Dublin 8 is such a spot.
This historic area in Dublin has a special place in my heart for its old Dublin charm, the sound of horses clip-clopping down cobblestone streets and the incredible culture surrounding it.
Made up of Dolphin's Barn, Inchicore, Islandbridge, Kilmainham, Merchants Quay, Portobello, South Circular Road, the Phoenix Park (bet you didn't know that!) and the Liberties, Dublin 8 has so much to offer.
Storyboard in Islandbridge is a darling neighbourhood café that offers seasonal dishes and a chill venue.
It's a great place to perch yourself if you're looking to get some work done while tucking into a hearty brekkie or lunch and of course, they serve whopper coffee to keep that brain ticking too.
It's a super trendy spot and I believe it is the start of many similar brunch cafés opening around this area.
Brunch: Two Pups
This little café in the Liberties serves up a great brunch and even better coffee. It also has a lovely outdoor terrace for soaking up the last of those sunny days.
Two Pups never fails. It's a very unassuming venue from the outside but inside is a hipster haven. They have a few lovely little snugs that you can cuddle into which are also great Instagram opportunities.
It's also dog-friendly which is a huge pull!
Run by a lovely Argentinian lady whose parents and siblings have also moved over since it opened to lend a hand, ALMA is one of the most unique brunch experiences in Dublin.
Named after the four sisters in the family, each letter representing a sister, ALMA offers brunch with an Argentinian twist.
The venue is pretty compact with only a handful of tables, but it's lovely and bright with very chilled out staff that are full of chatter.
Classic brunch dishes like eggs and avo feature intriguing flavours like peanut rayu and homemade salsa; there are also some interesting dishes on the menu like steak and eggs with chimichurri, passed down from a family recipe.
Bibi's is one of my all-time favourite places for lunch.
This cosy café in Portobello features little nooks to bury yourself into with a book on hand; not to worry if you don't have one with you, there are some stacked along the counters.
Try their toasties - literally a warm hug on a plate.
Dinner: The Blue Anchor
The place is very funky as it’s hidden, small, and boasts an unusual wine list.
As someone who dines out more times a week than she’d like to publicly admit, this place brought something new and unique that really made it stand out from the rest. Since my visit I’ve been recommending it non- stop.
The menu offers unusual and intriguing tapas-like starters and tasters. These are broken up into snacks, cold, warm and pasta dishes.
It also boasts an extensive wine list.
Clanbrassil House is a simple, classy spot.
Run by head chef Gráinne O'Keefe, it offers some of the most exciting cuisines in Dublin right now. It's all about flavour here and they really know how to do it.
Some of the most interesting dishes I've ever tried.
Coffee Fix: Legit Coffee Co.
Dublin 8 is an eclectic mix of butchers, veg shops, market stalls, early houses, hipster ‘dive bars’, genuine old-man pubs, and pawn shops.
Legit Coffee Co. has become just as iconic as these sorts of places to the area.
It serves up stunningly tasty coffee and proper whopper munch.
Drink In: Lucky's
Amenities: Heuston Station and Red Luas Line
Getting you from A to B, sure transport is key.
I'm a poet and I didn't know it.
Exercise: Yoga In Little Bird
Little Bird is a GORJ lil café located on South Circular Road.
As well as being able to pop in for your morning coffee and a nibble, there is a yoga studio at the back so you can have a good stretch in the morning.
Parks: Phoenix Park, Obvs.
The largest urban park in Europe, home to the President of Ireland and Dublin Zoo.
Phoenix Park as your back garden is not a bad time at all. Such a great place for a walk in the evenings, a cycle on the weekends and to spy on the stunning residents - the deer!
War Memorial Gardens
Tucked away right behind Heuston Station in Islandbridge and neighbouring a particularly lovely spot on the Liffey, the gardens were erected in 1940 in honour of the 49,400 Irish soldiers who lost their lives in the Great War.
We think the beauty and tranquility of this place certainly brings justice to this lovely memorial spot.
Culture: Kilmainham Gaol
A revered site known most prominently for its role in 1916 – where many of Ireland’s political prisoners were incarcerated, tortured and executed – and less prominently for its spooky prison vibes.
Kilmainham Gaol is the ideal spot for history nuts to completely immerse themselves.
Date Night: Roe & Co Distillery
Named as one of Lonely Planet’s '10 Best New Openings for 2019' and there’s a good reason why.
As a guest to the distillery, you will clock in and clock out as you commence a ‘shift’ at the old Guinness Power Station with a time card.
The 75-minute tour will allow you to observe the operational distillery, hear the hum of production and witness the copper pot stills from an impressive elevated glass walkway.
For the best comedy and musical acts in the city; Vicar Street is a serious spot for a night out.
The venue always has something going on, so you're set up for entertainment throughout the year.
USP: The Old-Dublin Charm With A Flair For New Culture
Dublin 8 still has that old-Dublin charm; the smell of hops at St James's Gate, markets, horse and carts, windy streets and old antique shops, but it is also a hipster haven with thriving galleries, museums, cafés and bars.
It's a really cool place to be with something new to discover around every corner.
I'm almost jealous I'm not a local there!