Neighbourhood grocers and delis have been one of the good things to come out of the pandemic – we’re always looking for a silver lining here – with restaurants adapting to include them as part of their business, and many opening in the suburbs, doing their own part to bring us closer to the 15-minute city where everything is on our doorstep.
So we've put together this guide to new and long-established grocers and delis where you can browse, shop and buy great food. (In many cases these businesses also sell online, so it is well worth checking out their websites.) Firstly, we focused on south Dublin, now we look at shops in north Dublin. In the days ahead, we'll reveal our favourites in Cork and the rest of Ireland.
30 Capel Street, Dublin 1; ayla.ie
Capel Street has grown into one of Dublin's more interesting food corners – and it's hard to pass the window of Erol Basak's Turkish food shop, filled with borek (savoury flaky pastries), baklava and other Turkish specialities. Inside, there are jewelled trays of Turkish delight, olives, stuffed grape leaves and a range of spices and canned goods.
59a Leinster Street North, Phibsborough, Dublin 7; bangbang.ie
"We look for signs that Dublin's heart's still beating" is emblazoned across the cool exterior of this deli, which was opened by siblings Grace and Daniel Lambert in 2016. You'll find crates of fresh produce, bowls of olives, baskets of free-range eggs, and shelves of oils, sauces and condiments such as Achill Island sea salt and bacon jam, alongside a few rails of vintage clothing. They serve soups, sandwiches and coffee, and there's a small outside seating area.
Country Crest Farm Shop
Jones Garden Centre, Swords Road, Donabate, Co Dublin; countrycrestfarmshop.ie
As well as a huge selection of meat, this farm shop sells seasonal fruit and vegetables from Clonanny Farm, fresh breads and cakes, Irish artisan foods, such as Velvet Cloud, White Mausu, Berna's handmade dressings and prepared meals from their own business, Ballymaguire Foods.
Nolan's of Clontarf
49 Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 3; nolans.ie
A Clontarf establishment, this family-run supermarket, which has been operating since 1954, has everything under one roof. As well as a greengrocer, a butchery, a fish and seafood counter and standard larder items, it stocks a comprehensive range of organic and artisan foods, which includes top Irish producers.
Rosemount Terrace, 5 Arbour Hill, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7; lilliputstores.com
Perhaps one of the most beautiful food shops in Dublin, this atmospheric greengrocer, deli and coffee shop is packed to the gills with quality cheese, charcuterie, breads, olive oil and specialised food items. One of the best places for hampers.
139a North King Street, Dublin 7; littleitalyltd.com
This little corner of Italy, a wholesale and retail shop, has been hiding in plain sight in Stoneybatter since 1976. Cheese, charcuterie, tinned and dry goods are imported directly from Italy, as is a selection of Italian wines. Pick up one of their fresh dough-ball kits and tiramisu DIY kits while you're there.
Lotts & Co
46 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3; 7 South Lotts Road, Beggar's Bush, Dublin 4; and 12 Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, Dublin 6W; lottsandco.ie
The original Lotts & Co is the one in Beggar's Bush, but the Clontarf branch, which opened a year ago, is the largest, with a delicatessen, rotisserie, greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger. You'll get quiche, salads, sausage rolls and sandwiches at the deli counter, FXB meats, fish from Sustainable Seafood, a great coffee selection, and wine and 1661 cocktails. A shiny new branch recently opened in Terenure.
Margadh Food & Wine
Harbour Road, Howth, Co Dublin; margadhfoodandwine.ie
Jess D'Arcy and Killian Durkin, owners of Mamó restaurant in Howth, added a neighbourhood food and wine shop to their business in October 2020, and it's here to stay. It offers a range of restaurant-quality ready meals, sandwiches and coffee, and the morning bakes, brownies and sausage rolls, have attracted plenty of fans. Cheese is from Sheridans and Lilliput Stores, and you'll find local Howth honey, fermented products from Four Hands Food Studio, and a selection of sustainably produced wines.
McNally Family Farm Shop
Balrickard, Ring Commons, Co Dublin; mcnallyfamilyfarm.ie
A trip to McNally's farm shop, which is open from Wednesday to Saturday, is the perfect escape from urban living. Everything is grown organically either outdoors or in polytunnels, so you won't find the likes of tomatoes and carrots in stock all year round. But as they grow more than 50 kinds of vegetables and salads, there is always plenty of interesting seasonal produce. They also stock some small artisan producers, cheese from Corleggy in Co Cavan, crackers from Isle of Crackers in Co Wexford, and flour from Dunany Flour in Co Louth. Most of their vegetables are sold loose but, for quality reasons, the salads and greens are in plastic bags. This is soon changing, as they will be moving to compostable bags in the new year.
1 Manor Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7; mooz.ie
Head to this Italian delicatessen for San Marzano tomatoes, guanciale, 'nduja di Spilinga, cheese, dried pasta, passata, polenta flour, pesto, tapenade and all sorts of other things Italian, as well as sweet treats. Party platters can be ordered online.
Mr Green Fresh Food
Strand Road, Burrow, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin; mrgreenfreshfood.ie
Mr Green is all about fruit and vegetables, and here the shelves are loaded with beautiful-looking seasonal produce. You'll also find Tartine breads, plus fridges filled with meats, Sheridans cheese, kombuchas and vegan alternatives, and products from small Irish producers such as White Mausu.
Nimra Asian Foods
89-90 Parnell Street, Dublin 1; facebook.com
Fruit and vegetables are piled high in this well-stocked shop (you'll find an impressive selection of fresh chillies). There's a halal meat counter and shelves are filled with hard-to-get spices, sauces, ghee and canned and dried goods.
336a-338a North Circular Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7; noms.ie
Noms stands for Natural, Organic, Mindful and Sustainable, and the aim at this food store is to close the loop as much as possible, and provide nutritious, delicious, sustainable food and lifestyle products that are mindfully sourced. Its range of locally sourced products includes organic fruit and vegetables from Beechlawn Organic Farm and Spring Cottage Organic Farm. They also stock small Irish artisan suppliers – chutneys and jams from the Big Red Kitchen, sourdough from Tartine bakery, vegan mayonnaise from Savage Mayo, fermented kimchi from Cork's MyGoodness, and White Mausu rayu.
86 Strand Street, Skerries, Co Dublin; olive.ie
Very much at the heart of the community in Skerries, Peter Dorrity and his wife, Deirdre Fahy, have been running this deli and cafe for 16 years. They stock a wide range of products, including local eggs, Sheridans cheese, Gubbeen Smokehouse charcuterie and breads from Tartine, as well as olives, dips and salads. They use this produce for their sandwiches, plus McNally's vegetables for their soups; cakes are from Mud Bakery. There are four covered outside seating areas for coffees, breakfast and lunch.
Pinoy Sari Sari Store
25-26 Little Mary Street, Dublin 1; facebook.com
You'll find all the ingredients you need to make pinakbet, a Filipino vegetable stew, or malunggay soup in this specialised store, which brings a taste of home to the Filipino community in Dublin. Noodles, coconut milk and sauces fill the shelves, and the chilled section includes frozen bangus bangus (milk fish), maya-maya (red snapper) and tuna.
Rongs Asian Market
157 Parnell Street, Dublin 1; facebook.com
Razor clams wriggle out of the top of their shells in this Chinese food shop, where fish and seafood are specialities. It also has a substantial meat counter, and you'll find Chinese vegetables, noodles, spices, sauces and just about everything you'll need to cook something interesting at home.
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