In a roadmap that’s had more twists and turns than a series of Line of Duty, Covid restrictions have changed again and now we can start getting out and about more within our own counties, and 20 kms from our homes if we’re near county borders. Woohoo, fella. Best of all, two households can meet for recreational purposes in parks and outdoor public spaces, so now we just have to remember how to talk to people. Our favourite recreational activities involve eating, food and meals, and after a winter spent hoarding Vegware cutlery and little salt sachets in our gloveboxes, we’re very happy that our dining venue options have moved from driver’s seat to park bench, and temperatures are on the up. Sunshine means salads, so here’s five that will fuel your reunions with friends, and where to eat them outdoors.
1) Honey Truffle Kitchen, Pearse St.
For a serious whack of nourishment and flavour Honey Truffle Kitchen always delivers, and this black barley and butternut squash salad with wild garlic, cumin, coriander, lemon watercress, and radish will fuel body and soul, while keeping energy levels up for a power catch-up with your bestie. The obvious choice for this one is nearby Merrion Square but it might get a little busy at peak times. A great alternative is Pearse Square just down the street towards Grand Canal Dock, a small garden square with some of the city’s best Georgian architecture.
2) Little Bird, South Circular Road
Poor feta has been used and abused lately, mainly thanks to Tik Tok, but Little Bird on the South Circular Road is righting that wrong with this insanely colourful tabbouleh salad with feta, apricot, and pomegranate. There are lots of options for places to sit and eat around SCR and the canal, but we’d recommend taking a stroll to the small but perfectly-formed Wilton Place Park, across from the Patrick Kavanagh statue, and trying to grab one of the very cute deck chairs.
3) Kale + Coco, Stoneybatter
We get it, it's been a while since you've had to actually speak to other people, and you're worried you might forget how it's done. If you're feeling a little socially anxious, you'll need something lovely to talk about in case of lulls. As you’d expect from vegan and vegetarian café Kale + Coco, their nourish bowls are things of plant-based beauty and the perfect conversation-starter. Order for click and collect, then head to the Phoenix Park to meet your pal/family members/tinder date for the ultimate in salad and scenery pairing.
4) 31 Lennox, Portobello
Carbs: completed them, mate. If your diet has been a bit of a stodge-fest for the last few months and you’re worried that suddenly going uber-healthy may be too much of a shock to the system, 31 Lennox in Portobello do a chicken Caesar salad that should help you strike a balance. Is it the healthiest salad in the world? No. Is it delicious? Totally. Free-range chicken with bacon, baby gem, croutons, parmesan Caesar dressing. You’re not going to want a 10k hike after this, so dawdle over to nearby Iveagh Gardens and enjoy your day.
5) Tiller + Grain, South Frederick St.
When it comes to salads, Tiller + Grain’s Clair Dowling is the queen of flavour and colour. They have so many options covering vegans, vegetarians, gluten-freers and meat-eaters, that you can’t go wrong whoever you're meeting. Choose from bases like turmeric rice, roasted cauliflower, beetroot with feta, aubergine with yuzu yogurt, and add on more protein like rainbow trout or marinated beef. We’d recommended adding a cake or freshly baked cookie to your order, because we're all about that balance. You’re so close to Iveagh Gardens, St. Stephen’s Green, and Merrion park here, all of which are good choices.