In recent years, Dubliners haven’t been able to get enough of brunch. New places are popping up everywhere, and with all this choice, the only downside is trying to agree on where to go.
Whether you are looking to relax with your dog, spend time with the family or drink unlimited mimosas and play on arcade machines with friends, there’s a brunch spot for you in Dublin. Here, you’ll find cafés serving a whole host of dishes, from Turkish-style menemen and Coco Pops french toast to classics like avocado and eggs on sourdough.
The Middle Eastern-inspired Brother Hubbard is a Dublin institution. However, things were much different in 2012 when James Boland and Garrett Fitzgerald opened the café, with customers reportedly disappointed at the lack of traditional Irish breakfast. Now the pair have published a popular cookbook, and both the spacious Chapel Street café and the cosier Brother Hubbard South are busy seven days a week. Both branches have a minimalist Nordic look and a stencilled sign reading, “This is the café you’ve been looking for” on the entrance. For something savoury, the Turkish eggs menemen, lightly scrambled with fenugreek roast peppers, are particularly satisfying. Alternatively, if you’re after something sweet, there is a hearty selection of freshly baked goods; the vegan caramel slice with date and tahini is a highlight.
It may not have the weather, but Hanover Quay has Dublin’s answer to LA clean living with Nutbutter. The carefully curated eatery has a bright interior and colourful tiles, so you can sit in one of the swinging wicker baskets and forget about the rain. It attracts a young professional crowd, mainly because of its prime location in the tech hub known as Silicon Docks, but is surprisingly affordable. The positive attitude to guilt-free eating promotes vegan and healthy food as default, but has also gained flexitarian and carnivore fans by giving patrons the option to supplement items with ethically sourced meat. The signature cacao and hazelnut spread (Nutbutter) on toast with banana, bee pollen and maple syrup is a favourite. But the stars of the show are the açaí and granola bowls, which come in a selection of colourful options.
Two Pups is Dublin slang for cheeky upstarts, but the Francis Street café has also gained a reputation for being the most dog-friendly one in Dublin. If you like dog spotting while you brunch, this is the place to go. The natural lighting and plethora of adorable animal guests makes it popular on Instagram, but it’s really all about the food; Two Pups’ menu changes regularly with the seasons, and the café works closely with the local McNally Farm to source fresh produce. Regular light staples include home-made granola and avocado on sourdough toast with peanut butter and chilli. After brunch, be sure to check out some of the vintage shops nearby. Frances Street is known locally as Antique Mile.
In 2008, having found it impossible to find a satisfactory coffee in Dublin, Colin Harmon walked out on his lucrative job as an investment banker to become a barista. Within a year he was winning awards at the World Barista Championships and travelling the world to taste coffee. He founded 3fe out of his third-floor apartment and quickly built up a loyal following. When the brunch phenomena hit Dublin, 3fe became the go-to roaster for many of the city’s brunch spots. Coffee continues to be the most important thing on the menu, but the food served in this industrial-style Grand Canal Street café from 9am on weekends is delicious in its own right. Try the pancakes with lemon curd, lemon-whipped mascarpone and meringue. Make sure you ask Colin to recommend you a coffee.
Passers-by may wonder if the weekend queue for San Lorenzo’s is worth it, but the self-proclaimed Brunch of Champions does live up to its promise. This sleek New York-style diner serves traditional American brunch from 10am every day, with a few quirky additions such as Coco Pops french toast and brunch tacos. Despite that queue outside, you won’t be waiting long, because weekend brunches take just over an hour, and service comes at lightning speed. If you’re not one to wait or rush your brunch, visit on a weekday, when the timings are more leisurely. San Lorenzo’s also has a solid selection of cocktails if you want to make it a boozy brunch.
You’d be forgiven for walking past Platform 61 and not knowing what you’d missed. This underground eatery, tucked away on South William Street, is inspired by New York’s Track 61, a secret underground passageway for VIPs that was built in 1913 and is thought to still be in use. Platform 61 opened in 2015, but is a little-known Dublin gem. Down the steps to the entrance you’ll see the words “Better being underground”, a phrase attributed to Andy Warhol, who famously hosted his underground party in Track 61. The brunch itself is perfect if you want to feel exclusive without flashing the cash. The café serves classics such as avocado on toast and huevos rancheros, and you can add bottomless mimosas if you want to make it a boozy one. Platform 61 is open from Tuesday to Sunday, but phone ahead to check it isn’t booked for a private event.
This article is an updated version of a story created by Chloe Caprani.
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