Make a move to Cabra and stay for the big breakfast

The Luas has given a boost to this D7 neighbourhood where prices are on the rise

The leafy New Cabra Road, in Dublin. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

The leafy New Cabra Road, in Dublin. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

 

What’s so good about it?

Cabra is a well-established neighbourhood. In the 1940s, Dublin Corporation created hundreds of homes in the area between the North Circular Road and the Royal Canal, making it a Mecca for young Dublin families. Its closeness to Stoneybatter, Smithfield and Phibsborough is a boon for them, as is being right next to the Phoenix Park. On the other side, Blanchardstown Centre is a quick spin away. But as a standalone area, Cabra isn’t just a place for those priced out of Stoneybatter: it’s a handy place to pick up the essentials. There’s a Lidl, a new Aldi and a Tesco, as well as the area known 17 shops in the heart of Cabra east.

What’s not so good?

Locals note that they would like to see more cafes, bars and shops, given the size of the population. The area can also have a bad reputation when it comes to crime and anti-social behaviour (in September one tabloid reported of a “24-hour Cabra crime wave”). Yet locals also say that most of Cabra is much more quiet and harmonious than the press would have you believe.

Where and what to buy?

Pine Hurst on Ratoath Road in Cabra is a relatively new build. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill
Pine Hurst on Ratoath Road in Cabra is a relatively new build. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill

Cabra has seen one of the biggest relative increase in property prices in the country, so you’d have to move quick to get a proper bargain. Number 56 Jarlath Road (€195,000, via Brock Delappe, Tel: 01-6634446) is in need of serious TLC, but could make someone in the mood for a renovation project a great home. Number 257 Ratoath Road(€300,000 via GWD, Tel: 01-8749181) is a three-bed end of terrace located five minutes from the Luas Broombridge. Number 20 St. Eithne Road (€300,000, via Lappin, Tel: 01-8825730) is a two-bed that has already taken care of the kitchen extension. Deeper pockets? This three-bed at 195 New Cabra Road (€675,000, via Sherry Fitzgerald Drumcondra, Tel: 01 837 3737) is compact, but a bit of a showstopper.

Where and what to rent?

Like the rest of Dublin 7, Cabra is not cheap – no surprise, given its newfound popularity with DIT Grangegorman students. A two-bedroom house will set you back about €2,000 a month, while a one-bed property can cost anything from €1,300-€1,500.

Where to eat and drink?

Clarkes bakery in Cabra is well worth a visit for the breakfast alone. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill
Clarkes Home Bakery in Cabra is well worth a visit for the breakfast alone. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill

The jewel in Cabra’s crown has been Clarkes Home Bakery at 52/54 New Cabra Road (the hearty Irish breakfast is worth the trek alone). Treat (Imall Road) and Insomnia (Navan Road) are also worth a punt. Quarry Road’s The Homestead is a great spot, as is Downeys (89 New Cabra Road), next to the 17 shops, or the nearby Hole In The Wall beside the Phoenix Park.

Who lives there?

Cabra has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity of late with young, trendy buyers keen to get their hands on these well-built homes with generous gardens. New Luas stops at Cabra and Broombridge have also enabled an influx of professionals, who now live happily alongside born and bred locals whose families have lived there for generations. Officially, the mix is broad: a quarter of residents are lone dwellers, while 28 per cent are couples with children and 19 per cent are child-free couples.

Good for families?

The design of corporation estates factored in plenty of green spaces in Cabra’s various estates. Schools wise, there is no shortage of options, either: North Dublin Muslim National School (Muslim, mixed); Educate Together Broombridge (multidenominational, mixed); Scoil Sinead (multidenominational, mixed); Christ The King (Catholic, mixed); St Finbarr’s (Catholic, boys); and Gaelscoil Bharra (Catholic, mixed). Second-level choices include: St Declan’s (Catholic, boys); St Dominic’s, also known as Cabra Convent (Catholic, girls); Cabra Community College (multidenominational mixed); and Colasire Muire (Catholic, mixed). Hospitals, sports clubs and a great youth club make this an excellent base for a growing family.

Getting there and getting around

New Luas stops at Cabra and Broombridge have enabled an influx of professionals. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill
New Luas stops at Cabra and Broombridge have enabled an influx of professionals. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill

Take the Green Line Luas to Cabra or Broombridge from town and you’ll be there in 10 minutes. It’s also right on the M50. Dublin Bus’s 120, 122, 37, 38 or 39 routes will also get you to the city centre or Blanchardstown. Getting into the city on foot could take anything from 35 minutes to an hour – it’s an expensive area.

What do locals say?

“There are plenty of facilities in the area, the 17 shops providing us with everything we need. We’re also not far from Lidl, Tesco and every Saturday the honest to goodness market in the nearby industrial estate is a wonderful addition. The area (at least our end of Cabra) is beginning to feel like an extension to Phibsborough. We are a 10 minute walk from the junction of Connaught Street and Phibsborough road and the area is a hive of activity with new bars and restaurants opening all the time. The same goes for Stoneybatter and Smithfield. There are still certain pockets of Cabra that I would avoid, as well as certain people I wouldn’t approach. This is very much the minority, and it wouldn’t be so bad that I couldn’t walk around the area in the evening,” says Matthew Gavenda, who works in finance

  • Next week: Make A Move To Walkinstown
  • Do you live in Sandycove, Co Dublin?  If so we'd love to hear from you about the area: what's good and not so good. Please email homeanddesign@irishtimes.com
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