With a vast new world now open to us, there are coffee shops aplenty waiting to be discovered and what could be more appealing than a canal or river side coffee on a sunny spring day. Here are six we think you should know about.
Two Cooks, Sallins
Kildare natives and those who enjoy excellent food will already be aware of Two Cooks, Josef and Nicola Zammit’s wonderful waterside eatery in Sallins, Co Kildare but it really should be on the radar of everyone within 20k. Organic pastries, salads and snacks are on the menu from Thursday each week but the weekend also brings all sorts of deliciousness to the menu. Churro ice cream sundaes and lamb kebabs with Lebanese flat bread, roasted veggies, harissa yoghurt and hummus are just some of the dishes on offer and there is also an option to order weekend meal boxes. Coffee is from Bad Habits in nearby Naas and if the sun is shining, a 99 and a walk along the canal is the ultimate treat. www.twocooks.ie
Southbank Cafe, Harold’s Cross Bridge
The latest venture from nearby Grove Road owner Dona Watchorne, Southbank Café is the newest café to grace the Dublin scene, complete with a shiny pink (and ever so pretty) La Marzocco coffee machine. The menu is presently geared towards take out but the interior, can and will one day fit 70 patrons with endless picturesque views over the canal. Breakfast staples include Greek Yoghurt, Cacao and Coconut Granola Pot with Rhubarb Compote or a breakfast sandwich with Hegarty’s melted cheddar on Firehouse Bakery sourdough. Sweet treats are all made in-house with the exception of the salted caramel cruffins, also courtesy of Firehouse Bakery, perfect for a canal side treat with coffee from Roasted Brown, weather permitting. www.southbankcafe.ie
Holly’s Café, Kilkee
While not specifically waterside, Holly’s Café, the newest addition to the Co Clare seaside resort of Kilkee is merely a hop, skip and a jump from the ocean and as such, can be considered ‘waterside’. Owners Holly Kelliher and Jon Butler spent years mastering their trade at The Ritz in London, and honing their skills in the likes of Adare Manor’s Michelin-starred The Oak Room restaurant, in nearby Co Limerick before taking the plunge and opening Hollys café. Their pastry experience is evident on reading the menu. Manjari chocolate mousse with chocolate cremeux and a caramel centre; passionfruit mousse with white chocolate, passionfruit centre and coconut sable; vanilla choux pastry filled with Madagascan vanilla crème diplomat; and pistachio macaroons filled with chocolate ganache and raspberry gel. Holly’s Café are open for take away breakfast, brunch and lunch but let’s face it, you will probably end up saving your roast beef baguette with caramelised onion, rocket and aioli for dinner after eating all the cakes. The coffee is from Burren roasters, Anam Coffee and the tea is from a local Clare business, Guru Tea House. www.instagram.com/hollyscafekilkee/
The Twirly Gate 23, Chapelizod
The Twirly Gate, (named after the nearby pedestrian gate into the Phoenix Park) opened its doors mid lockdown, in the quaint riverside village of Chapelizod. Bordered on one side by the Phoenix Park and the River Liffey on the other, The Twirly Gate has an enviable location while still just a stone’s throw from the city. The city, however, will be the last thing on your mind as you try to decide between a walk in the park (maybe while foraging for some wild garlic?), or enjoying your coffee while perched on Chapelizod’s famous Anna Livia bridge (just as Joyce did) which has been standing since the 1660s. Whatever you decide, be sure to pick up one of their homemade treats to go with your coffee, maybe even make it an iced coffee if the temperature allows. www.instagram.com/the_twirly_gate/
Filo Café, Glasnevin
If, like us, you are missing your annual pilgrimage to sunnier climes, Filo Café in Glasnevin might be just the place to indulge that holiday feeling. Located beside Yeeros (amazing Greek souvlaki and kebabs), Filo is a Greek café with a wealth of sweet treats that will instantly transport you to the Greek Isles, especially if it happens to be sunny and you join throngs of people by taking your goodies down to the adjacent Royal Canal Way to be enjoyed. I for one will be back to sample their Greek orange pie, but the ekmek kataifi also looks delicious with a layer of kataifi dough, custard cream and topped off with fluffy whipped cream. When it comes to choosing your coffee, keep it authentic and go Greek.
Rialto Bridge Café
Behind the grounds of St James’ Hospital, just over the bridge that gave Rialto village its name, is a warm and uniquely vibrant lunch-and-brunch nook. The Rialto Bridge Café has an MO as plain as its name – to serve home-cooked food, of good value, and quality ingredients. Nothing, however, is plain about its fare – which, as it’s freshly prepared each day, varies regularly. Familiar faves, like an Irish breakfast roll, ham egg chips, or Guinness pie, often feature, as well as rogue yet trendy shouts, like the Vegan Rainbow or Bombay Bhaji wraps. The café has an upmarket, food-hall element to it, with gourmet food and wine offering options in store, as well as freshly baked bread. Husband and wife team Peter and Fiona McHugh, both Irish-born and raised in the Middle East, have created a sunny, friendly neighbourhood eatery with a creative, quality menu. Plus, the RBC is now offering a new dinner delivery menu via its website – and we can’t wait to order a Lebanese Mezze, Spanish tapas, Mexican feast and a spread of French classics … Each platter contains a collection of hot and cold dishes from a different part of the globe. Everything is pre-cooked, with some dishes requiring simple reheating at home in the oven or microwave. www.rialtobridgecafe.com , 01 430 5808.
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