Dublin 8 is brewing a lot more than the black stuff these days. The former industrial area is undergoing a period of not quite (or yet) gentrification but certainly urban regeneration, often referenced to with the added prefix ‘up and coming.’
Teeling Distillery on Newmarket Square has attracted tourists like bees to whiskey, stopping off to do a tour before or after visiting the Guinness Storehouse.
Just around the corner there is a new hotel and student apartment complex in development that in the next year will bring more light and life to the Black Pitts, and there’s a park taking root on Cork Street too, adding some much needed green to the city’s grey.
And keeping in line with how these regeneration cycles typically go – first come the builders, then come the cafes – D8’s coffee culture is bubbling.
Now, some of the best coffee shops and cafes can now be found in Dublin 8; some on streets that bleed just off one of the city’s main arteries, Camden Street, and others pulsing in the heart of The Liberties. We’ve picked eight greats for you to try.
This specialty coffee shop doesn’t just do killer coffee, their food offering is legit too. Think Ruben sandwiches on Arun Bakery’s malted bread, substantial salads flecked with delicate flowers, Eggs Benedict with pulled pork and moreish madeleines, as part of a decadent cakes and bake display.
On Pleasant’s St just off Camden St barista champion Brian O’Keefe and artist and cook Fiona Hallinan came together to create one of the most talked about new openings of 2016. While Brian brings his coffee A-game, Fiona’s colourful and eclectic dishes, inspired travels to places such as Beirut and India have inspired many an Instagram post in turn.
Hidden away in the residential back streets off Camden Street is Bibi’s; a unique neighborhood dining experience in the heart of the city created by chef and owner Maisha Lenehan, and her brother Geoff. Step through their front door, marvel at how the chefs create such magic from such a tiny kitchen, and forget the busy streets you left behind only a few paces earlier. Closing at 4pm most days, Bibi’s now reopens on Thursday evenings at 6.30pm serving more substantial fare.
One of the newest additions to the ‘hood, Tasty8. is a cafe/bistro on Meath street that promises a menu of wholesome breakfasts and funky lunches that centres around simple locally sourced ingredients. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 8am to 8pm if you’re a local there’s no excuse not to pop in for a bite to eat or to chill out with a coffee and watch the world go by in this bright and inviting space.
Two Pups is part of the 74 Francis Street Collective, where you can get everything from vintage clothes to ‘Soul Enhancing Haircuts’ from Velvet Moon Hair Guru. Along with great coffee, they have a small but considered food menu with options like a jazzed up avocado on toast served on Levain sourdough, with garlic butter and a scattering of coriander, pickled veg and toasted peanuts. Top marks for their quirky loyalty cards which start off by calling you a pup but with each cup brings you one step closer to being a beauty, you just have to endure being labelled a maggot, eejit and gurrier in between.
The Fumbally is very cool. So cool in fact that they can’t be found on social media, but that just adds to the allure of this hipster haven. Once you’re inside this large, bright room join the inevitable queue, order from an inspiring menu of health conscious breakfast and lunch dishes, complemented by daily changing specials, and take a seat where ever you find a mismatched chair. The menu draws a lot from their fermentation experimentation, which also informs a quirky collection of drinks. They’re open for dinner on Wednesdays too.
At the heart of Little Bird is a purpose built, light filled yoga studio, and once you’re done with downward dog you can get down with their simple menu of breakfast and lunch dishes and great coffee from Badger & Dodo. Some of that zen like atmosphere seems to spill out from under the yoga studio door and into the cafe, because at Little Bird you’re always be served with a smile.
The sister restaurant of the original Brother Hubbard on Capel, f.k.a Sister Sadie, is not about to hide in the shadows of her big brother. Along with sharing the same DNA as its north side counterpart, they share a similar menu that takes a refreshing, creative approach to Middle Eastern food with dishes including the likes of the BH classic turkish eggs menemen. This is a weekend brunch mecca.
Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father, and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after completing a law degree, she went on to do a Masters in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.