An old area of the city west of Phoenix Park, The Strawberry Beds is named after its original use for growing strawberries - and The Anglers Rest pub has been a landmark in this historic part of Dublin since 1862.
It is owned by well known fishmongers, the Wright family of Howth, and so boasts a popular seafood restaurant as well as the cosy Salmon Bar, where live traditional music is played five nights a week by the turf fire.
With its colourful window boxes, pretty signage and pot bellied stove, it is an inviting pub on arrival. You’ll find a buzzing bar area to the left as you enter and, to the right, the cosy restaurant with lots of painted tongue and groove wood, ‘granny’s cottage’ wallpaper and warm lighting with nicely spaced out tables, banquettes - and giant fishtanks setting the piscatorial scene.
Staff are friendly and efficient and the menu is not too long; offering ten starters (5 fish) and ten mains (5 fish), plus three seafood specials, it’s mostly stocked with familiar favourites.
Along with offerings of steak, fillet of pork, char-grilled chicken and vegetarian pasta, you’ll find a wide choice of fish and seafood; while there may not be unusual finds or ‘extras’ such as oysters, there’s fresh fish a-plenty in starters such as seafood chowder; citrus dressed potted crab; deep-fried calamari; and mussels of the day - and popular mains like fish pie; fish & chips; pan-fried fillet of cod and a tempting Seafood platter (about €35 for two) to follow. Many starters are available in two sizes and, with most under €10, prices are reasonable.
To accompany, a short wine list offers plenty of good value, mid-range choice and there is, of course, a full bar.
On a summer evening you might begin with the potted crab - a real winner served with crispy sourdough bruscetta and zingy crème fraiche - or a tasty summer seafood salad stocked with prawns, hake, poached salmon and squid on mixed leaves.
To follow, the generous seafood platter is a good bet: stocked with crab, mussels, smoked salmon, herring roll mops, prawns and a little lobster, it is served with brown bread and three sauces: marie rose, crème fraiche and tartare. And then, to finish, why not honour the area’s history with a simple dish of Irish strawberries and cream.
After dinner, the atmospheric Salmon Bar is the place to retreat to for a lingering nightcap.
A good spot for a night out with friends or a Sunday lunch outing with the family, the atmosphere of The Anglers Rest also makes it a good place to bring friends or relative visiting from abroad.