A Full Irish Fry, Healthy Start or Sweet Tooth? Breakfast and Brunch Options For Every Palate
By Emily Carson
Dublin Local Expert
For some people breakfast is a meal they'd rather skip, whereas for some it is the driving force of their day. Whether you like to start your day with a cooked breakfast, fresh fruit and granola or french toast with all the trimmings there is a plethora of great choices in terms of breakfast and brunch for all tastes. If you're looking for a picturesque, waterside venue then head down to Herb Street on the docklands or Lennox Café Bistro beside the canal. If you're looking for a hearty start to the day that includes a lot of meat then look no further than Whitefriar Grill or Coppinger Row. Both are located in the heart of the city and offer a brunch that is bound to leave you stuffed.
For the more health conscious of travellers a fresh fruit breakfast or a bowl of granola at Queen of Tarts, the Avoca Café or The Lovely Food Company might be more up your street. If you're planning on catching a rugby match in the afternoon then popping into local café Foodgame for their delicious range of breakfast and brunch food might be the ticket. The famous Irish Breakfast is no longer just indicative of a big, greasy fry up but even still if that's what your after this list will help you seek out exactly what you're looking for.
Foodgame is close to the Aviva Stadium, making it the perfect place to treat yourself to a delicious breakfast before the match. The owner, Ross Staunton, was trained in the Ballymaloe Cookery School and this caf� prides itself on good quality, no fuss food in a New York Style deli. Breakfast includes delights such as bratwurst sausage in a Bretzel Bakery bun and pancakes and homemade scones. Wash these down with some of their delicious fresh juices such as Beetroot and Ginger and Carrot before taking a stroll around this leafy suburb or heading on to an afternoon at the rugby. (+3531 281 5002)
9 No Name Bar
You'll find this mysterious bar 'with no name' upstairs from famous French restaurant L'Gueuleton and while the snail on the door outside is usually a signifier of a trendy, secretive bar, at the weekend L'Gueuleton provides a delicious brunch to soak up the weekend's liquids. From hazelnut granola served in an elaborate trifle glass to rich and filling Croque Monsieurs and delicious black pudding croquettes you'll be sure to come back the next day to enjoy a taste of French cooking to soothe the hangover. ((01) 764 5681)
8 Coppinger Row
Brunch in Coppinger Row is truly aimed at those wanting to dive straight into a hearty meal early on. The menu is mouth watering and diverse, from your usual fare of Eggs Florentine to a mixed grill with lamb chops and Merguez sausage or salt cod croquettas with paprika aioli. This Mediterranean style of eating is fresh and seasonal and promises to have you stuffed. Wash it all down with Coppinger Bloody Mary and feel like you're relaxing languidly in a caf� in the south of France. ((01) 672 9884)
7 Elephant and Castle
The Elephant and Castle is a Dublin institution and while it may be renowned for its chicken wings, its breakfast is still a well-respected menu. There's no funny business here, the menu is straight up and delicious from oatmeal with sultanas and hazelnuts to stacks of pancakes to eggs, bacon and hash browns of your choice. There's a reason that people still keep coming back and you can rely on this restaurant to deliver a delicious start to your day. Located in Temple Bar you can also use this breakfast as the perfect start point for a day of sightseeing. (353-1-679-3121)
6 Avoca Café
The Avoca company is dedicated to being quintessentially Irish and the brunch menu is a testament to its filling, wholesome and rustic style. You can have everything from a hearty porridge with potted cream and honey, a full Irish breakfast or a fruit salad up to a more substantial fish pie with a raspberry laden glass of Prosecco. The Suffolk Street caf� sits on the top floor of Avoca's plush and quaint home and kitchenware shop and you'll soon find you want to take home a piece of their homely aesthetic along with a couple of homemade scones. (+353-1-677 4215)
5 Queen of Tarts
Located right in the centre of Dublin's Old Town on Cow's Lane, Queen of Tarts is a bakery haven to enjoy a good breakfast before taking to the streets. The breakfast menu here offers a good balance between a healthy, fresh start and a more classic, filling meal, each with some unique and tasty additions to make them special. Try the winter warmer of porridge with apple compote and maple syrup, or a full Irish breakfast with a potato and chive cake. The only thing that will be difficult is not making a return trip for some of their delicious baked treats once you've worked up your appetite again. (353-1-670-7499)
4 Whitefriar Grill
The Whitefriar Grill is the hottest new tip in town for a delicious brunch and a quick look at the menu will tell you why. Located on Aungier Street - a quick jaunt from the main shopping district � The Whitefriar Grill offers a range of fun twists on the usual egg recipes that populate brunch menus such as Norwegian eggs with potato rosti or confit pork belly Florentine. The real gem however is the their Trucker's Grill which combines minute steak, rare breed pork chop and rabbit liver along with other meaty delights to give you a breakfast that will put any meat lover's dedication to the test. ((01) 475 9003)
3 Herb Street
This caf� has the perfect setting to blow away the cobwebs or to simply enjoy a beautiful view and bracing wind overlooking the quays at Grand Canal Dock. Herb Street caters to the myriad of beautiful, modern apartment blocks that line the mouth of the Grand Canal and their brunch menu is suitably luscious to match. You can indulge in a taste of the exotic with their French Toast, adorned with rum buttered bananas and coconut mascarpone. For a different take on a brunch favourite opt for the eggs mexicalos! with habanero and black bean sauce with spicy sausage. (+35316753875)
2 Lennox Café Bistro
The Lennox is run by a husband and wife team and prides itself on sourcing local, ethical food producers to ensure the highest quality and taste. Situated in Portobello and a stone's throw from the canal this is the perfect place to grab breakfast before walking along the water into the city centre and leisurely regarding the sights. Breakfast is served until 12 and you can enjoy everything from scrambled eggs with wild mushrooms and smoked salmon to a more continental, pastry based breakfast. (+353 1 478 9966)
1 The Lovely Food Company
It's a little set back from the city thoroughfare but this by no means makes it any less worth paying a visit to. This is the perfect place to bring your family with Paul Breen, the food ambassador for the Guinness Storehouse, providing a welcoming atmosphere for locals and tourists alike. The breakfast menu is small but the attention to detail is there and all of their options can be made Gluten free if necessary, which is a nice touch. Their farmer's market and heated courtyard look set to boost this caf� towards being a big contender with the city centre's heavy weights. (+353 1 4927717)
About Emily Carson
Emily grew up in Dublin, and studied French and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. During her university years, she lived in both Scotland and France, but traveled around Europe and Southeast Asia. She returned to Dublin after her studies to find it growing culturally (in spite of the economic downturn). While Dublin was once criticized for its expensive nature, a new wave of inventive and affordable restaurants have popped up as well as interesting and exciting cultural events that prove that Dublin is still progressing and rivals other major European capitals.
Read more about Emily Carson here.