Jean is one of the editors of CheapEats, and lives and works in Dublin city centre.
Jean’s Favorite Cheap Eats
- Lemon Crepes
A great place for a cheap light meal. I love their Mexicano crepe for €6.95. They have an extensive menu and lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Their Dawson St branch does excellent dessert waffles. Both branches can be crowded and noisy, and their coffee is way too sweet, but you really can’t beat the crepes.
A Persian kebab chain that does unfeasibly good kebabs. You can be stone cold sober and eat there, that’s how good they are. They bake their own delicious flatbread. I recommend the chicken shish or vegetarian kebabs, both for under €10.
- South William for pies
This great bar on South William St has a simple but brilliant menu – a selection of gourmet pies, all for €9, made in the wonderful L’Gueuleton around the corner. The pies are great quality (I usually opt for the chilli bean and avocado or the duck and red cabbage) and come with a simple side salad. The bar is run by friendly young hipsters and has a lovely, comfortable retro interior.
- Alilang on Parnell St
There’s lots of good Korean restaurants in Dublin now and this is my favourite. They have a huge menu of Korean and Chinese dishes, but I think the best option is the Korean barbeque, which you cook at your table and which comes with some really interesting sauces. A great option for a group… four of us once had a huge meal and beers there for only €55.
L’Gueuleton has a sterling reputation and it’s completely deserved: it isn’t cheap exactly, but represents great value for money because the food is so excellent. Lunch costs between €5.50 and €15.50, and their evening mains range from €18 to €28. I always have the Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait.
- Renvyle House Hotel
Another one for the pricey but worth it category; it’s one of the nicest and cosiest country house hotels in Ireland, and the food is just unbelievable. The Connemara lamb and locally caught seafood are particularly good. If you catch one of their special offers, it can work out to be a very cost-effective break. For example, they have mid-week breaks in February for €112 pp, which includes two nights B&B and one evening meal.
- Cheap Japanese and Thai
Dublin has seen loads of great Chinese and Korean places spring up over the last few years, around Parnell St, Capel St and Moore St, but we’ve yet to see anything similar happen for the Japanese and Thai cuisines. I would love to see some of the cheap, unpretentious noodle houses that you see in cities like New York and London, as I think Japanese and Thai food is routinely overpriced in Ireland.
- Good diner food
One of the many things I love about food in America is good simple diner food: pancakes, chicken soup, BLTs, grilled cheese; all cheap and delicious. They’re on every street corner in America, but I’m not aware of anything like them in Ireland. Places like The Elephant and Castle and TriBeCa do expensive versions of diner food, Eddie Rockets does a horrible parody of it (except for their malted milkshakes, which are great).
- Healthy hot lunch to take away
The closest I’ve found is the LaraLu food stand in the Georges St Market Arcade, which does things like lamb meatballs and couscous in a takeaway tub for about €6.50…although they usually only have one choice per day.