Just minutes away from Dublin’s city centre, you’ll find the Liberties. Here history and character meets innovation and opportunities, as old inner city Dublin converges with new media and tech hubs and some of Dublin’s top visitor attractions.
Taking a turn off Thomas Street, at the stalls selling value size washing detergents and catering boxes of Lyon’s tea, on Meath Street you’ll find a perfect slice of this contrast.
Locals greeting each other from across the street, bartering outside the Liberty Market and dealers bellowing ‘two for a fiver’ make up the music of the street, but in between the cluttered shop fronts and neon signs, there’s Legit Coffee Co.
With it’s on trend grey colour scheme, simplistic signage and expansive front window, even from the outside Legit stands out.
This minimalism is mimicked inside. A former butchers, Legit was reopened as a coffee shop in 2015 by Daniel Vossion, a French man working in the tech industry in Dublin, who took on the job of refurbishing the shop himself.
The interior is sparse, if not industrial, but has a smattering of feel-good Hygge; the Danish concept of living well, simply and cosily.
Lighting comes via hanging filament bulbs and pendant lamps, wooden wall frames and wires are exposed, and on one side stripes of black paint are scrawled with quirky blackboard-esque doodles.
The narrow space is dominated by a counter, though still offers a choice of seating options to satisfy your mood or time constraints.
In the main room, you can choose slurp a quick coffee at the row of small round tables and stools, set up office at the large polished stone topped table, or slowly sip as you slump into the comfy corner chair, set along a stove that promises an extra layer of comfort come winter time.
Through a narrow door at the back extends another room lined with monochrome tables for two; a cushioned bench on one side; a stool on the other. A print of chopped, stacked wood on the back wall gives the room a focal point that further enhances the Scandi vibes; fire making is a key principle of Hygge after all.
A sucker for natural light, I was drawn to large window straddled by a low table and deep chairs at the front of the cafe.
A regular kindly shared the table with me, his favourite people watching spot, and without much prompting was soon gushing about his local.
“I’ve been in here at different stage in both my pajamas and in a suit; either way its always a welcoming environment.”
Arriving shortly before 9am, he says I’ve just missed the busy morning rush. Now, the pace of the cafe has slowed; friendly baristas have the chance to squeeze an extra drop of TLC into your coffee, and you can take your time choosing whether you’ll order sweet or savoury, perhaps both; fewer people means less judging.
Lunch time you’d be better off grabbing one of their sandwiches, pre-prepared on Arun Bakery bread, and a coffee to go he warns, it gets crowded.
Between then and closing time at 5pm however you’re free once again to lounge and linger, as a confluence of locals and tourists flows in and out.
After ordering at the till my flat white arrives; made with coconut-soy milk, one of their dairy-free options, and their ‘new’ house coffee from Berlin based Bonanza Coffee Roasters. Other house options come from Baobab Coffee Roasters, a micro coffee roaster located in Celbridge, Co Kildare.
A Brazilian-Ethiopian blend, it has a hint of sweet strawberry which counters any bitterness in the beans. A cup of caramel coloured joy that soothes the residual jitters of a rushed morning.
‘The Regular’, originally from Dallas, says that their ever-changing coffee menu here is something that keeps him coming back.
After staring at the bountiful counter-top display of homemade cakes and bakes for far too long, my Super Green Omelette is delivered just as my tummy begins to talk.
A vivid green half-moon is topped with a delicately fanned avocado, a drizzle of herby olive oil, and a sprinkle of pine nuts and jewel-like pomegranate seeds all sitting atop a shard of toasted sourdough, “their presentation is always on point,” comments ‘The Regular’.
Not solely aesthetically pleasing, the bursts of sweet pomegranate offsets the nuggets of salty sundried tomatoes inside; a squeeze of acidic lemon juice does a similar job to the buttery avocado.
Elsewhere on the breakfast and brunch menu, served until 3pm, there’s other substantial dishes like the Pulled Pork Benedict and a Blueberry Pancake Stack, or lighter Coconut Chia Porridge and homemade Sausage Rolls, with fillings like chorizo and blue cheese. And I’ll be back to sample their considered sandwich selection.
While the Liberties is a part of ‘real’ Dublin that hopefully will retain its old-school charm for many more years to come, Legit gives an insight of what this area might become.
Until then, the cafe has found a place in the community. A welcome haven for both hipsters and hun buns.
Legit Coffee Co.
1 Meath Mart,
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.