi Hop House is the oldest Korean restaurant in Dublin. It flawlessly blends the ambiance of an Irish pub and the subtlety of Asian concoctions.

Sit within the bar premises or in the beer garden and order either plum wine, soju or a pint of the “black stuff.” Tofu Teri Don (deep-fried tofu in Yakitori dressing), Doenjang Zigae (soybean paste with veggies and tofu) and Bibimbap (hot stone with steamed rice and sautéed greens, topped up with a choice of meat, fish or vegan alternative) are amongst the cheapest options of the menu.

If you need more reasons to stop by, the venue has been defined by The Guardians as “an exciting and authentic blend of Dublin old and new.” It was also listed by The Irish Times as ‘the Best Korean food in Dublin,’ and chosen by McKenna Guide Awards as ‘Best casual dining.’

Why people love it: Known as the best place in the city to enjoy Korean food, it displays a fantastic presentation and delectable recipes.  This hidden gem will never let you down. 

Price: Average

Address: 160-161 Parnell St, Rotunda, Dublin

Note: It opens daily at 12:00 PM and closes from 10:30 PM (Sunday) to 11:30 PM (Friday-Saturday)

#7  Bunsen

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What is it? Bunsen advertises classic New York burgers with the finest ingredients. The adoption of the ‘Less is more’ saying led to the creation of a minimalist menu where quality grasps over quantity. Daily baked, the bread is as near as it can get from the American bun.

The traditional Yankee-Jewish garlic pickles add the mandatory savoury touch. The day-to-day freshly minced Black Aberdeen Angus and the excellence in the vegetable quality will grant your appetite.

Why people love it: The direct traceability, the handmade food and the juicy meat are amidst the top reasons for the clientele to visit (and revisit).  Also, the shakes are described as some of the best in Europe!

Price: Bargain to Average (from €7.45 to €10.25 for a burger)

Address: Five locations

  • 22 Essex St E, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
  • 36 Wexford St, Portobello, Dublin 2
  • 3 Anne St S, Dublin 2
  • 97 Ranelagh, Rathmines, Dublin 6
  • 53 Dame Street Dublin 2

Note:

  • Great minds think alike; expect the spot(s) to be jammed.
  • The eatery opens from 12:00 PM (1:00 PM on Sunday) to either 9:30 or 10:30 PM (Thursday to Saturday)

#8  Sano Pizza

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What is it? When twin Irish brothers visit Napoli, they come back with the idea to revolutionize the Dublin food industry. And it worked! The MacHugh siblings made no mistake by introducing their 12-inch (30.5-cm diameter) soft Neapolitan pizza.

They produce a daily baked homespun dough that ferments for two days. It is then fired, with fresh mozzarella and authentic ingredients, in a 500° traditional Napoli stone-oven for 1.5 minutes (vegan cheese is also available). A trustworthy method processed in a contemporary design. Experience an industrial vibe with wooden tables, leather chairs and graffiti on the wall. Italian cans of tomatoes decorate the shelves, and blue tiles cover the kitchen’s background.

Why people love it: The open-kitchen is a sign of reliability. The authentic toppings such as Parma Ham, Nduja or Calabria Salami) assert the legitimacy of the pizzeria. Moreover, the gluten-free base is available at no cost and the Nutella Pizza is a “wicked” desert.

Price: Bargain to Average (less than €10)

Address: 1-2 Exchange Street Upper, Temple Bar, Dublin 8

Note: The eatery opens from 12:00 PM daily to either 10:00 or 11:00 PM (Thursday to Saturday)

#9 Pho Viet

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What is it? Located in the heart of the unofficial Chinatown since the 12/12/12 at 12:00 PM, Pho Viet is the first Annamese eating-house in Ireland. Vietnamese cuisine always combines the five primary tastes and, has a reputation for being your wellness’s best friend.

Leave any doubts behind and enter this guilt-free paradise that provides some of the tastiest, freshest and healthiest cuisine in the capital. Choose between Goi Cuon (cold spring roll), Banh Ceo (crispy rice flour pancake), Pho (simmered broth with homemade bouillon, rice noodles and a choice of meat or prawn),  Com Xao (fried rice) and dozens of other flavourful dishes.

Why people love it: The family eatery proposes two menus, including one dedicated to Vegetarians. The portions are generous, and the value for money is exceptional.

Price: Bargain to Average (about €14 per person)

Address: 162 Parnell St, Rotunda, Dublin 1

Note:

  • Corkage Charges applicable at €5.00 per wine bottle and €1.00 per beer.
  • The restaurant opens from 12:00 PM daily to either 10:00 or 11:00 PM (Thursday to Saturday)

#10  Featherblade

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What is it? Vegans and vegetarian should skip this section as Featherblade concentrates on meat only. The cheapest steakhouse in Dublin welcomes you in a minimalist and stylish design with wooden benches, black tiles and white brick. It suggests three carnivorous options for dinner (2 more for lunch): a unique Miso Marinated Hanger alongside Picanha and House’s Steaks.

This 100% grass-fed Irish beef is served with the bovine’s melted –fat fries, choice of greens (broccoli, Spinacia and arugula) and truffle macaroni and cheese. This casual dining is great to meet with friends, family outing or even a date.

Why people love it: The tenderness, the juiciness and the affordability of the meat have been convincing customers since 2015. The attentive and friendly staff is the icing on the cake.

Price: Bargain to Average (most expensive steak at €15 sides included)

Address: 51 Dawson St, Dublin 2

Note:

  • A 12% service is added to tables of 6 or more.          
  • Opening hours: From Monday to Friday 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM and 5PM till late, Non-stop service on both Saturday (from 12:00 PM till late) and Sunday (from 1:00 PM –10:00 PM)

#11  Shouk

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What is it? A gorgeous spot where both Mediterranean and modern Israeli street specialities are served in a market-like surrounding. An intimate atmosphere emerges as soon as you step in ‘Shouk.’ Fresh veggies are still in their crates and, indoor shutters are open on the kitchen.

You’ll also find a peaceful patio loaded with plants. Cork furniture and colourful touches will match with the (mainly) vegetarian menu. The vibrant mezze platter, the rich Arayes (stuffed and deep-fried pitas) and the delicious Shawarma, everything is made from scratch.

Critics such as The Irish Times and McKenna added the eatery to their ‘Top 100 places to eat in Dublin.’ Besides, Shouk won the Food Awards of the ‘Middle Eastern Restaurant of the Year’

Why people love it: The taste of food has conquered all palates and receives unanimous votes. Every bite confirms the freshness of the produce used. The venue has also been designated an ideal spot for brunch.  

Price: Bargain to Average(depending on your hunger)

Address: 40 Drumcondra Rd Lower, Drumcondra, Dublin 9

Note:

  • Booking is essential
  • Wednesday to Saturday 12:30–9:30PM Sunday 12:30–8:30PM, Closed Monday & Tuesday

#12 Govinda’s Restaurant

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What is it? Govinda’s, another name for Krishna, is a world chain of vegetarian restaurants. Two are located in Dublin including one, on Middle Abbey, that has a temple dedicated to the deity on the top floor. Many (free) events take place in the sanctuary. Anyone from any faith is welcome to celebrate and chant, take a yoga class or even attend philosophical readings.

Both establishments, who praise vegetarianism, have their own organic farm in Fermanagh. They offer a selection of both Indian and European delights. In summer, most ingredients are sourced from their private plantations. Menus change slightly between the two venues, but both have the same base and offer the same delicious homespun desserts.

Why people love it: The meals are so nutritious that even carne aficionados will forget their meat-eating habit. The Hare Krishna background music adds a soothing feel to the simplistic décor.

Price: Bargain to Average (from €3.95 to €10.45 for Augier Street and €3.95 to €15 XL size buffet in Middle Abbey)

Address: Two locations

  • 83 Middle Abbey Street,  Dublin 1
  • 4 Aungier Street, Dublin 2

Note: Monday to Saturday from 12.00 PM to 9.00 PM, Closed on Sunday

#13 Nut Butter

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What is it? This ‘It’ place is going to rock your world. Sit on a hanging wicker chair or stay grounded in the zen corner, by the window. The wooden counter, designed and achieved with excellent taste, offers a great view on the delicious fresh produce. Tiles and parquet finely divide the bar from the eating area, where the comfy leather banquettes will change the course of your day.

Not only is it trendy, but it is mainly dedicated to both vegan and vegetarian diets. The Poke bowls, Jackfruit tacos, ‘Mucho Vegano’ and dozens of other meals will enlighten your breakfast, lunch and early dinners. Carnivores won’t be left aside either with three à la carte alternatives and endless ‘Built Your Own’ options. Sweet treats include ‘Avo Truffle’ and ‘Vegan Banana Muffin.’ 

Why people love it: The ‘Build Your Own’ limitless substitutes from the general menu. The generous portions offer something for everyone and porridges are next level.

Price: Bargain to Average (€4 to €13.95)

Address: Forbes St, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2

Note: Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Mornings start up to an hour later on weekends.

#14 Voici Crêperie & Wine Bar

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What is it? Breizh crepes are notorious worldwide. Before starting the ‘Voici’ venture in 2017, the owners traveled to Brittany and studied the art of making the thin pancake. The only change they have made is swapping the conventional cider for wine.

You’ll enter the lower level by discovering the Citroën Façade behind the counter, made of sheets of corrugated iron. Thigh and shoulder ham alongside a bunch of garlic hang upon, and fresh baguettes lie on a basket near the cashier.

Head upstairs to the wine bar, where an intimate and charming ambiance awaits you. Surrounded by fairy lights, the fireplace and a wine wall, choose to sit on a Parisian bistro chair or a comfortable couch.

Once settled, order one (or more!) of the two traditional crepe recipes: one with wheat flour (usually sweet) and one with buckwheat flour (aka ‘Galette,’ customarily salty and naturally gluten-free).

Both of the fundamental ingredients are directly sourced from the French region. Other than that, products are fresh and most, such as cheese, meat and veggies, are shopped locally. The eatery’s menu also presents toasts with pate or crab, charcuterie platters (from Italy, Spain and France) and a Sheridans cheese board.

Why people love it: From romantic dates to a family gathering, this restaurant is a must for anyone seeking a French treat. The innovative menu, the general atmosphere and the engaging staff make it one of the greats.

Price: Bargain to Average (under €7 for a sweet treat, €12 for savoury meals)

Address: 1A Rathgar Rd, Rathmines, Dublin 6

Note: Open Sunday to Thursday from 12:00 PM to 11:30 PM, Friday and Saturday till 12:00 AM

#15 Lucky Tortoise Dumpling Company

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What is it? From a nomadic pop-up to a small stationary eatery, Lucky Tortoise introduces a palate tour of Asian streets delights. The embellishment is sleek and displays a cork-made counter, dark walls, intimate lightening, miniature pineapples, and a chalkboard menu. The colourful dishes are, in fact, the real stars and their humble presence illuminate the venue.

The chef provides a selection of delightful Cantonese dumplings, but also Japanese okonomiyaki (between a savoury pancake and a frittata), Taiwanese Gua bao (buns) and Korean kimchi (fermented veggies such as cabbages and Korean radish).

This permanent eatery, which started in 2019, has already won the ‘Best New Comers’ Irish Restaurant Award. It has also been listed in the Irish Times ‘Top 100 places to eat in Dublin.’

Why people love it: The Food tastes as good as it looks and there is a vegetarian/vegan version of the ‘all in’ menu.  Moreover, the eatery is going on an ethical “no waste” quest. Expect the service to be fantastic.

Price: Average / Bargain (From €5.5 to ‘all in’ €20)

Address: 8 Aungier St, Dublin 2

Note:

  • Essential online booking only as, the establishment “will never have a phone number.”
  • Monday to Saturday from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Sunday closes at 8:00 PM

Cheap Dublin Restaurants Conclusion

That’s it for list for the best cheap restaurants in Dublin! But what do you think, did we miss anything? Are there any new restaurants that opened up that need to be added?

Please let us know in the comment section below!

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