- a blog about food and value

Carvery in O’Neills, Suffolk Street



A few weeks ago, I was irrationally sad about missing a family dinner with my parents and sisters due to the icy roads. As they all sat down to a delicious roast, I decided to get even by going for the first carvery I’ve eaten in many, many years.

Once upon a time, carvery, where fresh meat is sliced to order, distinguished a pub from a fancy pub. Then, Thai green curries, fancy burgers, and jazzed-up fish and chips arrived in the Irish pub. Suddenly, carvery seemed about as attractive as a drunk’s old hat.

I knew of just one place in the city that served carvery: O’Neills on Suffolk Street. This is one of those pubs that’s so central, and so ancient, that I rarely go there. I’ve never found it the most comfortable pub to spend an evening, but was willing to try it for dinner.

I joined a very brief queue for roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and was quickly impressed with the genorsity of the servings.

“Can I have an extra Yorkshire please?”

“No problem. What veg do you want?”

“All of them. And lots of gravy.”

Even in restaurants, lack of gravy can be a perennial problem. Not here, however: the amount was perfectly judged. There was no petty quibbling, such as you’ll find in the horrible UCD restaurant:

“Oh, an extra Yorkshire? That’ll cost extra. And it’s an extra euro for each additional ladle of gravy.”

O’Neill’s just kept piling it on until I (reluctantly) decided I could balance no further food on the plate. This was a Christmas-dinner sized meal and, at €12.55, worth every cent. I was joined by the mysterious troublemaker SnackBox, who went for a delicious lamb shank with all the trimmings. We were so happy and full that we could have slid all the way home.

Do you know of any other good carveries?


  1. The Barge on the canal near Ranelagh does a pretty good, traditional, meaty carvery – and then you can go for a walk along the canal after 🙂

  2. eh nothing unusual about a pub carvery ‘down the country’ – no one told us yet that it was unfashionable!

    I had a delicious one in Kinnegad recently – can’t remember the pub name but its just before the road swings right away from the Canal coming from Dublin!

  3. OMG Tammi, like you are soooo lame. No one in Dub does carvery anymore. Unless its for like charity or you’re making some sort of retro chic statement.

  4. In fairness quite a few places in town do carvery (The Duke on Duke St is good). O’Neills is pretty good alright, and they have a much larger selection than most places, and they serve it far longer — untill 10pm I think. I agree that if you’re in the mood for it, a sloppy carvery and a pint of Guinness is hard to beat, but from a gastronomic point of view, there’s better eats to be had in Dublin than carvery. The steamed veg is always irretrievably bland, and you’d better like Bisto.

    There’s a lovely “secret” spot to sit in the sprawling O’Neills: top floor, way out in the corner looking out over Suffolk St and the Post Office there, there’s a little nook big enough for four or five that’s really private and cosy with windows on three sides.

  5. Berties pub out in Drumcondra does a mean cavery also. Lots of mash and veg piled high on your plate with lots of gravy. Great for a fuzzy head on a Sunday lunchtime.

  6. The problem with carvery pubs is when you enter late at night and the place smells like carvery even though they stopped serving ages ago. It’s as if the smell permeates the building.

  7. If you want a quick, cheap carvery (and feel a bit like a herded animal, judging by the staff getting you in and out) Dicey’s do a quite tasty carvery from 12-2.30pm each weekday for €6.50. Menu isn’t very varied but it’s quite substantial, great for the Friday lunch if you’re heading out for beers. Twill stand to you!