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15th Feb 2024

12 Dublin bakeries we’d wake up at the crack of dawn for

Katy Thornton

The early bird catches the worm, and the same is true for humans and bakeries.

For people reared on Brennan’s Yellow Pan and Bundys burger buns, the bakery offering in Dublin today is quite something. Gone are the days when you would have to travel to the likes of London or Barcelona to try an almond croissant or a bread made from a flour other than white bread flour. Some incredible artisan small-scale bakeries have evolved down the years and with increased rapidity during the pandemic, when everyone and their ma had a sourdough starter in the fridge.

Given the nature of the baking game, most items are fresh out of the oven before the first light has appeared, so the best time to get stuck in is as early as you can drag yourself out of your duvet. While many of these spots open well into the afternoon, all the best goods will likely be gone before the clock hits midday, meaning an early visit is the best strategy to avoid disappointment. And while that might be difficult, particularly on a Saturday or Sunday, when you’re in a Homer Simpson as a toastie cinnamon bun level of comfort, trust us when we see these Dublin bakeries are worth it.

Through our rigorous research (gobbling pastries) we’ve come to learn that there is a bakery hotspot in Dublin 8, with the rest scattered around the city centre, or right out in the ‘burbs. So without further adieu, here are our top 12 spots worth waking up at the crack of dawn for:

12. Russell Street Bakery

Russell Street, Dublin 1

Set where the elusive The Lady From Shanghai Bakery used to be, Russell Street was opened back in February by the same people behind Tartine Organic Bakery. Though they stock nearly every cafe and restaurant in the city with their incredible organic loaves, this is incredibly their first retail outlet.

The micro-bakery serves up all the hits, alongside some lesser-seen items like their take on a lemon curd, New York roll and Pan Swiss. As well as a gorgeous range of baked goods and organic artisan sourdough loaves, this new micro-bakery also crucially serves Imbibe coffee in-store.

Go for? A pre-Croke Park coffee and pastry

Russell Street Bakery opens Monday to Friday from 7.00 to 15.00, and from 7.30 on weekends.

Image via Instagram / Russell St Bakery

11. Camerino Bakery

IMMA, Dublin 8

Once set on the world’s 22nd coolest street in the world, the Camerino Bakery has now pulled its vintage-y red truck into the square at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Serving up toasties, cakes and treats to the hungry culture vultures, on a fine day the space in the centre of the Royal Hospital is one of the best people-watching spots in the city. The team use a traditional Jewish recipe for their bread, allowing the loaves to rise just the right amount before rolling portions into ropes, tying it in a knot, brushing it with beaten egg and sprinkling it with sesame seeds, before allowing it to finish baking.

Cakes are where the team truly excel, so much so they do made-to-order items for special occasions and are the kind that would have been all over people’s Tumblr feeds back in the day, heart-shaped in pale pinks and lilacs, with white frosting around the outline. If you need something to help wash down your cakes, you will also find leaf tea courtesy of Clement & Pekoe, as well as coffee from Roasted Brown.

Go for? A little treat to pair with your afternoon of cultural soakage

The Camerino café within IMMA opens every day from 10.00, and at 12.00 on Sundays.

10. Il Valentino Bakery & Cafe

Gallery Quay, Dublin 2

You might have seen the dramatic squidging and pulling of Il Valentino’s filled pastries all over your For You feeds in the last while. Viral sensations aside, this sweet little Italian café / bakery is tucked in alongside the likes of Nutbutter, Caffe Nero, and Fresh as you approach the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, is a true neighbourhood spot in the Silicon docks.

They do everything from semifredo cakes, with the texture of frozen mousse, to more continental classics, to huge occasion sponge cakes when you need to feed a whole office of hungry people. If you are just crazy about croissants, which we think most of Dublin is by this point, Il Valentino makes theirs by hand every day from scratch, using 100% butter and French flour and expertise to achieve that flakey goodness we all love so much. The team also do seasonal-themed weekends for their baked goods depending on what fruit is in season at the time, meaning there is always something new and unctuous to try.

As for settling in for a quick coffee, you won’t be disappointed by their punchy Arabica blend, which is a favourite in the north of Italy, and features in some of the most iconic temples of Italian coffee culture, such as Caffe’ la Fenice Theatre, Venice, Caffe’ Greco Rome and Galleria Uffizi Florence. Who needs the spenny trip to the boot-shaped country when it’s sitting in the middle of Dublin?

Go for? Italian-style baking in Dublin

Il Valentino opens daily until 19.00, but don’t expect them to be fully stocked on their baked goods by that late hour.

Image via Instagram / Il Valentino

9. The Bakery by The Cupcake Bloke

Rialto, Dublin 8

A Rialto institution for over five years, in that time The Bakery has embedded itself into the very fibre of the community. Taught to bake by his granny, Graham Herterich’s menu has plenty of nostalgic nods to classic Irish bits, from barmbrack, cream buns to gigantic Kimberleys.

Aside from stocking some of the best Irish artisanal products around, the team have some incredible sourdough (which they genuinely cannot keep on the shelves), brown bread and a solid range of heritage loaves. There’s a sense of fun and frivolity that comes from a trip to The Bakery, and you are simply honour bound to leave with some lil treat that will invariably reminds you of your childhood.

Go for? A gigantic Kimberley

The Bakery opens on South Circular Road Tuesday to Saturday between 8.30 and 16:30.

8. Bakeology

Meath Street, Dublin 8

We told you to expect a lot of Dublin 8 entries on this list. There must be something in the water, because more than any other Eircode, they produce high-quality and original bakeries, and our next entry is no exception. Bakeology is an Argentinian bakery that feels warm and cosy from the moment you enter, and like you could strike up a conversation with just about anyone. There’s a homely feeling to the place, like you are sitting in your best friend’s family home, which makes for a warming and relaxing atmosphere.

One of the few places in Dublin serving medialuna, those mini pastries that we have all come to love. While I’m all for devouring a whole almond croissant whenever the mood strikes, this Meath Street bakery is a perfect go-to for that essential something sweet following your lunch (which, as it turns out, you can also get at Bakeology).

Go for? A dulce de leche medialuna

Bakeology opens from 8.00 on weekdays, 9.00 on Saturdays, and 10.00 on Sundays.

7. No Messin’ Bakery

Smithfield, Dublin 7

The buttery love child of Smithfield café Proper Coffee calls itself No Messin’ Bakery, which should be implication enough how seriously they take the art of baking. Like many of the bakeries on this list, No Messin will only deal with seasonal, fresh, and local ingredients when creating their pastries, and it is immediately obvious from that first bite. Only opened in 2020, No Messin has settled in as one of Dublin’s top places to enact the ancient ritual of coffee and a sweet treat, and you will only find this pastry gold within the walls of Proper Coffee Co.

Go for? Their famous Cardi Bs

The delicious treats from No Messin can only be found within Proper Coffee at Haymarket in Smithfield.

Image via Instagram / No Messin Bakery

6. Arty Baker

Multiple locations

In the two years Arty Baker has been in operation, it has quickly become a rising star (ba-dum-dum-tish!). From humble beginnings on Castle Street, they have gone from strength to strength and have expanded exponentially. As the name might suggest, the team do indeed make some distinct and colourful pastries, such as their rainbow croissant for Pride, or their Ferrero Rocher-filled croissant special from February, if you make it to Arty Baker early enough, you’ll have quite the decision to make on what pastry (or pastries) you want. Getting up early really is imperative if you’re making your way to any of their four locations (with a fifth seemingly on the way).

Go for? The chocolate almond croissant

Arty Baker has four south-side locations, all of which open Tuesday through to Sunday, albeit with different opening hours

5. Elliot’s

Stoneybatter, Dublin 7

Oxmantown is known in Dublin as the home of toasted sandwiches. Still, they decided to expand their products in 2022 by opening Elliot’s, a micro-bakery that offers close-your-eyes-and-you-are-in-France baguettes, with the perfect ratio of crispy crust and soft melt-in-your-mouth bread, as well as twice-baked Basque cheesecake that will have you going back ad nauseam for just another bite.

While Elliot’s official closing time is 15.00, they tend to sell out of their goodies long before then, so you will want to make like the early bird to get your pick of the goodies, without fear of items already selling out (because trust me, they will sell out). Not to mention if you’re after some lunch, you can also get your hands on those famous Oxmantown toasties at Elliot’s, again, only while stocks last.

Go for? The baguette

Elliot’s opens Tuesday through to Saturday from 8.30 to 15.00.

Image via Instagram / Elliot’s

4. Bread 41

Pearse Street, Dublin 2

The word institution tends to get thrown around quite a bit, but Bread 41 is just that. The Pearse Street is a touchstone for quality baked goods in the city, stocking many cafes around with bread and pastries. With queues often snaking around the corner of the building, Bread 41 is known to sell out at lightning speed, so whatever day you decide to drop in, make sure it’s super early.

Specialising in long-fermented sourdough breads, made using traditional methods and the simplest of ingredients; flour, salt and water. Each loaf is handmade over two days using organic/heritage flour, and natural raw ingredients like nuts, seeds, grains and dried fruit. Bread 41 also has a huge sweet pastry offering, which is perhaps what drives in the masses in the wee hours of the morning, everything from light and crispy danishes to rich twice-baked croissants, to gooey cookies. What sets Bread 41 apart from other Dublin bakeries is its commitment to sustainability and zero waste in everything that they do, in order to work towards a sustainable future for our planet; it has even eradicated single-use coffee cups in-café.

Go for? Their seasonal cruffin

The Bread 41 café and bakery opens from 7.00 on weekdays, and 8.00 on weekends.

Image via Instagram / Bread 41

3. The Rock Bakery

New Street, Skerries

Skerries proves once again that it has more than beautiful views in the form of Rock Bakery. Committed to seasonality, the team chalk up their new menu each month, including seasonally-driven goodies, alongside their usual suspects (pain au chocolat, croissants, both plain and almond, cookies, and cinnamon buns). December’s menu saw the likes of seasonal goodies such as an orange and cinnamon roll as well as Bailey’s coffee slice, and even a Christmas jambon, given the festive season, topped with caramelised honey ham, homemade mustard béchamel sauce, all wrapped in flakey croissant dough.

This micro patisserie opens Wednesday to Sunday from 8.30 until 15.00, although given its immense popularity, Rock Bakery is likely to have sold out of pastries by then. Don’t sleep on this one, setting five alarms five minutes apart is encouraged.

Go for? That all-too-wholesome seaside walk and pastry

The Rock Bakery opens Wednesday to Sunday until 15.00

Image via Instagram / Rock Bakery

2. Fable Bakery

Dawson Street, Dublin 2

Relatively new to the margarine block, but already winning over shoppers and office workers alike is Fable Bakery. Launched in front of Sprout in November 2022, Fable Bakery is run by friends Elyse and Kate, who served their time at the Ballymaloe Cookery School before moving on to Smithfield’s No Messin’ Bakery.

After a stint in Phibsborough, Fable is now a permanent resident on Dawson Street, and while their baking is varied, the stand-out product has got to be the buns (hun). Lashings of love and care are put into this soft and swirly pastry, and the crevices of each fold hold the sweet flavour, be that the powdered sugar, almonds, or whatever topping they are using that day. It’s a tough ask to walk past this Dawson Street spot without being drawn in for a goo over the green countertop.

Go for? The almond bun

Fable Bakery operates out of Sprout on Dawson Street, baking Monday through to Saturday

1. The Morning

Pleasants Street, Dublin 8

The top prize couldn’t go to any bakery other than The Morning. Sure, it doesn’t hurt that our office is literally 14m away from this space, but the pastries being hoofed out of the ovens at this humble-looking hatch don’t taste as good as they do out of sheer convenience.

What used to be quirky brunch spot Meet Me In The Morning now has a focus on coffee and pastries, and it is a favourite amongst the entire Lovin team, who can often be seen flocking around the window to spy what specials they have on. We all have our favourites. Some of us are enticed by the hefty focaccia slices (of which there are generally at least five different flavours) for lunch, others are in deep love with the dark chocolate and sea salt cookies, and for me personally, I’m often swept away by their doughnuts.

In a city where there are wall-to-wall doughnut shops, the fresh sourdough, coupled with whatever innovation they’ve implemented on any given day just cannot be beaten. The icing on top? The Morning will always have several vegan-friendly goods available too.

Go for? Whatever their doughnut special is that day – trust me

The Morning Bakery opens seven days a week on Pleasants Street from 8.00 to 16.00

Honourable Mention:

Scéal Bakery

Scéal are currently on a break from baking ahead of opening its first permanent bakery in Greystones.

We were blessed for a time with having Scéal Bakery operate out of the Fumbally on Thursdays, which coincided perfectly with our office days. Over those gorgeous few months, we tried everything from their seasonal Danish pastries to tried and true almond croissants, to fat slabs of focaccia, proclaiming each new conquest was our new favourite, until of course Thursday rolled around again. Their baked goods have regularly incited queues of up to 30 people at times, with them often running out of their selection well ahead of their closing time at 13.00. Scéal has finished up their Thursday / Saturday schedule to open a new bakery in Greystones, so while they’re currently not in operation, we couldn’t possibly leave them off this list (even though they are technically Wicklow-bound now).

Go for? The kimchi bear claw

Did we forget to include your favourite Dublin bakery? Don’t gate-keep, let us know at [email protected]

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