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Sunday 24 June 2018

Where the capital's bright young things come out to play

Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Deciding where to eat, drink and be merry in Dublin can be a little flummoxing; there are a heap of trendy bars, clubs and pubs to choose from.

But there are several haunts which seem to embody the spirit of the 'Rare New Times'.

Grogan's is always bustling on summer evenings. It's popular with seasoned bar flies and artsy types who rave about the cheese toasties and the unpretentious atmosphere.

The Westbury Hotel is a class act and its sister bar and restaurant Balfe's is regularly frequented by the likes of Amy Huberman, the Seoige sisters and Laura Whitmore.

With Bewley's closed, Alchemy Juice Company has become the best place to people watch on Grafton Street.

Mexican food remains the international cuisine de jour, and eateries such as Burritos and Blues, Pablo Picantes, 777 and the super cool Taco Taco have all cashed in on the trend.

Taco Taco - run by the team behind Italian restaurant San Lorenzos - has gained a reputation for its huge portion sizes, while 777 serves the best margaritas in town.

P.Mac's is a scenesters haven; they play Interpol and PJ Harvey, there's a vintage Street Fighter games console and a plethora of draft and craft beers.

Dame Court is crowded, noisy, messy and dangerously good fun. It's also home to much-loved institution The Stag's Head, where comedy acts like Foil, Arms and Hog perform downstairs while punters sup pints on the street outside.

Experiential restaurants such as Dylan McGrath's Taste and Scandie-Asian Soder and Ko are popular with food bloggers.

Pygmalion on Coppinger Row, Mother at Copper Alley and RiRa on George's Street are choice late-night haunts.

The Garage Bar in Temple Bar is grunge-filled perfection, maybe not the best place to go on a first date but a great port of call on a raucous night out.

If you like retro-inspired beverages, then The Vintage Cocktail Club and Liquor Rooms in Temple Bar are a must, while Sophies at The Dean on Harcourt Street has the best panoramic views of the city and a swing set by the elevator doors.

Busyfeet & Coco Cafe and Metro Cafe on the corner of South William Street are choice spots to pass away the hours on hungover Saturdays and Sundays. Meanwhile, Whitefriar Grill on Aungier Street serves up the best (and possibly only) "Lobster hash" and "truffle egg toast" in town.

If you need a moment of tranquillity having wandered up and down Grafton Street, then pop in to The Garden which is filled with beautiful bouquets.

Irish Independent

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