Blackrock may not immediately spring to mind as a culinary destination due to the two prominent chain-filled shopping centres, but there are lots of independent Irish eateries once you dig a bit deeper. Now mercifully rid of its Wetherspoons, Blackrock has so many options, from spine-tingling Indian to some of the best pizza in the city. Blackrock Market has really evolved over the last few years too, and nearly half of our list is packed into its charming narrow alleys. There are our favourite places to eat and drink in Blackrock...
Home of the famous cinnamon swirl, Hatch serve up this fluffy brioche covered in cinnamon butter and topped with a vanilla cream cheese glaze, which goes perfectly with their 3FE coffee. They're also baked throughout the day to ensure peak freshness. The granola bowl is one of our favourites with pecan granola, honey whipped yoghurt, and seasonal Irish fruit (rhubarb on our last visit). Top tip: for those who live outside the city centre, Hatch have Bread 41 sourdough loaves for sale.
Fable and Stey
Fable and Stey is a little bit of a walk from Blackrock village but a neighbourhood spot close to our hearts. We are big fans of their sausage rolls and have been guilty of calling ahead to reserve when they’re freshly out of the oven. They serve Roasted Brown coffee alongside freshly baked goodies, including homemade swiss rolls, Kinder Bueno cookies, almond croissants and great savoury lunch specials.
Lunch & Dinner
Shaka is our favourite iteration of the wave of poke bowl spots popping up all over Dublin. You can build your own creation or order from the house selection, and there's so much going on in each multi-coloured bowl. A classic is filled with ahi tuna, edamame, pineapple, wakame and topped with crispy onions, pomegranate seeds and their Shaka house sauce. They're really going for a Hawaiian vibe which you may find hard to manifest on a drizzly afternoon wedged between bric-a-brac stalls, but if anything's going to get you in the mood this will.
Ram, the owner and chef at Lebanese Tapas serves up homemade cuisine in this little nook within the market. The mezze plate gives you a little bit of everything - their homemade falafel is served with ghanoush, hummus, tabbouleh, stuffed vine leaves and flatbreads, dressed with pomegranate seeds and olive oil. They also serve baklava for dessert. If you're a deemed a VIP, Ram may add you to the wall of fame - currently Ryan Tubridy and Brendan Gleeson, and cash is King, as per the sign at the door.
We get a warm fuzzy feeling when thinking of 3 Leaves - the welcome you receive from Millie when entering is as warming as their curry on a cold day. Santosh and Millie are a culinary power couple, with Millie front of house and Santosh leading the kitchen. Their street food specials including Medu Vada (a south Indian breakfast snack) and Pani Puri can only be described as flavour explosions. We love the Pav Bhaji - pillowy bread used to mop up a spicy curry - and their biryani is very special. They do a thali plate mid-week, ideal for the indecisive as it’s a great way to sample a lot of the menu, served with their signature rainbow rice. You can taste the love in every bite.
From the team at Liath (one to bookmark for a very special occasion), Bhonn Space is a counter setup within Blackrock Market. They serve daily lunch specials like BBQ udon and pierogi, and small plates like salt & pepper octopus, as well as hosting pop up wine tastings. Sit at the bar, have an aperitif (we'd suggest a vermouth and tonic), have a few plates of food and pretend you're in a far more continental country than Ireland. They’ve also just announced a collaboration with the Cake Room across the way and will soon take reservations for sit down dining.
Little Forest started as a pizza take away during the pandemic, where slots were in high demand and would book up a week in advance. The same is now true of tables, and for good reason. These naturally leavened wood fired pizzas have toppings you won’t find anywhere else, including creamed corn with nduja - an excellent combination in our books. They’ve now expanded beyond pizzas and serve a selection of snacks and salads, and the savoury donut with caramelised onion and parmesan had us craving seconds. Order the garlic bread to use as a mop for the aubergine polpette sauce and thank us later.
You may walk past Kings Sushi with their fluorescent lime green exterior and mistake it for any other run of the mill takeaway, but that would be a mistake. Kings serve up some fantastic sushi, and we're big fans of the soft shell crab and Seafood Futomaki - sushi rolls the size of your fist, packed with crab, tuna, salmon and asparagus.
The latest opening from chef and entrepreneur Gareth Smith, Big Mike's is his newest venture in a much larger space. You can have a drink and a snack at the bar (Mini Mikes) or book a table. The seafood is fresh off the boats daily, and their signature seafood sharing platter is a lot of people's death row meal. For meat lovers, they serve Rick Higgin’s aged steaks, which can also be added to the seafood platter for Surf n Turf vibes.
Volpe Nera describes itself as a neighbourhood spot, but it would fit in just as well in the city centre - in any city. The chef is ex-Etto and you can feel it in the menu. We loved the mushroom dumplings and halibut, although you may find it hard to resist the Cote De Boeuf.
A chipper may seem like an interesting location to order gelato but trust us. The gelato in Sisi is as thick, soft and creamy as we’ve had anywhere in Italy. We can’t resist the pistachio but they have a wide range of flavours.
Jack O’Rourke’s website states they have been consistently serving creamy pints and old-fashioned conversation since 1921, and we couldn’t agree more. Grab a stool by their fire and settle in for a great pint and a chat.
El Celler Wine Bar
The term 'wine cave' springs to mind when describing El Celler wine bar, tucked into the middle of the market. Aperitif options include cava, sangria and vermouth in addition to a fully Spanish wine list with some big hitters on there.
Did we miss your favourite place to eat in Blackrock? Let us know by emailing email@example.com.