My boyfriend is Irish and lived in Dublin for almost ten years, so for the recent Bank Holiday we took a cheeky trip over to see his friends. I have been to Dublin multiple times but only once since diagnosis, about three years ago, so it was great to explore the new gluten free options. Ireland has a high percentage of diagnosed coeliacs and more restaurants seem to label gluten free on their menu. Often it’s even marked with a ‘c’ for ‘coeliac’ rather than just ‘gf’. Obviously contamination can still be a risk but it’s nice to see awareness of coeliacs and medical intolerances.
On my previous trip I as a coeliac ate at Lemon Jelly, Yamamori and Credo Pizza. Unfortunately photos do not exist! Credo has a separate gluten free kitchen so is definitely a good option for those worried about contamination. However it has been a long time since my last visits so I would confirm with the restaurants about gluten free options before going.
On this trip there was a mix of hipster restaurants and old-school Dublin institutions. It was really nice that a lot of the ‘cool’ restaurants offered gluten free because I didn’t have to feel like I was forcing the group to eat places they wouldn’t normally.
I was going to write this as one post but realised that it was stretching on, and nobody needed 21 photos at once! So I’m going to arbitrarily divide it into what I ate for lunches and dinners, although most of the places we went serve both. Lunches are below, and dinners will follow.
Our first lunch was at Bunsen on Camden Street, Dublin’s answer to Honest Burger in London. The menu only comes on as a business card and consists of nothing but burgers and fries. I went for a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. I love the Honest onion rings, but could be swayed by the Bunsen sweet potato fries as favourite burger accompaniment. The burger itself was tasty, and the bun held its structural integrity well. We did originally try to go at 1pm on a Friday and the queue was out the door. Going away and waiting until 2pm instead meant we got a seat immediately.
For lunch on Saturday we went to Itsa Bagel, a chain of bagel stores around Dublin that have gluten free bagels. They will make the gluten free bagels in a separate area if you ask, minimising the risk of contamination. I had the Californian bagel, with bacon, mozzarella, avocado, lettuce and basil mayo. A combination I will be trying on my own sandwiches soon! The bagel (they used to be Udi’s but not sure anymore, forgot to ask) was fine, but definitely more of a vehicle for the fillings rather than an amazing bagel. We actually ended up going to Itsa again on Monday before the airport because we were so full from eating out over the weekend!
On our way to lunch we also popped into Brown Thomas, THE fancy department store in Dublin, so I could check out the cake & crumb, who have a stall there on Saturdays to sell their mixes. I bought one of the bread mixes and hope to try it soon, the sample bread was lovely.
Lunch on Sunday was actually a picnic by the seaside. I’d been to Dublin 5 or 6 times but never made it outside the city nor seen the sea, which is quite sad since it’s a coastal port! So we took the DART (commuter rail) out to Howth, a seaside suburb about 30 minutes from downtown. Howth is on a peninsula with a large hill at its centre and there is supposed to be a lovely walk around the hill. Unfortunately I was hobbling all weekend after damaging my foot on the Coeliac UK Awareness Week walk the week before so we cheated and took the bus to the top. We had stopped at a Tesco in town before getting on the train and brought hummus, salami and cheese to put on BFree Foods bread. The bread was a great size for large sandwiches, a good texture, and refreshingly hole-free! Dessert was a beautifully zingy lemon muffin from Pure Bred. With surprise lemon curd inside! Even my boyfriend, who hates lemon cake that isn’t lemony, thought there was a good amount here. And there was a beautiful view to go with it.
Those were the lunches I ate in Dublin, as you can see there was a good mix of options available. Reviews of the places we tried for dinner are available in Part Two, and a detailed look at the awesome and fully gluten free Antoinette’s Bakery will follow in the next few days.