Best Artisan Food and Greengrocers: Cracked Nut

Kelda Clermont and Nikki Carruthers, sisters and owners of Cracked Nut on Dublin’s Camden Street. Photograph: Alan Betson

Kelda Clermont and Nikki Carruthers, sisters and owners of Cracked Nut on Dublin’s Camden Street. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sat, Sep 7, 2013, 06:00

With its communal wooden table anchoring the shop, this wholefoods shop and restaurant has steadily grown its clientele since opening last November on Camden Street, one of Dublin’s up and coming foodie destinations. Workers call in for bacon or egg sandwiches and €2 coffees in the mornings, and for the freshly made organic salad bar at lunchtime. Keeping prices low has been key, says Nikki O’Toole, who co-owns Cracked Nut with her sister Kelda Clermont.

These two former holistic therapists saw a market for natural, organic and locally-produced foods, freshly prepared on the premises – salads in summer and, in winter, soups and hotpots. They are inspired by London shop/restaurants Leon and Ottolenghi, and are gradually weaning their customers on to matcha (green tea) lattes. They also sell a variety of take-home foods, such as their own pestos and relishes, and a range of wholefood ingredients for home cooks. “It has all fitted together so easily, it’s like it was meant to be,” says O’Toole.

Readers nominating Cracked Nut love the “rustic decor” (all the products are presented on reclaimed, stacked French 1920s packing crates) and the “amazing fresh salads”. Many praise the welcoming atmosphere and friendly service. “Cosy, clean, relaxed, soft and homely,” said one. “The overall experience is smooth, relaxing and tasty, despite the fact that they have built an amazing reputation in such a short time,” said another. O’Toole believes that keeping prices low for top quality food has been the secret to shining in a competitive market.

The Cracked Nut, 71 Camden Street, Dublin 2,
tel: 01-5375942

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