Dublin Writer’s Museum
18 Parnell Sq. N, Parnell Square
The Irish know how to write—this is after all the country that gave us Joyce, Yeats, Beckett, and so many others. This museum documents and celebrates the history and achievements of Ireland’s literary talent, past and present. In an 18th-century mansion, amid the Georgian grandeur of Parnell Square, the windows of the museum look over the Garden of Remembrance, a memorial that commemorates a struggle often referenced in Irish literature (brush up on your W.B. Yeats poetry, "Easter 1916" in particular, if you want to know more). The museum is a lovely resource for visitors and city residents looking to learn more about Ireland's great writers and poets. It's an interactive space with regular exhibits, lunchtime theater, readings, and a special room dedicated to children’s literature.
The Garden of Remembrance
Parnell Sq. E, Parnell Square
A small, almost discreet garden at the top of one of Dublin’s most imposing boulevards, the Garden of Remembrance is dedicated to all those who gave their lives in pursuit of Irish freedom. The memorial is nestled into one of the many Georgian squares that dot the city (this one is aptly named for the nationalist statesman Charles Stewart Parnell). A sunken stream cuts through the length of the garden, leading the eye up to a fleet of steps topped with a moving sculpture of the Children of Lir (an Irish mythological tale) and a monument inscribed with a poem commemorating the six uprisings across seven generations that led to Ireland's emancipation. Despite being in the center of the city, the garden has a quiet calm—and gravitas.
The Hugh Lane
Charlemont House, Parnell Square
The Hugh Lane is the world’s first known modern art gallery, housed in a classically designed Georgian townhouse overlooking the Garden of Remembrance. Small and intimate, this well-curated space features a sizable collection by modern Irish artists, like Louis Le Brocquy, Jack B. Yeats, and Sean Scully, alongside Impressionist masterpieces by Manet, Degas, and Monet. This gallery’s biggest draw is the complete installation of Francis Bacon’s studio, meticulously re-created in all its chaotic brilliance. You can see this installation from all angles thanks to glass panels. It also provides a complete computerized archive—the first of its kind in the world. Browse through the well-appointed bookstore, then step out into the heart of Parnell Square, one of Georgian Dublin’s oldest neighborhoods.
18-19 Parnell Sq. N, Parnell Square
A mainstay for Irish gourmands for the last two decades, Chapter One always gets it right. A Michelin-rated, white-tablecloth establishment housed in the elegant basement of a Georgian townhouse in one of Dublin’s most culturally significant squares (the Garden of Remembrance and the Dublin Writer’s Museum are mere moments away). The menu leans heavily on the products Ireland does well—fish, game, and especially good vegetarian dishes with the freshest vegetables, beautifully prepared. For the experience without the hefty price tag, try the pretheater menu before attending a play at the Gate around the corner.
160-161 Parnell St., Parnell Square
Everything feels wrong: The unassuming exterior looks like a grubby pub, there are stained-glass windows, somehow the sign claims it's a Korean restaurant that also sells sushi, and you can’t hear anything through the heavy wooden door. Once inside, the joke’s on you, every table heaving with bright young things feasting on hotpot and bulgogi, the staff trying to keep up with the crowd. The first Korean restaurant to ever hit Dublin and still probably the most authentic, somehow they always find seats for a crew and splitting a dozen or more dishes never breaks the bank.
38 Parnell Sq. W, Parnell Square
An appetizer of venison tartare, mixed with mustard, flecked with red currants, and topped with sunchokes—some crispy, some pickled—is the best thing we’ve eaten this year. Mr. Fox, relatively new to Dublin, is down a flurry of steps on an unremarkable side of Parnell Square, a genteel spot that flirts with fine dining but doesn’t fully commit. A bread basket says a lot about a place, and this one, outfitted with homemade sourdough, Parmesan cream, and savory cep butter, does not disappoint. The fare is the wintry, heavy food Dubliners love to eat: beef cheek with buttery polenta and zesty gremolata, spelt risotto with pickled fennel and almonds. The desserts are playful, sophisticated interpretations of the ice creams from our youth—the iceberger, the super split.