If you didn’t already know, I love me some brunch. Being Australian, I’m practically built on mashed avocado and poached eggs. So hunting down the best that Dublin has to offer in terms of morning meals was high on my list of priorities for this trip there last week. Question is: did I discover the best brunch in Dublin? You know what – I really think I did.
Two Boys Brew
With most of the touristy points of interest located in the centre or south of Dublin, there aren’t that many reasons to explore the north. But honey, you better find one as brunch at this cafe was hands down one of the best things I have eaten in a long, long time. Thankfully, it’s an excellent stop off point on the long walk to the Botanical Gardens, which I recommend visiting as well. So there you go, I created a reason for you. Now go.
Situated in the Broadstone area of north Dublin, this small but stylish cafe is in a pretty suburban area with a couple of good antiques and vintage shops across the road. There’s not a huge amount else around here to interest travellers, which means the cafe was full of locals looking for their Saturday morning brunch fix. My heart sank a little on arrival as the queue was nearly out the door, but we were seated after only a 10-minute wait which I thought was very impressive. The interiors are pretty classic by today’s cafe standards: pretty minimalist with soft grey and navy walls, plus lots of hanging plants. I really like the large skylight in the back section, which flooded this section with sunshine even on a grey day.
This cafe has a really strong brunch menu, with its best options available all day, every day so you can visit here any time. I was drooling over the idea of a lot of items on this menu, especially the Apple Crumble Ricotta Hotcake (fresh berries, roast apple, vanilla mousse, apple puree, sweet dukkah and oat crumble) and the Corn Bread & Eggs (homemade charred corn bread, free range soft poached eggs, pan-fried greens, spicy jalapeno jam, pickled chilli, garlic yogurt and crunchy pepitas). Instead, I opted for the Mushrooms (roasted mushrooms & spinach, free range soft poached eggs, confit garlic, pecorino cheese, herb oil and crushed hazelnuts) on gluten-free bread which was by far the best decision I made on my entire trip to Dublin. I’m worried about over-hyping them for you as no meal is as disappointing than an over-hyped one, so let’s just say it was very good, with the pecorino and hazelnuts adding a real twist to this classic veggie brunch. The serving was so big that I actually couldn’t finish it, much to my distress, as I am clean plate kind of girl.
I have to note that my friend’s who I was brunching with both ordered the Avo Mash (free range soft poached eggs, beetroot hummus, crumbled feta, watercress, toasted seeds and fresh lime on sourdough) and they found this dish to be tasty but too mushy, so I recommend avoiding this option and going with one of the other amazing ones on the offer.
Overall, this was the best brunch I had in Dublin and I wish I could fly back today just to eat here again.
❌ Vegan options (but I’m sure they would adapt a dish for you)
✔️ Gluten-free options
This lovely community cafe is located around the corner from the Teeling Whiskey Distillery in Dublin 8. It’s definitely not in the thick of the city’s tourist hub (Temple Bar) but it’s still an easy walk from anywhere central.
It was hammering with rain the day I visited and as I marched along the main road, clinging to my umbrella, I thought to myself “this cafe better be bloody worth it”. Then, this huge Pride flag appeared in a window and I realised I’d struck gold. I was expecting a small, artsy, cosy little cafe with a couple of tables. What I got was a huge industrial space with high ceilings, a selection of tables and an open plan kitchen buzzing with staff. That said, the cafe still felt quite cosy with some serious alt/queer vibes going on. I may have been a little damp but I was in heaven.
The till is surrounded by a dangerously good selection of cakes, which mean I had to order the amazing gluten-free chocolate cake (with whipped cream, naturally) along with my brunch. This proved to be an excellent move because the Fumbally Eggs (lightly scrambled with olive oil, Gubbeen cheese, garlic and tomatoes on gluten-free bread) with avocado I ordered was definitely on the small side. This isn’t somewhere to visit when you have a raging hunger but it was definitely still very tasty for what it was. The cake though – can I mention how good that was again? So moist and delicious – I would LOVE the recipe for this as I could eat it every day.
Fitting with the laid-back vibe of the cafe, my server appeared to be a little stoned and as I watched him ring up my bounty of food and coffee I realised he was accidentally overcharging me. He was very apologetic when I pointed it out and TBH I found all the staff here to exceptionally lovely. I also really loved the sign telling people to share their tables – especially as most people were on their own or in small groups. I shared mine with a very entertaining millennial who kept singing show tunes while bashing away on his computer. It’s that kind of place.
Overall, I loved this place and will visit here on every future trip to Dublin.
✔️ Vegan options
✔️ Gluten-free options
Brother Hubbard North
Winner of the 2018 ‘Best Irish Breakfast’ Reader Travel Award in the Weekend Independent, Brother Hubbard comes with some serious hype. This cafe chain covers two branches, on either side of the River Liffey, but I only made it to their northern outpost on this trip. (This means I have to go back to Dublin, right?)
I visited early on a sunny Thursday morning, in a bit of a rush as I had a day tour bus to catch. Praying that they’d be able to feed me a fast, fabulous brunch quickly, I was not disappointed. In fact, I think they may have had me seated and fed in under 30 minutes which was hugely impressive! I had the smashed avocado & chickpea spread on toasted gluten-free bread, topped with two poached eggs, harissa yoghurt, house nut dukkah, radish, with beetroot powder (yummy, right?). It tasted as good as it looks and coffee was excellent too.
What I really loved about the cafe was the sense of space and light – and the amazing service. My waitress from New Zealand was SO lovely I had to restrain myself from giving her a hug as I left. The front of the cafe doesn’t look that big as you walk in but follow the walkway around the counter you’ll discover a huge seating section with a wall of windows, through which streams the morning light. If you want something to read or love some tips from locals, make sure you ask for their Dublin guide. The cafe’s owners have put together a little booklet of places they love and there are some really great tips in there.
Overall, I had a great experience here and would definitely go back.
✔️ Vegan options
✔️ Gluten-free options
Other Dublin brunch spots I’d like to try
Two Pups Coffee – recommended by my Dublin friend
Herbstreet – gluten-free waffles!
Go on gorgeous – pin this blog for later 👇