Dublin has the reputation of being a welcoming city full of history, character and dare I say craic! However that’s not all, Dublin is also a hub of great restaurants and cafes. We are all-round food lovers! Being a foodie I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else that shares the same passion for eating delicious food. Dublin is a small city in the grand scheme of things but for its size it hosts some seriously excellent places to eat. Some spots are obvious and some tucked away out of sight and it takes locals like myself to introduce them to you. So put a few of these on your to do list, and don’t worry they are all in walking distance of one another.
The cosiest spot for the trendiest brunch in town is Coppinger Row. Coppinger Row is situated in the coolest quarter of Dublin, right were all the action happens – on Coppinger Row itself, just off South William Street. The restaurant hosts a warm interior that eases you into Dublin life. Warning…you can get lost in time here, so don’t be in a rush anywhere. This place would be on the top of a lot of Dubliner’s lists for lots of reasons; their friendly staff, great drinks and of course seriously tasty food. The style of food is Mediterranean with generous portions and a rustic display. The atmosphere is lively, particularly at brunch. I recommend the lamb flatbread and the bon bon coffee is a must. I would book if possible, if you’re in a party of more than six, to ensure availability, but even if you have to wait, the bar will be open to serve some cocktails and keep you entertained. I recommend getting in early for brunch or checking it out mid-week for a late lunch!
Another favourite brunch spot is San Lorenzos an Italian NYC style spot, this place has become Ireland’s go to brunch spot, made famous by their Nutella cheesecake and coco pop French toast. There is a great choice within the menu and a good spot to get a traditional brunch of champions – get a proper fry up. If you are celebrating the weekend you’re in the right place, the cocktails like the St. Stephen’s Green and Expresso Martini will definitely put you in a good mood. Once again try to book in advance as there are limited walk-ins. Great price for the portions and they are flexible with the menu. The layout is cool and if you like to people watch the window seats are a great spot.
If you are adventurous and just like to eat great food check out Forest Avenue, hidden on a quiet area in Dublin about 15 minutes walk from Grafton Street, this place books up fast for brunch with their set menus on the weekend they won’t disappoint in flavour and value! The menu changes weekly by their produce, guaranteeing the freshest food. They open from Thursday – Saturday, most definitely worth a try. A 5 course brunch tasting menu on Saturday costs €26!
My favourite restaurant in Dublin is Rustic Stone, situated a stone’s throw off the main shopping district. Rustic gets my vote for a number of reasons, the menu, the flavour, consistency and thorough service. There is a huge choice whether you are looking to indulge or eat a light fresh meal. They cater for all types of intolerances and a wide range of cuisines. The restaurant is owned and ran by one of Ireland’s top chefs and Master Chef Judge Dylan McGrath. There is a lot of space regards seating, you’re not on top of one another and there is a variety of seating for large and small groups. The menu is labelled in detail with symbols for those who are watching what they eat e.g. sugar free, gluten free etc. but regardless of how healthy or sugar free something is it tastes even better than its guilty counterpart, its an art they have mastered. A section of the menu is “on the stone” where the dish is served on a hot stone for you to cook at the table – but you can request to get it cooked if you fancy taking it easy.
I recommend any of their steaks, fish tuna on the stone… their Awesome Burger too and for dessert the Knickerbocker Glory or chocolate soup.
If you are looking for a traditional Irish restaurant that showcases our true culinary delights and our love of good food the Pig’s Ear is the place to go. Situated across from Trinity College the Pig’s Ear is in the heart of historic Dublin. The restaurant is known for their fabulous food that represent Ireland at its best. The early bird menu is really good value and the choice is great. I recommend the brown bread ice cream and on the main menu, pork belly or the salmon dish! It’s a nice place to plan dinner after a trip to the National Gallery of Ireland or National Museum, both of which are nearby.
The Marker Hotel is a place that can really look after you, situated in a great location in Dublin’s Grand Canal basin. The hotel has everything from a great spa, gym, their famous sky bar roof top terrace; to their fabulous food…everyone should try the “Le Drunch” menu. The head chef really takes it upon himself to give that personal service to all his guest, from their diet requests to packed lunches they cater for all types of travellers and foodies. They serve a huge spread for breakfast offering everything one could ask for, and their lunch, dinner and brunch menus give lots of choice. The hotel brings in the best produce, so no matter what you order everything is done to perfection. Situated in a great part of the city at Grand Canal you can catch a show at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre across the square or sit by the canal in the sun – which I can’t promise will appear!
I love to take a stroll around Fallon & Byrne, I may be the only one but when I’m abroad I love to go into local supermarkets and see what’s on the shelves, if this sounds familiar, Fallon & Byrne is the best to have a nose around – full of artisan products and the hustle of central Dublin life. Pick up some of their homemade dips, sit-in and grab lunch or order some of their gorgeous take away homemade granola.
If you fancy just a good cup of tea and a slice of cake or a scone there’s a little gem called the Cake Café you have to visit. They try to keep this place a secret, tucked away off Camden Street down the back of the Daintree Paper shop. It’s a sun trap that removes you from city life and allows you to indulge in the good things in life like really good cake!
If you follow my blog regularly you will understand my love of healthy fresh food. I love to stay on track when I’m travelling abroad and prepare by finding local healthy eateries. A key thing for me when I am travelling and on-the-go is to feel fresh and have energy which means keeping up my regular routine as much as I can while still enjoying great tasting food. My top spots for grabbing a delicious salad or juice on the go are:
Situated on the top floor of BT2 clothing store, one of the main shopping attractions on Grafton Street, Alchemy is renowned for their delicious smoothies and unique salads. Owned by successful cookbook author Domini Kemp this place really has lots going for it for any health conscious individual. It’s also the perfect place to gaze over Grafton Street (the main shopping street) and people watch. I recommend their OMG smoothie and rare beef & kale salad box. Their treats are pretty darn delicious too for sinless bites.
Sprout & Co
Two young Irish lads who have really thrown together a great tasting healthy food box, this place is perfect to grab a delicious jam packed lunch full of flavour, textures and quality. You will be distracted by the open salad bar of fresh fillings and of course mountains of guacamole when you walk in, but the menu is easy to follow and you can never be disappointed with your choice. I recommend the falafel box! After your lunch pop next door to Mooch for some vegan froyo or their homemade protein balls!
Honest to goodness
You might even catch me in here when you visit! Probably the place I eat in the most for their honest approach to food and their no “BS” when it comes to proper health and good size portions. These guys deliver consistent tasty food, fresh ingredients and a passion for great service. It’s the type of place you could eat in everyday and not get sick of because they have lots of options but also you cant beat the freshness. Another plus about this place is value for money! It’s just around the corner from Fallon & Byrne, so you can kill 2 birds with the one stone!
The Vintage Cocktail Club, well by the name this place would have to be great for cocktails, a little black door in the centre of temple bar, if you’re not paying attention you might just miss it. It’s a nice spot to start your night off before heading to experience the Irish nightlife.
Then there is Zozimus a new bar on the scene which parallel to the Vintage Cocktail Club – you can’t miss, the floating colourful umbrellas leading you toward the door are eye catching, the perfect place to start or end a night out in Dublin.
One of the main streets in Dublin is Grafton Street, but to Dubliners it’s probably South William Street, where Clement and Pekoe can be found. This little coffee spot has great coffee but also great benches outside to watch the world go by and sip on an array of teas and carefully mastered coffees.
And somewhere I grab a coffee and an occasional delicious delight, Coppa Café, is a quietly confident cafe tucked away in the RHA Gallery on Ely Place just off St. Stephen’s Green. Here you can enjoy awesome coffee and homemade treats while looking out their glass walls onto the famous colourful doors of Dublin. Afterwards you can take a glance in the RHA gallery to appreciate some Irish modern art.
And I know this is the one you’ve been waiting for…the best Guinness in Dublin…it has to be Dame Tavern. Drink with the locals and enjoy a ceol (music) session on a Sunday night.
Post By – Natural Born Feeder (Roz Purcell) @naturalbornfeeder