We've eaten everything in our 5km, tried every single coffee establishment, and walked in circles working it all off, but as of yesterday the city is ours again. No more roadblocks, no more sneaky café trips to somewhere just outside the boundary, we can once again roam free, and new food is the main thing on our minds. We've mapped out our movements in this whole new world over the next few weeks based on what and where we want to eat, so if you're looking for inspiration for where to spread your wings, feel free to follow in our footsteps...
Hong Kong Bakery, City Centre
We're equally thrilled and terrified at the thought of our first trip into the city centre in months. Will it feel like 28 Days Later? Can we face paying €16 for four hours parking? Where will we pee after our third single-origin, micro-lot coffee? We're hoping the new Hong Kong Bakery on Eden Quay (from the same owners as Ka Shing on Wicklow Street) will make it worth any potential pain, because thoughts of their char siu buns, pork puffs and Cantonese style egg tarts have taken up firm residence in our brains. Open 12:00 - 19:00 Monday - Saturday.
Dosa Dosa, Grand Canal Street
After last week's Instagam conversation about all the different foods we wish Dublin had (instead of endlessly multiplying burgers, fried chicken and cookies), we were reminded that we do have dosas, uttapam and Kathi rolls. Dosa Dosa park up just off Grand Canal Street on Saturdays and Sundays from 13:00 - 20:00, and we're dying for a sunny day drive by before settling down in Merrion Square and remembering what it was like to socialise outside with other humans without face masks, social distancing and the fear of accidentally coughing in public. Check them out and order in advance here.
Sharkbait Shelby's, Clanbrassil Street
Thom Lawson (Lucky Tortoise, Sprezzatura) has yet to have a dud, so we have high expectations for his new seafood shack at Baste on Clanbrassil Street. Sharkbait Shelbys has one of those rare menus where we want ALL THE FOOD, but we'll start with the caviar dippy egg, the crab and bisque mac, and guanciale and tomato Killary Fjord mussels. Find them at Baste BBQ from Thursday - Sunday.
The Rock Bakery, Skerries
Pearce Carty Heffernan was the baker at Clanbrassil Coffee Shop before the world as we knew it upended, but every cloud, because The Rock Bakery was one of many businesses born out of the pandemic. He's currently selling sourdough, ferrero roché croissants and lemon marshmallow nests from the pop-up shop at Potager in Skerries (10:00 - 12:00 on Sunday) with deliveries from Thursday - Saturday (pastries are only at the weekends). Order here.
The Pier House, Howth
Oh we do like to be beside the seaside, and we like it even more with a lobster roll in hand. The Pier House in Howth have just started their new bites menu, including Roaring Water Bay mussels, Achill oysters and toasted lobster rolls with spiced Japanese mayo and crispy garlic shallots. You'll find us out on the pier the next day the temperature goes above 10c, lobster roll in one hand, and the other trying to get a seal to wave back at us.
Barely a day goes by without a new "oooooof" inducing image from Woodruff in Stepaside, and their 'Grab & Go' menu is a good excuse for a walk/hike/ramble in the Dublin mountains. From ham hock and black pudding croquettes, to Curragh lamb flatbread with sumac sheep's yoghurt and wild garlic, to woodruff and pistachio cannoli for afters, if we're going all this way we're probably ordering one of everything. Check their Instagram for this week's menu.
McNally Farm & Café, Balrickard, North County Dublin
We love a trip to McNally Farm in North Co. Dublin to stock up on organic vegetables, homemade yoghurt and all manner of Irish produce from other small producers, but their café serving vegetable based baps and homemade cakes is another reason to get in the car. Sarah McNally (of The Market Kitchen) has the flavour formula locked down, using what's in season to create vegetarian and vegan sandwiches, and various members of the family have their own cakes and cookies on sale. If it's dry there's outdoor seating to the side (and indoor for when that's an option again). Open Wednesday - Saturday. Order in advance here.
The Cali Kitchen, Dun Laoghaire
After our official Insta complaint last week about the lack of good Scotch eggs in Dublin, we're using The Cali Kitchen's free-range pork and black pudding version with house-made chilli jam as an excuse for a walk along the promenade in Dun Laoghaire. It's going to be hard to sidestep the chocolate croissant bread and butter pudding with creme anglaise, so we're not going to even try.
It's been so long since we had cans on the canal (decades in fact) but Locks are back with their take-away menu from Friday - Sunday so look out swans, we're en route. The opening menu featured oysters with shallot pickle, dressed crab, brown butter, avocado and lemon on brioche, and sucking pork bao with BBQ sauce and mango, as well as their famous tempura salt and vinegar fish and chips. Available Friday - Sunday. See last week's menu here.
Órale @ Eatyard, Drumcondra
In our quest for quality tacos, Órale Street Food at Eatyard in Drumcondra comes up again and again. On the menu are Korean pork with kimchi and apple slaw, masa fried chicken with salsa macha, and aubergine barbacoa with avocado and tomatillo salsa, as well as quesadillas and burritos, and we're desperate to get to Dublin 9 and check them out. We'll be eating them along the Royal Canal or sneaking them into the Botanic Gardens. Check them out on Instagram here.
3 Leaves, Blackrock
There are a few dishes and restaurants that we've thought about obsessively since this time last year, and right at the top is 3 Leaves in Blackrock. The samosa chaat, the pav bhaji and the pepper beef with paratha are perfect for sundown at the beach, or if you're heading home go the whole hog with curries, rice and dahl (although we'd happily eat those at the beach too. Pre-orders are necessary here.