Forget lurid green drinks and shamrock-infused nonsense — celebrating Irish food should really be all about the actual food. Local, seasonal, fresh ingredients, there’s plenty to get excited about, and Dublin’s buzzing café scene seems to be utilising these brilliant producers more than most. Here are a few spots you’re guaranteed to get a tasty Irish food fix...
Fia, 155B Rathgar Rd, Dublin 6
A small, casual neighbourhood space pumping out excellently sourced seasonal dishes to critical acclaim since opening in 2016. Their concise menu has everything you need with plenty of familiar names listed. Sourdough comes from Bread Nation on Pearse Street, with Gubbeen cheese from Cork in their toastie which has become a classic. You’ll find it served with all manner of moreish condiments depending on the time of the year; recently, it was burnt apple sauce. North Wicklow eggs, McNally's leaves, Highbank Orchard Syrup and McCarthy’s black pudding are just a few more tasty Irish suppliers featured. Coffee comes from local suppliers Roasted Brown.
Bang Bang, 59A Leinster St N, Phibsborough, Dublin 7
Inspired by small independent stores they’d seen while living in Australia and New York, brother and sister Daniel and Grace opened Bang Bang in Phibsborough, a cool, relaxed neighbourhood café where local is key. The busy café uses bread from Arun Bakery and pastries from Project 12, both down the road in Smithfield. Silverskin coffee is roasted 1k away in Glasnevin. They also have a small grocery section in the café with plenty of Irish products they love from Thyme Out Dalkey, Chez Emily chocolate, Herbal Crest drinks, local honey and lots more.
Meet Me In The Morning, 50 Pleasants St, Dublin 8
Roasted sunchoke, blue potatoes and sea buckthorn doughnuts are just a few of the delights featured on Meet Me In The Morning’s eclectic menu, where dishes focus on being local, seasonal and foraged. You’ll see plenty of McNally's mentions on the menu here too — for anyone that doesn’t know, McNally’s are seasonal organic salad and vegetable growers in North County Dublin. You can’t order them for delivery, they need to be collected, so you know any café using them goes out of their way to do so. You’ll also find Toonsbridge dairy, Gubbeen chorizo, Kanturk pudding and plenty of local foraged delights often used in their divine doughnut fillings.
The Pepper Pot Café, Powerscourt Town Centre, 60 South William Street, Dublin 2
Tucked away on the first-floor balcony of the historic Powerscourt Town Centre, this quirky café (usually busy) is worth a short wait to try terrific food featuring plenty of local suppliers. Homemade bagels with Burren Smokehouse salmon are a must. They are big on Irish cheese using Mount Callan cheddar in their famous bacon and pear sandwich. Free-range eggs come from Tolka Farm, free-range meats are sourced from Pigs on The Green in Offaly and coffee is Ariosa, roasted in Co. Wicklow. They make and bake almost everything in-house and it all comes on colourful, pastel vintage crockery with the most important bit — service is with a smile.
Storyboard, Clancy Quay, Islandbridge, Dublin 8
This picture-perfect café in Islandbridge puts as much effort into the aesthetic of the plate as they do their ingredient sourcing. Salads and vegetables are from McNally’s (of course), sourdough comes from Le Levain, a traditional French baker based in Dublin, eggs are from Wicklow and you’ll spot other familiar names likes Gubbeen on their changing seasonal menu. There’s a great effort here to make as much as possible in-house with homemade preserves, pickles, sauces and ferments proudly on display in jars on shelves alongside lots of 3FE coffee, their house brew, roasted nearby in Glasnevin.
The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8
The Fumbally leads the way with their food-first, locally sourced, slow approach to ethical eating and drinking making for an accomplished café menu. Vegetables from McNally's Farm, Gubbeen cheese & ham, Highbank Orchard syrup and Le Levain sourdough all feature. They make all their own drinks, pickles and ferments, and have recently become self-sufficient in vinegar made from the leftover juicing pulp. Coffee is locally roasted from 3FE and milk is organic from The Village Dairy. Keep an eye out for their weekly Wednesday suppers where a different chef will put together a menu of what is inspiring them at the moment, working with local suppliers, seasonal availability and personal passion.
Hatch & Sons, Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, Charlemont House, Parnell Square North, Dublin 1 and The Little Museum of Dublin, 15 St Stephens Green, Dublin 2
Both outposts of Hatch & Sons on Parnell Square and Stephens Green offer comforting all-day menus peppered with Irish suppliers like Burren Smokehouse, Mossfield organics, Barry’s tea and their star sandwiches — the Blaa’s. Soft white bread rolls from Waterford are stuffed with terrific ingredients like Irish spiced beef, Coolea cheese, onion relish and Irish rapeseed mayo. Keep an eye out for their Supper Clubs where they celebrate Irish food once a month on Wednesday evenings.
Overends Kitchen, Airfield Estate, Overend Way, Dundrum, Dublin 14
It doesn’t get more farm to fork than at Overends Kitchen in Airfield Estate — a working farm, gardens and exceptional café handily located in Dundrum. They grow their own produce used in the café, from the beautiful surrounding garden and fields. Any food waste from the café goes into compost for the farm or to feed animals. The fields are full of goats, sheep, chickens, pigs & Jersey cows. An extensive menu is packed with thoughtfully sourced ingredients — milk, meat, fruit, veg and eggs coming from the Estate and a few local suppliers such as Higgins Sausages, Leinster Honey, McCabes Coffee and Gubbeen Farmhouse. A wonderful example of how to connect table to farm in the city.