One of the disorienting things about researching places to eat in Dublin is that, even among the restaurants with reputations for being family-friendly, so many have the words “bar” or “pub” in their names. That said, I’m going to direct you to a place that started out as a pub on the road to the city: the Halfway House and its restaurant, Mulberry. According to its website: “Meath and North County Dublin farmers nicknamed the pub The Halfway House as it was a prominent watering hole that was ‘halfway’ to Dublin on their route to the markets.” That was over 80 years ago, and though it’s still a great place to take a break and grab a drink, it’s grown to much more.
In the suburb of Ashtown, the Halfway House is a short drive from historic Phoenix Park, which houses the Dublin Zoo, a restored castle, a herd of wild deer, and many other sights to see while your kids work up an appetite.
The children’s menu at Mulberry offers appetizers, main courses, and desserts, with two courses for € 9.50 and three courses for € 11. It’s mostly internationally familiar children’s favorites like burgers and chicken strips, with a few Irish touches — the lasagna comes with “chips”, aka fries, possibly so as not to make it the only main course without potatoes. (The “mash” part of the bangers and mash is also potatoes, the bangers being sausages. And the roast joint is meat, just to be clear.) Desserts include ice cream, Jello (“jelly”) and warm brownies.
Adults have plenty of choices, whether they’re there for dinner or Sunday lunch. The early bird dinner (Wednesday to Saturday, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM) offers two courses for € 17.95, three for € 22.95, with tea or coffee included. The food consists of classics like soup, salad, chicken, salmon, and steak, with all main dishes served with vegetables and, again, potatoes (except for the pasta). Ice cream and brownies, in slightly more sophisticated form, show up here too. The a la carte dinner menu offers more choices, including “The Mulberry Steaks” sized up to 12 ounces (€ 22.95). Sunday lunch is more of a midday dinner, where you can get roast beef, turkey, and many of the items from the dinner menu. Maybe that’s why it’s served till 6:00 PM.
Mulberry, at the Halfway House on Navan Road, is open Wednesday to Saturday from 5:00 PM until 11:00 PM and Sunday from 12.30 until 9.30 PM.
Editor’s Note: While on a family vacation you will want accommodations that are kid-friendly. Read about our top choices here.