soakage. This triangular spot has high tables and some communal benches inside, surrounded by a distinct air of chaos – but that’s part of the charm. The deli counter serves decent sandwiches and salads (from ¤4 and up), with hot specials every day (the chorizo stew is a winner) and excellent pizzas in the evenings for ¤12. The air dried beef pizza is a perfect reason to stay for another glass of red. On sunny days you can bring a chair, wine and food outside and lord it over the pint-drinkers at The Gingerman pub across the road.
S Great George’s St, Dublin 2, (01) 478 9383, sanlorenzos.ie ¤¤ Pared back New York-style Italian restaurant, best known for its early birds and weekend brunches. Always loud, always busy. For brunch, we vote for the confit duck and spring onion hash potatoes, or if you’re feeling extravagant, splash out on the lobster eggs Benedict.The early bird (¤19.50 for two courses) has a bowl-licking seafood stew with mussels, clams, prawns and tuna mayo crostini.
SCIENCENCE GAGALLERY FLUX CAFÉ
Science Gallery, Naughton Institute, Pearse Street, Trinity College, Dublin 2, 01 896 4091, sciencegallery.com ¤ An excellent spot for lunch or early dinner, the ground floor of the ever-evolving Science Gallery is a buzzy, vibrant spot. Many of the exhibitions spill over into the café, which you reach by passing through the gift shop – avert your eyes or prepare to spend. Instead, you can opt for a variety of sambos, platters, salads and soups. Best option is the stewp (no we’re not stewp-id, that’s how they spell it), a hearty hybrid of stew and soup – and only ¤6.
TERRA MADRE CAFE
13, Bachelor’s Walk, Dublin 1, (01) 873 5300 terramadre.ie, ¤
THE WOOLLEN MILLS
42 Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin 1, Ireland 01 828 0835, thewoollenmills.com ¤
THE FATTED CALF
Glasson, Athlone, Co. Westmeath 0906 485208, thefattedcalf.ie ¤¤