By Colette Fitzpatrick
With warnings coming in, once again, that the weekend ain’t looking all that great, all overly-ambitious plans may have to be laid by the wayside in favour of curling up with a great cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or some tasty food and some great company. While I can’t supply you with the great company, if you’re looking for some excellent eateries and/or bars to hit up in Dublin, then read on, get planning a perfectly cosy foodie weekend and wait it out with me as we desperately anticipate Spring’s (hopefully) swift approach…
1. The Merrion Hotel, Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2
Look, I’m not going to lie here, you’re going to have to spend over six quid on a pot of tea at the Merrion but it is excellent tea, is impeccably served, comes with some free pastries to nibble on, and can all take place on a comfy couch that you can melt into in front of a fireplace. For seriously chilled catch-ups with people you love, I can think of few better places in the city…
2. Beckett and Bull, 53 Rathgar Ave, Dublin 6
Beckett and Bull is located between Harold’s Cross and Rathmines and serves lunch and dinner during the week and, additionally, brunch at the weekends. As I have lived nearby for years, I had always been curious but had never actually ended up trying it out until just a couple of weeks ago. When my housemate and I went, we liked the look of the, albeit pretty standard, brunch menu and then were both blown away by just how surprisingly good our food was. For some much-needed carb-loading on these cold winter weekends, I can’t recommend it enough.
3. The Big Romance, 98 Parnell St, Rotunda, Dublin 1
You have probably seen this relatively new addition to Dublin’s bar scene all over Instagram recently and beyond that photogenic neon-lit interior, the great tunes, relaxed atmosphere, and excellent beer menu make it a cosy little hideaway to hole up in some evening over this coming weekend. A lot of places have no unique character and I appreciate that the Big Romance seems to have an equally big heart…
4. The Gold Bar at Hang Dai, 20 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2
While the restaurant downstairs caused a frenzy back in 2017, making it rather hard to get a table and leaving people waiting for months to swing by, it was the bar upstairs at Hang Dai that really captured my heart. You can still order items from the restaurant menu but I, personally, think that they are actually best enjoyed on the covered terrace, surrounded by some pals, trying their incredible cocktails or grabbing a beer, shooting the shit with the very friendly bar staff, and, of course, making sure to sample the dumplings, which are, IMHO, the best thing they serve. In fact, the beer and dumpling combo is one a friend and I recently indulged in and it has me keen to pop back in ASAP.
5. Fia, 155b, Rathgar Rd, Dublin 6
Another excellent brunch option, this beaut was on my housemate’s to-try list and we managed to pop in before Christmas. Again, the brunch menu isn’t anything earth-shattering or unique but everything was plated beautifully and tasted delicious and the Scandi-chic interiors made for a very pleasant setting. Plus, it’s great when eateries tell you exactly where everything was sourced, making eating more ethically and thoughtfully easier.
BONUS: The Orange Tree Bakery, 108 Rathmines Rd Lower, Dublin 6
If you’re not interested in venturing outdoors and are, instead, planning on staying in… and also have someone you can send out on a wee errand…then this is a good shout of a place to grab a little treat: the Orange Tree is a bakery on Rathmines Road, which claims to have the tastiest brownies in Dublin. Now, I can’t fully substantiate that but I can say that their brownies are pretty darn good and were very comforting eating when I was sick and feeling sorry for myself lately. I can also vouch for their adorable gingerbread men, which got the seal of approval of my baby sister, who is a veritable aficionado. In addition, you’ll find a whole host of other pastries and buns to choose from, as well as coffee and tea to-go (in a reusable cup, hopefully!)
So, bundle up, call a loved one to join (or head solo because you should defo also be your own loved one) and head outside just long enough to head into somewhere cosy and treat yourself to something tasty – you deserve it!
For more foodie posts, check out our guide to making the perfect shakshouka or check out our review of another brunch spot, Two Pups Coffee!