Dublin in November...a few questions
I'm pretty excited about visiting Dublin in November. I will be staying in the Temple Bar Area for few days and then will spend a day in Cork and a day in Galway. I will be traveling alone so I'm looking for places that are friendly to the solo traveler.
I lived in London for a year and I'm originally from San Francisco if that means anything (I do love my food and adult beverages). I'm looking for:
Any recommendations on great/worthwhile open air markets or farmer's markets.
Pubs that are not overrun with tourists (meaning I'll actually meet people who are Irish there) bonus points if the pub has live music and great pies.
Reasonably priced and couple nice restaurants that have good bar dining.
Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Both Dublin and Galway have Sheridan's Cheesemongers. It is a delightful store will all sorts of cheeses, sausages, breads, condiments etc. In Dublin they are on South Anne St off of Grafton and in Galway they are near St Nicholas but I don't recall the street. Galway also has a wine shop
I travelled to Ireland with my family in January 2005 and LOVED it. In Dublin, my brother and I had a great time at O'Donoghue's pub. It's on or very near Merrion Square. They had incredible live music and at that time of year it was pretty much all Irish people in the bar. I think we ended up there all three nights, we liked it so much. It was very basic, but we met some interesting characters and loved the music. Another cool, very old bar is the Brazen Head. Our guidebook mentioned it because of the age, but again, we were the only Americans in the place in January.
We didn't go to Cork, but stayed in nearby Kinsale. Check it out if you can. It's a beautiful small town. For pubs we liked An Seanachai and The Spaniard.
In Galway, we caught some great live music at Taffes and The Quays. Both are in a pedestrian-only area (William, Shop and High Streets, plus). The Quays is impressive for it's size, and Taffes was all about the music for me.
If you can, try to get a hold of the March 2006 issue of Sauveur Magazine. It's pretty much all dedicated to Ireland and talks at length about restaurants and markets in Cork.
Good luck, and have fun!
I don't have a ton to offer on Dublin but I have a few recommendations for Cork.
The Quay Co-Op is a grocery store that has a wonderful cafe upstairs. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is a casual, order at the counter type place. it's a little funky looking but don't worry, the food is dynamite! it is just over the river at the Grand Parade. There is also a cafe in the English Market in Cork, upstairs, that is open for breakfast and lunch. i can't recall the name but the food is basic and tasty and the market itself is a unique Cork experience. Both of these places are chill for solo diners and friendly to boot.
I'm not sure if you'll be visiting pubs in Cork but a few to try are:
Mutton Lane - in a small lane of Patrick St (turn near Burger King)
An Spailpin Fanach - across from Beamish factory on S. Main St
Franciscan Well Brew Pub - across river from North Gate Cinema (top of N. Main St)
Tom Barrys - Barrack St (cross river at Beamish and go straight up the hill -- this one has the added benefit of being near Lennox's chipper which has the best fish and chips and burgers in Cork!)
Suas - above Captain America's on Main St near Washington St (modern, sorta trendy)
Costigans, The Washington Inn - mostly student places on Washington St but can be fun if that's the scene you want
Can you tell I love Cork?
In Dublin (and Cork) there are Wagamama noodle restaurants...these are a UK based chain that just started in the US as well. I love the food and it is laid back to eat solo but it is not Irish (and probably not authentically Japanese!) but fun.
There is also a great, veggie cafe neat Grafton St/Stephen's Green called Nude. Very casual spot as well. Good soups and sandwiches.
Good luck finding more places in Dublin. You could try menupages.ie for some ideas too.
The Quay Co-op is a great spot, but may be worth mentioning that it's a vegetarian restaurant...
The English Market in Cork is well worth checking out - it's an indoor market open Mon -Sat, as is the market in Galway near St. Nicholas' Church (not the cathedral) which I think is only on at the weekends
Other good pubs in Cork are The Oval (near the Spailpin Fanach, opposite the Beamish brewery on South Main St) and the Crane Lane (near the main post office on Oliver Plunkett St), both run by the same people as the Mutton Lane Inn. The Long Valley, on Winthrop St near the same post office is a real old-style pub, with huge sandwiches! None of them apart from the Spailpin have live music, but plenty of character
The usual suspects here all seem a bit 'lost,' since Chowhound changed the access route to the boards. Hopefully, they will show up again! I was in Dublin last June but am not very helpful about restaurants as my plane was late and I got cheated out of a decent dinner. Use the search box above as there have been a lot of suggestions sent in during the last few months. Dublin has a lot of fine pubs and food. When you're in Galway, ask in any pub where the locals go for music sessions. There are quite a few in Galway City and we had a great time making the rounds (my husband is a musician). The Irish are exceedingly friendly and will help you with ideas of where to go.