Dining out has become so much more than a once a month treat or even once or twice a year. People are becoming more and more willing to spend a good amount of money for a high quality meal and not just at dinner time.
In recent years, lunch and brunch have become cornerstones in our dining habits. People are willing to cough up a substantial amount of money for a lunch with all the trimmings, from coffee to cake and everything in between. This cafe explosion has contributed to buddha bowls, impressive healthy burritos and much more, not to mention the fact it’s a fantastic social occasion.
Many of these lunch spots are worshipped for their colourful and nutritious menus, owing much to the growing trend and appreciation of healthy food. You can dine out on Middle Eastern cuisine, an assortment of salads (and we mean much more than a boring lettuce and tomato…think beetroot hummus, Turkish eggs and more).
So why are we so willing to spend in excess of €20 on lunch instead of a €5 soup and sandwich from the local deli? What makes these cafes stand out is the fact they offer a fantastic selection of quality food. So, if you want to pimp your lunch and join the cool crowd, start with these irresistible venues in Dublin.
A staple on Dublin’s food scene since it first opened in 2012, Brother Hubbard is known for their fantastic Middle Eastern-inspired food packed with flavour. You won’t find any boring dishes on this menu.
With two locations – north and south – Brother Hubbard is open for brunch, lunch and dinner. During lunch, you can indulge in roast aubergine and crispy halloumi sandwhiches, smashed avo and cannellini beans on toasted sourdough and daily soups and salads.
The cafe also offers weekly lunch specials, which includes fantastic dishes like a Malaysian-inspired chicken panang satay.
While the brunch menus at Nutbutter are to die for, you can also ensure that a lunch in this cool venue will have you salivating. With a variety of bowls and plates on offer from 11.30am, lunch at Nutbutter is an experience you won’t soon forget.
The salad bowls include squash, cranberry and almonds, a vegan caesar and salmon and avocado. There are also poke bowls and warm grain bowls, including a Mexican bowl, chilli lime and tamarind, forbidden rice bowl, kale quinoa and cashew bowl, rainbow pad Thai and jackfruit tacos.
And if you still have some room after all that deliciousness, grab a little sweet treat and a coffee to set you up for the rest of the day.
A seriously trendy spot in the heart of Dublin city, Póg, meaning kiss as Gaeilge, is a popular place for a deletable bit to eat. If you arrive at peak lunchtime, you’ll likely have to wait for a little bit of time, but trust me, it will be worth it.
The lunch menu includes sandwiches to suit all palates, from grilled cheese to a falafel wrap and vegan burger. Salads on the menu at Pop include vegan falafel, vegan rainbow salad, caesar, goats cheese, smoked salmon, almond crunch paleo and Italian chicken salad.
If you’re not one for sandwiches, the menu boasts some ‘not sandwiches’ like acas bowls, toast two ways, soup and yes, even pancakes!
With white decor allowing the vibrant colours of the food to pop, Eathos is one of those places that just fills you with joy.
From their Acai smoothie bowls to flavourful salads and dishes that pack a protein punch, including chicken and avocado kofta, Juniper smoked Co. tipperary beef, turkey and courgette Kofta, lava bean and chickpea falafel and much much more. This is one lunch that will satisfy you nutritionally and make you feel great.
The sides are also seriously tempting too, especially the pan fried Macroom halloumi and kenmore smoked salmon. If you still have some room left after lunch, I dare you to try to and stay away from the patisserie counter.
An integral part of Dublin city, The Fat Fox is almost bursting at the seems with delicious food and coffee. So pop in for coffee, sweet treats that look naughty but are secretly nice and of course, lunch.
Their lunch menu boats a remarkable selection of producers, including McNally’s organic cauliflower, Corleggy Irish cheddar, St. Tola goat’s cheese and much more.
So whether you’re after a veggie bun, a seasonal salad, a hot pot, soup or a brioche bun, be jolly and enjoy all the Fat Fox has to offer.
This ultra cool cafe is a constant draw for food lovers, with many willing foodies queuing for a spot on one of the cafe’s coveted benches. While scrambled eggs with Gubbeen cheese is a perfect choice for the early hours of the morning, once 12 noon hits, lunch is on the brain.
Utilising as much local and organic produce as possible, you’ll likely be tempted by their falafel wraps, plates and a selection of salads.
You’ll need multiple visits to sample the Avocado on Le Levain sourdough, Flatbread with falafel balls, Gubbeen hot smoked ham, Le Levain ciabatta with overnight fennel & garlic braised pork and much more.
Part of the Domini and Peaches Kemp group, you’ll find Hatch and Sons on St. Stephen’s Green and their menu is to die for.
We’re talking Irish free-range chicken, St. Tola goat’s cheese with roast pear, candied walnuts, smoked mackerel, superfood salad, beef and Guinness stew and some Blaas (yes, the Waterford girl in me is positively leaping).
There are also some seriously tempting boards on offer in Hatch and Sons too, from cheese to smoked fish and the winner – mixed, which includes Burren Smoked Salmon, spiced beef, cream cheese, brown soda bread and more.
A sweet addition to the city, Honey Truffle on Pearse Street boasts an incredibly impressive food display. The salads and sandwiches on the menu are generously portioned and pack a real flavour punch.
With their ethos of serving fresh, vibrant, happy food daily, choosing a salad box at Honey Truffle is anything but boring.
If you’re more of a sandwich muncher, then make sure and go for one of the flavourful options like Mediterranean Chicken with roasted courgette and pepper, Packed Superfood Wholemeal Pitta with falafel, beetroot dip and slaw and more.
If you live in Dublin, odds are that you’ve been to Two Boys Brew before. Whether you’re a fan of their all-day brunch, breakfast or coffee, you haven’t lived until you’ve also indulged in an item or two from the lunch menu in this seriously cool cafe.
The lunch menu includes Miso Mushroom Toast with homemade onion brioche and sweet garlic confit and a delicious Creole Chicken Burger with red cabbage, lime and cashew slaw.
Hands up the best acai bowl I’ve had in Dublin so far, Urbanity is such a great spot to hang out, especially if you’re an hour or two early for your train or are interested in wandering through the museum.
Lunch at Urbanity includes Focaccia, roast mushroom salad, spiced pork salad and sourdough sandwiches.
The sides are also more than your average veg and chips with Halloumi, O’Neill’s bacon and falafel style hummus all on the menu. Be sure and grab some coffee and a sweet treat while you’re at it.
Sarah has always had a great love of travel, food and photography. Following her journalism degree at DCU, she developed a passion for travel writing while living in Spain.
Named Best Break Out Travel Writer at the 2018 Travel Media Awards, Sarah loves exploring new places and sampling the local cuisine. Working with TheTaste.ie combines her love of food and travel.
A big people person, especially when it comes to hearing other people’s stories, Sarah loves interviewing chefs, food producers and more.