Need a sugar hit this weekend? These cafés and bakeries in Dublin, Belfast and Galway offer delicious coffee, cake and sweet treats …
At my core, I am a savoury person but dangle a Starbar in front of me on any given day and, depending on the mood, all that could change. These are the places that could easily turn my head and plunge me down the sweet and sugary rabbit hole.
Elliotts, Dublin 7
The self-proclaimed ‘bakery baby’ of renowned sandwich supremo Oxmantown, Elliots micro bakery in Phibsboro has certainly hit the ground running since opening its doors. The poached rhubarb and mango custard brioche looks positively sublime while Elliots’ take on the famous Roman sweet bun, the pistachio maritozzi, means a taste of Rome in Dublin 7 is now a realistic option. The savoury bakes look equally delicious and leaving without taking home a stash of bread and some emergency sweet treats would be a mistake. Huge. www.elliots.ie.
Galway’s famous Kai restaurant might not be the first place that springs to mind when considering cake options but that would be a mistake. Kai’s Instagram page has been taunting us in recent weeks with image upon image of cakes that should quite possibly be gracing the cover of some fanciful baking magazine. So far I have spied a stunning layered sticky salted caramel bake, the most ethereal lemon meringue, a pistachio and rose concoction that looked too pretty to eat and a macadamia and roasted white chocolate tart that is tempting me to hop on a train to Galway. www.kairestaurant.ie.
Russell Street Bakery, Dublin 1
It’s all about the bakery classics at the newly opened Russell Street Bakery in Dublin 1. There are pain of all kinds; au raisin, au chocolate, and Suisse. Plus of course you’ll find the classic croissant and the addictive almond croissant. Considering the same baking talent and skill that brought us Tartine bakery is behind Russell Street, you can rest assured that you are in good, butter soaked hands. The coffee is from Imbibe and again, bring home some bread for those deserving. And focaccia. www.instagram.com/russellst.bakery.
Lisboa Pastelaria, Dublin 2
It appears that all of Dublin has gone pastéis de natas crazy and it’s not difficult to understand why. Bite sized custard tarts in flaky pastry are always a good idea but there is also so much more on offer at Lisboa Pastelaria. There are queques, Portuguese filled muffins, biscoitos, giant Portuguese cookies and bolas de berlim, eye catching giant donuts filled with whipped cream and jam or custard that are a fan favourite. For something savoury, the francesinha is famous in Portugal for good reason and while the filling of steak, ham, sausage, chorizo and cheese topped with a rich port sauce might sound hearty to say the least, the word on the street is that it is the ultimate ‘comfort’ food for those in need of comforting. www.pastellisboa.com.
Established Coffee, Belfast
Pie and drip. Two words that have never before inspired such fanciful daydreams. That is, of course until Belfast’s Established Coffee came into our lives while on a recent trip to the city. The pie, and indeed the drip, change frequently which only adds to the mystique but expect both to be very, very good. Past incarnations have included classic banoffee with espresso cream, cherry Bakewell, key lime pie, and the most indulgent peanut caramel pie. There are no wrong choices here. established.coffee.