If you’re in search of the best seafood in Dublin, you’ve landed in the right place.
Pierced by the Liffey and straddling the Irish Sea, the capital’s in a great location for getting out onto the water and thus it’s unsurprising to learn that there’s some amazing fish restaurants in Dublin.
From Rosa Madre and Cavistons to Lobstar and Michael’s Mount Merrion, there’s endless places to sample finely prepared fishy dishes in our fair city.
In the guide below, we attempt to pinpoint the best seafood in Dublin, with a mix of fine dining, casual restaurants and very quirky spots.
Where we think does the best seafood in Dublin
In the first section of our guide, you’ll find where we think does the best seafood in Dublin – these are Dublin restaurants that one or more of The Irish Road Trip Team have eaten in.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from the brilliant SOLE Seafood & Grill and the mouthwatering La Maison to some fish restaurants in Dublin that are often overlooked.
1. SOLE Seafood & Grill
Fancy some sublime seafood in an ornate setting in the heart of Dublin? Located on bustling William Street, SOLE’S sweeping colonnade is the grand centrepiece of its chic bronze and grey interior.
One unique feature of SOLE is their private dining experience where you and your guests are able to take a seat at the exclusive Captain’s Table.
With a private bar and dedicated bartender, this is the finest place in the restaurant to sit down and order their grilled whole Irish lobster in Thermidor sauce.
SOLE is arguably the best seafood restaurant in Dublin if you’re looking for a place to mark a special occasion.
2. Octopussy’s Seafood Tapas
Seafood tapas is a bit of a thing up in many restaurants in Howth, but few do it as fine as Octopussy – another place reputed to dish up some of the best seafood in Dublin!
Sharing is caring and at Octopussy Seafood Tapas (not sure on the James Bond reference there) they encourage you to try as much as possible so get stuck in! With their fish supplied by Doran’s on the Pier seafood market next door (who operate a fleet of fishing boats out of Howth), their fish is as fresh as it’s possible to be.
There’s a whole bunch of tempting items on the menu so don’t hold back. Highlights include calamari with aioli dip, teriyaki salmon and fresh Carlingford oysters.
3. Michael’s Mount Merrion
The humble appearance of Michael’s Mount Merrion couldn’t look more like a cosy neighbourhood restaurant if it tried. Located just north of Deerpark and recognisible for its rich blue exterior, this laid-back spot does great food all day and is friendly come rain or shine.
Lead by owner and head chef Gareth Smith, their tempting menu covers everything from fresh John Dory platters to a luxury Shellfish Bowl of King Irish Scallops with XXL Clogherhead Prawns. And don’t forget to look out for the chef’s specials too.
While their pun-tastic name suggests an abundance of Lobster-based dishes, there’s actually a ton of great seafood dishes you can enjoy at Lobstar.
Located down in charming Monkstown, you’ll have to do a bit of travelling to get to this award-winning spot but it’s well worth the journey.
From Roaring Water Bay Mussels and Prawns in a light red curry sauce to Ginger and Yellow Mustard Marinated Wild Atlantic Cod in Japanese breadcrumbs, there’s some really inventive cooking going on so give it a go. The stylish subway-tiled dining room here is small, but the flavours on offer are mighty.
Fancy seafood restaurants in Dublin
Now that we have what we think are the best seafood restaurants in Dublin out of the way, it’s time to see what else the capital has to offer.
Below, you’ll find some of the swankier places for seafood in Dublin, from La Maison to the very popular Cavistons Seafood Restaurant and much more.
1. La Maison
With over 3000 km of coast, we all know the French love their seafood. If you feel like trying a bit of Gallic seafood for yourself in Dublin then head over to La Maison on Castle Market in the heart of the city.
With its elegant red facade and neatly arranged tables and chairs out front, its continental chic is hard to miss!
While this isn’t a seafood restaurant per se, you won’t wrong if you order the hake in sauce vierge or their scallops Saint Jacques. And if you’re not in the mood for seafood there are several other expertly-prepared French dishes to choose from.
2. Cavistons Seafood Restaurant
When you’re located just down the road from one of Ireland’s largest harbours, there’s a fair chance that you’re going to be serving up some pretty fresh fish!
Located on Glasthule Road between Dun Laoghaire and Sandycove, Caviston’s Seafood Restaurant is a popular neighbourhood spot that offers some truly exceptional seafood.
There is a steak on the menu, but only the hardiest of philistines would choose that when there’s so much amazing seafood to be enjoyed. Whether it’s haddock, hake, tuna, salmon or mackerel, Caviston’s will have you covered no matter what you’re in the mood for.
Related read: Check out our guide to the best steakhouse in Dublin (12 places you can grab a perfectly cooked steak tonight)
3. Rosa Madre
This cosy little spot on Crow Street is all about a friendly atmosphere and superbly prepared Italian seafood. While the recipes are all Italian, the seafood is proudly Irish.
Also, on a personal note, I’m always pleasantly surprised by Italian restaurants that don’t serve pizza! Check out their exceptional Irish Sole “Meunière” served with Rosemary and Garlic Roast Potatoes and pair it up with any of their fine white wines.
This is definitely a great place to visit if you want something a little more refined and not as heavy as some of the other options in Temple Bar.
Sitting just off the leafy surroundings of St Stephen’s Green, Etto is a stylish little place serving Italian-influenced food alongside a cracking selection of wines.
Boasting a mention in Dublin’s Michelin Guide, their fare is also pretty good value considering the quality and location.
Another one that isn’t exclusively a seafood restaurant, the fish they do serve is wonderfully prepared and presented. Check out their grilled cod, kohlrabi, cockles and roast fish bone sauce as an example of how to do seafood to perfection. Their starter of mussels, nduja, sweetcorn and samphire is pretty special too.
Other popular spots for seafood in Dublin
Our quest to find the best seafood restaurants in Dublin ends with the section below. Here, you’ll find some other insanely popular steak restaurants in Dublin.
From the hugely popular Matt The Thresher to the brilliant Aqua, you’ll find plenty of other spots to sample some of the best seafood in Dublin below.
1. Matt The Thresher
Voted Best Seafood Experience 2018 and Best Irish Gastro Pub 2019, it’s probably only a matter of time before Matt the Thresher adds more awards to its ever-growing shelf!
Situated just off Baggot Street Lower in the heart of Georgian Dublin, this bright and stylish seafood joint has an extensive and affordable menu full of the freshest products.
Kick off your evening with a selection of either Carlingford or Connemara oysters before cracking on with their impressive mains list.
Get a taster of everything by going for their delightful steaming shellfish pot, featuring clams, mussels, prawn and langoustine in a chermoula and shellfish broth.
2. Aqua (Howth)
An award-winning seafood restaurant situated right at the end of Howth Harbour’s west pier, Aqua is one of the best seafood restaurants in Dublin when it comes to views.
Housed in a former sailing club, the elegant building dates from 1969 though it looks a lot older (my opinion of 1960’s architecture is pretty low, so this surprised me somewhat!).
Boasting panoramas across the harbour and to Ireland’s Eye, Aqua’s views are exceptional so try and get a seat by the windows.
And of course, its selection of locally caught fish is as fresh and full of flavour as you can imagine. Definitely give the Dover Sole a try.
3. Klaw by Niall Sabongi
If you want a taste of the sea that’s slightly less formal than the nearby Rosa Madre, then don’t hesitate to stop by at KLAW: The Seafood Café by Niall Sabongi. Located on Fownes Street Upper, they don’t take bookings here so simply grab a seat and get stuck in!
Taken from Waterford, Galway, Dooncastle and Flaggyshore, KLAW boasts the largest selection of oysters in Ireland so if you’re in the mood to ‘shuck’ then this is indeed the place to head! Oh, and don’t forget oyster happy hour is between 5 and 6 pm every day.
4. Fish Shack Café
Staying in Temple Bar (at least for this example as it’s the easiest one to find), Fish Shack Cafe on Parliament Street dishes up some of the best fish and chips in Dublin!
This is a casual seafood spot that’s great for some easy bites with a few beers. However, if you do feel like exploring a bit more of Dublin’s coast (and why wouldn’t you!), then check out their joints in Malahide and Sandycove.
Open between 12pm and 9pm, they’re one of the only restaurants on this list that offers burgers so definitely give their Po’ Boy a go.
Filled with Atlantic prawns battered and fried, it goes great with a beer although don’t miss their specials list too where you’ll find fish tacos and shrimp nachos.
The best seafood in Dublin: Where have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant seafood restaurants in Dublin from the guide above.
If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about the best seafood restaurants in Dublin
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where does the best seafood in Dublin City Centre?’ to ‘What seafood restaurants in Dublin are the fanciest?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Where can you get the best seafood in Dublin?
In our opinion, you’ll find the best seafood in Dublin in SOLE, Octopussy’s Seafood Tapas, Michael’s Mount Merrion and Lobstar.
What is the best seafood restaurant in Dublin for a fancy meal?
If you’re looking for a swanky spot to eat, La Maison, Aqua in Howth and Cavistons are worth checking out.