Some of Dublin’s finest establishments offering brunch were tried and tested by Alice Whelan, letting you know where to indulge in one of life’s finest pleasures
Brunch is a favourite with both yummy mummys and hungover students alike. Some might view brunch as a classy affair, where one is well-presented and drinking mimosas. Students might be more accustomed to enjoying a good brunch after a heavier night while steering clear of further alcohol.
Personally, I think an appropriate brunch time is circa 3 or 4pm, when you may be feeling human enough to drag yourself and some friends into town for some much-needed breakfast food. Aside from that, an earlier but extended brunch is also a good time to catch up with close friends, as a break during the College week or at the weekend before going to the library.
“The coffee was the best out of all the brunch places. We were so impressed with our food that we decided to try the pastries for dessert.”
Brother Hubbard’s North and South always have a queue out the door, and with good reason. The main advantage of both is that they serve brunch all day at weekends. My friends and I had about a 15-minute wait for a table in Brother Hubbard’s North on Capel Street, but we were given menus and could sit on a bench outside, so the wait was not a huge inconvenience. We had decided what to order by the time we were seated inside. The decor is humble and homely and the service was good. I ordered Turkish Eggs Menemen, which was delicious, and makes a change from the usual scrambled eggs on toast. The coffee was the best out of all the brunch places. We were so impressed with our food that we decided to try the pastries for dessert. They were freshly baked, and the taste reflected that. The prices were reasonable for the quality of the food, though it ended up being more expensive than other brunches I sampled.
Brother Hubbard’s gets 9/10 for the great food and service, the one downside being that it is quite loud and bustling inside, making it slightly more difficult to have a quality brunch gossip.
No Name Bar Dublin
“The main appeal is the lofty setting, with casual couches inside and a good-sized, leafy smoking area.”
The No Name Bar, or Secret Bar, is hidden away on Fade Street. If you find the door and head upstairs it’s a great spot for quiet drinks, and at weekends, for brunch. The main appeal is the lofty setting, with casual couches inside and a good-sized, leafy smoking area. For brunch we sat in the smoking area, which in the daytime is really very pretty, on the comfortable wooden benches. The service is always good there, and it was also nice and quiet. We were able to enjoy a lengthy chatty brunch. Sadly, the food itself was not exceptional, but it was good brunch fare. They served both egg dishes and crepes. The coffee was good but the juice was not great. It was also on the more expensive side.
For the relaxed setting, No Name gets 6/10. It is much better for drinks both day and night, serving fantastic cocktails.
“You’ll feel healthy and clean after eating here, and it’s close to Trinity, which is really quite ideal for meeting with someone for brunch or treating yourself after an early tutorial.”
Most know Cornucopia for its lunch do, but it also offers a breakfast/brunch menu, served from Monday to Saturday until 12 noon. This is a great spot for vegetarians, as you can get vegetarian sausages as well as eggs and beans. I opted for the granola, fruit and yoghurt bowl. I also had spelt toast. Being honest, there was too much melon in the fruit bowl, but the toast and granola were nice. A friend of mine enjoyed a vegan muffin, and the coffee was great. The setting was also enjoyable, and made for nice catch-up chats and stress-based rants. They also had a beautiful, if a little hipster, playlist playing, which added to the pleasant atmosphere. It has a nice view onto busy Wicklow Street if you enjoy people watching. You’ll feel healthy and clean after eating here, and it’s close to Trinity, which is really quite ideal for meeting with someone for brunch or treating yourself after an early tutorial.
Cornucopia gets 8/10, especially from a vegetarian/vegan perspective.
Queen of Tarts
“It has a definite ‘ladies who brunch’ feel while still remaining within a student budget”
Queen of Tarts is just off Dame Street and provides an equally ideal setting for all of your brunch needs. Attention was paid to detail in decorating the place, and it has a distinctly “cutesy” feel. The food is of a high standard, and brunch is served from 11am at weekends. I personally like their sandwiches and there are a number of baps and sandwiches on the brunch menu which are worth trying. The portions aren’t huge, and so it’s probably not ideal for a hangover feed, but it has a definite “ladies who brunch” feel while still remaining within a student budget. Also, the whole venue is very instagrammable, if that’s your thing.
Queen of Tarts gets 7/10.