/ The Dublin Guide
Dublin — By Jessica Colley on June 21, 2010 at 10:19 am
Filed under: cuisine, market

The Mespil Gourmet Food Market in Dublin

One of my favorite parts of travel is discovering restaurants, shops, or markets that bring me to neighborhoods I might otherwise never explore. It’s one thing to wander around neighborhoods outside of the center of a city, but it’s another thing to have a destination in mind. Sometimes the journey is more fun, but in the case of the Mespil Gourmet Food Market in Ballsbridge (a neighborhood of Dublin) the destination is just as sweet.

This weekly food market takes place on Thursdays on the bank of the canal at the Baggot Street Bridge in Ballsbridge. From the center of Dublin, it only takes a 15 or 20 minute walk to reach this part of the city. Visitors love Ballsbridge for its leafy streets, traditional Georgian architecture (along with brightly-painted doors) and the beautiful canal to stroll along. When I went to the market last week, there was a swan with 3 babies gracefully following their mother in the water. What better atmosphere could you ask for a lunchtime treat?

Bring your appetite to this gourmet market – there are many options to choose from and portions are substantial. I had heard great things about the wood-fired pizza and also about the free-range chicken with hand-cut potato wedges – but I opted instead for something more Irish: the Paddy Jack sandwich. Two thick cut slices of olive bread are covered with slices of tender lamb, brie, mixed leaves, and a spicy chili sauce. For 6 euros the sandwich was big enough for me to eat for lunch and dinner. An Irish farmer runs this market stall – and the lamb is from his own farm. I haven’t tasted lamb so tender and flavorful in my entire life.

After you make your choice (other options include paella, falafel, organic beef burgers, Thai noodles, etc) the best part about this market is taking a seat in the grass along the canal. On one side of the canal there is a statue of the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh, forever sitting on one of the benches and gazing into the water. If you’re lucky, you can take a seat next to Paddy and enjoy the views of the canal. 

Just as I thought I was finished at the market, I was tempted by a stall of delicious little cupcakes. For 1.50 euro who could resist a chocolate cupcake with Oreo icing? For a local market experience, take a stroll down Baggot Street to the Mespil Gourmet Food Market.

Address: Baggot Street Bridge, Dublin 4, Ireland. (map)

Photo Credit: Jessica Colley

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