8 Dunville Terrace, Canal Road, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, 01-497 9337 €
This little coffee spot is named for its location opposite lock number six on the Grand Canal (you know the one, it features in every “it’s sunny in Dublin, look at all the people drinking outside the Barge” photograph). It opens from 7am on weekdays for coffee and breakfast. It’s a cool little hideaway, protected from the passing traffic by a stone and wire mesh wall with some interesting wooden outdoor seating for those bright summer mornings. Breakfast offerings include porridge with stewed rhubarb ¤4.50 or bacon and eggs (¤4.50) with or without bread. Locally roasted Ariosa coffee beans keep the baristas busy with passing commuters, who can grab baked treats such as fresh pain au chocolate (¤2.50) made by Dublin’s Bakelicious bakery. At lunchtime, the Kamado lump wood charcoal barbeque roars into action out the back, with a daily meat special served with salad or in a sandwich, with a corn on the cob. You can expect chicken (¤6.25), steak (¤7), thick cuts of bacon with avocado (¤6.25) or some really good foot-long sausages from O Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages in Cork’s English Market (¤7). It closes at 4pm, but on Fridays, the Canal Club comes to life from 5pm – a fun evening party with live music, DJs (such as Reza Mottiar), those foot-long sausages on the grill and a limited drinks menu – but you can BYOB for a small charge. There are plans to extend the Canal Club to Saturdays for the summer, plus a new kitchen is on the way to expand the food offering. It’s also a popular spot for birthday parties the day after wedding. Go in search of the confession box out the back – a leftover from a photoshoot that has become a permanent fixture.