Ireland is one of the last remaining countries in Europe that is home to wild, native oyster beds. There are two species of oyster cultivated in Ireland – the native European oyster, and the Irish rock oyster, which was introduced to Irish seas in the 1970’s. The Irish rock oyster is now the primary species of oyster cultivated in Ireland.
The two species have very different flavours, and indeed, even the same species of oyster from different bays can have their own recognisable flavour. The native European oyster season runs from September to April – the key to remembering the season is to check if there is an ‘r’ in the name of the month.
There are numerous restaurants across Dublin serving up fresh Irish oysters. Tuck into a half dozen washed down with a creamy pint of Guinness at any of the excellent locations listed below.
In this post, we share our ultimate guide to oysters in Dublin.
Map of Places
The following map shows the location of every restaurant highlighted in this post:
Matt The Thresher
A venerable Dublin institution, Matt The Thresher is one of the city’s most famous seafood restaurants. We recommend the fresh Carlingford oysters.
Location: 31-32, Lower Pembroke Street, Dublin
The Seafood Cafe by Niall Sabongi
Nestled in Temple Bar in the heart of the city, The Seafood Cafe is the largest of Irish chef Niall Sabongi’s three excellent restaurants in Dublin. There is an oyster happy hour from 4-5pm for mollusc lovers to enjoy.
Booking information can be found here.
Location: 11 Sprangers Yard, Temple Bar, Dublin
Klaw is also run by Niall Sabongi, and can be best described as The Seafood Cafe’s less formal but equally charming sibling. Thankfully, the quality of the seafood on offer is as high-quality at Klaw as it is at The Seafood Cafe. Happily, there is also an oyster happy hour on offer from 5-6pm.
Location: 5a Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin
The Temple Bar
Serving up fresh Galway Bay oysters with a choice of dressing, there is perhaps no better place to partake of oysters and Guinness than The Temple Bar pub in Temple Bar.
Location: 47-48 Temple Bar, Dublin
Temple Bar Food Market
Our final entry for oysters in Temple Bar, the Temple Bar Food Market is held every Saturday in Meeting House Square. Marine biologist Stephen Kavanagh runs the oyster stall at the market, selling fresh oysters with a red wine vinegar and shallot mignonette.
Location: Meeting House Square, Temple Bar
Part of the Brú Brewery group of pubs and restaurants, Catch-22 are focused on serving up fresh and simple Irish seafood.
More information can be found here.
Location: 32 Clarendon Street, Dublin
Sole Seafood & Grill
Sole Seafood & Grill serve up an extensive range of oysters, with both native and rock oysters on the menu. They also offer the classic option of oysters Rockefeller.
Location: 18-19 South William Street, Dublin
The Cliff Townhouse seafood restaurant serve up exquisite dishes in a bright, elegant dining room located on St. Stephen’s Green in the centre of the city. For oysters specifically, the Oyster and Champagne Bar at Cliff Townhouse is the place to go for a taste of the finest Irish oysters, not to mention the other delicacies on offer, such as caviar.
Location: 22 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin
No. 27 Bar & Lounge
Next up on our list is another decidedly upmarket location, No. 27 Bar & Lounge in the stunning Shelbourne Hotel on Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green. The bar serves up fresh Irish oysters singly or by the half dozen. The type of oyster available varies by season, so make sure to check with the friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Location: 27 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin
The Bull & Castle
Part of the F.X. Buckley family of restaurants and butchers, The Bull & Castle is best known for its excellent steaks. However, you can also indulge in some delicious oysters here in an Irish twist on surf n’ turf.
Location: 5-7 Lord Edward Street, Christchurch, Dublin
Ryan’s Parkgate Street
Another member the F.X. Buckley family, Ryan’s Parkgate Street serve up fresh Irish rock oysters as part of the tapas menu. This refurbished Victorian style pub is also a great spot to wash down some oysters with a pint of Guinness.
Location: 28 Parkgate Street, Dublin
The Bank Bar and Restaurant
The luxurious and grand open spaces of the interior of The Bank Bar and Restaurant are a result of its previous life as an actual bank. The decorated high ceilings of the restaurant set the perfect scene for a half dozen Carlingford oysters with brunch.
Location: 20-22 College Green, Dublin
King Sitric & East Cafe Bar
There is no better place to enjoy the fruits of the sea than on the coast. At King Sitric & East Cafe Bar you can enjoy fine oysters from the Kelly Oyster Farm in Galway with a view of the sea.
Location: E Pier, Howth, Dublin
Another excellent seaside dining option in Howth, Aqua Restaurant serve up half a dozen Irish rock oysters as part of its á la carte menu.
Location: 1 W Pier, Howth, Dublin
Finally, we come to Octopussys restaurant in Howth, serving up fresh Carlingford oysters with lemon and tabasco as part of their tapas menu. Octopussys is provided with a steady supply of fresh seafood from the fishmongers next door to the restaurant on the pier at Howth.
Location: W Pier, Howth, Dublin
The Brass Monkey
Located near to Octopussys on Howth Pier, The Brass Monkey offer half a dozen fresh oysters with ginger, lemon wedge, and red wine mignonette on crushed ice.
Location: 12 W Pier, Howth, Dublin
Lobstar restaurant is situated in Monkstown, near to the seaside village of Dun Laoghaire on the south coast of Dublin. Lobstar serve up Carlingford oysters in a variety of styles. We love the Asian cooler with ponzu, lime, sea trout roe, green oil, and cucumber.
Location: 101 Monkstown Road, Monkstown, Dublin