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A spaghetti dish at Dunne & Crescenzi
Photograph: Joanne Murphy

The 11 best Italian restaurants in Dublin

Dreaming of perfect pizzas and super spaghetti? These are the best Italian restaurants in Dublin for classic cuisine

Written by
Nicola Brady

Whenever the ‘best food in the world’ is discussed, Italian food is at the forefront of the argument, and with good reason. The simple mention of these classic dishes has people drifting off into a misty-eyed daydream, picturing perfectly charred pizza crusts and forkfuls of delicate tagliatelle. 

You want the good news? The best Italian restaurants in Dublin are up there with the finest on the continent. The commitment to tradition and authenticity is admirable and devourable, the perfect precursor to a night exploring the Irish capital’s famous pubs and bars. Dublin is a foodie paradise, and these spots are leading the charge.

🍝 The best restaurants in Dublin
📍 The best things to do in Dublin
🏨 The best hotels in Dublin
🏡 The best Airbnbs in Dublin 

This guide was written by Dublin-based writer Nicola Brady. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines

Best Italian restaurants in Dublin

Rosa Madre
Photograph: Rosa Madre

1. Rosa Madre

There’s always an element of spectacle at Rosa Madre. The focus here is on Italian seafood – dishes include things like a whole sea bass baked in salt and set alight as it comes out of the kitchen. Order a bottle of champagne and owner Luca de Marzio might just teach you how to open it with a sabre. But all the theatre doesn’t distract from the fact that this is some of the best Italian food in all of Ireland.

Price: Mid-range

Pi Pizza
Photograph: Pi Pizza /

2. Pi Pizza

One of the hottest tables in town – don’t blame us for the wait on a Saturday night – Pi Pizza actually wouldn’t feel out of place in Naples. Toppings are sparse but packed with flavour, like the spicy ’nduja drizzled with honey and chilli, and even the Margherita packs a punch with its delicious fior di latte from Cork. This is a good shout for vegans, too – there’s an excellent number with cashew ricotta and courgette, as well as a classic marinara. 

Price: Mid-range


3. Bottega Toffoli

On a back street near Dublin Castle, this place isn’t always open, and sometimes only accepts reservations. But if you do wangle your way in, you’ll be treated to a stellar selection of pizzas, alongside a few specials, pasta dishes and salads. The guys at Bottega Toffoli pride themselves in sourcing ingredients from the very best Irish producers, so expect to find one-off seasonal treats on the menu, too. 

Price: Mid-range

Photograph: Grano

4. Grano

Residents of Stoneybatter couldn’t believe their luck when this little spot popped up in 2018. A family restaurant in every sense of the word – their mamma comes over regularly to cook  Grano is where you’ll find genuine Italian cuisine at some of the best prices in town. Their cacio e pepe spaghetti comes swaddled in black truffle, and the pappardelle with wild boar ragù is pure heaven.

Price: Mid-range

Terra Madre
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Valeria B.

5. Terra Madre

You might not expect to find a cracking restaurant down a small staircase by the River Liffey. But at Terra Madre, that’s just what you’ll get. Enter, and you could almost be in Italy: the menu is tiny, with most of it based on traditional dishes the owners’ grandmothers made back home. The ravioli del ‘Plin’ is doused in black truffle, and the olive oil on each table is a spicy delight – splash it on the warm hunks of bread that emerge from the kitchen. 

Price: Mid-range

Da Mimmo
Photograph: Da Mimmo

6. Da Mimmo

If you’re out by the North Strand, Da Mimmo is a must-visit. And even if you’re not, it’s worth making the trek for their pasta or wood-fired pizza. There’s a huge variety on the menu, whether you want to keep things simple with buffalo mozzarella and basil or go all out with Italian sausage and artichokes. The wine menu is top-notch, and very reasonably priced to boot.

Price: Mid-range


7. Osteria Lucio

The area around Dublin’s docklands can sometimes feel a little quiet in the evening – most of the crowds rushing around during the day are folk from Google and Facebook, who disappear come nightfall. Those who hang around are likely heading to Osteria Lucio, the restaurant co-owned by Ross Lewis, of the infamous Chapter One. Here the food is as beautiful as it is delicious, with highlights ranging from delicate platters of salumi to a homemade tagliatelle with duck ragú that’s damn near heavenly. 

Price: Mid-range

Dunne & Crescenzi
Photograph: Joanne Murphy

8. Dunne & Crescenzi

A favourite on the Dublin dining scene since 1999, Dunne & Crescenzi is a consistently excellent restaurant on Frederick Street South. There’s a whole menu of mozzarella and burrata, some excellent nibbles to kick things off with, and their wild mushroom ravioli is exceptional. There are other outposts in Sandymount, Dundrum and Kildare Village, too. 

Price: Mid-range


9. Al Vesuvio

Temple Bar gets a bit of a bad rap, but there are some diamonds to be found in this bit of rough. On the edge of Meeting House Square, Al Vesuvio is a cosy little spot where you’ll find excellent small plates like bruschetta and carpaccio, as well as a copious menu of pasta dishes and secondi. Their oven-baked gnocchi is bathed in cheese and feels like a hug in a bowl. 

Price: Mid-range

Photograph: Manifesto

10. Manifesto

You know a wine menu is good when it takes up half the table. There are a lot of pages of wine at Manifesto, but don’t despair – the team know their stuff (and they won’t turn their noses up if you just want a glass of house white). The pizzas are exceptional, as are the pasta and mains, like slow-cooked lamb with aubergine puree, and chargrilled venison with violet chard and salsify. Order some deep-fried courgette, too – you won’t regret it. 

Price: Mid-range

Photograph: Host

11. Host

Since opening a few years back, Host has won legions of loyal fans, who now flock to Ranelagh to snaffle small plates to share over a bottle of Tempranillo or a white port and tonic. The menu is fairly small but filled with winners, from a burrata with tomato and mint to a shiitake mushroom tagliolini. The warm chunks of focaccia that kick off every meal are divine.   

Price: Mid-range

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