It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially if the city’s menus and café windows are anything to go by. We’ve looked on in glee as our social feeds have started to fill up with mince pies, puddings, and hot chocolates - and December isn’t even here yet. Here are some of the best-looking (and sounding) Christmassy dishes in Dublin right now — and if it's a Christmas sandwich you're after check out our guide on where to get the best Christmas sandwiches in the city.
Mince pies, No Messin'
If you eat one mince pie this festive season, make it a No Messin' mince pie. What must be some of the world's finest launched last week with pre-order available online right up to Christmas eve (although loads of dates are already booked out). The buttery, flaky, Irish butter pastry filled with dried vine fruits, spices and suet (that they've rendered themselves) take three days to make, and need to be tasted for the hype to be believed.
Mont d’Or, Fallon & Byrne
Most of the selections on this list are unsurprisingly sweet, but it just wouldn’t be Christmas without sickening quantities of cheese. Nothing has come so close to giving us whiplash as the sight of this oozing, baked Mont d’Or now being served in Fallon & Byrne's wine cellar. You’ll want to watch this one on a loop.
Spiked hot chocolate, Honey Truffle
The hot chocolate field gets more and more crowded every year, and we love seeing new and interesting twists on a hot drink staple. Points to Honey Truffle then for not just using a rich chocolate ganache in theirs, but spiking it up with a dash of Kraken spiced rum. If this doesn’t warm you up on a winter's stroll around town, nothing will.
Christmas sausage roll, Meltdown
When it comes to savoury seasonal fare, the bulging Christmas sandwich is more or less the only game in town, but Meltdown have taken it upon themselves to branch out with a Christmas sausage roll. Stuffing and cranberry sauce meet the usual pork filling, and colour us curious.
Mincemeat Financier, Two Pups
Another trés inventive take on a classic, Two Pups have cooked up a mince pie in financier form. The light almond crumb of this French cake seems like a perfect fit for the fruitiness of mincemeat, and as fond fans of the frangipane-topped varieties of mince pie we’re pretty confident this is going to be a winner.
Mince pie danish, The Pepper Pot Cafe
Given it’s a time when comfort food reigns, it can be a risk to stray too far from tradition where Christmas dishes are concerned. We think The Pepper Pot Café have hit on just the right balance of innovation with this mince pie danish. It helps that it’s really pretty too.
Chocolate biscuit pudding, Farmhouse Café
One of the more creative-looking confections on the list, The Farmhouse Café’s chocolate biscuit pudding would make for a great Christmas dinner centrepiece. It’s filled with Digestives and Mars Bar bits, encased in milk and dark chocolate, and finished with a white chocolate layer. There’s a gluten-free version available too.
Mince pies, Bread 41
“Is it ever too early?” Bread 41 asked when launching their mince pies last week, and when they’re as good as this the answer is a resounding no. With a fluffy crumble topping and a scattering of icing sugar on top, this is a straightforward version of the classic done very well.
Ice cream sandwiches, Cold Boi
You’ll have to move quickly to have any hope of snapping up one of Cold Boi’s Christmassy ice cream sandwiches: the original batch of December deliveries sold out inside of 24 hours. No surprise with flavours including Baileys tiramisu and chocolate chip cinnamon roll. Fingers crossed for a follow-up supply.
Nutella panettone, Sugarloaf
It’s wall-to-wall panettones in supermarkets and bakeries all over the city right now, and while we’d never dare to complain about such a thing, we can’t pretend Sugarloaf Bakery’s unique variation didn’t come as a little bit of a relief. It’s filled with Nutella and powdered milk truffle, and we’re dying to know if it tastes as good as it looks.
Apple snap, Soup Two
Mulled wine and hot ports aside, Christmassy drinks have seemed a bit slower off the mark this year. That means Soup Two’s apple snap caught our eye all the more, with its star anise-topped combo of spiced apple, cider and brandy.
Mince pies, The Bakery by the Cupcake Bloke
You get the picture by now: we really like a mince pie, so we had to end on a good one. The Cupcake Bloke is speaking our language with no fewer than three variations this year, including a classic, a cherry and chocolate, and an especially OMG combo of bacon, cheddar and pear. If anyone's looking for us we’ll be in Rialto.