Join us as we take a trip back to one of our favorite counter service stops — Cookes of Dublin!
Not surprisingly, you’ll find this primarily-take-out spot adjacent to Raglan Road Irish Pub. In fact, it’s part of the same building, tucked in right around the corner from the restaurant’s main entrance.
But on a recent visit, with the family in tow, I decided to try a few of the other menu items. Come with us as we take a closer look.
If you’re looking for Cookes of Dublin, head for Raglan Road, and then hang a right. Go around past the gift shop and the Hole in the Wall Bar, and you’ve arrived!
When you first step into the restaurant, you get a sense of just how small it is. That’s been done on purpose, actually. The owners envisioned this spot mostly as a takeaway. There are a few seats inside, however.
Here, you can see a few tables beyond the beverage and condiment station. Decor is vintage Dublin, with deep green-tiled walls and ceilings. Enlarged family photographs lend a sense of history, and etched mirrors serve to make the dining area feel a bit larger.
Seats along the back wall include cushioned banquettes and chairs. Window tables are high-boy style.
We selected one of the high-boys, primarily due to the cushioned window seats, where kiddos fit perfectly.
Chalkboard signs remind you to check out offerings like the Soup de Jour and Dessert options.
One thing you should know about Cookes, compared to other counter service spots, is that many of the menu items are cooked to order. As a result, there’s usually a wait while your food is prepared.
Also, there are no alcoholic beverages on the menu here. If you’d like a pint to go with your fish and chips or meat pie, then you’ll need to head back outside…
…Or rather, next door, to The Hole in the Wall.
The bar is one of several at Raglan Road, and also offers outdoor seating for Cookes.
An iron fence marks the perimeter of the bar, and a gate offers access to the walkway to Disney Springs.
Time to head back in and explore the menu a bit!
The menu at Cookes is simple and hasn’t changed much through the years.
Choose from Hand-Battered Specialties, like Cold Water Shrimp, Sausages, or Chicken Tenders. Dublin-style Savory Pies are also an option. If you’d like something on the lighter side, there are a few Salads to choose from.
A selection of Sandwiches and Wraps are also on offer, including their signature Battered Burger.
The Hog in a Box rounds out the main dish selections. More about that in a minute.
There are also some intriguing Side Dishes. This is where you can pick up your customary side of Crushed Peas if you choose to!
The Kids’ Menu rounds out the offerings with scaled-down versions of the adult entrees, plus one extra option.
Most of the Desserts are on display, so you can get a good idea of what’s available and if they appeal to you. The day we visited there were only a few selections, and we didn’t spy many of the Cupcakes that we’ve seen on previous visits. The fan favorite Doh-Bar was also still absent from the menu.
A lighter option, a Fresh Fruit Cup, was also available.
We did spy one cupcake — a Gluten Free Zucchini variety.
Cookies were also available, and might prove to be a good on-the-go snack later.
As I mentioned before, you can expect a wait when you dine at Cookes. When you place your order, you’re given a number to take to your table. No magic roses here like you’ll find at Be Our Guest Restaurant, but your food will find you just the same.
Once you place your order, you can go about gathering your Drinks and Condiments from the self-serve area.
They have everything you’d want for your dipping needs — including creamy Dalkey Mustard. This is the same mustard dip that you get inside Raglan Road with the Dalkey Duo!
Of course, not all things come in dispenser form. You can also pick up bottles to fill your condiment needs. After all, it wouldn’t be fish and chips shoppe without Malt Vinegar. Right?
We chose a variety for our table.
Soon, our food arrived. My husband opted to start his meal with a Side Caesar Salad.
It includes the same ingredients as the Entree Salad: Grape tomatoes, Shaved Parmesan, Homemade Croutons and Prosciutto Crisp.
But while he really likes the salad, he prefers Cookes Ranch Dressing to their Caesar. (I like both.) Still, he asked for some Ranch Dressing, and they happily brought some out.
The biggest reason we opted for Cookes that day is this right here — we LOVE their Cold Water Shrimp and Chips Basket.
The Shrimp are hand-battered and served tail-off, which makes eating them with a fork a little easier. 🙂 Everyone at the table loved the light batter and fresh flavor.
A peek at the current menu shows that the Shrimp Basket has been replaced by a Cold Water Shrimp Skewer. We’ll have to check it out and report back to you on that one.
I decided to go with the Hog in a Box. Craving Sunday Dinner the way that your grandma used to make it? Then this is the meal for you!
It arrives tucked into a takeout box lined with Cookes signature paper. It’s a little hard to tell what’s what, with everything piled in there.
I asked for one of the takeout “boats” so you could see a little better what was what. It’s indeed a meal in a box.
There’s slow-roasted Pork Shoulder, which is garnished with Pork Crackling, Applesauce, and Caramelized Onions.
Baby Potatoes are halved and roasted to a golden brown.
But my favorite side in that box was the delicious Sage and Sweet Onion Stuffing. It was the perfect consistency — neither too wet nor too dry. This combination was incredible, and more than I could eat in one sitting. Really, it was such a delicious, comforting meal. What a treat that I could enjoy food like this without spending all day in my kitchen!
Finally, the kiddo with us is a Mac and Cheese fiend, so a helping of Dubliner Mac and Cheese and Chips was in order.
This Mac and Cheese had more of an orange cast than I remember, and I would prefer that it come with a side other than Chips. But all in all, they enjoyed it. And it still has that sharp, slightly nutty flavor that’s the hallmark of Dubliner Cheese.
Also, since it was kind of a special occasion (family movie day), we didn’t worry too much about the lack of veggies.
We debated ending our meal with a 99! But in the end, we didn’t have room for dessert. Time for a walk around Disney Springs!
Cookes remains one of the best counter service options at Disney Springs. While it will be interesting to see what competition moves in as the transformation of the area continues, we predict that lines will continue to be long and seating scarce at this spot.
The reason? Very, very good — and authentic — food. It’s not fancy, but it’s well executed. And sometimes, well-prepared comfort food is exactly what you want.
Have you stopped by Cookes of Dublin for a meal? Leave a comment and let us know what you think of this Disney Springs counter service spot!