Eating out in London is astonishingly cheap. It’s very easy to get a decent feed for well under £10: over Patrick’s weekend, we comfortably found a sit-down, table service Thai restaurant serving decent mains at around £6.50-8 (around €7.80-€9.60) and a lovely Italian trattoria with the same prices. There was no shortage of Greek, Indian, Chinese, and bistro restaurants offering similar good value (Oddly, all desserts seem bizarrely overpriced at around the same price as a main course).
Yes, there’s plenty of expensive and mid-range restaurants, and you could easily spend around £20 on a pricier option. But it’s totally unnecessary: there’s plenty of cheap eats choice.
It’s not quite as easy in Ireland. Sure, you’ll have no problem finding a quick, cheap bit of fried chicken or a greasy kebab which you can inhale while hunched over a fluorescent light, or an early bird where you have to break your neck to get there before 6.30 and feel the pressure to be gone within an hour. There’s some great value lunches in Dublin, but you need to strain for a cheap dinner option beyond pizza.
Some notable, sit down, non-fast food options for €10 or under include:
Fallon and Byrne, where you can pick up your meal – a main with two salads for around €7 - at the ground floor counter and bring it to the lovely basement wine cellar. I’ve no idea how Fallon and Byrne make any money on this, but it’s certainly packing in the punters.
- Green 19, a perennial favourite on Camden Street serving decent grub for €10.
- GBK, where there’s often, but not always, a dinner deal for €10 or under.
- The Exchequer‘s Sunday dinner deal. It doesn’t strictly qualify as it’s a daytime offer, but for just under €10 each, a party of four can get a big roast chicken or pork with all the trimmings and a bottle of wine.
- The Pygmalion, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre: excellent value and really good service. There’s plenty of tapas-style dinner options, including a generous selection of daily changing specials. On the night I ate there, a big plate of ribs with salad cost €6.50 and a decent sized portion of patatas bravas were €3.50: bang on €10.
- Aqua, Howth pier: a big seafood platter with more than enough for two people, just under €10 each.
- Fafie’s creperie on Kevin St, Dublin: we’re not 100 per cent sure, but think their crepes are around €9
- Rotana Cafe, Portobello: plenty of delicious dishes under the €10 mark
Readers, can you recommend a place serving good dinner for €10 or under? We’d particularly like to hear from readers outside Dublin.