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Where to eat in April

We're well and truly into the Irish summer now, which tends to start in April and end in June, leaving July and August an utterly wet wash out (blame your boomer parents for not recycling). So there's no time to waste in getting out there and enjoying those rare but wonderful sunny days. You're going to need outdoor eating suggestions, park food, and seaside visits up your sleeves for all of those April meet ups...



For the new kid on the block:

Sister 7 , Dublin 7


You thought the guys at Big Fan could do no wrong? You thought right. Their second restaurant Sister 7 (in collaboration with Fidelity/Whiplash) has been an overnight success, and when we went for dinner there last week we saw one hopeful person after another turned away at the door. Don't be those people. Make a booking now for your next night out and see why it's suddenly become the buzziest place in town. Read our review here.



For your first outdoor dining experience of the year:

Mani & Loose Canon


Slag the Drury Street massive all you like - there's a reason why the place fills and swells as soon as the sun comes out. There are few sweeter, buzzier places to shoot the breeze with a cold of wine in one hand and a crisp slice of pizza in the other, and you don't need to worry about making a reservation. Just join the queue at Mani and swing onto one of their outdoor benches to enjoy your lasagne fritti and carbonara slices, and follow it up with a few more glasses at Loose Canon across the road. You might have to drink while standing, but it's all so Continental European.



For Italian dessert in the park:

Berrilab


Italian micro-bakery Berrilab (currently based out of Herbert Park on Sundays) has blown up on social media over the past few weeks, with their multitude of Maritozzi flavours selling out in as little as 10 minutes. While this is a terrifying prospect, they are amping up production, and initial spikes in demand usually die down to a more manageable level over the following weeks. We still recommend getting in line early if you want to enjoy sunny Sunday buns in the park.



To support the VAT 9 campaign:

Copper + Straw


You've probably seen the hospitality industry's VAT 9 campaign, to convince the government to bring VAT back to 9%, after it reverted to 13.5% last August. We don't think anyone has put the issues facing the hospitality industry as eloquently as Copper + Straw's Stephen Kennedy in this post, and if you want to help this brilliant indie café survive, you might think about paying them a visit in April for a cup of specialty coffee, the best cakes, and always charming staff.


For seaside wine café vibes:

September, Blackrock


Coffee, wine, sea - it's the holy trinity, and new Blackrock wine café September are giving all the right springtime vibes. Breakfast brioches and overnight oats have already been bringing all the cool kids to the yard, and they're due to start opening for wine on Friday and Saturday nights from this weekend. Get in early and enjoy before the good word spreads.



For a reward after a long hike in the Dublin Mountains:

Woodruff, Stepaside


With temperatures finally on the rise, you're running out of excuses to get out on that hike you keep talking about. What if we dangled the very attractive carrot of a visit to Woodruff in Stepside to rest your legs after a wander through Barnaslingan Woods, or Ticknock Forest. Visit Dublin have three great hike ideas here, and the first two will leave you a 5-10 minute drive from Woodruff's door. Go foraging for three-cornered leek, then see how the professionals serve it - with razor clams, fermented black bean and white asparagus. Just like in yours, yeah?



For when you're not going on holidays for ages and that makes you sad:

Full Moon, Temple Bar


Much of the Thai food round these parts is underwhelmingly drab, with big brand curry pastes coming out of industrial containers, rather than herbs and spices lovingly ground by hand. There are a few exceptions though, and Full Moon in Temple Bar is one of those places that will take you right back to that beachside shack where you first tried Thai food the way Thai people eat it. The plates are vivid, the flavours will send your brain synapses firing, and if you've no holiday on the horizon, at least this will give you a pep in your step for the rest of the day, and possibly make you want to book a flight to Thailand. Read our review here.




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