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  • 35 Dawson Street
    Dublin 2
    Republic of Ireland
    South Inner City
  • Get Directions
  • Phone number +353 1 6717723
  • Business website lastampa.ie
  • “Unlike it's neighbour Café en Seine' s recreational decoration, Sam Sara has gone for something more rustic.” in 3 reviews

  • “Really happy we gave this place a try because it felt like sort of a midway point between the pubs and the clubs of Harcourt St.” in 2 reviews

Recommended Reviews

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  • 4.0 star rating
    22/7/2013

    Love the €3-€5 cocktails in the sheltered outdoor area! - When its not too busy.

    When it gets full however it can get a bit over crowded and smoky and then its time to leave.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/6/2013
    2 check-ins

    I admit it, the biggest draw to Samsara is their €5 cocktail list. As a student, it's great to find a place that I can sip on a few Mojitos or Cosmopolitans without spending all of my grocery money for the week. And last night, it turns out that Mojitos were only €3 - a welcomed surprise!

    The place has a plush, funky Moroccan vibe to it and it's usually pretty busy. The music gets louder and the lights get dimmer as the night goes on, and I always look forward to the moment the disco ball starts spinning!

    I've had the food on a few occasions and it's been consistently good. During the day they offer sandwiches and pub-grub and in the evening the food comes from the other restaurant in the La Stampa hotel, Tigers, a pan-Asian restaurant. I had the Vietnamese Chicken Salad last night and it was very good. It was made with chargrilled coconut and lime chicken, carrot, coriander, wombok, fried shallots, roasted coconut and peanuts. Delicious and healthy!

    A lot of the tables are reserved in the evening, especially on the weekends, so if you plan on hanging out for a while, it's good to call ahead. Also, the outdoor seating area in the front is a great place to chill, but it's also the smoking area, which can be quite annoying if you're not a smoker.

    I love Samsara - cool vibe, cheap (yet good) drinks and good food!

  • 3.0 star rating
    30/8/2013
    1 check-in

    Samsara. It's well decked out and looks the business. And has friendly bouncers and seemingly lots of room. They will also reserve a table for you (once it's not too busy) til 11 or so, which is really quite unusual in Dublin. i had a hen party here and found the guys really easy to deal with and super friendly.

    I guess the three stars are cos it's just not really "my kind of place". I.e generic music, average sugary cocktails and lots of tight dress/big hair combos.

    Nothing wrong with it, as I said, just personal preference is all!

  • 1.0 star rating
    18/3/2011

    A nice place to have a few vinos. Nice decor, quite nice...not Overly amazing.

    One star because it has the rudest bouncers ever.

    This guy screaming in our faces to leave our newly served drinks and get out because they were turning in for the night. And threatening to "take that glass and throw it outside".

    No manager to complain to........blah.

    I.hate.rude.people...

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/3/2010

    I was there on a dead quiet weeknight, and quite liked it.  I'm pretty sure I'm neither cool/hip/young/metro enough to hang out here on a packed Friday night, but it was a beautiful place to have a few drinks with friends.  And it's WAY bigger and deeper than it looks from the outside.

    The decor is hard to define-sort of a modern nouveau art feel, with palm trees planters and wall hangins, velvet brocade booths and leather chairs with rivets.  I found the fellow at the bar to be very pleasant and, both times it was my round the service was fine.  BUT, two others in my group both said that he ignored them and was quite short with them as they ordered.  So I gotta be neutral on the service star.

    Bottom Line: I like nice places to hang out in and think "I'm glad it's not Friday and I'm still out drinking..."

  • 4.0 star rating
    11/10/2010
    1 check-in

    Another fancy looking place an on such an amazingly sunny day I got to eat outside! I had the soda bread, greens, and smoked salmon with capers. I have no idea what they did to that salmon but it was AMAZING! That alone I could say makes this place great, however I fear (and hope) it's just as good elsewhere in Ireland.

    The service was slow but we showed up RIGHT at opening so I can't blame anyone, and they were friendly and full of smiles so I felt wonderful.

  • 4.0 star rating
    19/6/2009
    First to Review

    This café/bar is located on Dawson Street.  My local friends said, this is a place to be seen (and maybe to see as well).  You'll see good looking people hanging out in the evenings.

    The decor/ambience is combination of oriental/African/Middle Eastern.  
    The light munches they serve also have that influence, too.

    It's a trendy place and you might want to check it out on your first visit to the city, but I like Café en Seine (next door) better.

  • 5.0 star rating
    20/10/2009

    Yay! I am totally reviewing this bar that I hit up on a Dublin pubcrawl back in '04. Right as the red sox were entering the playoffs, I was in Dublin with my european travel companion, and back in the day, we sure could d r i n k!

    Thanks, Samsara, for providing us with pina coladas and shots of tequila, all with a backdrop of cool Asian decor. I took many a drunken photo of people from our group that I didn't even know amidst some crazy indoor foliage.

    And, thanks Yelp, for helping me figure out the name of this bar that I've so long referred to as a "cute, asian-themed bar in Dublin that starts with an 's'...", so now I can refer my world-traveling friends to the right place. I hope it's actually still cool.

  • 1.0 star rating
    9/12/2013
    1 check-in

    What used to be one of my favourite cocktail bars has gone very downhill. I'm not sure if it's changed owners or if it was just having a very bad day but the last time I went was so disappointing that I will not be returning. My strawberry daiquiri was pure syrup, there was no free popcorn, and the food we ordered was tiny and very expensive. I would recommend not wasting your time and head to one of the other 1000 bars in Dublin.

  • 2.0 star rating
    20/7/2009

    Sam Sara is in the same kind of family of pubs as Café en Seine and Ron Black's - overpriced, cool and somewhere to be 'seen.'

    Out of all the bars on Dawson St it's my least favourite - and I don't really know why. I can't exactly pinpoint the reason! It's just never really impressed me. It's kind of a Moroccan theme and is situated above a restaurant. When you walk in it's basically just a long bar, with an upstairs part that is sometimes reserved for a private party.

    They do good cocktails and is open late at the weekends.

  • 3.0 star rating
    8/10/2010

    We went there for a work night out. Well, not your typical work night out since there were about 3-400 of us, but yet, it was a work night ;).

    When we arrived, most of the tables where already taken and no chair to be found to sit down. The place is small, maybe too small for a couple of hundred people, but yet it was nice (I like dark places lit with candles).
    Soon after we had arrived starters were served - unfortunately only to tables and since we did not have one, my friend and I took it upon us to hunt down every newly served platter to get at least some food.

    Soon we got lucky and managed to get hour hands on some of the delicious starters. My favorites were the chicken satay and the veg spring rolls (but especially the chicken - on a stick - you can never go wrong with meat on a stick!).
    The main course was a buffet - either beef or chicken curry. The beef was slightly too mild for my taste and a bit tasteless. The chicken was much spicier and good.
    Soon after dinner we noticed that the room had severely heated up and the small balcony / smoking area upstairs was not big enough to hold all those people looking to cool down.

    Overall I can say this place is nice and I would go back to try more of their food. It is also great for work nights out - just a slightly smaller number than a couple of hundred people ;).

  • 4.0 star rating
    15/7/2009

    Currently subject to a slight dip in popularity, especially since they ended the popular Sunday night salsa club (though in fairness, the competition from the Odeon was probably too strong), this is a nice place to settle for a few drinks. They do two-for-one cocktail deals, don't get too packed and are handily located.
    The décor is pretty cool - it markets itself as a Moroccan-themed bar, though, aside from a few mirrors and that, there's precious little 'Moroccan' in this place. It is nice though.
    The bar is super long and narrow, which can make it tricky to manoeuvre if it gets busy, or if you want to get served.
    I like it though, nice and relaxed and not half as pretentious as Cafe En Seine next door.

  • 3.0 star rating
    11/6/2012
    2 check-ins

    I must say, I really liked this bar. It has a nice atmosphere, lovely outside drinks area and really cheap cocktails, you can never really complain about 5 euro cocktails.

    I brought a visitor there and we were all pleasantly surprised with the size of the place. The outside area is lovely but unfortunately people ruined it with their smoking, despite the no smoking signs, which was a bit annoying.

    The food was good, nice burgers and very tasty curries.

    One thing i hated though was the bathrooms. They were fairly bad so let the place down, which was a shame! Otherwise its great!

  • 3.0 star rating
    7/6/2011
    1 check-in

    Frankly, it felt desperately hip. Maybe if there had been more people the decor would have made sense, but with only a handful of us spread around what was clearly designed to be a plush bar the setup just didn't work. But the wine was nice, and our order of smoked salmon was great. The credit on that dish goes to the accompanying chunks of brown bread, which were brilliant.

    Later in the night I assume that things pick up a bit. That would help, I'm sure.

  • 2.0 star rating
    24/8/2013

    Not overly excited about this place but i think thats just because its not really my scene. Very kinda upmarket spot, and didnt feel any atmosphere from the place at all. Other people there didnt seem like to be having any fun and it wasnt a spot for good Irish banter.  Decor is very pretty though and the bar staff were nice :)

  • 4.0 star rating
    27/11/2009

    As with all of the establishments on Dawson Street Sam Sara is narrow yet stretches much further back than you would have ever guessed from the street. This affords them the opportunity to woo a larger crowd than initially anticipated.

    Unlike it's neighbour Café en Seine' s recreational decoration, Sam Sara has gone for something more rustic. There aren't any fairies nor pixies here but instead authentic drapery and intense Moroccan reds. Burnished scarlet velvet aligns the high bench seats backed up onto the wall whilst long curtains and deep purple hangings droop from the tops of the walls.

    Sam Sara manages to successfully merge the otherwise unrelated feel of a contemporary Dublin wine bar with North African interior decoration making for a comforting place to chill within. The Long-Island Iced Tea here is very potent and after just one you'll be suitably merry, ready to swing.

  • 5.0 star rating
    2/7/2010

    We met up with the wedding party for a pre-wedding meal and toasts. SamSara is a quirky, beautiful bar filled with nooks and crannies, unusual furniture, huge bars, palm trees and a wonderful menu of food and drinks.

    it is hugely popular and we found out why - it is fun, visually interesting and serves great food.

  • 4.0 star rating
    27/1/2013

    Great atmosphere. There was a little bit older crowd but it was a good mix of young 20s-young 30s. The lights moving all around the walls, and the popcorn bowls on the tables made for a good experience. There is an abundance of seating which is always good too. The server was extremely busy and so I began just going to the bar for drinks but that was fine and even when the bar was lined with customers I still got a drink pretty quickly. Really happy we gave this place a try because it felt like sort of a midway point between the pubs and the clubs of Harcourt St.

  • 5.0 star rating
    16/8/2010

    My husband and I came here with a group of Americans that we were visiting for the weekend. They live in Dublin and we live in London (via Chicago). My friend's friend got a tip from the bouncer that Bono and Sean Penn were upstairs. We managed to make our way upstairs because I am a DIE HARD U2 fan. We came upon a small gathering listening to an acoustic guitar playing Kris Kristofferson, Sean Penn, and yes, Bono. After the song I politely asked for a photo and shared some small talk. Afterwards he bought my friend and I a round of drinks. All in all it made my first trip to Ireland one I will never forget!! Beautiful decor throughout as well.

  • 4.0 star rating
    23/6/2009

    We stopped in for a quick and early dinner in Dublin and it was a perfect selection. A nice sea bass dinner and a guinness. When we were there (7:00 pm) it was nearly emply, but  It was clear that this is big night spot.

  • 4.0 star rating
    19/9/2013

    Nice decor and great for people watching from the outside seating... And you can smoke outside, a real find in Dublin. Maybe it was happy hour... As they were playing what sounded like greatest gay hits of the 90s, which I was not complaining about.... Hip and good looking crowd

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