The menu in The Pepper Pot may be small, but everything is lovingly homemade. Here one can find delights such as Ariosa coffee and a slice of Victoria sponge with homemade raspberry jam to transport them back to the 1970s. The kitsch crockery will certainly make you feel like you’re in an old-style tea room. Or maybe one would prefer the Irish whiskey and pecan tart? Its location makes it perfect for a spot of mid-shopping lunch.
Wander around Temple Bar, infamously the location where culture and stag parties bump into each other, and you’ll find the atmospheric Temple Bar Market. Here you can find all your home grown Irish produce in one place. Better still, it’s all open air. Frank Hedermann’s smoked mackerel from Co Clare, David Llewellyn’s apple juice, Hicks venison sausages, and homemade orange and rum breakfast cake from Noirin’s Bakehouse, based in Wexford, are just some of the merchants to ensure that on Saturdays this is the must go place for people who love their food. However, one of the biggest attractions is John Mac’s stall selling just opened oysters, harvested the previous day off Co Clare, served with a slice of brown soda bread and some chilled white wine.
Step into Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, just off Grafton Street, and you’ll be drawn in by the aroma of so many types of cheese – Durrus, Coolea, Gubbeen or Milleen’s from Cork, St Tola’s goat’s cheese from Clare or a Cashel Blue, to name just a few. The stacks of cheese wheels give a truely traditional feel. Established 20 years ago by the Sheridan brothers in Galway, this Dublin shop gives its customers knowledgeable staff who offer tasting samples. Sheridan’s now also sells a variety of European cheeses and olive oils. For true bliss, partner some Irish goat’s cheese with a chunk of apple and an oat cake.
Capel Street may unfortunately be better known for its head shops and pet shops. However, a true fan of food should head here, home to Wolfes Irish Artisan Bistro. Set in a relaxed Georgian building (with a heated yard outside), this establishment’s priority is to serve high quality Irish food with no fuss, at prices that won’t break the bank. To experience true contentment, set aside an evening here to sample beetroot and Ryefield goat’s cheese risotto, dry cured bacon, or cabbage and parsley sauce. If you have room to spare after all that, try the bread and butter pudding with Guinness ice cream. This bistro’s menu gives the best of traditional Irish food a modern take.
Spread over four floors on Suffolk Street, the Avoca shop is known as the place to get your hands on crafts. However, it is the food here which is the real find. The top floor restaurant, situated in the flagship store of the Pratt family handweavers, serves treasures such as field mushroom soup, rillette of duck with crusty bread and fish pie. Avoca only deals with trusted suppliers, hence guaranteeing modern Irish food of the highest quality.