8 Early Birds in Dublin That Are Under Fifty Quid but Feel Fancy

Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: Instagram & George Voronov

The secret to savouring remarkable dining experiences amidst the ‘cozzy living babes’ is the cheeky Earlybird. The early bird special grants thrifty girlies access to a world of flavour and creativity. A world where talented chefs pour their heart and soul into each plate. In a city where every penny counts, early birds are on the cusp of becoming a beacon of culinary salvation.

Picture this: you arrive at a cosy restaurant just as the day begins to wane. The evening’s anticipation heightens your senses. A jolt of adrenaline courses through your body as you marvel at how you have managed to get a sweet rezzy to indulge in some of Ireland’s culinary powerhouses at a fraction of the price. This strategic dining choice allows you to indulge in haute cuisine without emptying your pockets. It’s a win-win scenario—supporting local eateries while enjoying a quality meal that might otherwise be genuinely out of reach.

While we’re far from the glory days of the twenty-quid three-course menu, there are still a few knocking about under that fifty-quid mark.

Clanbrassil House

2 Courses for €38 or 3 Courses €48

 Clanbrassil House is always the right choice. It gives Bastible vibes but in a more relaxed and ultimately affordable fashion. You can opt into the multicourse tasting menu if you want, but on early weekdays you can go in on the two or three-course early bird. Now is it the most filling meal in the world? I’ll be candid and say not unless you opt-in on sides. But does it feel fancy and taste amazing? Yes, it undoubtedly does. So if that is what you want from your midweek treat, this is the early birdie for you. Get it.


2 Courses for €37 or 3 Courses €42

Piglet was a plan hatched by Enrico Fantasia and Thibaud Harang over many glasses of wine and plates of good food. It is a wine bar, first and foremost and is also the home of Cacio et Pepe in Dublin. They literally brought the dish here, and it got so popular that they literally can’t remove it from the menu without ensuring the wrath of their regulars. They’ve tried. The small cosy space also has a lovely alfresco meditation-style terrace that makes for perfect apres work dining.


2 Courses for €29 or 3 Course €33

Glás is a vegetarian restaurant with a punch. Every dish is both decorative and flavourful. They pull from all sorts of global cuisines and go in more on recipes that are inherently vegetarian rather than lean into imitation meat. There is enough space that you can almost always grab a last-minute reservation. That said, I would book to ensure you get in on time for the early bird. What’s great about this early bird is that every meal option is available in it. You’re not dealing with a limited, curated menu. It’s all on it. So as long as you get in early enough, you get that sweet, sweet value.


3 courses for €32

Wallaces Earlybird is classic Italian fare. There’s bruschetta, pizza, pasta. There’s gelato, affogato and many more bits to choose from. All are made and served with an Italian flare. Sometimes people say it’s hard to get over the Mick Wallace of the place. But anyone who has ever enjoyed the banging Earlybird is not one of those haters. It is genuinely the best place to take a picky friend or go to when payday is a touch too far away, and you just need to feel a little fancy for one night only.

The Shelbourne

2 Courses for €35 or 3 Courses €40

The Shelbourne is about as swank as they get, but even they are not above value for money. They might name it a ‘pre-theatre’ menu to save face. But we all recognise an early bird, even if it is shrouded in posh. The menu is classic fancy fare, but beef is included at no extra surcharge. And the mains come with a side of potatoes. So they’re definitely not trying to get you to opt-in on the extras here. Reservations are the trickiest thing when it comes to eating in the Saddle Room, so if this is the sort of fancy you want to feel, then be sure to plan accordingly.


2 Courses for €35 or 3 Courses €40

Sole is notoriously expensive because seafood, and Irish seafood in particular, has a high entry cost. But on this beautiful early bird, oysters are included with no supplemental charge. There are also classics like moules et frites, seafood chowder and Sea Bass. So if you’re after a seafood treat, then this is the early bird for you.

Orwell Road

2 Courses for €30 or 3 Courses €38

The most recent and very much welcome addition to early bird land is Orwell Road. While they market this two or three-course bonanza as a ‘neighbourhood menu’ aimed at locals, we see it for what it really is banking value. Nearly a year on from opening, Orwell Road’s cooking has won a very loyal following for this very convivial and stylish local favourite. Alongside their Summer Dinner a la carte menu, the new ‘Neighbourhood Set Menu’ is served from Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday from 17:00 – 18:00. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the signature cuisine of Orwell Road with their Salted Cod & nduja croquettes and Baked hake, mussel, Goatsbridge trout roe leading the charge.


2 Courses for €29 or 3 Courses €33

The newest steak joint to oscail an doras in our fair city came with its very one Earlybird. And thank the steak deities because it’s not an objectively affordable place to eat. But what steak place is? Steak like shellfish just comes with a price tag. So at least with this noob, they understood that and aced the assignment by offering an early bird that includes a bit of beef for under thirty euros. Perfect for when you’re feeling the primal urge to gnash your teeth into some cow carcass.

These cheeky early birds, CHARmanders, are truly like skeleton keys of joy. They unlock the treasures of Dublin’s culinary landscape on an ‘every little helps’ inspired budget. So despite the relentless cost of living, you too can feel fancy and relish in the joys of exceptional dining.

Elsewhere on CHAR: How to Pick a Good Restaurant on TikTok

Related Articles