Without the usual commute or any form of social life past 8pm, we witnessed a near mass exodus from the city to the suburbs over the last two years, with people craving a bit more space and a pleasant 5km. It wasn’t until people settled into their new home that they suddenly had the panicked thought, ‘do people in the ‘burbs brunch?!’. Of course they do hun, you haven’t moved to the moon. There are loads of great options or brunch outside of the city centre, so whether you’ve moved north, south, inland or along the coast, we've sussed out the best options for you.
1) Two Boys Brew, Phibsboro
Everyone knows that no one does brunch like the Australians, and Kevin and Taurean of Two Boys Brew obviously got some good inspo from their time down under. Sitting in this Phibsborough café, if you averted your eyes from the sideways rain outside you might be fooled into thinking you’re in Melbourne. The menu has tonnes of great savoury dishes like avo toast with crispy halloumi and eggs benedict with pulled beef cheek, but we can bet even the people who choose a starter over dessert would be swayed by their signature hotcake filled with stewed fruit and crème pat.
2) Slice, Stoneybatter
Stoneybatter is a foodie heaven right now, with a brilliant selection of cafés and restaurants offering food from all over the world. For brunch though, we can’t resist a visit to Slice. The café is deliciously cosy, the staff are really welcoming and the food is always excellent. Lucky for us, and the people of Stoneybatter, they serve an all-day brunch six days a week, so none of this weekend only nonsense.
3) Social Fabric Café, Stoneybatter
Another point for Stoneybatter, Social Fabric is located in the old post office which they have transformed into a friendly, casual space. Their brunch menu is varied, with a very generous looking full Irish alongside porridge, granola and pancakes, plus more. They're vegan and vegetarian friendly, and also serve Cloudpicker coffee, so you’re sure to get a decent flat white.
4) The Pigeon House, Clontarf
This neighbourhood spot in Clontarf has been serving consistently great food for years and their brunch offering is no different. They have all the classics, but we've also spied more unusual options like grilled brisket with spiced beans and chimichurri. Their buttermilk pancakes with peanut butter ganache and salted caramel give us a filling just thinking about it, but your sweet-toothed friend/child/self would be all over it.
5) Póg, Howth & Malahide
Póg is pancake central, with a full menu of sauces, toppings and premium add ons for their signature protein pancakes. If that's not your deal there's also avo toast, breakfast brioche and acai bowls. Although they started in the city centre, the last couple of years have seen them expand to the North Dublin suburbs of Howth and Malahide, and their newest location is coming to Clontarf soon.
6) Daddy's, Rialto
Daddy’s has been knocking it out of the park since they opened in late 2019, bringing their modern Irish dishes to the streets of Rialto. They do an all-day brunch menu on the weekend, and have a few brunch style dishes on their weekday menu. The croissandwich is what we’d be ordering any day of the week. That or the Turkish eggs. Decisions, decisions...
7) Two Pups, Francis Street
This dog-friendly joint in the Liberties is the perfect place to hit up for breakfast, pup or no pup. They have an excellent supplier list, using McCarthy’s of Kanturk for black pudding, McNally Farm for veg, Firehouse Bakery for their bread and Lilliput for their cheese and meats, so, you can be sure that whatever you’re eating is going to be full of the best ingredients around.
8) The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane
Some of the best chefs and food entrepreneurs in Ireland have ‘graduated’ from the Fumbally, which operates a non-hierarchical kitchen, allowing everyone the equal chance to create new menu items. This freedom has paid off for both the employees and the café, with a queue of hopeful young chefs waiting in the wings to get their shot (or before there were chronic staff shortages anyway). It's almost as long as the queue of hungry millennials gagging for brunch on a Saturday morning.
9) ALMA, Portobello
Another Portobello diamond, ALMA is a family operation, with the name stemming from the four initials of the children, and you’ll usually see one or more of them on the floor. ALMA is bringing an Argentinian twist to the traditional brunch and they’re doing it very well, with interesting dishes such as choripan Argento which features Argentinian-style sausage on sourdough. Our favourite though, would have to be dulce de leche pancakes. We repeat – dulce. de. leche. pancakes. Whelp!
10) 31 Lennox, Portobello
An Italian-style brunch is something we didn’t think we needed until 31 Lennox came around. Think toasted focaccias, ribollita (Tuscan bean soup), mortadella filled croissants, cannellini toast and of course some good quality Italian sausage. Brunch is available all day Saturday and Sunday.
11) Groundstate Coffee, The Liberties
This café roastery based in the Liberties, Dublin 8 works with small growers for their coffee beans and roast everything in small batches in-house. They're keen to use quality local suppliers and they are certainly nailing this with McNally Farm, Firehouse Bakery and Pigs on the Green on their roster. Expect to see a few yogis pottering around as the spaces transforms into a yoga studio in the evening, and their menu reflects their clientele with overnight oats a popular order, but don’t worry, you can also over-indulge with French toast or their brekkie brioche bun.
12) Storyboard, Island Bridge
If you find yourself in the Island Bridge neighbourhood, it can seem a bit food-starved, but luckily there is one saving grace - Storyboard. Their menu is ever-changing, always using seasonal and sometimes unusual ingredients. We fell for their kimchi pancakes when they first opened, and made many a detour to pick up a coffee from them during lockdown to fuel another walk around Phoenix Park.
13) Bibi's, Portobello & Dun Laoghaire
This quiet but buzzy little spot in Portobello has recently opened a seaside outpost in Dun Laoghaire, but the original in Portobello is always a go-to when we’re thinking about where to grab brunch in town. Go early to grab a table and settle in with a coffee and a plate of their Turkish eggs. Get a few of their signature brownies to go to round off your weekend nicely.
14) Grove Road, Rathmines
Located right at Portobello Bridge, you’ll want to try nab a window seat here for peak people watching as you sip your coffee. Grove Road serves brunch all day on the weekends and even have a smaller brunch menu that they serve all day during the week, so you don’t need to wait until the weekend to enjoy their avocado and feta smash toast with properly crispy bacon.
15) Dillinger's, Ranelagh
If you’re in the mood for a brunch that might turn into lunch that might turn into dinner, Dillinger's is where it's at, with a lively offering from 11am on Saturdays and Sundays. Dillinger's takes as much pride in their drinks as their food, so you can pick from host of cocktails to complement your full Irish or shakshouka. We can recommend their signature Bloody Mary, or if you’re with a gang get the mimosa & bellini tray to ease yourselves gently into the weekend.
16) Happy Out, Donnybrook
We can always recommend a trip out to Bull Island to pick up a coffee and toastie from Happy Out before a walk, but if the weather is a bit wild or your head is feeling a bit too tender, try their new outpost in Donnybrook. Well, we say new, they have been on the go for well over a year now but between the jigs and the reels of lockdowns, they’re only getting a good shot at it their full sit-in brunch menu now. We’ve only had the pleasure of trying the breakfast bap so far, but we are loving what we’re seeing pop up on our feeds each week.
17) Junior's, Beggar's Bush
Juniors is owned by brothers Paul and Barry McNeary, who are also behind Paulie's Pizza and Lotts and Co., and it’s been on the go for years, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. However just before lockdown they nabbed Fiachra Kenny (ex-head chef of The Old Spot) and they took the closure period as an opportunity to revamp the menu. The theme is American-style diner with stacked buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk chicken and waffles, and smash burgers, and they’ve been getting great reviews ever since. This is where we’d head for some recovery after a late night.
18) Five Points, Harold's Cross
Five Points in Harold’s Cross is a 3fe creation, so you’re destined for good coffee if you go (we would go out of our way for one of their oat flat whites made exclusively with the Dublin Oat Co. oat milk), but they also offer a stellar brunch line up. With simple sounding names like ‘Eggs on Toast’ or ‘Pancakes’ you’d be forgiven for thinking they haven’t put a huge amount of thought into the lineup, but the beauty of this menu is in their add-ons. Sure, you could get regular pancakes with honey butter (yum), or you could load them up with fried chicken, seasonal fruit or sausage. The world is your oyster with this menu so go forth and row your own boat.
19) Hatch, Blackrock
Hatch in Glasthule has been a regular coffee destination for us, but the space here is limited so they always kept it simple with coffees, pastries and treats. Luckily for us and the locals of southside Dublin, they expanded to Blackrock with a much bigger premises in the last couple of years. They serve a small brunch menu, which includes some of the nicest mushrooms on toast we have tasted, and we beg you not to miss out on their Hatch swirl which is only available from the Blackrock branch and scooped a silver medal in the prestigious Blas na hÉireann awards. This is the perfect spot early birds/parents too us as they start serving from 8am on the weekend, and 7am midweek.
20) Fable + Stey, Blackrock
A true neighbourhood café, some of the most local locals don’t even know it’s here. Hidden off Newtownpark Avenue, Fable + Stey serve a constantly changing menu with monthly specials taking pride of place. Their brunch is no different so keep an eye on their Instagram to see what they’re serving up, and always leave room for their homemade bakes.
21) Overends Kitchen, Airfield Estate
Sitting on the large Airfield Estate in Dundrum, Overends Kitchen has probably the most locally grown produce around as most of it is grown on the grounds, and their menus change depending on the harvest. It’s a family friendly spot and designed to be explored and enjoyed by all. You could arrive early and help collect the eggs that will end up in your breakfast, or burn off some of your brunch with a walk around the six acre gardens. Either way, you won’t be disappointed by the garden greens shakshuka, buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, and brioche French toast.
Look for brunch in the city ? Check out our guide to brunch in the city centre here.