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 extras 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 vegan plate at Staple Foods might be more up your street. If you're looking for even more vegetarian options then take a trip to The Fumbally in Dublin 8, which has large tables for bigger groups, or Brother Hubbard on nearby Capel Street who specialise in Middle-Eastern inspired dishes. If you're planning on catching a rugby match in the afternoon then popping into Farmer Brown's for their Irish fry-cum-salad is the right way to set yourself up for the day.
10 San Lorenzo's
San Lorenzo's in one of the city's premiere Italian spots that isn't relying on the homely, rustic style that is the usual hallmark of Italian restaurants. The aim is modern cuisine that fuses classic Italian ingredients with a New York style of cooking. The interior is dark with light wooden benches in booths. You can just about peek into the action of the kitchen while sitting but when you take a trip to the unisex bathrooms you can find yourself transfixed with an eagle eye view of the culinary action. The brunch here has recently been garnering a lot of praise and now goes by the moniker of 'The Brunch of Champions'. Some star dishes include Eggs Royale and Bubbles which include caviar and a glass of champagne or the Panettone french toast. ((01) 478 9383)
9 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 takes some interesting turns from the usual menu items that you might find in other brunch restaurants around the city, like the black pudding and caramelized apple salad that gives a twist to the usual Irish breakfast. If you purchase unlimited still or sparkling water you'll also be donating to the Movember Charity. ((01) 672 9884)
8 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)
7 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)
6 The Fumbally
The Fumbally found its home in a large space that fell victim to the bust of the Celtic Tiger and had been left empty since its construction. What's come from that is a caf� and restaurant that is more reminiscent of continental Europe in it's interiors and use of space. You can see all the fresh produce used in the food stacked up in one corner and the salads and ingredients stare out at you invitingly from the counter of the open-plan kitchen. The brunch menu is simple but hearty and includes favourites like green eggs and ham (eggs on brioche with avocado and fried chorizo) alongside weekly meat and vegetarian specials. This is a great place to eat if you're a vegetarian as well. (-)
5 Whitefriar Grill
The Whitefriar Grill is definitely the right port of call who like their brunch to include lots of meat. These portions are serious and the staff seem serious about curing your hangover as well, with plenty of cocktails and 'pick me up' options available on the menu. Their eggs range from the usual suspects to fine dining - the lobster hash includes caviar hollandaise - and you can even splash out on a rib eye steak. They often have a DJ turning your meal into a disco brunch and a full house so get down early or phone ahead to reserve a seat. ((01) 475 9003)
4 Herb Street
This café has the perfect setting to blow away the cobwebs, situated in the heart of Dublin's 'Silicon Docks'. Herb Street caters to the myriad of beautiful, modern apartment blocks and trendy tech offices that line the mouth of the Grand Canal and their brunch menu is regularly touted as one of the most enticing in the capital. They have a strong selection of pancakes including virtuous fruit and Irish oak-smoked salmon with horseradish creme fraiche. If you always find yourself undecided then this is the place for you, the brunch platter gives you all the options you need to feel satisfied with your choice. (+35316753875)
3 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 midday during the week and extends on into the afternoons at the weekends. Some star menu items include the crab salad with avocado, quail eggs and caper berries or the huevos rancheros. You can also add a bit of fizz with proseccos or kir royales. (+353 1 478 9966)
2 Brother Hubbard
Brother Hubbard has gone from a small restaurant to a brunch behemoth in Dublin. Within a few short years they've opened an adjoining takeaway café in the form of 'Little Brother' and a sister café in Portobello called 'Sister Sadie'. By far and away their greatest success however has been their brunch menu, which has proven so popular that they now serve it all through the week alongside their main launch menu. This has been expanded considerably to include lots of delicious, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern inspired dishes like Turkish eggs menemen and Moroccan semolina pancakes. It's definitely one of the more adventurous brunch menus in Dublin and its popularity has only continued to rise as people find out about Dublin's best kept brunch secret. (01-441 11 12)
1 Bibi's Café
Tucked away in a residential area in Portobello, you'll have to look closely to find Bibi's but you will be more than rewarded once you do. This is a top class breakfast, brunch and lunch spot that boasts an ever changing and innovative menu. Expect things to go above and beyond the usual fare while never compromising on quality. Run by sisters Maisha and Petria Lenehan, this a quaint and intimate spot where you really feel as though you can have dialogue with the chefs and those serving you as well as read their inspiration in the tonnes of cookbooks that line the walls. ((01) 454 7421)
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.