If my Instagram feed last year was anything to go by, the entire country will be headed to the beautiful Dingle peninsula this summer. I was lucky enough to live there for a time and never tired of visiting the many delicious restaurants and cafes the town has to offer.

Kerry County Council have recently added some outdoor dining tables on Strand Street at the boatyard, an ideal spot if you can nab a table.

If you are heading that direction this summer, here are some of my favourite spots to visit.

Outdoor Dining

Danno's

You could almost miss Danno's on Strand Street so be sure to keep an eye out for the arched blue gates as you walk out of town towards the harbour. While it may be a more relaxed ambiance, Danno O'Keeffe's standards are anything but. This is a man who knows what he's doing in the kitchen, using only the best of local ingredients. His burgers and steaks are up there but it's the prawns and crab that keep me coming back.

Do yourself a favour and order the Dingle Bay scampi but be sure your dinner date gets the mussels in white wine and garlic cream sauce (sharing is caring after all). To end the night pop across the road for a walk along the harbour.

Thyme Out

This gem is hidden away in a cute whitewashed building on Dykegate Lane. It is home to a plant-based kitchen offering delicious vegetarian and vegan food and is a great spot for a late breakfast or wholesome lunch.

They have two outdoor garden tables for walk-ins, but all options are available for take-away. Favourites include the Buddha Bowl, filled bacús baguettes and the Breakfast Burrito with onions and mushrooms and a smokey bean mix with fresh spinach. When you've had your fill of healthy goodness you can pop around the corner to Fiadh Handwoven Designs and do a spot of shopping.

Tig Áine – opening June 11th

Tig Áine is west of Dingle in Gráig, one of my favourite places in the world. It has some of the best views you'll find, alongside lovely home baking. Worth a stop if you're doing the Slea Head Drive while you explore the Wild Atlantic Way.

Áine's lemon drizzle cake is award winning and if Nicole's brownies aren't, they should be. This spot is particularly worth a visit if you have kids in the car, as the owners boast a selection of farm animals to entertain little ones as well as telescope to view wildlife from afar.

The duo will be focusing on take-away but have outdoor seating (weather permitting) and I challenge you to find a more lunch scenic spot anywhere in Ireland.

Global Village

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Martin Bealin's Global Village is considered one of the more high-end options in Dingle. Their commitment to local providence stands out, with vegetables grown in their own garden on Mount Eagle, meat from farmers operating sustainably on the Dingle Peninsula and fish sourced from local fishermen. A great chance to get Global Village quality food at street food prices. Dishes may include West Kerry Beef Brisket, trio of crab or monkfish laska curry.

The restaurant have teamed up with Curran's pub next door to offer street food to their tables.

The Fish Box

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This aptly named restaurant is a family run business serving seriously fresh fish. The seafood is supplied by Patrick Flannery, who is the skipper of the Cú na Mara trawler, with mum Deirdre as the main chef in the kitchen and brother Mícheal and sister Eimear running front of house.

Expect your regular seafood fare such as chowder and fish and chips, along with more unusual specials like a Monkfish Spice Box and the Fishito Bowl of paprika breaded prawns with pinto beans, guac and rice. When indoor dining reopens you'll also be able to eat in as well as take away from this tasty spot. Either way, the extensive menu is sure to keep the whole family happy.

Food Trucks (with limited seating)

Cáis

The newest addition to the Dingle food scene this summer is run by locals Sinéad Sheehy and Ann Ní Chíobháin. Sinéad is already known for her incredible cake company Milis and Mil so expectations were high for this new endeavour.

Located in Dick Mack's yard, Cáis is a grilled cheese toastie food truck using Irish cheese, Bacús bakery sourdough bread, home-baked ham, Gubeen chorizo and homemade pickle. They also serve delicious filter coffee. A trial run at Christmas saw the owners sell out of everything in hours and a sizeable socially distanced queue, that all reports say was definitely worth the wait.

Mex-West

The food truck serving 'Mexican Food, West Kerry Style' opened last summer and was an immediate hit with locals and visitors. The food truck is run by local chef Louise Brosnan, whose food has always been something special.

Located in the yard of Paddy Bawn Brosnan's pub, the enticing menu includes a selection of tacos, quesadillas, and tostadas. Portions sizes are perfect if you feel more like a light bite rather than a big meal. Tacos include grilled prawn, with wilted cos, charred pineapple and jalapeno tartare and the tostadas are made with local Bacús sourdough.

Pickle Ricks

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Also located in Paddy Bawn Brosnan's beer garden is Fiachra Flannery's Pickle Ricks. Favourites include the halloumi burger and the hake burger in a panko crumb but you can also find beef burgers, scampi, wings and falafel. It's even better if your dish comes with a side of the celeriac and apple slaw.

Bawns have one of the best beer gardens in town so get yourself a Dick Mack's pale ale*, some food from Pickle Ricks or Mex-West (or both perhaps!) and enjoy.

Takeaway Options

Solas Tapas and Wine

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If you ask anyone for a recommendation on where to eat in Dingle, you can be sure that tapas restaurant Solas will be high on the list. Chef Nicky Foley uses the best of local ingredients, including some he'll have foraged himself, and his flavour combinations are out of this world.

This summer Nicky has the 'Shellfish Shack' pop-up out the front of the restaurant offering Cromane Rock oysters, Atlantic prawns and more. He also offers a delicious Solas @ Home take out menu Tuesday to Sunday. When indoor dining reopens if you want to treat someone to a night on the town, this is the place. In the mean-time get yourself some of the best take-away in town.

Doyle's

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Doyle's has always been one of my favourite places to eat in Dingle. Having trained in some of the best restaurants in Ireland and Europe, chef and proprietor Sean Roche creates an array of modern dishes with global influences from Ireland, Europe and Asia. Doyles will reopen for indoor dining in July but are currently offering a weekend takeaway menu. It includes six starter, six mains and one dessert.

This is the perfect spot for a birthday treat or special occasion and I would highly recommend ordering the Crab spring roll, and the 12 hour braised beef but, admittedly, it's hard to go past old favourites like the seafood linguine and seafood risotto.

My Boy Blue

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My Boy Blue opened is a popular brunch/lunch spot serving 3FE coffee and great cakes. Normally a dine-in café they are now offering their menu to take-out. If you've had a big night enjoying the hospitable Dingle welcome then My Boy Blue is the place to go the morning after the night before.

If you're looking for your avocado toast fix in Dingle then this is the place, it comes with fried eggs, chilli peanut rayu, rocket and bacús sourdough toast. Other favourites include the brunch burrito, buttermilk pancakes, the Fivemilestown goats cheese melt and the buttermilk fried chicken bap served with crispy potatoes and sriracha mayo dip.

If you feel like a spot of shopping after your breakfast and before you hit the beach (I'm banking on sunshine this summer) the lovely Dingle Surf Shop is around the corner on Green St.

Benner's Hotel

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If you feel something a little fancier, Benner's Hotel are now offering an Afternoon Tea at home with petit fours, finger sandwiches, scones, bruschetta with tea and coffee.

Other Options

For ice-cream: Murphy's

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One of Dingle's better-known food destinations is Murphy's ice-cream and, let's be honest, they're popular for a reason. Their extensive ice cream list is downright delicious but I'd recommend trying the sea-salt and butterscotch.

For coffee: Bean in Dingle

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This coffee shop and roaster is known for playing good tunes and serving nice treats, perfect for when you're having a stroll around the town.

For a slice: Novecento

Located on Main Street has a great offering of pizzas, which are often sold by the slice if you're only feeling peckish.

For cream buns: Courtney's bakery

Established in 1972, this bakery has had plenty of time to truly master the cream bun. Although my favourite is the custard slice, the apple and cream slice is a very close second. Treat yourself to a selection and stick the kettle on.

For vegans and veggies: Juice for Thought

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Juice for Thought is a café selling fresh cold pressed juices as well as veggie and vegan salads, perfect for a light bite between your rambles around town.

For healthy treats: Seed and Soul

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Selling organic coffee, CBD drinks, smoothies and smoothie bowls as well as lots of vegan and gluten-free cakes.

For picnic supplies: Ventry Post Office

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Stocked with amazing Irish products, a delicious deli counter with fresh salads, and a selection of organic wines.