Socially acceptable breakfast drinking used to be reserved for ladies who lunch and Wolf of Wall Street wannabees. The rest of us, nine to five mortals, could perhaps get away with it on tropical holidays or at Oktoberfest, but nowadays, #BrunchGoals have completely turned this around.
Of course, caffeine still gets the best of most of our brekkies, but attitudes towards an early tipple relax over the weekend as one can clearly see with the rise of boozy brunches that often turn the breakfast and lunch portmanteau occasion into over the top rendezvous, bringing all sorts of entertainment to amuse their thirsty audiences.
Live jazz bands, drag performers, guest DJs, bingo and other themed events celebrating anything from James Joyce to David Bowie are some of the ways in which venues sharpen their offering in the race to become the coolest boozy brunch in town. And of course, there’s another ace up their sleeves, the promise of a bottomless experience.
Is this liquid buffet peak hedonism? Well, it’s not quite ancient Rome levels of debauchery but it certainly is not the brunch your great aunt had with her besties thirty years ago, at which poached eggs were the highlight.
Besides, with this generation’s changing drinking habits, it makes sense to have an occasion at which you can savour Insta-worthy dishes and drinks in the middle of the day, allowing you plenty of time in the evening for Netflix enjoyment, online gaming or good ol’ canoodling.
Wake Up and Smell the Espresso Martini
Running a search to check the popularity of the trend according to Google, we noticed how the interest has experienced vertiginous growth: searches for “boozy brunch” increased by 887 per cent points between 2012 and 2017. Searches for “Bottomless Brunch” grew by 1,364 per cent in the same period.
And it’s not just the quantity but the quality of the offerings that makes the new wave of boozy brunches exciting. Yes, menus will still feature the ubiquitous day time classics such as Mimosas, Bellini, Bloody Mary and of course, the Espresso Martini, but the award-winning bartenders that have embraced the craft cocktail movement are to thank not just for upgrading nocturnal options but the daytime options.
Besides, is not just food and drink enthusiasts who get to smile thanks to this popular social occasion. Bars and restaurants have managed to get people through their doors at traditionally quieter times by offering guests a chance to eat, drink and be merry so you could say they’re making hay while the sun shines.
With more splashy alternatives popping up with unprecedented frequency, we strongly feel that the boozy brunch trend is not going away any time soon.
If you are looking to experience some of the hottest boozy brunches in town, don’t miss the must-try stops below, for they not only offer irresistible dishes, from indulgent mouth-watering waffle Jenga towers to next level vegan options, but they have dedicated brunch cocktail menus that are as carefully put together as their edible counterparts.
This Dublin brunch institution ticks all the boxes. Its food menu features a comprehensive selection of egg dishes as well as meaty specials from their grill, plus a decadent range of desserts. On the drinks front, let us start by telling you that their House Bloody Mary features chorizo infused vodka. Let that sink in. They also do the classic fizzy glasses as well as many non-alcoholic options.
Go Bottomless – Enjoy never ending Prosecco for €18 when having brunch here on Saturdays.
Served Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm.
More information: whitefriargrill.ie
This essential Ranelagh eatery is a meat lovers’ must try (although they also offer a good assortment of veggie dishes). When in Dillinger’s, don’t leave without trying their famous Margaritas or go low alco and high flavour with their glossy Aperol Spritz or signature Fizzy Brunch cocktail with Prosecco, grapefruit and ginger liqueur.
Served Saturday and Sundays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
More information: dillingers.ie/menus
This is not a restaurant mixing drinks, this is a multi award-wining bar cooking great food and as you can imagine, their tipples are some of the most exciting ones you’ll find. Zozimus Bar has a dedicated brunch cocktail menu that includes show stoppers such as their Maple Bacon Old Fashioned, their spicy Good Morning Vietnam Spritz or their fruity Lime-Gosling.
Go Bottomless – You can enjoy bottomless boozy brunch at Zozimus for €39.99 per person, which will cover your meal and a selection of cocktails including G&T.
More information: zozimusbar.ie
Go to town on their avocado on toast, steak sandwiches and other casual classics. This relaxed and laid-back city centre spot has a tempting selection of sparkling brunch tipples and the option to get bottomless Mimosas for only €15 (when ordered alongside a brunch dish).
More information: platform61.ie
One of Dublin’s most fun brunches is Bow Lane. Fantastic food and great atmosphere are complemented by absurdly good cocktails. For a truly over the top experience, save the date on the last Sunday of every month to behold the fabulous show at the Drag ‘N’ Brunch with Davina Devine and her crowd.
Go bottomless – On Saturdays, you can enjoy a bottomless 2-hour seating between 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
More information: bowlane.ie/social
The menu at Cleaver East is packed with favourites such as Huevos Rancheros, burgers, French Toast and Full Irish, and besides the treats for your taste buds, their guest DJs will make sure the atmosphere is kept cool, and by that we don’t mean temperature.
Go Bottomless – This trendy destination has no one but two possible bottomless options as part of their #CleaverBrunchClub package: for €18 you can enjoy bottomless cocktails (Mimosas and Bellini) with your meal or for €35, you can have a two course brunch on top of the booze.
More information: cleavereast.ie/brunch-club
THE WOOLEN MILLS
Sunday brunch at this popular venue is packed with eggcelent options. There’s the fry, of course, as well as meaty temptations and colourful superfood healthy choices. Drinks wise, they make a mean Bloody Mary, as well as other more out-there tipples such as an Irish whiskey Raspberry Sour; a Rum, Chilli and Spiced Pineapple or a delightfully simple Moscato and Lime.
More information: thewoollenmills.com
LEMON & DUKE
This cool bar is barely a few steps away from Grafton Street and offers a very reasonably priced and appetising brunch menu. Try dishes such as Confit Duck with poached eggs, Belgian Waffles or Seared Yellowfin Tuna, and enjoy one or two of their surprising signature cocktails.
More information: lemonandduke.ie
EDEN BAR & GRILL
A bright and lively venue that takes inspiration from various world cuisines to offer a brunch menu with a difference Try their Colombian Eggs, Homemade Lamb Burger or Dressed Crab on Sourdough, just to name a few. Cocktails? Yes of course! Their brunch cocktail menu a.k.a. “Book of Temptations” has twists on the timeless tipples as well as unusual ones like vodka-based The Promised Land, or gintastic Babylon or Manna from Heaven.
More information: edenbarandgrill.ie
CAFE EN SEINE
This sophisticated Parisian style café, bar and restaurant offers brunch with a francophile twist. Yes, of course there’s French toast, but they’ve also got dishes such as Salad Nicoise, Brioche du Poulet or Croque Monsieur. Keep an eye on their social media for cool themed events like the Bingo Loco. Their cocktail selection also reflects their Gallic sensibilities, with French 75 and French Martini on the list (along with other goodies like Passionfruit Bellini, Chocolate Old Fashioned or Espreso Martini).
More information: cafeenseine.ie
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.