Grand Canal Dock
Sprout & Co
81B Campshires, Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Grand Canal Dock
What started off as a solo health-centric café concept has grown into a half a dozen locations across the capital. Dublin-born chef Jack Kirwin and his brother Theo noticed an appetite for the seasonal, vegetable-heavy, build-your-own-bowl food taking off stateside, and Sprout was born. The aesthetics of each location are broadly similar—subway-tile walls, cheery green menus, communal wood tables, plenty of greenery, and fridges stacked high with fresh cold-pressed juice (Kirwin essentially introduced Dublin to the concept). The food never disappoints, and for those craving a break from heavier Irish fare, Sprout is a welcome dose of SoCal-style cuisine—the falafel salad and kale Caesar drawing daily lines out the door. For a proper sit-down lunch, head to the Rogerson's Quay location, an old converted boathouse with stellar views, now topped with its own greenhouse, meaning that the lettuce in your salad was grown within minutes, not miles, of your plate.
The Marker Hotel
Grand Canal Sq., Grand Canal Dock
One of the newer kids on the block, the Marker brings a dose of modernism to predominantly Georgian Dublin. It was designed by Portuguese architect Manuel Aires Mateus to look like it was carved from rock (it does). Set in the heart of the regenerated Grand Canal Dock, wryly known as Silicon Docks thanks to the proliferation of tech companies, the location is hard to beat: The River Liffey is behind you, the docks in front, and the city center a short walk away. The interior is futuristic looking: undulating walls, lots of reflective surfaces, and spacious rooms comfortably done in a wildly bright color palette. You’ll look past the purple carpets once you hit the rooftop bar, with panoramic views over the city, cozy seats strewn with blankets to ward off the chill, and an excellent mixologist at the bar. The spa and gym are top class, and often host well-known wellness personalities—and the clean menu is a welcome relief from Dublin’s signature rich meat- and fish-heavy fare.
32 Grand Canal St., Lower, Grand Canal Dock
Colin Harmann made the move from investing in bonds to beans a few years back, right out of his third-floor Dublin flat (hence the moniker 3fe, or third-floor espresso). Nowadays 3fe has two locations in Dublin, but the original is tops for charm, and though it's a bit off the beaten track, Dubliners are a loyal crowd, and the place is always full. So much thought and time goes into each cup, roasted on-site and purchased using a direct-trade model from farmers many of the baristas have met in person, thanks to sourcing trips around the world. Sustainability is taken very seriously by Harmann, and the café generates barely any waste. Coffee grounds are composted; yogurt and ricotta are made from extra milk, and ferments and hot sauces from the vegetable trimmings. 3fe’s coffee is now available internationally from its website, so you can re-create that perfect cup that you remember from Dublin at home, anywhere.