The Dublin food scene has an ever-growing wide array of cuisines to choose from, from Mexican burrito joints and Italian pizza places to Chinese buffets and Greek cafés. However, as the evenings close in and December 25th becomes more of a reality than a daydream, sometimes all I find myself craving is a decent wholesome carvery that will fill me up for hours, reminding me of home. Whether it’s after a day out shopping with your family in the city, or even a dinner for a special occasion, there are plenty of options around to choose from.
A carvery may not always be the cheapest option to go for but they often provide the best value, and are more than likely a reliable choice for an enjoyable meal. Here is my pick of the places you should check out when what you’re really craving is a good roast:
Any list which aims to seek out the best carvery in the city cannot possibly leave out this infamous spot. Famous for its tunes after dark, cheap drinks and a guaranteed good night, Dicey’s also doubles up as a restaurant and beer garden during the day, serving two euro pints and five euro carvery lunches. Its location on Harcourt Street is slightly out of the way if you’re doing your Christmas shopping, but if you’re feeling particularly lazy you can always get the Luas one stop down from Stephen’s Green and hop off just outside.
To avail of the €5 student carvery, arrive between 12am and 2.30pm and just present your student ID. If you’re lucky, you’ll get in on a day when they are serving turkey, ham and all the trimmings, and if that’s not enough to get you in the Christmas mood then the Christmas tunes and decorations surely will be.
2.Le Bon Crubeen
This place is one of the spots you want to hit up when your parents are in town and feeling generous enough to treat you to a nice meal. Located on Talbot Street, between the Gate and Abbey theatres, this is the perfect spot if you’re planning on catching some pre-Christmas entertainment.
They do a special Christmas Early Bird evening menu, with two courses for €21.95 and three for €24.95. While not cheap, the service is excellent and the food is tasty, and it is sure to put you in the Christmas mood with items such as “traditional turkey & ham, sausage meat with sage stuffing, roasties, root vegetables & cranberry jus” and “Christmas pudding, shortbread biscuit with brandy anglaise” on the menu.
The Duke, located between Grafton Street and Dawson Street, is one of Dublin’s oldest pubs and has the Christmas charm down to a T. Its location makes it a perfect place to stop into after a long day at college or an even tougher day shopping. Stepping inside, you will instantly want to stay for hours.
The open fires and Christmas decorations, as well as the Christmas tunes playing in the background, add to the cosiness of the pub. However, as well as being a popular spot for catch-ups and drinks, from Monday to Friday this place serves up a delicious carvery lunch. It’s a bit pricier than Dicey’s at €11.50, but is also quite good value for what you get: a great quality roast, homemade gravy and all the trimmings. The meat changes daily, but call ahead and see what day they will be serving up turkey and ham to ensure you get a taste of the most beloved dinner before the 25th.
This is the odd one out on the list as this restaurant on George’s Street does not serve up a carvery lunch, but does offer incredible value and fully embraces the Christmas spirit. If you are looking for a cool but cosy spot to meet up with friends in the run-up to the big day, look no further than 777 on a Sunday. All items on the menu come in at €7.77, and I can guarantee you that if you are a fan of Mexican cuisine, this is your place to hit up.
The fairy lights inside, along with the staff wearing Christmas t-shirts, add to the ambience of the small restaurant, but be warned – it does fill up quickly, so you may need to wait for a table. If you find yourself wanting to come back for more, they also do Margarita Mondays with two cocktails coming in at €12! At these prices, 777 is definitely the place for an ultimate “student-style” Christmas meal.
Sinnott’s bar is located on King Street, directly under Stephen’s Green shopping centre. Its prime location means it is the perfect place to have a pre-theatre meal, or rest your arms after carrying shopping bags for the day. While traditionally known as a sports bar, this place has become well known for its carvery lunches.
A special emphasis is given to the festive season inside, and while the carvery menu is changed daily, if you are lucky you can find yourself with a plate laden down with turkey, ham, cranberry sauce, roast potatoes and all the trimmings.