Under a railway bridge on Pearse Street, you’ll find this lively sourdough bakery, where tempting loaves and pastries are lined up in front of a wood-fired oven. Bread is made from fermented starters using stone-ground organic flour with no additives or preservatives. Creative breakfast dishes include a seven-seed Shackleton sourdough bread with avocado, kimchi and kimchi mayonnaise, and mushrooms on sourdough toast with an egg, blue cheese and house pesto. The art of conversation is valued over WiFi, and there are some communal tables. Plus, you can buy fresh loaves of everything to take away.
BTW: At 3 euros, the family pan is a good-value take-home loaf.
Bread 41, Pearse Street, Dublin, Ireland
The sign reads “Eat Well, Live Well,” which is the philosophy of this informal central cafe that’s focused on all-natural foods. The Nassau Street branch opens at 7:30 a.m. (there are also branches at St. Stephen’s Green, Dame Street and Pearse Street) and you can get a full Irish breakfast — sausages, bacon, two eggs, black and white pudding (similar to sausage), fried mushrooms, baked beans, toast and tea or coffee — for 10 euros (about $11), or a vegetarian option for less. Lighter breakfast options include toast, porridge, granola, eggs and breakfast sandwiches.
BTW: Give in to your sweet tooth without feeling too guilty with the vegan maple pecan bar.
KC Peaches, Nassau Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
The Winding Stair
This Dublin favorite, with bare wood floors and tables and bookcases in the corners, is full of character. Each of the restaurant’s two levels (reached by stairs, of course) has some of the best views in Dublin; the huge windows look over the River Liffey and the Ha’penny Bridge. The menu changes seasonally, but favorites that remain year-round include cockles and mussels — steamed East Coast cockles with Connemara mussels served with Clogherhead crab to be precise — and smoked poached haddock. After lunch, browse the great collection of Irish titles (new and secondhand) in the Winding Stair bookshop on the ground level.
BTW: Leave room for the cheese board, plum chutney and Irish strawberry wine pairing for dessert.
The Winding Stair, Lower Ormond Quay, North City, Dublin 1, Ireland
Locals flock for the neighborhood vibe here; at any one of the communal tables, you might find friends catching up, someone on a laptop, someone else with a dog and someone deep in a book. One thing uniting them all is the wholesome food — soups, falafel, salads, sandwiches and daily specials. Check out the experimental house-made fermented drinks like lemon, turmeric and ginger fizz, or down a shot of probiotic fermented cabbage and ginger juice to set you up for the afternoon.
BTW: Lunch stuff sells out. Arrive early.
The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane, Merchants Quay, Dublin, Ireland
Fallon & Byrne
There’s lots of choice for food here in this large space on Exchequer Street — a beautiful dining space on the top floor, a wine bar in the basement and gourmet grocer/food hall on the ground floor with everything from the best produce to coffee and chocolate. The main restaurant menu centers on seasonal meat and seafood; try the Carlingford Lough oysters, aged beef or Clonakilty black pudding.
BTW: In a hurry? Get hot food at the deli counter and eat in the food hall cafe.
Fallon & Byrne, Food Hall, Exchequer Street, Dublin, Ireland
(From Fish Shop)
Set in a tiny space on a quiet stretch of Benburb Street, the signage for Fish Shop is so inconspicuous, you could miss it altogether. The catch of the day is the main attraction — light beer-battered fish served with chips (fries) and tartar sauce. The fish changes daily depending on the North Atlantic catch, but most common are haddock, cod and hake. The extensive wine list has biodynamic, natural wines from small independent winemakers, and most suit seafood pairings. Fish and chips can be served take-away, but if dining in, try the tasty bar snacks like haddock croquettes or squid sliders.
BTW: Fish Shop on nearby Queen Street is its more formal sister restaurant.
Fish Shop, Benburb St., Benburb Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7, Ireland
Izakaya Sake Bar
The basement bar at Izakaya is Yamamori’s take on a traditional Japanese izakaya, an informal tavern, and it’s open until 2:30 a.m., with late-night DJ every night. House cocktails include Osaka Spring, made with rum, and Matcha Mule, made with Jameson whiskey. The sake menu has nine styles of sake — they vary in dryness or sweetness and are served warm, chilled or at room temperature. If you’re in before 11 p.m., order some sushi or sashimi, too (portions range from two to 18 pieces). There’s also seating in the bar area upstairs.
BTW: If you like spice, try the Spicy Asian cocktail.
Izakaya Sake Bar 12-13 S. Great Georges St. Dublin 2
Dublin Pizza Company
The fresh pizzas from the wood-fired oven are so good here, there are often queues at this popular takeout spot even into the early hours (it’s open until 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights). The DPC is the pie to go for, with Toons Bridge mozzarella from County Cork, tasty Dingle whiskey-cured salami and 18-month extra-mature Coolea shavings. The vegetarian version has the mozzarella plus Toons Bridge scamorza and wild mushrooms. The pizza is Napoli style, but a lot of the ingredients are homegrown and organic. Some pubs will allow you to order it for delivery there, including the Fourth Corner Bar, steps away on Patrick Street, or the South William.
BTW: Try the house-made black garlic-and-truffle aioli dip.
Dublin Pizza Company, Aungier Street, Dublin Southside, Dublin, Ireland