Our foodie favourites from Taste of Dublin food festival and what to know before you go!

Calling all foodies! Get yourselves to Taste of Dublin food festival as soon as possible!

Now in its 18th year, Taste of Dublin food festival is back and stronger than ever after Covid-19. In fact, there was a very different feel to Taste’s usual affair this year, with Covid restrictions seeming to have actually worked in the festival’s favour – there more seating to sit and enjoy your meal and drink, an accessible and organised layout and an overall more elevated feeling to the whole event. And with Saturday evening tickets already sold out, we’d recommend booking quickly if you’re to experience this unique and flavour-filled event!

Running for five days this year instead of its usual three, guests have the opportunity to pick from different time slots in order to accommodate Covid restrictions. Spacing and organisation is top notch, so there’s no fear of overcrowding at any of the sessions available, making it an altogether very relaxed and comfortable experience. Check out the times available here.

The Iveagh Gardens were a transformed space, becoming a twinkle-light filled haven of incredible aromas and slick music performances, as guests checked into the Fercullen Whiskey VIP area and their ‘pod’. All guests must provide their EU Digital Covid certificate and ID, before enjoying a glass of champagne and taking it all in. Making their way to their assigned picnic table with parasols fluttering overhead, they browsed the digital menus, making their selections from some of Dublin’s finest up-and-coming restaurants and food trucks.

Wandering into one of the other main areas, guests canfind hours’ worth of entertainment in cooking demonstrations with the likes of Kevin Thornton and Ballymaloe Queen herself, Rachel Allen, a performance on the cultural stage from some of Gaiety’s best and brightest, as well as an Electric Picnic-worthy stage for live music and bands. Check out some of their wonderful ‘Food for Thought’ guest talks, like ‘Ireland’s Hidden Food Trails: West Limerick’ and wine masterclasses to become an expert in European wines!

The joy of this festival is in the drifting from food truck to food stall, a cocktail from Schweppes or kombucha from Booch Bar in hand and taking in the excitement of feeling that we’re back to this kind of life after a long and dreary year of lockdowns. The feeling that, in spaces like this filled with incredible smells, colours and people, there is a little life returning to our city’s centre.

There was a distinct emphasis on street food this year, alongside the tapas bars and new food entrepreneurs, perhaps because of the innovation needed from the restaurant industry this year when neither indoor nor outdoor dining was allowed at times. Although those times were testing, Taste of Dublin’s lineup proved that the struggle was worthwhile for the innovation that’s burst forth from it – some of our favourites included Bahay’s Filipino-inspired food, Los Chicano’s Taqueria and The Salty Buoy’s amazing fish menu. We Irish have gotten too used to walking with a coffee and takeaway food this year throughout multiple lockdowns, but it feels worth it when eating The Salty Buoy’s garlic and lemon hake kiev!

The venue can hold 1,500 people this year as opposed to its pre-Covid capacity of 4,500, but the atmosphere feels more relaxing and intimate, a queue-less, smooth food journey through the gardens without battling through crowds and should be considered a triumph by organiser Roger Duggan.

Participating food vendors include:

Port House tapas bar – they also have a sit-down area which is totally glam

King Sitric restaurant – they have set up as an oyster bar if you’re looking for something a little different.

Los Chicanos Taqueria – a simply to die for Mexican food truck

The Salty Buoy seafood truck – one of the best and freshest seafood experiences you’ll every have

Bites by Kwanghi – a pan-Asian spicy delight of a menu

Bahay Filipino Flavours – probably one of our favourite spots in the entertainment area

Naughty Neighbour – a savoury food truck with all things delicious and dirty

Three Twenty ice-cream shop – the creamiest ice cream of your life that’s made with liquid Nitrogen!

Our unmissable food picks from the hugely varying menus include:

The fresh Irish gill net Hake, breadcrumbed and gently friend with punchy garlic butter filling from The Salty Buoy

Los Chicano’s Taqueria’s Achill Island Lamb Barbacoa with tomtillo mint sauce

Bahay’s Fried Irish Gambas with Zamboanga sauce and toasted coconut milk and crab roe

Booch Bar’s Apple Kombucha and Raspberry Kombucha – this is not your average kombucha!

Tickets are sold in groups, so get a gang of six or four together this weekend and be sure to hit up this unmissable event this weekend!