Legit Coffee Co.
Upping the Northside's brunch game
What’s the story?
Legit Coffee Co. started on Meath Street in the Liberties, Dublin 8 in 2015, after French man Daniel Vossion saw a gap in the market for a café serving interesting food and good coffee. They were accepted into the area with open arms, and even made it into the Lonely Planet's guide to Dublin, and last summer opened their second location in Phibsboro, where Daniel and his partner live.
Between here, Two Boys Brew and Loretta's, Phibsboro is relatively spoilt for brunch these days, but there's something about the quiet confidence of Legit that we really liked the look of - the sleek food images on their Instagram page probably helped. They open as a café seven days a week, with breakfast, lunch and brunch every day, but it's the latter we were interested in, as we are clearly a city obsessed with it - every time we even mention the B word the website goes mad. Consider us fulfilling our civic duties.
What’s the room like?
There's a good amount of seating, at regular tables, at a high table and in the window. They also have highchairs if you're coming with a child in tow. The whole thing is very industrial chic with greenery dispersed throughout, and there's more natural light in the front, the back suffers from a lack of windows. We loved the window seats in the front for the people watching (and the view of Mountjoy Prison, you never know you'll see coming out), but the back is calm and private and there's good distance between tables if you're coming for a gossip.
What's good to eat?
One of the things we really liked about Legit Coffee Co is that the brunch menu isn't full of the same sad greatest hits seen on most menus, and everything has a twist. We thought the pulled pork benedict was genius, with two eggs on toasted brioche with caramelised apple and hollandaise. Pulled pork is usually a take it or leave it affair, and we thought it might be too salty, but it was expertly balanced and the brioche was better than any English muffin.
We also really loved the rolled up French toast, stuffed with berries, apple and cream cheese, before being dipped in egg and milk and fried, then drizzled with maple syrup - something that's going to be attempted (for better or worse) at home very soon.
The eggs and greens deserves a round of applause for making breakfast time cabbage taste good, and is a nifty way to get your five a day, with avocado, spinach, beetroot hummus and pomegranate. It was also just very tasty without feeling like too much food or that you were over doing it (not looking at you pulled pork benedict), which is good because you need to leave room for cake.
A halloumi plate was another out of the ordinary option, with a homemade flatbread, soy portobello mushroom, garlic hummus and mixed salad. The menu said it also came with slaw and pickled onions, neither of which were on the plate when it arrived, but on asking, the pickled onions materialised. We were told the slaw had been replaced with salad, but we think slaw would have been better. It was a nice alternative to a full Irish, but the halloumi was quite chewy (an upgrade to Toonsbridge would be just the job) and it really needed the bite of the onions, so if we hadn't gotten them it would have felt a bit flat. It is also a lot of food so only order if hungry.
Definitely save room for cake, all of which are homemade. The canelé, with either salted caramel, dulce de leche or chocolate are the best we've had here (maybe ever), and the 3 layer flan, on staff recommendation, had really interesting consistencies, and was smooth, creamy and delicious. Neither tasted too sweet.
What about the drinks?
The excellent house coffee is from Baobab Coffee Roasters in Kildare, with regularly changing guest roasts, and they do speciality teas from Wall & Keogh. Cold pressed juices are made fresh in house and worth the €3-€4 price tag.
And the service?
Everyone's so nice in here that at times we've thought they must all be the owner. You order and pay at the counter and they bring the food to you, but they're more than happy to take time to talk you through the menu or make recommendations. And they smile, a lot. There's just a very welcoming vibe to the place.
Legit has become one of our favourite places for brunch in Dublin, due to the unfailingly excellent coffee, inventive, delicious food, lovely staff and ample seating space. The next time you're near the North Circular Road make a beeline for it - or just make this your next brunch destination. It's worth any effort it might take to get there.
Legit Coffee Co.
394 North Circular Road, Dublin 7 www.legitcoffeeco.com