Monday 22 December 2014

French Foodie in Dublin's Best of 2014

Each time I meet someone who knows I have a food blog they ask what my favourite restaurant is. Every single time. Believe me, it's not easy to answer as I discover new places all the time and my favourites are subject to change. I always reply that it depends on my mood, the company and the occasion because eating out is always a subjective and social experience, lots of factor can influence it.

This year I've decided to do a round-up and tell you what my best restaurants and cafes were in 2014 so I can refer people to this post when they ask me 'the' question. This list includes places I've visited more than once and overall I tried to look at the food, service, atmosphere and value to decide on the best in each category.

Best Cafe

It isn't an easy one because I've been to so many cafes in 2014 but I still think they're the best. It's brilliantly run and the staff are super friendly, the only complaint is that it's always so busy.  I particularly love their all-day brunch menu, the salads, the flatbread and hot specials as well as the baked goods.

Best Sandwich

In terms of sandwiches it's a no brainer, 147 Deli which opened in January 2014 is the best. Every other sandwich in the city seems bland in comparison to their steak sandwich, the Reuben or the BBQ pulled pork. I love that there is a special every week which means you can always return without getting bored. Mr. FFID is a big fan of 147 Deli too!

Best Ethnic restaurant

I've been many times over the last few months and treated myself to a take-away from them, which I rarely do. The food is good (if you like it hot), the service very efficient and you can really have a feast without spending too much money.

Best Early Bird

I rarely go for early birds when eating out but Pichet's is the one I find the best in Dublin. I've always had a great experience, the food and service are consistently good. It's €25 for 3 courses which I find very good value for what you get.

Best Casual Dining

I visited a few times this year and can happily say Etto was one of the highlights of 2014. I like the menu which is so different from what you find everywhere else (Oh my, the duck hearts!), the staff are excellent and the atmosphere is just perfect. I love this place!

Best overall restaurant

Mulberry Garden is my winner of 2014 and the one which stood out for me. A menu that changes every week and celebrates Irish produce, all the little modern Irish touches to the restaurant, the service and the atmosphere make it my favourite of the year. This is the restaurant I'd love every tourist to visit when in Dublin to understand that there is more to Irish food than beef stew or bacon and cabbage.

Also very good and visited repeatedly in 2014:

- La Maison for their côte de boeuf
- Terra Madre for their simple good Italian food and welcoming service
- 777 for many of their dishes and their specials (especially on Sundays and Mondays)
- Beeftro for their steaks
- Bison Bar for their tasty BBQ food
- The Pepper Pot for their bacon and pear sandwich
- The Woollen Mills for their salad plates (especially the samphire, hazelnut and pear one)

That's it for 2014, it has been an exciting year for Dublin's food scene with so many new openings that I could barely keep up. I hope 2015 will be even better, I am now taking a little blogging break and will be back in the new year.

Have a wonderful Christmas and eat well! Thanks for reading my blog this year.

How about you? What were your food highlights of 2014?