We Dubliners have come a long way when it comes to the weekly grocery dash. Gone are the days when Superquinn was considered the height of sophistication, although I am forever grateful to Supervalu for keeping the much loved Superquinn Sausage on the shelves. These days, Dublin is home to some of the most exciting food emporiums and picking up your barberries or your pomegranate molasses no longer requires a hefty shipping fee. We have rounded up a few of these Dublin gems to whet your appetite.
For The Socially Conscious
An oldie but definitely a goodie, The Hopsack has been championing the health food movement since 1979, long before it was so on point. As a child I remember traipsing through its aisles while my mother stocked up on dried beans and pulses of all sorts in her bid to live her healthiest life. Mung Bean Dal was a favourite in our house at the time and The Hopsack was the only place to source the necessary ingredients. These days, the next generation of the Murray Family have taken the helm, bringing The Hopsack well and truly into the 21st Century with their vast selection of dairy free and meat free produce. They also stock eco clothing and household goods and operate a minimal waste scheme. Plus, they make their own peanut butter. Enough said.
Unit 6A, The Swan Centre, Rathmines
For The Gourmand Carnivore
With so much emphasis on where our meat comes from and how animals are treated, it’s more important than ever to source top quality meat, and that’s exactly what you get in Lawlor’s Butchers on Upper Rathmines Road. Apart from a staggering array of meat they also make their own range of dishes from celeb chefs’ recipes, ready for the oven. Nigellas meatballs or Jamie’s chicken curry perhaps? Add to that their famous handmade sausages (the spicy Italian ones are a favourite) and you are in carnivore heaven. The Burgers are excellent too and the staff here really know their stuff.
143 Upper Rathmines Road, Dublin 6
For The City Slicker
Fallon & Byrne
It would probably be a fairly accurate to say that Fallon & Byrne has absolutely everything you would ever need as a food lover or seasoned home cook. Their selection of fruits and vegetables is a wondrous thing and time loses all meaning while wandering the aisles of endless goodies. Their cheese selection is particularly impressive and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Add to that the great wine cellar and the coffee shop and it really is foodie heaven. Just be aware, you could easily spend a week’s wages here and not care in the slightest.
Exchequer Street and Rathmines
For The Seafood Aficionado
Cavistons Food Emporium
I will admit, I am a sucker for anything with the word emporium in its title but on this occasion it is well deserved. While Cavistons is a one stop shop for all your culinary needs, it’s the fish and seafood that draws people in the door. Well, that and the truly superb seafood restaurant that Peter Caviston runs next door. With over 60 years’ experience in the industry, Cavistons is the go to for Blasket Island crabmeat, wild mussels from Galway or wild silver hake from Donegal. The choices are endless and the staff make shopping here a pleasure.
58 Glasthule Rd, Sandycove, Glasthule, Co. Dublin
For The Culinary Globetrotter
The Asia Market
The one stop shop since 1981 for all things Asian inspired, the Asia Market is going from strength to strength. Desperately in need of some Gochujang or Potato Flour for that recipe you have been dying to try? This is the place for you. Along with their huge selection of Asian pantry staples you will find a quirky collection of table decorations, cookbooks and of course, chopsticks. Best of all, it’s very reasonably priced, plus, should you be opposed to hauling that 10kg bag of rice home with you, they deliver.
18 Drury Street, Dublin 2.
Best for Sweet Treats
Want to be the most popular guest at the next soirée? A sure-fire way to earn that crown is by turning up with a box of sweet treats from Camerino Bakery on Dublin’s Capel Street. A tray of their Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies will set you back €36 for 15 and worth every penny. They also create bespoke cakes from one to three layers deep in an array of flavours including chocolate, vanilla, raspberry and lemon drizzle. The bakery has been awarded Best in Ireland by McKenna’s Guides/Bridgestone Award for the past seven years running and it’s easy to see why.
Best For Convenience
The Butler’s Pantry
With nine stores in the Dublin area, The Butler’s Pantry is the go to foodie pit stop for those too time poor to cook while still wanting a quality meal. All of their dishes are handmade with a range of sides to suit any mood. Each of their stores has a truly neighbourhood feel with staff on first name terms with many of the regulars. Add to that the delicious cakes, the ‘I swear I made it myself’ catering, the authentic breads and a great range of artisan produce and it’s easy to see why the brand has become such a success. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on their festive brioche with a layer of marzipan over Christmas, consider yourself lucky.
Locations across Dublin
Best for locals
Stoneybatter is having a moment, that’s for sure. With TUI Grangegorman due to be officially completed next year, the energy and the impact can already be felt in Stoneybatter and the surrounding locales. An array of bars, restaurants and street food vendors have recently opened their doors but Lilliput Stores has been somewhat of a mainstay since opening its doors in 2007. Describing itself as a ‘greengrocers, deli and coffee shop. A local store that carries as much as its shelves can bear, with an emphasis on quality, taste and provenance.’ Their coffee is roasted weekly by Ariosa Coffee Roasters and Lilliput Stores is hugely involved in the local neighbourhood which only adds to the intimate feel.
5 Rosemount Terrace, Arbour Hill, Dublin 7
Best for Organics
The Supernatural Market
While not specifically a shop, The Supernatural Market is the go to place for all things organic and wellbeing related. Every Saturday from 9am – 3pm, the market becomes home to a vast number of producers and suppliers all with one goal, to offer a complete shopping experience that is stress free, family friendly, community orientated, and customer focused while bursting with a large range of healthy, organic wholefoods. And by golly, they have gone and done it. Organic meats and vegetables, foraged foods, probiotic kefirs, you name it, they have it. Oh and there is chocolate and olive oil too.
14 – 116 St Andrew’s Resource Centre, Pearse St, Dublin 2.
Best for Bread
The Bretzel Bakery
While quality bread can be found in most of the above mentioned, The Bretzel Bakery have forgotten more about bread making than they remember. Established in 1870. The Bretzel is a neighbourhood landmark and very much a part of old Dublin. With approx. different 30 breads available on any given day, the choice is endless. Obviously the Sourdough is excellent but it’s the Challah Bread that makes my heart skip a beat every single time.
1a Lennox Street, Portobello,
FEATURE BY CIARA MCQUILLAN