Smithfield Market was first laid out as a marketplace in the mid-17th century, and until the early 21st century (that's less than 20 years ago if you're numerically challenged), the square was lined with inner city 'farm yards' housing livestock. The market evolved from cattle to an indoor market in the Generator Hostel building, and these days only to occasional pop ups by Urban Markets, but the area has remained a cultural hub in the city.
Between proper coffee, the freshest fish, and arcade games with a side of basic bitch hot dogs, there are plenty of reasons to spend a day exploring the former inner city marketplace, but obviously our main priority is where to eat and drink.
To start off your day around Smithfield, grab a coffee in Proper Order Coffee Co on Haymarket St. Open since 2016, Proper Order is one of the best coffee shops in the city, run by expert coffee couple Niall and Aliona Wynn. Square Mile is their house coffee and they have a seasonal drinks menu, like the (now very distant) summer’s coffee slushie. They also sell pastries from Scéal , and as we all know, there is no better start to the a day than a gooseberry and elderflower cruffin or a gubbeen cheese and smoked ham croissant.
Once you've given your pastry and coffee an hour to digest, walk around the corner to Urbanity for brunch. The kitchen is run by former Brother Hubbard chef, Rachel Lynch, so as you'd expect, the focus is on local, quality produce. The space, using Nordic influence for its design, also has its own small-batch coffee roaster. Try the ultra-instagrammable (shoot us) acai bowl or the Mexican take on a fry up with fried eggs, refried beans, crispy spiced black beans and guacamole.
In the afternoon, you could catch a movie in the Lighthouse Cinema or have a browse for vintage threads in the Dublin Vintage Factory, both in Smithfield Square. If you have no interest in deviating from food and drink, go to the Jameson Distillery on Bow St for a tour and whiskey tasting. Jameson whiskey was distilled here until 1971 before moving to Midleton in Cork, and the Smithfield location was reopened last year for tours and tastings.
Head to Fish Shop for dinner. Depending on your mood, you can either go to the informal Benburb Street location (below) for fish, chips and natural wine, or book a table at the Queen Street location for the set menu, showcasing the best Irish seafood they've been able to get their hands on that week.