Portsmouth; The Island City

Portsmouth is another place that I probably wouldn’t have thought to visit but I’m so glad that I did. My brother lived there for 2 years when he was doing his Masters at the University of Portsmouth. I was living in Australia at the time and was unable to visit, so it was great to finally see where he lived, worked and went to school.

Portsmouth is a port city in Hampshire, located on the South coast of England. It has the world’s oldest dry dock and is home to several famous ships, including the Mary Rose and the HMS Victory. Not only is Portsmouth known for its rich naval history, it is also the birthplace of several literary legends like Charles Dickens and H. G. Wells.

Here are my top recommendations for what to see and do when visiting the U.K.’s only island city.

  1. Head down to the Gunwharf Quays – Take a stroll along the boardwalk and marvel at the beautiful ships in the harbour. Make sure to take the boat tour around the harbour and Naval Dockyard to learn more about the ships and surrounding sights. Board at the Quays and get off at the Historic Dockyard for your chance to see these famous ships up close. The tour is a little under an hour and costs £8 for one adult ticket. While you’re there, stop and admire Spinnaker Tower; one of the tallest structures in the UK, outside of London.

2. Visit the Historic Dockyard – Step onboard one of Portsmouth’s famous ships or immerse yourself in the history of the Navy by visiting the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Tickets can be purchased individually or for all attractions including the National Museum, Submarine Museum and entry onto the HMS Warrior. Book your tickets here: http://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/.

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HMS Victory.

3. Take an early morning stroll along the Pier – My dad and I walked along the pier each morning at sunrise. What a great way to start off the day! I highly recommend grabbing a coffee at one of the local cafes and checking out all of the quirky and eclectic buildings and restaurants along the waterfront.

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4. Admire the unique street art – Beautiful, creative and colourful pieces can be found all over the city. I am amazed by how talented these artists are – make sure to stop and admire their hard work.

5. Indulge at Little Johnny Russell’s – Little Johnny Russell’s has one of the best burgers I’ve had in ages. It came with a coleslaw that was to die for and delicious chips. The drinks are reasonably priced and they have a variety of DJ’s most nights that play everything from reggae to jazz. See what’s on here: http://www.littlejohnnyrussells.com/whats-on/.

8. Get lost amongst the colourful buildings – Colourful buildings give any city character, especially when that city is located in a country that gets a lot of rain. It’s impossible to be grumpy when you’re surrounded by all those vibrant colours 🙂

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Best coffee: Southsea Coffee (independent, coffee, tea, cakes, breakfast, sandwiches, friendly staff, cold beverages)

Best restaurant: Spice Merchant (Indian, curry, modern, vegetarian, friendly staff)

Best shopping: Albert Road (funky shops, vintage, antique, bohemian, trendy)

Best pies: Pie & Vinyl (vinyl, pies, sides, cordials, bric-a-brac)

Brighton: a hidden gem

Brighton is the kind of place where you can be yourself – whoever that is. I fell in love with this seaside town as soon as I arrived. Vintage shopping, unique street art, friendly people & the beach – what’s not to love? Brighton’s visitor website https://www.visitbrighton.com/ describes it as “vibrant, colourful and creative” and I couldn’t agree more! 

I had a friend visiting me in Dublin for a couple of weeks from Australia before setting off to meet my family in the UK. I was pretty tired after all of the exploring we did around Ireland so I was happy to have a relaxing week in England with everyone. We met in London and headed straight to Portsmouth to see where my brother went to school, meet his friends and explore the city. We spent a few days there and then we headed off to Brighton. I had never really thought to visit Brighton but my family had been a couple of years ago and told me how much I’d like it and of course, they were right.

If you haven’t ever thought to visit Brighton, like myself, let this list of my favourite things entice you 🙂

  1. The Royal Pavilion Grounds & Brighton Dome – Dating back over 200 years, the Royal Pavilion is a stunning building with a colourful past. It was initially built as a palace for King George IV and was subsequently used as a civic building and a hospital during World War I. You can pay to visit the inside of the Pavilion or enjoy a leisurely walk around the grounds, as I did. The garden is well maintained and has a variety of colourful flowers on display. It’s a great place to get away from the crowds and relax after a long day of exploring. You can also take in a show at the Dome. See what’s on here https://brightondome.org/whats_on/.

2. The street art – Not only is Brighton quirky, colourful and eclectic – it’s also very creative. It seemed that I was stopping every few minutes to take a look at another amazing piece of street art. The best place for street art is in and around the Lanes which is Brighton’s famous shopping district.

3. The Lanes – I’m not a big shopper by any means, especially since I’ve been living out of a suitcase for the better part of the last six years. This means that I can only buy what I really need or can’t live without. It also means that I’m usually on a budget. This is, by far, the best shopping district I’ve ever been to. The Lanes has everything – funky shops with antiques and vintage clothing, great cafes and restaurants. If you’re into antique shopping like myself, Snooper’s Paradise is the place for you! Located in the North Laine, Snoopers Paradise features a variety of unique and affordable stalls that are independently owned. You can spend hours going up and down each aisle, searching for your perfect treasure. 

4. The Pier – The Brighton Palace Pier has a nostalgic feel, taking you back in time to when fairgrounds were commonplace. There are rides, arcades and different food stalls with candy floss, crepes, hot dogs and other carnival treats. This wouldn’t usually be something that I’d enjoy but it was really fun to walk amongst all of the activity and take in the scenic views overlooking the English Channel. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve compiled a list of questions that I’m often asked about traveling. Answering them has been great for me because it’s given me a lot of time to reflect and think about why I do what I do. If you’re considering picking up and heading off on an adventure but are unsure where to start, you might want to give this a read. Happy travels!

  1. Q: How do you afford to travel as much as you do? A: This is a common one that my fellow adventurers and I are often asked. I’ve heard, “wow you always seem to be traveling somewhere, I wish I could afford to do that!” so many times that I’ve lost count. The reality is – anyone can do it, it just depends on how badly you want to. Everyone has different priorities and lifestyles and I understand that mine may not appeal to everyone. I’m single at the moment with no children and I don’t have a mortgage, car or many material possessions. I don’t spend money on visiting a hairdresser like most people do on a monthly basis; instead I visit a barber which is significantly cheaper. I rarely purchase makeup, accessories, shoes or clothes (when I do purchase clothes, they’re usually from a thrift store or Forever 21 – or Forever 30 at this point but hey, if I can still fit into the clothing I’m doing ok!) and I don’t remember the last time I had my nails done, got a facial or had other spa treatments. That doesn’t mean I don’t treat myself, I just usually do it in the comfort of my own home. My phone is ‘pay as you go’ and I use public transportation to get around. Every year on my birthday and at Christmas, I ask for money instead of gifts and when I’m traveling, I stay in hostels or cheap hotels depending on the country. I also don’t shop when I’m traveling; I only really purchase souvenirs authentic to that country. The bulk of my money is spent on food because I really enjoy trying different cuisines. There are always cheap flights if you look early enough and you can get alerts sent to your email for select destinations. There is always a way to travel on a budget. There are many reasons for not traveling (kids, mortgages, illness, etc.) but if it’s something you crave, you can and will find a way to make it happen.
  2. Q: Where do you stay when you’re visiting other countries? A: I usually stay in hostels (I get a private room which is still less expensive than a hotel), Airbnb’s or with a friend if I’m lucky enough. I’m rarely in my room so it’s really just a place to crash for the night. On a recent trip to Prague, I stayed outside the city centre in a cute little B&B. I booked this trip last minute so there weren’t a lot of options in the city. I opted to stay out in a more rural part of Prague which was lovely. I had to take public transport into the city each day which I didn’t mind one bit as it was easy and affordable. Where you stay just depends on your comfort level and what you’re willing to spend. I don’t have the need to stay in 5 star hotels but I also don’t enjoy getting 2 hours of sleep because the 7 other people in my dorm are snoring and/or partying all night. You need to be comfortable and get a good nights sleep, especially if you’re doing a full day of exploring.
  3. Q: How do you get around in the city that you’re visiting? A: The first thing I do when I arrive in a new city is grab a map to familiarize myself with my surroundings. Your hotel will almost always have one or you can stop into a tourist office and pick one up there. I always ask a local what the easiest way to get from point A to B is if I’m stuck and Google Maps always comes in handy. In some countries, it’s incredibly cheap to get a taxi so that’s always an option that can save you time and effort. I always do a bit of research beforehand. You don’t have to plan everything down to the minute but it’s nice to know where certain attractions are in relation to one another.
  4. Q: What if no one speaks your language? A: You can always find someone willing to help, even if they don’t speak your language. In Japan, I had a hard time finding English speakers but people were always willing to lend a hand by pointing me in the right direction or leading me to someone that could help. Train stations, hotels and tourists offices are also great places to visit if you’re stuck, as they usually have staff members that can speak a variety of languages.
  5. Q: Are you ever afraid when traveling on your own? A: Nope. I actually love it because I can do what I want, when I want. If I want to walk around for 6 hours non-stop or just relax on the beach for a day, I can. That’s not saying I don’t love traveling with a companion, I’m just very selective about who I choose to travel with. It really takes a strong friendship/relationship to be able to travel together and not strangle each other by the end of it. I’ve been very lucky with travel partners in the past but I’ve heard stories of even the strongest relationships crumbling when things don’t go according to plan. And it’s inevitable that things won’t always go according to plan. You have to be able to look at the bigger picture, keep a clear mind and adapt to the situation. As long as no one is in physical danger, things will work out just fine. Sometimes, they even end up better than you had initially expected 🙂 Now, when you are on your own, you have to use common sense and keep your wits about you. You should do this regardless but you should maintain a heightened sense of your surroundings at all times when traveling solo. Most importantly, do a little research on the country you’re visiting. In some countries for example, wearing a certain style of dress can be offensive, especially when visiting temples and shrines and you will be required to cover yourself before entering. Always be smart, use common sense and trust your gut!
  6. Q: What made you pick up and move to Australia and now Ireland? A: When I moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2011, I had just graduated from University. I was working a job that I wasn’t really enjoying and was growing bored of the same old routine in Toronto. I had also been suffering from a lot of panic attacks at the time and felt really anxious about what the future held. An Australian friend and I decided to head to Coachella Music Festival that April and we met up with 3 of his friends visiting from Melbourne. We had the greatest time together and I remember one of them asking me why I don’t get a Working Holiday Visa for Australia. I thought to myself, why don’t I? What’s stopping me? I went back to Canada, applied for a visa, packed my bags and a month later was on my way to Melbourne. It was the single greatest decision I’ve ever made. The lessons that I learned were invaluable and I developed a really strong sense of self. My anxiety subsided and my confidence grew; I felt that if I could move across the world, get a job and an apartment by myself, I really could do anything. I ended up staying for nearly 4 years. During this time, I did lots of traveling, I fell in love and got married (although it didn’t work out in the end, I have no regrets; he’s a wonderful person that I remain friends with to this day), I volunteered in Tasmania, worked a variety of jobs and met many people; some of whom are now lifelong friends. After returning to Canada for a couple of years, I was ready for another adventure. I decided to move to Ireland in January of this year. I had never been but I’ve always had a special connection to it (you’d never know but my maternal grandfather’s family is from Belfast) and I have always wanted to see the lush landscapes I’ve only witnessed in movies (PS I love you, anyone?). I’ve been living in Dublin for nearly 5 months now. I’ve already visited quite a bit of this beautiful island and I’ve seen some amazing things so far. I’ve had some ups and downs which comes with the territory; you go through a range of emotions when you move abroad but in the end, it’s always worth it. You will never look back and regret experiencing another culture, regardless if you choose to stay or head elsewhere. I’m thrilled that I get to spend time in such a beautiful place and I’m looking forward to visiting other parts of the country and Europe in the near future.
  7. Q: Do you ever think you’ll settle down in one place? A: I really have no idea. So far, I can’t say that I’ve found somewhere that I think I can settle down in ‘forever.’ The concept of forever doesn’t really apply to me because I know how quickly things can change so I tend to just go with the flow and see how I feel as time goes on. I, of course, love Canada and if I ever went back I would definitely settle down in the West Coast somewhere. I love the mountains and the lifestyle there so I think it’s somewhere I’d fit in quite well. For now, I’m just trying to live in the moment (at times this is easier said than done; my mind is one that doesn’t ever seem to shut off) and enjoy every minute that I have here – the good, the not so good and everything in between.
  8. Q: Do you ever get homesick? A: I miss my family and close friends all the time but I never really get homesick for a place. I am very proud to be Canadian and will always have a strong bond to my country but I don’t necessarily know if I will settle down there. I also have a strong tie to Australia, having spent so much time there and making a life there that it will always be special to me. I read something one day about a man who said that he didn’t really get homesick because he sort of felt like he was a ‘citizen of the world.’ I completely understood where he was coming from because I, too, feel that I could be happy and make a life in many different places.
  9. Q: Are you afraid of living in/traveling around Europe with everything that’s going on at the moment? (This is a question, I’ve been asked more and more lately) A: No and here’s why…things can happen anywhere. If you constantly worry about the worst case scenario, you will never leave your house. There are crazy, unstable people in every corner of the globe. Things can happen anywhere; in every country, big city or small town. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be careful and aware of your surroundings but you can’t stop living your life out of fear. Get out there and enjoy every moment of this crazy, beautiful life while you can!
  10. Q: What advice can you give someone who wants to travel but might be afraid to leave their comfort zone? A: Just go. You will never regret the decision to travel and experience another culture. I’m not saying you have to pick up and move across the world but you can start off small. Travel around your home country first and then expand from there. If the bug is really in you, you will make it happen and push through your fears. I think that the only way to get over our fears is to really put ourselves out there because it allows us to realize that nothing is ever as bad as we think it is. I’ve read articles about the greatest regrets from those at the end of their lives and the most common always seems to be that they regret not living in the moment and doing more of what made them happy. Don’t be someone with regrets. Whatever your passion is (even if you have no desire to travel, there must be something that inspires you) – get out there and give it a try. Do the things that scare you and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. It’s your one and only precious life – make it one to remember.

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“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”-Anonymous

elephant journal: Eight Lessons Learned from a Life of Travel.

I’m often told how lucky I am that I’m able to travel as much as I do.

The truth is that it’s not luck, but it’s my desire to see the world that is so strong. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

For a few years now, I have made it my mission to visit as many places as I can, as often as I’m able to. I’ve learned some invaluable lessons along the way.

Cotton candy sunsets, white sandy beaches, and intricate architecture dating back thousands of years are just some of the many picturesque images we’re inundated with on social media. What’s seldom shown or talked about are the cancelled flights, missed buses and trains, arguments with travel partners, or the illnesses that confine us to our hotels for days.

My favourite quote by the wonderful Anthony Bourdain sums up the beauty and the madness that is travel:

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” 

Check out the rest of my article on elephant journal: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/05/eight-lessons-learned-from-a-life-of-travel/

Beautiful Prague: Must-See & Do

  1. Take a stroll along the Charles Bridge – Beautiful bridge that crosses over the Vltava river. Take your time on this iconic landmark and really soak it all in. One of my best friends was proposed to on this bridge and after visiting it, I can see why her husband chose this location. It really is romantic and gives you a unique perspective of the city.

2. Explore Josefov (the Jewish Quarter) – When WWII commenced, Prague had one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. Most of this area was preserved, as Hitler planned to turn the Synagogues into museums on the “extinct race.” It is also the birthplace of Franz Kafka (monument in last photo). Prague is not only a beautiful city, it is also incredibly fascinating.

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3. Climb the stairs up to St. Vitus Cathedral/Prague Castle grounds – Make sure to climb the stairs that take you up to the Castle grounds (all 208 of them – yes it’s worth it!) because the view is spectacular from the top. It was raining when I went up but it didn’t matter one bit; it was so beautiful that I didn’t even notice the rain. Proceed to St. Vitus which is Prague’s largest and most important Cathedral and admire its stunning Gothic architecture. You can take a tour of the entire Prague Castle or you can enter the first part free of charge. I was lucky enough to catch the changing of the guards which takes place every hour on the hour.

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4. Check out the unique architecture of Dancing House – I’ve seen many photos of Dancing House on Instagram (I follow many travel sites – no surprise there!) and have always wanted to see it in person. It’s modern and striking design really stands out in a city known for its historic buildings. Ginger & Fred Restaurant is located on the top floor and is the only floor open to the public.

5. Walk around Old Town Square – Dating back to the 12th century, the Old Town Square is a bustling place full of activity. Home to the famous Astronomical Clock, Old Town Hall Tower & St. Nicholas Church, this section of the city will fascinate you at every turn. Also make sure to check out Prague’s other main square – Wenceslas Square; only moments from here. It was Easter weekend when I visited and both squares had markets on that were selling everything from traditional Czech food to puppets and painted Easter eggs. It was a magical time to be in the city!

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6. Eat & drink like the locals – Prague has some of the best food I have ever tasted. Potato dumplings, sausage, schnitzel & my absolute favourite – trdelník. Trdelník is a pastry that is rolled, wrapped around a stick and covered in cinnamon sugar. Many stalls also serve them with a variety of fillings and/or ice cream. Food in Prague is inexpensive and very filling, which is great for your wallet and for sustaining you while you’re out and about exploring. I highly recommend going to Pivovarský klub; it’s a very traditional Czech restaurant with excellent beer and terrific food at a great price. Check out their website here: http://www.pivovarskyklub.com/index/index/lang/en. Make sure to try some Czech beers as well (ask your server for recommendations).

7. Visit the Mucha Museum – I am completely fascinated by Czech artist Alphonse Mucha; known for his images of women and his unique Art Nouveau style. This is an absolute must while in Prague – the museum is really well laid out and there is a video that gives you a lot of insight into his life and accomplishments. I’ve been to many museums and art galleries and this one is rated pretty high on my list.

8. Get inspired at the John Lennon Wall – The John Lennon wall not only represents peace and free-speech; some say it inspired the Velvet Revolution which ultimately led to the fall of Communism. In addition to the wall memorializing Lennon and his ideas after his death, those rebelling against the regime took to writing their dreams and aspirations on the wall. The prospect of a prison sentence didn’t stop them – they took to visiting it and inscribing their messages in the middle of the night. Located in Kampa, this is not just like any other wall covered in graffiti – it represents what can happen when you fight hard enough for what you believe in.

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9. Shop for unique items at a local market – I’m a big fan of visiting local markets, especially when I’m in another country. It gives you the opportunity to try different foods, communicate with the locals and check out different arts and crafts from the area. The markets were buzzing at Easter when I visited; it was a wonderful atmosphere filled with people from all walks of life.

10. See if you can spot all of the unique sculptures around town – The controversial Czech artist, David Černý has a variety of sculptures hidden around town. The man hanging by one hand is none other than Sigmund Freud; this statue has garnered more than one phone call to police as onlookers feared it was someone jumping to their death. The kinetic head of Franz Kafka titled K on Sun was my favourite (pictured in the video below). I love anything that’s a little out there and his statues are definitely unique, very fitting for such an amazing city!

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Ciao, Praha! I will definitely be back ❤

From Prague With Love

I finally believe in love at first sight 🙂 Prague has to be the most beautiful city that I have ever laid eyes on. It has a unique history that is as fascinating as it is unsettling. I was able to learn about its past from speaking to locals and doing a bit of my own research. As an Anthropology major, this is what I enjoy most!

Prague was one of the few cities spared by the Nazis during WWII, as Hitler considered Czechoslovakia to be part of Germany. In fact, many of the synagogues in Josefov (the Jewish Quarter) were left unscathed because Hitler wanted to create a museum on “the extinct Jewish race.” At the end of WWII, the Soviet Union helped drive out the Nazis, which led to a communist regime. After a peaceful demonstration in Wencesles Square in 1989, the one-party government came to an end. This transition is known as the Velvet Revolution, as it was non-violent. Shortly after, Czechoslovakia split into the two independent countries we now know as Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Today, it’s a very popular destination with tourists from all over the world. After visiting this wonderful city, it’s easy to see why. The architecture is absolutely stunning, the locals are friendly, it’s inexpensive and the food is like nothing I’ve tasted. There is plenty to see and do and everything is fairly contained, making it easy to walk to most of the attractions. Prague has now moved up in my ranks as one of my favourite cities. If you’re planning your next holiday destination – make sure to consider beautiful Praha, as it truly is the city that has something for everyone.

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View of the beautiful city from the Castle grounds.

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The Charles Bridge.

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Old Town Square.

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You can take a look at what I got up to during my time in this magical city here.

Best affordable eats in Dublin

  1. Pho Ta – I’m pretty picky about my pho, as it is one of my favourite foods; Pho Ta does not disappoint. The noodle soup here is really delicious as are the spring rolls but if you’re not in the mood for soup, they have a variety of noodle and rice dishes and a great selection of appetizers. Located away from the crowds on Cope Street in Temple Bar area, Pho Ta is a breath of fresh air. The service is excellent and the soup is sure to warm you up on one of Dublin’s rainy days!
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Chicken Noodle Soup.

2. Neon – Located on Camden Street (also one of my favourite streets; great pubs along here), Neon is an Asian street food inspired restaurant with a diverse menu. Try one of their fabulous curries or wok dishes – the portions are quite large so make sure to share or save it for a meal the next day. If you have room, there’s free ice cream after your meal – what more can you ask for? This is one restaurant you won’t want to miss in Dublin.

3. Pitt Bros – There’s a reason they keep paper towel on the table at Pitt Bros – things can get messy (in a good way of course). I had the burger and fries and it really hit the spot. They also have ribs, pulled pork, chicken and other delicious items to choose from. Definitely not a place for vegetarians but meat lovers can rejoice – you will leave satisfied and still have money left in your pocket. Check them out at South Great George’s Street in Dublin 2.

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Pitt Bro Burger & Fries.

4. Yamamori – Sushi is one of my favourite foods; I could definitely eat it everyday. I’m used to going to all you can eat sushi in Canada so when I came here and realised there is no such thing, my heart broke a little. But then, I found the award-winning restaurant Yamamori. It’s not all you can eat but it is absolutely delicious sushi all the same. The prices are a little higher than I’m used to but I’m willing to spend a little more to eat something that I really enjoy. Their spider roll with black rice is incredible as is their ramen. If you’re a sushi lover like me, you must try Yamamori. They have several locations around the city serving a variety of Japanese cuisine. Check out their website for more information https://yamamori.ie/.

5. Musashi – Of course I had to include another one of my favourite sushi spots. Musashi has a few locations; I’ve been to the one on Capel Street and it is superb. It can get quite busy so it’s best to book ahead or show up right at noon if you’d like to have lunch.

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Vegetarian Bento Box with Salmon Nigiri.

6. My Meat Wagon – Another great place for meat lovers. Located in Smithfield Square, beside the Lighthouse Cinema and Oscar’s bar, this is a great place to have dinner before seeing a show or heading out for a drink. You can choose from ‘Meat in a box‘, ‘Meat in bread‘ or ‘Meat on a board‘ and all their meat is 100% Irish. Their sides are quite good as well, you can choose from fries, coleslaw, mash, beans, sausage or corn. Yum!

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“MEAT IN BREAD” – Burger & chips.

7. Bunsen – With the tagline ‘Straight up burgers,’ Bunsen does one thing really well – make a delicious burger. Their menu is extremely simple which I love; they have a regular burger, cheeseburger and doubles of each as well as a choice of hand cut, shoestring and sweet potato fries. Their fries are also really delicious – I always go for the shoestring but they’re all great. Because of its popularity, Bunsen often has a queue but you can pop out for a beverage or a walk and they will give you a ring on your mobile when your table is ready. There are two locations; one in Temple Bar area and the other on Wexford Street. I have no idea why I’m writing this near lunchtime…I’m really craving a burger now!

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Bunsen, Temple Bar.

8. Umi Falafel – This is one of my go-to spots for delicious food at a great price. You can either take it away or sit in. It’s a pretty relaxed environment with great service. They have a variety of tasty falafels, salads and an assortment of appetizers. Make sure to try their minted lemonade! They have two locations in Dublin; one on Dame Street and the other in Rathmines.

9. Kimchi – Just tried Kimchi recently and had to add it to the list. The food is delicious, service is quick and the prices are very reasonable. There’s a bar right beside the restaurant which is great for meeting up for a drink before your meal (160-161 Parnell Street). I’ve tried the Chicken Katsu, beef, calamari, salmon sushi/sashimi and a few other kinds of sushi and all were fantastic. If you’re a fan of Japanese & Korean food, Kimchi is not to be missed.

10. Leo Burdock – ‘Burdock’s’ has been around for over 100 years and there’s a reason for that – their fish & chips are delicious! Great prices for the portion sizes; you will definitely leave here satisfied. They have several locations in and around Dublin that have attracted a variety of celebrities over the years such as Snoop Dogg, members of Metallica and Hilary Swank. This is the place to get your fill of fish & chips while in Ireland.

11. Xico – If you love Mexican food like I do, you will love Xico. They serve a variety of Mexican inspired dishes and offer a range of unique cocktails. As soon as I walked into this underground cavern, I knew it would become one of my favourite places. On Tuesdays, they offer a choice of 6 Taquitos or Tostadas for €15 or you can add 2 drinks for €25. Xico is located on Lower Baggot Street in Dublin 2.

12. Smokin Bones – I realise that this list is heavy on the meat but it seems that BBQ joints are all the rage in Dublin. The ‘Pitt Nachos’ and ‘Dirty Fries’ are to die for. They also have Mac n’ Cheese (suitable for vegetarians), Beef Brisket, Burgers, Ribs and a variety of tasty side dishes. Smokin Bones is located in the heart of the city at 34 Dame Street.