Ireland’s best pop-up cafes, restaurants and seaside shacks
Twelve of the best summer pop-up cafes, stalls and restaurants around Ireland
Pop in to a pop-up: catch some great places to eat before they disappear
It’s been a pop-up summer, here one minute gone the next, so we thought we’d round up the best temporary places to eat. These are our pick of the weekly stalls, pop-up cafes and even fully fledged restaurants that save themselves for summer, like white jeans and factor 50.
The arrival of red-trousered men in Baltimore is as predictable as the migration of swallows and swifts into the west Cork village. Three friends set up Mews Restaurant, which opens only in the summer, three years ago; they added a walk-in bar area, as tables in the restaurant book up fast. Ahmet Dede, who took over the kitchen from Luke Matthews last year, came from the Greenhouse in Dublin, where he was a sous-chef with Mickael Viljanen. It’s a properly special place to celebrate summer.
Mews, Baltimore, Co Cork, 028-20572, mewsrestaurant.ie
L’Escale opens each year in June on the pier in pier in Schull, serving up fine seafood for the next three months. French pop music is played, Irish lobster fresh from the tank are served with piping hot chips and French wine. Fish and seafood exporter Xavier Legrix maintains a legendary grumpy Frenchman exterior but I suspect this summer cafe is where he’s secretly having the best fun.
L’Escale, At the Pier, Schull, Cork, 028-28599, normandyireland.com/lescale
If summer pressure is getting to you the Fumbally Stables has a yoga lunch season. This month’s yoga lunch is on June 23rd. The €40 includes a one-hour yoga class, another hour of reflection which might be guided meditation and then lunch from the Fumbally kitchen which they describe as “predominantly plant based, colourful, nourishing and plentiful”. If that doesn’t float your boat, the €30 pickling workshop is on the first Saturday of every month. Bring a clean jar and go home with a seasonal pickle and a new life skill.
Fumbally Stables, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8, thefumballystables.ie
There’s a Youtube video of Kartika Menon’s old double decker bus lumbering off a ferry and driving on to Inishbofin Island for the first time. It looked like quite the operation. Menon turned the venerable old vehicle into Inishwallah, using the best seafood and vegetables from an organic garden to create Indian street food cooked on the bus and served upstairs on the top deck with its views out to the ocean and open for five months this year.
Inishwallah, Westquarter, Inishbofin, Co Galway, 087-2874139, facebook.com/Inishwallah
After taking the winter off, Kim Young and Reinaldo Seco re-opened the shutters of their food truck The Misunderstood Heron in time for spring. This year, the truck resides on the grounds of Killary Adventure Company, just across the road from their original parking spot. The view is still unbeatable. Bite into a flaky homemade pastie stuffed with spinach and Connemara wild garlic, or a roasted ham sandwich with a tomato and green chilli salsa, while taking in the views of the Killary fjord in all its awesome glory.
Misunderstood Heron, Derrynsliggaun, Leenane, Co Galway., 087-9915179, facebook.com/MisunderstoodHeron
How Bao Now
Baos, the steamed buns from Taiwan ripe for stuffing with slow-cooked meats and hot sauces, look set to finally have their moment thanks to a few new baos on the block including Pow Bao and Bao House. What we love about Ger Dodd’s food stall, How Bao Now, is his dedication to making his bao from scratch. Formerly the head chef at Firehouse Bakery in Delgany, Co Wicklow, this baker knows his kneads and the taste shines through in his baos. Try the bao stuffed with pork belly, slow-cooked for 24 hours in a soy sauce glaze, topped with pickled fennel at their stalls at The Irish Village Markets in Dublin.
How Bao Now, Irish Village Markets at Spencer Dock, Baggot Street and Sandyford, Co Dublin, 087-2120814, howbaonoweire.ie
Chewy & the Beast
Dick Mack’s has winter cosiness down to a fine art, but it’s the warmer months when the yard out the back really comes into its own. The food truck Chewy & The Beast lives in the lane to the side of the pub, serving up wood-fired oven pizzas to go with signature beers from Dick Mack’s Brewhouse, brewed on site by Aussie Barret, Graham Murray and Dick Mack’s grandson Finn Mac Donnell.
Chewy & the Beast, Dick Mack’s Lane, Green Street, Dingle, Co Kerry, 087-3527390, facebook.com/chewydingle
Home Fries have gotten us through many a festival. When you’ve spent the weekend in a sodden field cursing the near-invisible punctures in your blow-up mattress, comfort food is a necessity. Owners Ferdia and Sarah have been serving up crispy fried spuds served with toppings including chipotle sauce, garlic and cheese, or slow-roasted pulled pork. Keep an eye out for their vintage culinary caravan at festivals and outdoor events all over Ireland.
Home Fries will be festivals including Vantastival, Knockanstockan and Electric Picnic, and at events and weddings; homefries.ie
Virginia and Donal O’Gara’s food really does make a body feel good. From deep-fried tacos to beautiful cashew nut miniature “cheese” cakes to nettle tonics to kombuchas, this stunningly creative vegan food is fuel to keep your summer vibes flying high. Find them in The English Market or at their mobile stall at markets and festivals around the country.
My Goodness, Unit 2, English Market, Cork city, 087-9356652, mygoodnessfood.com
We will always love Katie Sanderson for giving us Peanut Rayu, arguably one of most addictive condiment to grace Irish palates in recent years. Sanderson and her team pop up at festivals including Body & Soul and Another Love Story to serve up her signature plates of plant-based, flavour-focused food. Her food is so swoonsomely delicious that you might not even notice how heart-warmingly healthy it is, too.
White Mausu will be at several festivals over the summer; whitemausu.com
The Market Kitchen
However much we may wish for it, it’s a fact that sometimes our “summer” weather calls for cosy comfort food. Seek out The Market Kitchen, Sarah McNally and Liaidain Kaminska’s stall, for divine toasties filled with seasonal treats from McNally’s Family Farm and eggie breakfasts to cure what ails you. They’re at The Temple Bar Food Market every Saturday and will be travelling to festivals this summer including The Festival of Writing & Ideas in Birr, Co Offaly, Food on Board at Body & Soul and All Together Now in Waterford
The Market Kitchen will be at several festivals over the summer; facebook.com/themarketkitchenTBFM
Banana Melon Kitchen
Banana Melon Kitchen is a vegan food start up founded by chef Suzanna Melinn. Originally from Clare but now based in Cork City, Melinn hosted a series of sold-out vegan brunch pop-ups in Soma and O’Herlihy’s in Kinsale throughout the autumn of 2017. This summer she’ll be collaborating with artisans around Cork City and west Cork to put vegan creativity on the menu, including ideas such as vegan affagato with West Cork Coffee in O’Neill Coffee in Skibbereen. Melinn will cook a black food concept Midnight Supper in O’Herlihy’s in Kinsale on June 21st to celebrate the longest day of the year.
Banana Melon Kitchen pop-ups in locations around Cork and west Cork; facebook.com/Bananamelonkitchen