There are times, usually around the date my rent is paid that I wonder why I still live in the city. I have friends who seem to be fine living in the suburbs where the rents are cheaper, the nights quieter and the back gardens are larger than a postage stamp. Every time I try to convince myself that I could move I come back to the same thought, food. Living in the city means that I have access to food at all times. There is never a time day or night that I can’t pop to the local store for at least the basic necessities and there is always a 24 Tesco’s somewhere nearby for anything else.
I also have access to a wide variety of restaurants which as a celiac makes finding somewhere to eat an much easier prospect as I have more options to choose from. I can choose from Indian food, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Italian, French, Mexican, American Style BBQ and the best of home grown produce served in an ever increasing number of really good and interesting restaurants.
Every now and then, when I have some spare shillings (or a voucher) I like to take a day and spend it wandering around Dublin, walking through markets, checking out new food stores or coffee places, stopping for good food and maybe a drink or two. If there was an equivalent of Cork’s English Market here life would be perfect but even without that, things are pretty good.
One of the many benefits of immigration is the surge in restaurants featuring food from different cultures. If you are in Dublin take the time to walk down Parnell St or Capel St past all the Asian restaurants, you will see everything from Sushi to Korean BBQ. With these restaurants come the markets that supply them and this means ingredients that in the past were exotically unobtainable are easily sourced.
Ireland has been enjoying a food revolution over the last few years. There has been a growth in interest in all things food related from great BBQ and burgers to Michelin starred cooking and everything in between. Food trucks are everywhere doing savage trade. The Slow Food Movement has allowed Irish people to re-engage with locally grown and sourced foods. We take ourselves and our food seriously and that has led to the emergence of some really interesting chefs and cooks.
Tourists come to Dublin for many reasons, right now food should be the top of that list. Take a day, walk around, grab some cheese and artisan bread (or gluten free crackers) and head to St Stephen’s Green Park for a picnic, if money is no object try one of higher end places for a tasting menu, check out the outdoor Market in Temple Bar on Saturday, stop for some great Mexican food at 777, almost everything on the menu is gluten free. Head down to the Wine Cellar in Fallon & Byrne for charcuterie and gluten free bread. Have a cocktail in one of the many fine cocktail establishments springing up around the City, Sophie’s in the Dean Hotel, The Vintage Cocktail Club or Mint in the Westin Hotel. Go back to Capel St to the Black Sheep for a gluten free beer and some gluten free calamari.