Few restaurants manage to keep up as solid an ambiance and loyal a crowd year in year out as Coppinger Row—literally, it never disappoints. Named for the narrow alley it occupies between two of the capital’s busiest and buzziest streets, the space is small, with every ounce of square footage filled with tables, chairs, and people. Dining is not compulsory, and sitting outside the restaurant, sipping one of the excellent cocktails (top choices include the flo and basy and the gunpowder gin and tonic with grapefruit and star anise) wrapped in a blanket with one of Coppinger’s mini hot water bottles in your lap is one of the town’s true pleasures. The food is Mediterranean/Irish: messy garlic and chili prawns à la plancha, black pudding salad (an Irish staple—the pudding, not the salad), crispy pork belly and stewed apple. Sometimes it’s not the meal itself but how it ends that’s most memorable; in this case, the bonbon coffee, a shot of espresso and condensed milk served with a lone almond, is strangely more satisfying than any dessert.

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