One of the biggest challenges I find when visiting a new city is finding a place for dinner that is conveniently located in the tourist area while offering quality local food that is not overpriced. On my most recent visit to Dublin, I happily stumbled upon the perfect place for a quick bite located right in the heart of Temple Bar – Gallagher’s Boxty House.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the Boxty House has been a Dublin staple for over 25 years (who doesn’t like to dine at an established restaurant?). Yet, I’m puzzled as to why it took me three visits to this fun city to finally discover it. Regardless, it’s my new favorite stop for a bite to eat while visiting the pubs in Temple Bar.
A casual restaurant welcoming everyone from solo travelers to large groups in a perfect location.
Gallagher’s Boxty House has a perfect location right on Fleet Street. You can easily stumble out of a pub and into the Boxty House for some sustenance. Try to get a window seat because the foot traffic along Fleet Street is pretty much nonstop, so it provides a great opportunity for people watching while you enjoy your boxty and other classic Irish dishes.
Another plus for the Boxty House is that it is ideally set up for tourists thanks to its relaxing and casual atmosphere, and for all kinds of travelers, thanks to several different seating options. Whether you are in a large group, traveling with a friend, or on your own, you’ll find a comfortable seat either downstairs, in the main dining room, or at the counter.
I happened to be in Dublin on my own and easily found a seat at the counter where a few other solo travelers were already seated enjoying their meals or reading a book while they sipped on one of the perfectly mixed cocktails. I met a fellow solo traveler and photographer from California during my visit and ended up not having to eat alone after all. I enjoyed some great conversation with my boxty and even tried some of his delicious meal, too.
Reservations, although not required, are highly recommended here, especially if you plan to dine after 5PM. If you are planning to come in with a large group (more than 8), you will definitely have to call in advance to make a reservation. The restaurant is used to handling large groups for dinner and will work with you on setting up a prix fixe menu.
A taste of traditional Irish dishes
You’ll probably want to try some classic Irish dishes while visiting Dublin, and the Boxty House delivers. Of course, the boxty is the showcase dish here. A traditional dish found in the border counties of Leitrim, Cavan and Fermanagh, the boxty is simply a potato pancake. However, there is nothing simple about the dishes at the Boxty House. Here, you can find the boxty served up in various ways including boxty dumplings (similar to gnocchi), boxty loaves, and boxty fries. To try all the variations, try the Boxty Platter as a starter, which includes boxty dumplings in a blue cheese sauce, a toasted boxty loaf topped with St. Tolas goats cheese and sundried tomatoes, and boxty fries with a roast garlic aioli. Although all varieties are delicious, it is the boxy wrap that steals the show.
The boxty wrap is more like a burrito made of fried potato that is stuffed with or wrapped around classic Irish dishes. The most popular is their Gaelic Boxty, a traditional Leitrim boxty pancake stuffed with Irish fillet beef medallions in a whiskey and mushroom cream sauce. While in Dublin, I had to go with a more traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage, so I opted for the boxty stuffed with cured chunks of beef and cabbage in a rich parsley sauce. It comes with a lot of beef and just the right amount of sauce and was quite filling.
If you aren’t up for a very filling boxty wrap, you must try the boxty dumplings, and specifically, the Smoked Ham Boxty. It’s an incredibly flavorful dish made of smoked ham hock with mint, peas, honey, and boxty potato dumplings. My mouth is watering just thinking about this perfect dish.
Be sure to save room for dessert because the Boxty House offers some delicious traditional options including Bailey’s cheesecake and bread pudding. I opted for the Glazed Bread & Butter Pudding, which was served warm with vanilla ice cream and custard. Now, I’m not one for dessert, but I finished every last bite of this one. It was absolutely delicious and worth every calorie.
A nice break from the pub scene
The Boxty House has a great offering of alcoholic bevvies for their patrons, and the prices are reasonable. If you have had your fill of Guinness and cider from the surrounding pubs, seek out the Boxty House for a refreshing glass of wine or tasty martini. I tried the espresso martini after dinner, and it was the perfect ending to a satisfying meal.
Also, if you aren’t up for a full meal, check out the dessert menu where they offer an artisan cheeseboard of Irish cheeses served with water biscuits and Lannlerie Irish honey. It’s the perfect option for a light snack with a glass of wine as you take a break from the pub scene in Temple Bar.
Gallagher’s Boxty House
20-21 Temple Bar
Dublin 2, Ireland
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 12:00pm to 10:30pm(ish)
Disclaimer: Special thanks to Gallagher’s Boxty House for hosting my dinner. However, all opinions are my own.