The most useful eateries for slapdash travelers like me are notable places that serve excellent food and are likely to have a table on short notice.
Call and try to get a booking if you can, or just show up and see if there's room for you at the bar:
9 Clanbrassil St. Upper, Merchant's Quay
The housemade pork sausage with creamy mashed potatoes and chard was an upscale take on bangers and mash. Don't miss the square cut hashed chips (french fries to us Americans). Really interesting food and unusual wines at great prices. There's an early bird special if you can make it.
Piglet Wine Bar
Cow's Lane, Temple Bar
The rabbit shoulders in red wine blew me away. And so did the Caprese salad. This is an enoteca (Italian wine bar) with snacks. But oh what snacks!
18 Merrion Row
The ceviche was stunning and so was the Spanish white wine the waitress recommended to go with it. This is tiny cafe near Saint Stephen's Green with stunning food and a casual vibe. Highly recommended and well worth the price.
2-3 Drury St.
Cod tacos with spicy salsas and guacamole? You betcha! The Eire-Mex fare at Masa is served on fresh corn tortillas. And, to the amazement of Mexicans and Americans, the Irish crowd eats the the world's oldest finger food with knives and forks!
130 Pearse St Grand Canal Dock, Dublin,
There's a pleasant take on an Irish breakfast at Gertrude as well as hip and healthy dishes for brunch, lunch, pre-theater and dinner, all at reasonable prices. The pre-theater menu offers 3 courses for 30 euros.
Richmond St. S.
If you like food trucks, food trailers, and cutting edge fusion food, you'll love Eatyard. It's an ever-changing collection of food vendors in a little coutyard off Richmond St. Sandwiches, bao buns, barbecue and burgers are among the usual suspects, but there's always lots of surprises. Best of all--no reservations are required!