The city has been through a pretty miserable 5 years since the dickhead bankers and our gutless politicians sold us out to the Germans and that has affacted every single part of our lives. We've started to see a definite turn in sentiment though in the last 3 months and if there is one sector that deserves a massive pat on the back it is the restaurants and foodies in the capital. People bang on about the tech industry leading the recovery but I've never seen more innovation or risk taking than our restauranteurs. You can have all the city planners and government initiatives you want but the best districts in the world grow organically and I'm happy to say we are seeing a genuine foodie area emerge in our capital. The Hipster Triangle. Unlike it's trashier neighbour Temple Bar or the rather stuffy Grafton Street this area has character, charm and an incredible array of foodie treats. Every time I cycle down Camden Street heading to park my bike in Drury Street car park (safest place to park a bike for free in Dublin) I wet my pants a tiny bit with excitement at the huge range of choice around me. If the Celtic Tiger years were pomp and ceremony and looking down your cocaine stuffed nose at the foreign waiting staff then this is the exact opposite. Fun, charming, affordable, modest and creative would be much better words to describe Dublin's most exciting area...
The area itself stretches from Crackbird (the original hipster joint) all the way up to the Bald Barista on Aungier Street and then down to Avoca on South William Street and back to Dame Street. although it is a relatively small geographical area it is absolutely rammed full of the best foodies spots in the country. You could be anywhere in the Hipster Triangle and you'd only ever be 10 yards from the closest amazing Foodie experience.
As if there weren't enough restaurants in the area there are a bunch more on the way to drive home the fact that not only have we touched the bottom of this head fuck of a recession but we are on the way out the other side. This rather slick artists impression depicts a new high end fish deli and Oyster bar that comes from the same people that brought us Dillingers, 777 and The Butchers Grill. There is another huge foodie experience opening opposite Fade Street Social that promises huge things and I've seen plans for 2 other spots on Drury Street alone.
There is a staggering variety of restaurants within one tiny area and although I already knew that it was only when I started writing this post that I realized the depth and variety of the cuisine on offer. I've put a list together here of my favorite 20 but there are many many more..
The also wonderful and buzzing Coppinger Row
Amazing Asian Food in not 1 but 2 Yamaroori
Super Moroccan Food in Dada
Elegant eats in Damson Diner
2 Dylan douche bag Mcgrath restaurants
Hipster heaven in Crackbird
Loads of great Indian restaurants including Jaipur
Incredible Brunch in Odessa
A gorgeous steak in Whitefriar Grill
Amazing Burritos in Pablos
The Green Hen despite the service
The best Gastropub in the country at the exchequer
Lovely fine dining in Fallon and Byrne
Slick Japanese food Ukiyo
Healthy treats in honest to goodness
Amazing FroYo in Yogism
A slick bistro in Eden
Some of the best Mexican in Europe at 777
Lovely fresh cooking at Saba
Great people watching at KC Peaches
Lovely rice burgers at Yo sushi
This is a tiny selection of the wonderful restaurants in the area. There are about 4 times as many as I have listed here with everything from Kebabs to fine dining and veggie food.
Its Not Just Restaurants
You'd be forgiven for thinking that I was only talking about places to sit down and have a meal in this area but there are heaps of other foodie options in the triangle. Despite their sky high prices Fallon and Byrne is by far the best food shop in the country. If you had cash to burn you simply wouldn't want to shop for food anywhere else. There are 2 cooking schools within the triangle, countless trendy bars and a huge selection of places to get a great coffee.
You'll also get some of the best cakes and desserts within the triangle including what is easily the best ice cream in the country at Murphys.
If you would rather learn how to cook yourself then there are now 2 cooking schools within the small area and after all that work in the kitchen you'll want to relax in one of the trendy wine bars with some light snacks and food. So there is way more to do around here than just have a meal in a regular old restaurant.
5 Things To Try In The Hipster Triangle
You can't leave the place without trying what is without doubt the best sandwich in the country in Poulet Bonne Femme
Any of the Asian Style Tapas in Izakaya are handmade and taste as if they are little pockets of perfection
The Million Dollar Fries in Bear are about the worst thing in the world for you but they taste devine
I've been going on about the cheesecake for the last couple of weeks and it is an absolute must try
If you are sick of the same old Veggie food then cornucopia or Dada will offer you some amazing treats
When I first starting cooking in Dublin 15 years ago all of these places were derelict and the best you could hope for was some shitty takeaway or a bit of a roast in a pub. We'd come from nothing so our food was pure and utter shit. The last decade brought loads of foreign influence to the city and we see that reflected today. I need to pinch myself at just how far we've come. Dublin isn't all about getting pissed, puking in the street and eating crap food. This one area is easily as good as any hip area in London, Paris or New York and we should be very proud of that as a city. As the saying goes "if you want to get to know a country first you have to eat it" and if this is what we are showing to the world then I couldn't be happier. We've come a long way and we should be proud. I've no idea where I'm going for dinner but it will be somewhere in the hipster triangle.