• Helen Clifford & Lisa Cope

Pandemic? What Pandemic? 16 New Dublin Openings Giving Us All Hope

Back in a time when we had some way of differentiating one week from the next, nothing would get us more excited than a new restaurant opening. It seemed like a week didn’t go by where Dublin wasn’t getting something fresh and exciting - an Irish chef returning from London with a pocketful of key money and a headful of new ideas; a barista setting up their own coffee shop in a disused lifeguard station - you know, something different. Certainly, recent events have very much put a stop to new openings and shiny new ideas, but not entirely, and all the claps for these people who've opened shop over the last few weeks, giving us all some much needed hope for 2021...



Mona-mie, Dublin 8

Dublin doesn't have enough (good) bakeries - this is a fact. There are only so many cruffins that Scéal and Bread 41 can make in a week. The brilliant No Messin' in Smithfield was a much appreciated addition to the Dublin baked goods scene this year, and now one of their original bakers, Dani Carnevali, has gone on to set up Mona-mie with fellow baker (and Venezuelan) María Rodríguez, selling "French treats with a Venezuelan touch". They opened this week in The Fumbally café selling McNally Boskoop apple tarts and lemon meringue pie, as well as traditional Venezuelan pastries like cachitos (ham brioche) and golfiados (sticky aniseed brioche with fresh cheese). Find them in The Fumbally every Monday from 09:30 - 15:30, with hopefully more days to follow. (LC)



Salumi, Terenure

If there's one food that signifies the great pandemic of 2020 (apart from sourdough and banana bread) it's grazing boxes. It appears that being stuck inside all the time makes us want to eat constantly, and while there are plenty of options for getting one delivered, Dublin now has its very own grazing box shop. Mark Leavey and family opened Salumi in Terenure two weeks ago selling three different sized boxes (piccolo, medio and grande) containing cheeses like 14 month comté and 12 month Manchego, Italian meats like Coppa di Parma and Prosciutto di San Danielle, olives, tapanade, pesto, crackers, bread sticks and lots more, as well as wine on tap to go. They're open from 10:00 - 19:00 Monday - Friday and 11:00 - 19:00 Saturday and Sunday, and sold out of stock twice in their first week so plan ahead by ordering online. (LC)




Conchita Bakery, Parnell Street

File this under “Thing We Never Thought We’d Say in 2020” but Dublin now has its very own Mexican bakery. Conchita Mexican Bakery opened on Parnell Street in October serving coffees and freshly baked pastries and breads, including Concha - sweet bread rolls topped with chocolate, vanilla, marzipan or Oreo, which can be stuffed with fruit, ice-cream, or custard. We're also intrigued by the Pastel de Elote - a traditional creamy corn cake. (HC)



Yoi Ramen, Barrow Street

Tucked away near Google’s HQ building on Barrow Street in Dublin 4, new Japanese spot Yoi Ramen is promising us the “best ramen in town”. Big words indeed. The menu, available for click and collect and delivery to some areas, looks promising and seems to be getting good reports, with sushi and sashimi, poke, gyoza, and of course ramen. (HC)



Aventura, Malahide/Portmarnock

Aventura have been keeping Portmarnock train station commuters in excellent coffee (from Newry roastery Koffy) since 2015, and thought the pandemic was going to be a disaster for them with hardly anyone commuting to the city centre any more. Instead they're busier than ever with the masses of people in the area working from home queuing up daily for lattés, ciabattas or one of their brilliant selection of cakes from Mud Bakery, Oh Happy Treats or The Carrot Cake Lady. Now they've opened up a second spot in a horsebox on top of Paddy's Hill, in between Malahide and Portmarnock with sweeping views down along the coast, and the many people out walking each day are making them very welcome. Queues at the weekend have become the norm, but no one seems to mind the wait. They're open seven days a week, from 07:30 Monday - Friday and 08:30 Saturday and Sunday, until 16:00. (LC)



Provider, Harold's Cross

Brother and sister Ciaran and Maeve Donohue have opened artisan deli Provider in Harold's Cross, an area they felt was crying out for a good food shop. They're stocking loads of great Irish produce, like Upside Coffee, White Mausu, Goatsbridge and Crossogue, as well as imported products they love like Kombucha Kat, La Croix drinks and Kewpie mayonnaise. They serve an ever-changing selection of deli sandwiches, salads and antipasti, as well as pastries and other baked goods, and wine is coming soon. They're open Monday - Friday from 08:00 - 19:00 and at the weekend from 09:00 - 18:00, and they're also pet friendly so feel free to bring the dog along. (LC)




Monck's Green, Phibsboro


Phibsboro's former Woodstock Café has reopened as Monck's Green with new head chef Eoin Morris (formerly of The Pigeon House) in the kitchen. The owners say the pandemic had them feeling like the sky was falling down, but ended up making them refocus on what they're really passionate about. The menu features less soup, scones and toasties and more 'Pea Smash' (smoked aubergine, poached eggs, peanut rayu and fermented hot sauce), hake tempura with mango chilli salsa and homemade flatbread, and reuben pastrami sandwiches. They're also going big on plants, with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. They've installed a hatch at the front making it easier to grab and go, and plan on adding in dinner once life gets somewhat back to reality. For now they're open seven days a week for breakfast, brunch and lunch. (LC)



Fire Byrd, Ranelagh

Bringing a little taste of Nashville to Dublin, Fire Byrd offer a menu covering all things chicken plus sides like tater tots (little balls of hash brown delight), fries, charred corn and fried pickles. The chicken comes in mild to super-hot and there’s a milkshake menu to help you cool down. There will be dine-in seating once restrictions are lifted, but it’s takeaway for now. Open Wednesday - Sunday. (HC)



Dash Burger, Kevin Street

Our love of Pang, and especially their curried lentils, was no secret and we were really sad to learn that they closed down in July. A short hiatus and they reopened as Dash Burger offering LA-style smash burgers and fries which are available for click and collect. Burgers are available in doubles and triples, and they're also doing ice-cream from Three Twenty ice-cream lab. (HC)


Margadh, Howth

Some businesses have pivoted, some have merely swiveled, and others have practically pole-vaulted into new operating models. Step forward the team behind Mamó who have recently opened speciality store Margadh, selling bread, bakes, toasties, and lots of lovely artisan foods. The main draw here is probably the chilled dishes to cook at home, like the chestnut mushroom ravioli with Gruyére and pine nuts, but the morning cake is the perfect addition to an early coffee and the wine selection is the best for miles around. (HC)



The Sambo Ambo

The Sambo Ambo, DJ Marcus O’Laoire’s bright orange former ambulance, is now on the road and serving some nice looking sandwiches, covering everything from a cheese toastie to a roll stuffed with halloumi and Goan coconut curry sauce, which seem to be hitting the spot - on their first day they sold out in 2 hours. Keep an eye on their Insta for upcoming locations. (HC)


Wine Upstairs, Leeson Street

In what seems to be a bid to fill every inch of Forest Avenue’s space with all of our favourite things, they’ve joined forces with wine importer Wine Mason to launch Wine Upstairs on the mezzanine, featuring wines from their mainly European portfolio. Open Monday - Saturday 11:00 - 17:00. (HC)



Neighbourhood Wine

And just across the road in the former Leeson Lounge, wine trade pals Shane Murphy and Mick O'Connell have opened Neighbourhood Wine, a "destination wine shop" which they say will sell the best bottles currently available in the country, as well as interesting beers, craft cocktails and glassware. They're open seven days a week from now until Christmas and are working on an online shop with delivery, so keep your eyes peeled. (LC)

Double 8, Camden Street and Mount Merrion

We feel like Double 8 have put us through a rollercoaster of emotions in the past 12 months. Originally operating in Bray, they opened a pop-up in Dublin at the end of 2019 which made us very happy indeed. We loved their dumplings and hoped the pop-up would lead to an announcement of a second location in the capital but noooo, instead they broke our hearts in June with the news that they were ceasing trade in Bray. We bravely went about our lives, only to learn in October that they had quietly opened on Camden Street, proving that miracles do happen. They’re now operating click and collect and delivery and have recently added a south-side kitchen by taking space at Union Café in Mount Merrion. In addition to dumplings, they’re also doing side dishes like fried rice and dan-dan noodles which we’ve tried and are as delicious as the dumplings. Word on the street is that they’ll also reopen in a new location in Bray in 2021. (HC)



Brindle Coffee And Wine

Frist Draft Coffee and Wine on Lennox Street has undergone a bit of a transformation and is now Brindle Coffee and Wine under new management. Serving Roasted Brown coffee, plus plenty of snacks and nibbles, their website also has over a hundred low intervention wines available for delivery nationwide. Open seven days a week from 08:00 - 19:00. (HC)



The Orange Goat, Killester

Right before lockdown in March we enjoyed brunch at The Orange Goat in Ballsbridge and had lots of plans to make it a regular occurrence. While that didn’t go entirely to plan, we were delighted at the news that they’ve expanded to the north-side and opened a second café on Collins Avenue. Coffee Picker coffee, cakes and brunch are all available for click and collect orders from both locations via their website. (HC)


And Soon...

It looks like there may be white smoke, or at least some pizza oven smoke, appearing over Blackrock, as Forest Avenue’s Little Forest is opening quietly this evening for takeaway pizzas only. They’ve taken on Reggie White (ex Pi Pizza) as part of the kitchen team for a menu that will focus on fresh pizzas, pastas, and snacks. All Bar Chicken are getting ready to open site number two on Capel Street, 147 Deli are getting into the food truck game with Just Chubbys (coming soon), and Brother Hubbard are opening site number three next week - location to be announced. More details when we get them.


THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES