Clontarf is a place that is held warmly in the hearts of Dubliners, and yet for some reason, it doesn't seem to get enough of the public praise it deserves.
Maybe it's for fear of ruining the peaceful beauty of the place, and perhaps locals just want to keep it all to themselves... Whatever the reason for this widespread hush-hush, we're going out on a limb and giving it the kudos it deserves.
Because not only is the food delicious and the pints expertly-poured, but the area also boasts a range of other delights; from the floral to the theatrical.
In short, we're just mad about Clontarf, so we want to share ten reasons why you should be too.
This shipping container-cum-cafe is the perfect spot to enjoy a blissful cup of roasted brown coffee and one of those juicy toasties after a blustery seashore walk. Run by uncle and nephew Karl McCullagh and Brian Hanratty, the space is imbued with their light-hearted and welcoming personalities; which sets the scene for an eternally lovely place to spend time with friends.
67 Vernon Ave
This is a gorgeous space of floral delights. From the moment you walk through The Yard gate, pass underneath the willow archway and into the gorgeous little shop, you'll be certain whatever you come out with will be special. The team here are incredibly talented in what they do, and they create stunning bouquets and floral arrangements that always seem to have a little twist or quirky point of difference from what others are offering.
The Cottage Market at the Red Stables
St Anne’s Park
The Red Stables is a gorgeous Victorian building located within St Anne’s Park that hosts a market every Saturday from 10am-5pm. Here you’ll find everything from food and coffee stalls, to plants and fresh fruit and veg. What's more, the building also hosts the Cottage Market (a beautiful craft market) on the first Friday of every month and offers Olive’s Room, a lovely cafe offering nourishing dishes using only the best of seasonal produce all year-round.
324 Clontarf Rd
Fishbone first opened on the Clontarf seafront in July 2016, and it has been consistently raved about by fish and crustacean-lovers ever since. With an emphasis on sustainability and championing local produce (from both sea and land), the Fishbone team are incredibly passionate about delivering sensational food at affordable prices. Their “Early Catch” deals are particularly good.
107 Howth Rd
Hands-down the best pub in Clontarf; you’ll find no frills here; just great Guinness and a reintroduction to the lost art of colourful conversations. Put simply, what Grogans is to Castle Market, Harry Byrne’s is to Clontarf.
9 Vernon Avenue
“Edible artistry” would not be an exaggeration when describing the food on offer at Moloughney’s of Clontarf. In addition to the food, they also have a stunning fit-out; with dark woods and swish lighting setting the scene for a special celebration with family and friends. And if you’re feeling like a bit of decadence, give the deep fried Oreos a try. They’re hefty, but oh-so good.
10 Vernon Ave
Unfailingly wholesome, Fuel Food cafe gets double points for making their offering not only a healthy one, but tasty too. Prepare to “eat the rainbow” here and finish off with a pot of liquid gold (i.e. a cup of their top quality coffee). To top it all off, Fuel Food now has a dinner delivery menu – so there’s no excuse to fall off the bandwagon of health.
Viking Theatre @ Connollys The Sheds
98 Clontarf Road
The Viking Theatre hasn’t been around for long (having only been established in 2011) but already it has made its name as a place in which theatre enthusiasts are sure to find top quality, small-scale productions on a rolling basis. Created to provide an outlet for small cast plays with little or no funding, The Viking has gone from strength to strength and is worth checking out if you fancy injecting a bit of culture into your monthly schedule.
48 Clontarf Road
Clontarf Wines is a great place to venture out to if you have a penchant for high-quality wines; particularly the organic and biodynamic kind (which are low in sulphites and chemicals, not to mention being eco-conscious). Take a peruse around their Fine Wine Room for some stand-out discoveries, and don’t be shy about asking for help, the staff are incredibly knowledgeable about their stock and won’t make you feel like an idiot if you can’t tell a merlot from a cab sauv.
196 Clontarf Road
This is a deli and food shop that values quality to its core; both in terms of the food they produce and the warm customer service they are widely known for. At Kennedy’s, you can be sure everything you get is going to be of the highest standard, especially when you consider how everything at the deli counter has been homemade and overseen by head chef Linda “Let’s make it great” Doyle.
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