Valentine's Day: The organised couples have Ireland's restaurants all booked out

If you haven't already made a reservation, you might want to hurry

If you're looking to dine out with a special someone tonight and haven't made that reservation just yet, you could find yourself facing a Valentines date with the doghouse.

Although Valentine's is largely known as one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, you might think that it falling on a Tuesday this year would dampen people's enthusiasm for dining out on the actual day of love itself. 

Mid-week meals have never been especially popular in Ireland, with most couples choosing to go out for dinner during the weekend.

This year however, has already seen a 3.1% increase of spending on food and drink since January, a substantial rise which may account for our discovery that the majority of Irish restaurants are fully booked for Tuesday 14th.

Contacting several of Ireland's "most romantic" restaurants (according to Tripadvisor), we found that snagging an impromptu table for two in a restaurant tomorrow is looking highly unlikely. 


Restaurants in Ireland's capital are by far in the highest demand by couples, with five out of the eight restaurants we rang completely booked out. 

Beloved spots such as Osteria Lucio and SMS had no availability at all, with the remaining restaurants only having a free table before 5.30pm or after 9.30pm.

Mega-popular place of the moment, Hang Dai, could squeeze you in after 10.30pm for those of you who don't have to be up early the next morning.


Couples looking for a last-minute night out may have better luck in Galway, we found.

Although roughly half of the places we rang were full, such as Ard Bia at Nimmo's, Kai and Cava Bodega, there are a few places that operate only on a walk-in basis, meaning those who are willing to take their chances could nab a table without too long a wait.

It might be worth your while straying away from the city, with more local restaurants such as Black Cat and The Fisherman's in Salthill having a few tables left - for now.


Cork diners without a reservation, it seems, have two options for a Valentine's Day dinner: Eat early - before 6pm at the very latest, or chance your arm at a walk-ins only restaurant such as Market Lane.

With romantic favourites such as Il Padrino's all booked up, several restaurant owners told us that eating early would be our only chance at a candlelit dinner tomorrow.

Why all the fuss?

According to a survey by the American National Restaurant Association 51% of respondents said they planned to dine out on the night of February 14, even if it was a week day, with 8% of respondents plan on dining out more than once for Valentine's Day.

For some couples, celebrating the loved-up occasion on the exact date of Valentine's is a way to mark the evening as 'special', and break up the monotony of an otherwise normal working week.

For others, the thoughts of a fully-booked restaurant filled with tables of two all trying to out-romance each other is a nightmare, and they are more likely to wait for the weekend.

Either way, the restaurant industry in Ireland certainly won't complain.