CHAR’s Ultimate Food Guide: Breakfast

Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: Instagram

We’ve all heard the legend that cornflakes were invented to keep a libido at bay. And By the 1920s, Edward Bernays and Dr John Kellogg had sold the world on now-iconic credence: breakfast is the most important meal of the day — at least regarding health. 

What even is breakfast anymore? There was a time when breakfast was limited to a simple choice between porridge, cereal, and a full Irish. Maybe there was a dippy egg in the mix. But Sin é. That was the lot. 

These days anything is essentially breakfast food. Cold pizza? Breakfast. Noodles are definitely a good breakfast: chicken and waffles, the breakfast of champions. 

In the past few years, a wave of restaurants in the metropolitan city of Dublin has gone all in on breakfast, finally taking Bernays and Kellogg’s advice-giving Dubs a wealth of breakfast options. 

The answers have been poured into a bowl, buttered up and sliced into lovely little squares. Open wide for morning time because here comes The Ultimate Food Guide to Dublin’s best breakfast:

10 Stage Door

The Off-Beat Breakfast 

Anyone who has stumbled into Stage Door has fallen hard for the mismatched decor, the friendly staff and the banging scrambled eggs. It’s a unique breakfast spot, yet it’s right in the heart of Temple Bar.

This place tops Sommelier Tara Deery’s list emphatically: “So my favourite place is the stage door and temple bar. Because every time you go in there, it’s just chaotic. Like there are 10 million different types of people in there. You’ve got tourists, you’ve got people that are definitely still like the night before. You’ve got people going places, but it’s just everyone’s just sitting together, enjoying their breakfast in the chaos and the staff are really, really funny”. 

Order: Scrambled Eggs
Location: Opposite Bad Bobs in Temple Bar
Opening Times: Open every day from 08:00 to 18:00

09 – Dillingers

The Return of the King 

Dillingers was once the king of all breakfasts in the land. It was a coveted brunch spot among anyone willing to hightail it to Ranelagh. And that was most people. But, having closed for extensive renovations during the apres pandemic land of the three castles, they have had to rebuild. And by the deity of your choice have they rebuilt. This year they opened to much fanfare. 

They still and forever top Rob Hughs of Big Fans list, saying, “Dillinger as was and is my favourite spot, and it is my go-to.”

Order: Chicken & Waffles
Location: Ranelagh
Opening Times: For Brunch from 12:00 Saturday and Sunday, and from 17:00 the rest of the week for dinner

08 – 3fe

The Caffeinated Breakfast 

3fe is the undisputed granddaddy of coffee in Ireland, but they also sling killer breakfasts made with locally sourced ingredients. 

It’s Mick O’Connell, the MW behind Neighbourhood Wine’s favourite. He is most fond of their “Grand Canal Street is my favourite. It does an epic hash. And I have found that that is where I go most.”

Order: literally anything
Opening Times:

07 – Bread 41

The Artisan Breakfast 

Bread 41 is a godsend to the Irish people. It brought us the kind of treats we didn’t know we were missing, so we didn’t know ourselves when they expanded to doing a complete sit-down brunch of a breakfast. We were not worthy. 

It tops Alex from Bahay’s list because of its continental approach to breakfast. But it is the bread itself that is the seller. After all, what is breakfast if not a way to eat multiple types of bread in different forms with different garnishes? 

Order: Everything
Location: Pearce Street
Opening Times:

06 Alma

The Pancake Perfectionist 

Alma is the best place to go for pancakes in Dublin. At me all you want, I said what I said, and I’ll stand by it. Pancakes are the ultimate treat-yourself breakfast. They taste like joy in childhood form, all wrapped up and sugar, occasionally with rashers thrown in for good measure.

Rob from Big Fan is an Alma Stan himself, as is Alex from Bahay.

Order: Pancakes and wine if you’re feeling it
Location: Dublin 8
Opening Times:

05 Fumbally

The Bread Champion

There is something undeniably wholesome about The Fumbally. A collective of creatives and food enthusiasts who came together to make a space that Sian Conway, part of team CHAR, calls warmly communal. But aside from that, they made delicious food. In particular sandwiches. They are renowned for their bread. So many other businesses get Fumbally bread delivered. It has such a good reputation. And good bread is one of the key ingredients to a good breakfast. It is the giver of life after all.

Fumbally came in top of Alex from Bahay’s list and featured in Richies Rob’s and Holly’s.

Alex cited the bread as a crucial part of her love for The Fumbally, saying, “I just love their bread. So whatever mechanism, I can get as much of their bread into me as possible. That’s what I like to do. And sandwich-wise, I’m never disappointed when I go to The Fumbally for a sandwich. It’s really good.”

Order: Literally anything
Location: Dublin 8
Opening Times: From 09:00 Tuesday to Saturday

04 Balfe’s at The Westbury

The Five-Star Breakfast 

Hotel breakfasts get shit on a lot, but if you’ve never had a five-star breakfast treatment, this is your sign to change that. It’s the same price whether you’re staying in the hotel or just popping in for the experience. Breakfast is a great way to feel five-star fancy on an Air BnB budget no matter where you are in the world, but most especially in The Westbury.

Balfs itself is on the ground floor right by the entrance, and it’s easy enough to pop over to as its just five minutes from Grafton Street luas stop. Their breakfast is decadent or full of macros. The Fitness bros of the world know this is a place that gives your the run down on what you eating.

Balfs was a top with Rob from Big fan and Michelin-level pastry chef herself Tara Gartlan. Infact, she said it was the only place worth going out to for breakfast. Now that is a high-end compliment.

Order: Anything with their hollandaise with a mimosa
Location: Just off Grafton Street beside Phil Lynnott
Opening Times: Every day from 07:30

03 Brother Hubbard

The Mainstay Breakfast

Whats great about Brother Hubbard is that you always know whatever your order is going to be full of flavour. From in-house pastries to porridge and around to bacon and egg baps, there is always a little something you don’t expect coming out of the woodwork tasting as you’ve never eaten breakfast a day in your life. They also do excellent coffee, a true clincher in the breakfast world.

These guys were at top of Tara Deery’s list as well as cropping up on Gastro Gays and ranking highly with Mick O’Connell.

Order: High key their porridge is the GoAT
Locations; Dublin 1’s 153 Capel Street, Dublin 8’s 46 Harrington Street, Arnotts’s Liffey Street Entrance
Opening times: For a full list of the opening times and more information, visit the website.

02 – Daddy’s

The Circular Beast

Daddy’s is a bright, nostalgic vintage-style café. were singing the praises of their Turkish Eggs, savoury tarts and the nostalgia-inducing ‘mashed eggs in a cup’.

Anyone who has made the trip to Danny’s is instantly converted to the cult of the parental cafe. It serves good vibes only, as well as top-notch coffee and snacks. Big Fans Rob and Bahay’s Alex are both fans. Both for their comforting, cosy space and for slapping coffee. 

Daddy’s Came in tippety top with both Gastro Gays, ranked highly with Rob from Big Fan and Holly Dalton.

Order: Turkish Eggs
Location: Rialto
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 09:00 – 15:00

01 Two Pups

The Double threat Breakfast

I’ve already talked about how good coffee is essential to a good breakfast. Well ask any bean juice aficionado about coffee in Dublin, and they are bound to mention 2 Pups. They have built a name and reputation for high-quality coffee and are a must-grab brunch spot. Filter coffee evangelicals have all taken the pilgrimage to this Dublin 8 dah-ling for their ethically sourced and transparently traded Farmhand Coffee. For many, it is fundamentally important to Dublin’s coffee culture. 

Breakfast-wise, Two Pups seems to do no wrong. They hit every aspect of contemporary Irish breakfast culture. They have healthy options, Irisgh ingredients, a well-priced menu, and a few classics, and their brunch menu evolves and morphs with the seasons.

Richie Castillo wholeheartedly agrees and rated Two Pups as one of his top spots.

Order: The Special
Location: Dublin 8’s 74 Francis Street
Opening times: Wednesday-Friday 8:30-15:30 Saturday-Sunday 9:30-16:00

Elsewhere on CHAR: Dublin’s Ultimate Coffee

Related Articles