Whether you’re out and about, soaking up the city or showing it off to visitors there are plenty of refuelling options around Dublin town. But what are ones worth going out of your way for? The food and drinks that get us talking? I realise this may be a contentious list, and I probably could add double this at least but here are 10 of my favourite snacks and drinks the city that I think should be tried at least once. Would you agree?
Fresh doughnuts on O’Connell Street
The Rolling Donut Kiosk, 8 O’Connell Street, Dublin 1
Ignore the OTT saccharine, glossy doughnuts that seem to fill every window in town and head to O’Connell Street for the original and best. Follow the sweet smell wafting from the kiosk for fried-to-order sugar, cinnamon and chocolate doughnuts. They’ve been frying here since 1988 and they still taste just as good.
Eggs at the Fumbally
The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8
The Fumbally has played a big part in shaping the cafe industry in Dublin, with many of its alumni now manning the stoves at lots of other standout breakfast spots. And it’s thanks to the Fumbally that everywhere in Dublin seems to offer some version of softly cooked eggs with chunky slices of sourdough. Head here for the original and best.
Margaritas and Tuna Tacos at 777
777, 7 Castle House, South Great George's Street, Dublin 2
Seek out this unassuming dark doorway on Georges Street for what are, without doubt, the best-loved margaritas in town. The generous spirit measures (up to 70ml rather than the usual 50ml served around the city) probably have a lot to do with it. And on Mondays, they are two for one. Yep, you read that right. The tuna tostadas are a much-needed and very enjoyable accompaniment.
The Bacon and Pear Sandwich at The Pepper Pot Café
The Pepper Pot, Powerscourt Town Centre, 60 South William Street, Dublin 2
This much-lauded sandwich has achieved a bit of a cult status and with good reason. Made with roast pear, bacon & Mount Callan cheddar encased in dreamy white bread, it’s a joy to bite into. Wash it down with a pot of tea served in delightful vintage crockery. Heavenly.
Toastie and Pint at Grogans
15 South Wiliam Street, Dublin 2
Invariably packed at most times with tourists, locals and students, especially on a sunny day, order a pint at the bar and marvel at the speed you are served in one of the busiest spots in town. Nab a seat outside for some of the best people watching in town and when hunger calls get yourself one of their famous toasties. White bread, packet ham and basic cheese delivered to you with a jar of Colemans, it somehow pulls no punches but wins every time. A meal that has provided sustenance to many a hungry drinker.
Oysters at Klaw or Seafood Café
Niall Sabongi has carved out quite a name for himself over the last few years, telling anyone who will listen (and plenty do) that Irish seafood is fantastic. Happily, he shows us that too in Seafood café and Klaw in Temple Bar. They have the largest selection of oysters in town, mixed and matched from around the Irish coast; Galway Bay, Waterford, Dooncastle, Flaggy Shore, and eat them naked, dressed or torched. Shucks, they are good.
Crisp Sandwich at The Legal Eagle
The Legal Eagle, 1-2 Chancery Place, Dublin 7
The crisp sandwich — a much cherished, contentious Irish concoction that must be tried at least once. And you could do worse than to head to The Legal Eagle to tuck into their unique DIY, made-from-scratch version. Homemade sourdough, homemade crisps and too much butter come together for a delight of a snack. They have a brilliant drinks list to pair it with too.
Cheeseburger at Bunsen, various locations
The top dog of the burger spots. Their tagline is ‘Straight Up Burgers’ and it doesn’t get more straight up than a business card-sized menu of hamburger, with or without cheese, fries and then soda, milkshake or beer. Burgers are fresh minced Black Aberdeen Angus, perfectly melting cheese, pickle for umami and a classic American Amish dinner roll bun. All served up on a dinky, retro silver tray, wrapped to minimise mess. Simple, sublime and worth a wait at busy times.
Irish Coffee at Vice
Vice Coffee, 54 Middle Abbey St, Dublin 1
The regular coffee here is worth a trip itself, rotating a mix of Irish & international roasters and crafting perfect flat whites and filters to a constant stream of regulars. And then there’s the Irish coffee, which they’ve won various awards for. The Fancy Frankie is a must try, made with Teelings Small Batch, a double espresso, organic cream and finished with freshly grated nutmeg.
Anything from Sceal Bakery
Various markets and cafes around the city
The phrase "cult following" gets banded around a lot but in this case it’s spot on. Charlotte and Shane are the bakers du jour in town, causing a stir and a queue wherever they set up shop. Seek them out for incredibly good sourdough loaves and mouthwatering cruffins and croissants. They only use the best, bake everything themselves and you can taste the dedication to their craft in every bite.