Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

Dublin: It’s Not Just Temple Bar

Advertising Agency
Dublin, Ireland
Advertising agency Rothco reveal the top places in Dublin that tourists don’t know about

The team at Ireland’s leading independent agency, Rothco, spill the secrets on where to go for a real taste of Dublin. From yoga and coffee in a 17th century stable, Dim Sum and disco in a technicoloured hybrid to rummaging through vintage finds in independent boutiques or diving off Ireland’s coastline (all year round!), Rothco have compiled a righteously vibrant Dubliner’s guide to the city. It turns out Temple Bar is not the only place to go… 

Places to eat and drink

Best Cheap Eats

“The vibes at The Fumbally are as good as the food… and that's very, very good! I’d also recommend Brother Hubbard. There’s one on the Northside and one on the Southside, so you’re never too far from middle eastern inspired yumminess” says Elaine Joyce, Copywriter 

Basil Pizza in Ringsend is a fab tiny family run pizzeria with seats in a makeshift garden, and Bastible on the South Circular Rd for local is great for seasonal dinner. For an amazing sausage sambo on proper bread visit Pepper Pot Café in Powerscourt Centre” recommends Katie Oslizlock, Business Director 

“Visit 777, you can’t book it unless there’s 6 or more of you, so if you’ve got five friends get booking NOW. By Jesus, it’s worth it for the Margaritas alone which will have you so drunk so quickly you won’t even realize how delicious the tostados and taquitos are!” says Jill Byrne, Director of Marketing 

Best ‘Pricier-but-worth-it Eats’

Forest Avenue is a culinary present to yourself and right beside the restaurant is M O’Briens, a great spot for a pint before or after. For the best Chinese cuisine in Dublin, visit Hang Dai. Their signature dish is Bejing Wood Fired Duck which they prepare for you for 2 days then roast it for 50 minutes on your arrival, but you must pre-order this duck when you make your reservation. Do it!” says Paul Hughes, Strategy Director

“I recommend Heron & Grey is a Michelin Star restaurant in Blackrock Market - if you can get a table! It’s booked out for the rest of 2017, but hey 2018 will be here soon!” says Katie Oslizlock; Business Director

Best Places to Dine & Dance

“Dublin has a penchant for an Asian restaurant and disco double up. Hang Dai and Ukiyo both do it brilliantly!” says Elaine Joyce, Copywriter

Film Credit: Dublin is created by Rothco interns Finn Mullan and Aisling Tierney

Best Place to Feel Like a Dubliner

“Grab a pint outside Grogans or Keoghs. Always outside. Regardless of season!” says Elaine Joyce, Copywriter

Coffee Spots

Two Pups on Francis Street is a cool-ass coffee shop in the heart of Dublin 8. It’s a tiny little spot, but the food and coffee are amazing and it’s always buzzing with people - the perfect spot for a hungover brunch!” says Babs-Ann Hegarty; Project Director

The Fumbally Stables is part of The Fumbally. They run coffee courses, cooking nights and yoga workshops. It’s a really interesting space to do interesting stuff!” says Babs-Ann Hegarty; Project Director

Best Place to People Watch

Kaph on Drury Street is great to grab a coffee, sit outside and watch the world go by on one of Dublin’s prettiest streets.” says Elaine Joyce, Copywriter

Bars and Nightlife 

“Dice Bar on a Friday or Saturday night, get pissed and dance like a mentaliser. Best vibe and music you’ll get in a Dublin bar – everything from rockabilly to punk to New Wave, via Frank Zappa, Serge Gainsbourg and a load of other freaks.” says John McMahon, Copywriter

“I went to a burlesque show there for an anniversary at Number 22 on South Anne Street. It was hilarious! They also have a gorgeous library bar and the cocktails are great” Sam Caren, Art Director 

“Go for pints in the ol’ lad’s paradise that is The Cedar Lounge, where scenes from Roddy Doyle’s The Snapper were shot, for reasons of authenticity! It’s a pub in the middle of a housing estate. Dig it. It’s also the inspiration for one of Dublin’s leading left-wing political blogs, The Cedar Revolution, but don’t mention that to any of our clients. John McMahon, Copywriter

“For the gamer in you Token Dublin has lots of retro video games all lovingly restored. Incredible bar food and a huge selection of craft beers with guest taps. I love this place!” Owen Derby, Head of UX

Things to do:

Best Outdoors Activities

John McMahon, Copywriter suggests:

- "Rent Dublin bikes and go cycling along the great, and only recently completed, cycle track that runs from East Wall to Sutton. It’s physically separated from the road so is 100% safe for kids (though keep an eye out for lycra-clad roadies, they can go a bit fast). 

- Take a tour of the street art around Dublin  

- Walk the cliffs of Howth. Get the Dart to Sutton then start the walk from St. Fintan’s church and walk along the coastal path, all the way back to Howth village. It takes about 2.5 hours and is the mental equivalent of a colonic irrigation. You can have a pint in the Abbey Tavern afterwards and then a bowl of Dublin’s finest chowder at Brass Monkey on the pier in Howth. 

- Walk Dollymount Strand, Dublin’s finest city beach. Access it via either the end of the Wooden Bridge in Clontarf or, if you’re driving, via the causeway near St. Anne’s Park at Raheny. It’s 2 miles of stunning sandy beach with unparalleled views of Dublin’s skyline.

- Go kite-surfing on Dollymount, though make sure you bring a spare pair of arms as yours are likely to get them pulled off ya!

- Go to the greatest park in the world, the Phoenix Park, track down the fallow deer (there are hundreds of them) and then chase them across the fields as if you were a madman from some ancient Irish myth!”

“My favourite walk is South Wall, it’s a brilliant distance for a reasonably short stroll and absolutely incredible views of Poolbeg and the city behind you when you get out to the Lighthouse” says Alan McQuaid, Senior Account Manager

Experiences and Culture

Viking Splash is a half boat half truck thing that drives around the city and ends up in the water. Great craic as we say here. We really do!” says Jill Byrne, Director of Marketing

Kilmainham Gaol is fun to visit, it’s slightly off the beaten track but it’s a really cool building and the set of many prison movies like the The Italian Job.” says Fay Quilligan, Strategist

Best Places to Avoid Tourists

Iveagh Gardens are popularly known as Dublin’s ‘Secret Garden’, a beautiful park in the middle of the city. It’s a really peaceful spot to pop in and enjoy an equally beautiful burrito from nearby Boojum” says Jill Byrne, Director of Marketing

Katie Oslizlock, Business Director recommends “On the last Sunday of every month visit Dublin Flea Market in Blackpitts, the area itself is steeped in history.

Also, check out the yummy food market every Sunday in Dun Laoghaire where you can gorge on anything from Falafel to Jumbo Sausage Rolls, then take a stroll along the pier to walk off your boldness.”

“The Blue Light pub and beer garden is a hidden gem with absolutely amazing views and isn’t too touristy!” says Alan McQuaid, Senior Account Manager 

Hidden Gems

“Take a swim in the sea at The Forty Foot in Dun Laoighre. Immortalised in James Joyce's Ulysses and loved by generations of the city's swimmers, the Forty Foot is a Dublin institution. No matter what time of year you take the plunge you’ll be frozen stiff afterwards, so best to make your way to Rasam for something spicy in the best Indian spot in Dublin!” says Fay Quilligan, Strategist


For women’s fashion Katie Oslizlock, Business Director  suggests visiting “upstairs in Om Diva  on Drury Street, it has 2 floors of Irish designers that are one-offs and affordable. Lucy’s Lounge in Temple Bar for random but quirky little vintage finds and go to Brown Thomas for all things luxury – they also have the best loos if you’re caught on the hop!”

Indigo & Cloth is a deadly little independent store with some seriously cool men’s clothes, there’s also a chance to grab a lovely coffee in it with its partnership with Clement & Pekoe.” Says Alan McQuaid, Senior Account Manager

Best Music

John McMahon, Copywriter says “check out Kling Klang, a night of incredible tunes inspired by Krautrock. It’s upstairs in MVP on the first Thursday of every month and is run by some friends of mine (don’t mention my name, though. I owe them money!)” 

Whelans on Wexford Street is a great spot for more intimate gigs and some good DJ’s playing late”

Work from Droga5 Dublin