Value for money: 3.5/5
Pizza is one of the most satisfying and simple foods in the world. Yet it is so hard to find a good decent one in Dublin. The base is either too thick or doughy, the cheese resembles plastic and the topping choice has just gone outrageous.
Most ‘authentic’ pizza places in Dublin just have an over-decorated menu and cost an arm and a leg.
However, from the get go, you know Paulie’s is going to be good. Located on upper Grand Canal Street, it’s the closest thing to a proper Italian Classic you’ll ever find.
The venue itself is tiny and extremely cosy. The tables are practically wedged together but it only adds to the Italian vibe. The huge wood-fired oven radiates heat throughout the entire downstairs seating area, even as far as their covered outdoor patio (my favourite place to sit, personally). Its dark setting makes it ideal for a casual date night or dinner with friends. The relaxed atmosphere continues upstairs with space that is ideal for families with small children.
However, the venue, while quaint, is small. So be sure to book in advance.
The menu is simple, but it is more than enough. With different variations of pizza, pasta and antipasti plates, there is guaranteed to be something on the menu that will leave you feeling more than satisfied.
There are actually a large variety of pizzas that are separated into either Italian or New York Style. The toppings are standard run of the mill, however, it’s the combinations that make it so delicious; double pepperoni or the Hero (Parma ham, Pepperoni, Salami, Red peppers, Mozzarella & Tomato sauce).
The real testament to its tastiness? Paulie’s Pizza don’t serve garlic dip, and the mind-blowing thing is, it absolutely does not need it. Speaking from a regular pizza eater who orders garlic dip with a side of pizza as opposed to the other way around, their chilli oil is more than enough for this soft, perfectly baked pizza.
The starters are also equally as tasty, but I recommend only ordering a pizza or pasta main if you aren’t absolutely ravenous because the portions are more than generous.
The drinks are another reason alone to visit Paulie’s. The large selection of wines, craft beers and cocktails make it suitable for everybody’s taste buds.
The jugs of cocktails for four people are ideal for those out with friends who want a cheap and cheerful night while still eating a high quality meal.
The dessert menu is also a testament to itself, the homemade tiramisu is of perfect consistency and is beyond tasty.
If you’re not feeling an actual desert, well, the expresso martinis are the perfect substitute.
The service is excellent. I had reserved our table but when we were seated, we were too warm near the wood-fired oven, so we requested to be moved to the outside area. They immediately set us up a table and were more than pleasant. The waitress serving us explained what she liked the most on the menu and gave us an in-depth description of the wines. When we asked which she would recommend she didn’t advise the most expensive one – service at its best!
Value for Money
Paulie’s Pizza is more than reasonable for the experience you are getting. A standard Margherita would set you back €13, however one of the fancier topping pizzas would only set you back around €15. They do jugs of their most popular cocktails that serves four people for €26, a glass of house white or red is €6.50.
While it isn’t dirt cheap, it is ideal for those looking for a nice night out without breaking the bank and its relaxed vibe makes it casual but trendy.
Unfortunately Paulies don’t offer a set menu and they only open for lunch on Friday from 12pm and Saturday and Sunday from 2pm.
The restaurant is located on Upper Grand Canal Street (near Bath Avenue). While it’s slightly out of the way for northside living DCU students, it’s a four minute walk from Grand Canal Train station and makes an ideal spot for anyone doing INTRA in any of the tech offices near by such as Google or Facebook. While it can be seen as a trek out too, it really makes for a great evening and, as it is on the outskirts of town, parking is more accessible.
Overall, I can say hands down that Paulie’s Pizza is the best pizza I’ve ever had in Dublin. The second best in Ireland after ‘Dough Bros’. The atmosphere, the food, the drinks and the people creates the recipe for a great night.
Image Credit: Lovin Dublin