Forget the fine china and white linen. You can get your fill without draining your wallet (or money belt). These fuss-free places also offer the opportunity to rub shoulders with everyday locals. The only disappointment is the lack of traditional Irish food which you'll find mostly in pubs, or at more upmarket restaurants.
Our first choice is easy. Dublin would be a much poorer place without grand old Bewley's, which serves possibly the best coffee and fresh baked cakes in town all day, but is good for a meal or snack whenever you feel like it.
On our menu at number two is another great Dublin institution. Leo Burdock have been serving traditional fish and chips for nearly a century now - if it's good enough for Tom Cruise and Liam Neeson, it's good enough for us. They also have a Temple Bar branch.
Slap bang in the buzzing heart of Temple Bar, the Bad Ass Cafe is a perfect burger pit stop. There's a buzz too in the US-themed Gotham Cafe where the speciality is exotic pizzas. Still on the American theme, Eddie Rocket's is a take on the sort of diner Mom and Pop once frequented, and is lots of fun.
For something completely different , try the friendly Mongolian Barbeque. Here you create your own dish and if you choose the basic meal (which is still very good value and pretty good quality), this is the cheapest place to eat in this part of town
The Market Bar is one of the more expensive places on this list but it's also one of the most attractive and serves classy tapas in a very attractive and fashionable old building.
For a light bite, or a hearty slurp, pop into Soup Dragon who also do good breakfasts. Sufi's is another likeable ethnic snacky sort of place, and open late too.
Finally all the family will enjoy a pizza at Milano, part of the excellent and ever reliable Pizza Express chain.
Swords, Co. Fingal, Ireland
U 4 Town Centre Shopping Mall Swords Dublin, Swords
Main Street, Above Hunters Pub, Ashbourne, Co. Meath, Ireland
1 Harbour Rd
8 Parliament St
1 Windsor Terrace
77 North King Street
off Grafton Street
23 Wicklow Street
Comedy, theatre, music and booze... read more
Lower Baggot Street