Dorothy may have followed the Yellow Brick Road but we're all about cycle lanes - who wants to travel in heels anyway. Whether it’s a sunrise or sunset spin, there’s always something good to fuel you along the way. We’d recommend more than one stop, because you know, nutrition when exercising is important and all that, and here are seven of our favourites on a southside cycle.
1) Nico Reynolds' Pulled Pork Sambo At Strand Fare, Sandymount
If you’ve sat, jaw-dropped and drooling over all of Nico Reynold’s Insta videos, this is your chance to find out how the fruits of his labour taste. In the ultimate Covid-time collab and perfect Sandymount pit stop, we’re stopping for Nico’s Pulled Pork Sambo BY Greenville Deli AT Strand Fare in Sandymount Village. Everything within the crisp ciabatta tastes like time and effort went into the making, just as you’d expect. It really doesn’t disappoint. Try to savour it, try...
2) Mushroom Toast At Hatch, Blackrock
Though there may still be more places to get your hair done than eat in Blackrock, things are moving in the right direction. Recently celebrating their fifth birthday, Hatch’s Blackrock outlet opened mid-pandemic and has quickly raised the bar for the village’s offerings. Chef Emma Tarrant’s micro take-away menu isn’t just delicious, it’s also guaranteed to last perfectly until you find a seafront seat or bench to enjoy it from. The creamy tarragon mushroom toast topped with a fried egg is so good that you’d consider timing your ride to make it breakfast AND lunch. A generous hunk of Bread41 sourdough makes sure to mop up any escaping flavours but it never gets soggy. We still aren’t sure what kind of kitchen sorcery is used here but it’s frickin' magic. It’s topped with house-made dukkah - a humble addition which in itself takes the dish (okay, box) to another level.
3) All And Any Pizza At Little Forest
If Blackrock village’s newest opening was churning out pizzas 24 hours a day, we’re pretty sure it would still be tough to get a slot. Okay, while this place won’t be your impromptu shout for a pie but it’s well worth planning your trip a few days in advance so that you can sit on the wall at Idrone Terrace and dig into your Little Forest masterpiece. You’ll probably feel the need to a pic for the ‘gram too, and we won’t judge you for it. Head chef @ReggieDoesPizza’s Insta handle is pretty modest: Reggie does THE BEST pizza. Seasonal and staple toppings keep everyone happy, but taking a chance on something you might not always go for pays off every time.
4) Pasta At That's Amore, Monkstown
That’s Amore looks quaint, but Monkstown locals know it as a place where you book a table of four and end up with a table of eight by the end of the night when the staff join your group - that's when you really feel the amore. While everyone should bucket list this place for when indoor dining returns, the cosy spot’s take away menu gives you the chance to feel a million miles from Ireland. Know that whatever you choose from the menu here is going to be the real deal, and trust whatever is on the specials board. If you spot the tonnarelli fresh pasta with lobster on the board, you order that. While you wait, browse the restaurant’s kerb-side retail section for more authentic Italian pantry fillers (hello! more condiments) and radiantly beautiful fresh veg. Take your bike to the scenic and usually less busy Seapoint Park and enjoy your meal al fresco. Italian Riviera or DART line - you won’t know the difference.
5) The 'Picnic Sur Mer' From Bresson, Monkstown
Get a reasonably priced bite from one of South Dublin’s finest eateries and practice your best French accent while you’re at it. We are loving the return of Bresson’s 'Picnic Sur Mer' menu, just as summer weather has pretty much decided it’s here to stay (putting that in writing makes it fact, right?). Their moules frites are always a good shout, but it’s the addition of the seafood platter that’s really caught our eye. Nothing says picnic like a bit of everything, and this platter has a bit of the best of everything. It’s got everything you could possibly want, from calamari to crab claws, with that real fine dining flare. Even the portion of chips comes with peppercorn sauce. We'll take it all, merci beaucoup.
6) An Affogato At Shoe Lane
You’re hot and sweaty by the time you hit Dun Laoghaire and, to be honest, the prospect of queuing for anything that offers you 10,706 different combos of toppings just isn’t your thing. You also kinda want a coffee. DILEMMA. That’s where Shoe Lane’s affogato comes in and whisks you off your feet. The guys here have nailed it for both dairy-lovers and the alternative milk crew. The double cream ice-cream is lush and decadent but once that Full Circle coffee and amaretti crumb hits - wow. The non-dairy version is just as more-ish, swapping in new home-grown brand Lemhain, to create the creamiest of vegan treats.
7) Sandycove Store & Yard
When you first walk into Sandycove Store and Yard, you feel like you’ve just found a local’s secret hideaway. That’s actually exactly what you’ve done. If you want to skip the madness of Dun Laoghaire pier this spot’s got your name on it for coffee, treats and post-swim warmers... otherwise called sausage rolls. Their newest addition of a gelato van out back (A Few Scúps) is also a welcome find, with much more adventurous flavours than you’ll get on the waterfront. We’re keeping our eye on what more is to come from this Aladdin’s Cave.