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28th May 2024

Small but perfectly formed: Dublin’s best new foodie street has emerged


Gordon Ramsay was on to a winner when he called Dublin a “food city”

We all have our streets that we gravitate towards when we are in search of a feed, places that are packed with every kind of grub you could want, from the cheap and cheerful to the haute cuisine. At Lovin Towers, these streets have always been at the forefront of our minds, we are forever drafting and redrafting our ‘best foodie streets‘ piece (it gets real tense in here sometimes). While the likes of Camden Street and Capel Street will always bubble to the surface with the vividness of a seafood boil when we think of foodie streets, we are always on the lookout for new entries.

Humble in its size, and surrounded by some already pretty well-established foodie streets, Montague Street is undoubtedly on the up. Established in 1770 and named after George Montague Dunk, 3rd Earl of Halifax, a few years back the street would have just been the preserve of the eminent Green Bench and the sadly departed Gerry’s cafe. In the last few years, the street has undergone a bit of a facelift, transforming it from a throughroad from Camden Street to Harcourt Street, into a worthwhile destination. There’s been a lot of building and development work taking place on both ends of it, with some truly incredible hospitality businesses cropping up. Without further adieu, here’s what Montague Street has to offer as Dublin’s newest foodie street:


15 Montague Street more info here

If you’re anything like me, finding a good sandwich spot is getting increasingly overwhelming in town. With most of the prices settling in around €8/9 mark, if I’m spending almost a tenner on my lunch it has to be worth it. Luckily Meltdown has come to save the day. For those who also find themselves completely enamoured with cheese and all of its stunning qualities, schedule a date with this breakfast/lunch cafe at 15 Montague Street. With something for meat eaters, vegans and vegetarians – there’s a sandwich for everyone. Their ‘Mac Mama’ sandwich features mac and cheese and bacon is a fan favourite (which is entirely unsurprising). For something a little more sophisticated try the ‘Smoked Fungi’, with sauteed mushrooms and applewood cheese. If you aren’t up for the adventure, there’s a classic cheese toastie, and considering they call themselves the “home of Dublin’s most EPIC cheesy toasties”, you won’t be disappointed!

La Gordita

6 Montague Street, more info here

Not too far from her sister Las Tapas De Lola on Wexford Street, La Gordita is another restaurant providing authentic Spanish food in the form of small plates and this time, larger dishes as well. Like its titular translation, we might all be a little fat one after discovering this place.

The menu is inspired by the extensive travels to Spain completed by the owners, a delicious ode to the life-changing dishes they’ve had throughout their time there. That’s probably why they’ve gotten some great attention from Michelin inspectors, last year the spot was awarded a Bib Gourmand just a couple of months after opening.

For anyone hoping to expand their palette, or are looking to be a little more spontaneous this year, La Gordita’s menu changes with the seasons. The ladies that run the spot, Anna Cabrera and Vanessa Murphy have struck a balance between homey and experimentally modern – with their weekend tradition dish ‘arroz del día’, which is only available on Saturdays and switches up every week, to their ‘costillas de cordero moruno’, a personal take on classic, Moorish lamb ribs.

Their interior is both sophisticated and intimate. With warm lighting, limited spaces, and an evolving wine list (Ooh la la), La Gordita offers customers a really elegant dining experience. You’ll have to splurge to get the best afternoon or evening, but if you’re looking for a memorable dining spot for a special date night or a family celebration, this checks a good few boxes.

Green Bench Cafe

18 Montague Street, more info here

No more than The Bull & Finch Pub, the Green Bench is the place that always knows your name. Especially, if you are a regular in the 30-person strong queue that always snakes around the unassuming front of the place. It’s the go-to spot for the suits who work around, who struggle to leave the narrow doorway with just a sandwich, especially given how outrageous their brownies, sausage rolls and just about everything else are. Their menu changes daily, so you’ll never get bored of the place. There’s a range of gorgeous pastries, and usually, a hot dish and salad options are available too. If that wasn’t good enough, everything is prepared and cooked in their kitchen bar the bread daily. It all makes sense now why their building needs no bells and whistles. There’s no seating in or outside the place, but it’s probably better to be standing while eating this absolute unit, just to let oxygen flow a little better between bites.

CN Dumpling

4b Montague Street, more info here

Similar to our Spanish friend from earlier, CN Dumpling prides itself on its dedication to providing authenticity in its respected flavours to Dublin. Here we have Chinese cuisine, that infuses innovation and tradition together to offer some unreal dumplings, and some interesting smaller dishes like cucumber jellyfish salad and deboned steamed seabass.

Considering the name, the stars of this show are the dumplings. Handmade and prepared in a variety of methods such as steamed, grilled or boiled, with several fillings available like pork and cabbage, duck, and loads more, this spot offers a nice lunch opportunity.

It opens at 12 and closes at 10 so it works for lunch or dinner, which is a good indication that it’s not too fancy but also not a stand-on-the-street-and-eat vibe. If you’re looking for somewhere you can sit down and feel like you’re properly dining, without spending an arm and a leg while being forced to wear some form of uncomfortable shoes, this certified Chinese dumpling joint located at 4b Montague Street is a strong contender.

Two Faces

2 Montague Street, more info here

The last stop on our journey down the up-and-coming Montague Street only opened less than 2 weeks ago. Not only is it a fresh face on the block, it’s also a fresh idea for the city. (maybe that’s why it’s name is two faces, hmm) Its unique quality is that it supposedly never closes, according to their insta bio. A transformative spot, it serves coffee and pastries in the morning, wine from 12 onwards, and small plates from 3. With no defined closing time other than ‘late’, Two Faces has definitely ramped up Montague’s trendiness by a few spots. With a fashionable interior and outdoor seating great for people-watching, the potential of this new multidimensional little spot still grows. Worth popping into if you’re in the mood for some drinks and some grub, but without the seemingly inevitable overpriced pizza and beer duo much of Dublin’s bars have adopted.


A nod has to go to the mysterious new building which is currently being refurbed at the minute. We’ve no info on what’s going in there, but the spec looks top-notch. If you’ve any info on it give us a shout on [email protected].

Header images via Twofaceddublin/Cndumpling.ireland/Greenbenchcafe/Lagorditadublin/Meltdowndublin on Instagram

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