Portobello is not just for cans and staring at swans, it’s one of the spots to be in after work when it’s sunny and you’re looking for coffee, food, swans... and cans. There’s a glut of places to eat and drink as well as a long pleasant stroll along the canal, and it’s a good place to spend a lazy afternoon, where filling it with eating and drinking will make you feel like you’ve accomplished something on your day off.
Start off the day in Alma, the new shiny cafe on the block fresh from a glowing review from Catherine Cleary (you can also read our once over here). Alma quickly rose up the hype train and now be prepared to queue a lot of the time. The cafe is family run with large Argentinian influences and you’re going to like everything on the menu.
Up early for weekend brunch? Cross the canal to get to perennially packed Grove Road, who serve brunch all day every day, but whose outside (and inside) tables are permanently in demand. The menu here is of the simple but excellently executed variety, like toasted breakfast sandwiches, and poached eggs on sourdough toast with sun-dried tomato pesto and parmesan
If you still need to feel caffeine coursing through your veins, walk down the road to Brother Hubbard South and have a seat in their front terrace. All of their cakes are baked in house if you need a pick me up, and their iced lattés are almost unbearably photogenic.
Onto the next meal, where we would suggest Bibi's. Hidden behind the houses of Portobello, Bibi’s offers a chance for you to feel like you’re living a more aesthetically pleasing life through the cute pottery you’ll never obtain and the dishes that you’ll never make the effort to cook at home. Go for the Turkish eggs.
After you’ve spent your afternoon pondering life’s meaning by the canal whilst being plagued by those swans, put an end to all that thinking with drinking. First Draft Coffee and Wine has turned into quite the neighbourhood evening wine bar, inserting a buzz into Lennox street throughout the week.
If you’re looking for something more casual, hit up Richmond, which exudes that relaxed neighbourhood dining feel. If you’re feeling spontaneous their Tuesday night tasting menu, consisting of five courses for €38, is where they experiment with new dishes, and they're big supporters of seasonal, Irish produce, which we like a lot.
For a more involved dinner, Locks along the canal should be on your bucket list if you haven’t already tried it. Request a table by the window and sit back and enjoy bread with sea trout and dulse butter, and Delmonico salt-aged rib-eye (read our Locks once over here). Their Sunday lunch should be a sub-bullet point on your list.
Your other dinner option (and one we'd strongly advise booking well in advance) is Bastible. They’ve recently recruited Cuan Greene, a Dublin native who has spent the last few years working as a chef in Noma, and after a recent glowing review from Cleary they seem to have stepped up their game even more.
And then, if you’re not really feeling the sit down dinner, you can linger around Eatyard for a few light bites, or just get some dessert to round off your long day of eating. Grab a pint from the Shaw (or else spend some time cleaning up the canal and swap a bag of empty cans for a pint), and finish off the day with another drink and a gig in Bello Bar on Portobello harbour.
Did we miss your favourite spot in Portobello? Let us know by emailing email@example.com.