A hole-in-the-wall-style bookstore leads—via a creaking, winding stair—to a deliciously cozy mecca of Irish cuisine. Snag seats by the windows, and tuck into hearty bowls of Dublin Bay chowder while you look out over the Ha’penny Bridge and River Liffey. This is a relaxed place—wooden floors, simple tables, chalkboard menus, heaving bookshelves scattered throughout. The food and flavors are unexpected and complex, giving the spotlight to artisanal Irish producers. Try the crispy nettle polenta with creamed leeks and wild garlic, or go big with a slow-cooked minty lamb. Given that Ireland has some of the best dairy in the world, round off with a carefully composed cheeseboard for a great taster of the sheer variety of domestically made cheese (or for the sweet-toothed, a slab of Guinness cake and barley ice cream), washed down with a bracing glass of port. The wine list is fairly extensive, but what the Winding Stair does really well is beer. If you can’t decide, the staff is always ready to offer a nudge in the right direction.

You may also like