Buy Local & Support Local Businesses
Are you craving something that tastes and smells fabulous? Dún Laoghaire has so many great options for you. From beloved Italian cuisine, to healthy and delicious food alternatives we have something for everyone’s taste. Whether you need a quick, healthy snack to squeeze into your hectic schedule, or want to book a relaxing dinner with your family and friends, Dún Laoghaire restaurants and cafés have you covered.
This month we are featuring Dún Laoghaire’s five amazing businesses that make and serve food for our community and visitors. Some of them are very well-known favourites, but we also have a new business in our town and we are inviting you to show your support for them all.
Let’s find out more about what makes them special and what are the must-have’s from their menus.
Nestled in the grounds of the Royal Marine Hotel, with an amazing sea view from the restaurant, is the well known source of lovely food called Cali Kitchen. Their owner Steve, was very kind to share the story about the café.
Steve was working in a corporate environment for many years. However his wife Caitríona and Steve always had an ambition to open their own business. Steve left the corporate world in 2015., went to Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork to enhance his cookery skills. When he was done with the cookery school, he and his wife move to California with a goal to open an Irish restaurant. However, after a year spent there, they decided that California isn’t quite right for them, so they decided to flip things around and open a California style restaurant in Dun Laoghaire. Caitríona is from Dalkey. They were lucky to find an amazing location for their café, with astonishing outlook, nice big space and high ceilings.
The café started with its operations in July 2019 and it was going better and better all the time. However the business was severely affected by Covid-19 pandemic due to loss of many local business people and town visitors who were filling their premises daily. But as we all had to do Cali Kitchen regrouped and started delivering coffees to hospital and care home staff, selling products from local farmers, preparing food for take-aways and they survived. If there was a silver lining to the whole situation, it’s that the local people started discovering them while doing their walks within the allowed radius. The business is picking up again with people coming back to offices and restrictions being lifted.
Besides having their own business, another goal was to open a place with healthy, nutritious food. Focus was on the taste rather than just food being healthy. They try to have a balance across the menu, groceries are carefully sourced from the local suppliers. Almost everything on the menu is freshly made in the café as the business is an independent operator and this sets them apart from other similar businesses. Offering quality over cheaper, convenient food is crucial for their success.
Steve Roberts, owner at Cali Kitchen
Favourites and recommendations from the Cali Kitchen Menu
There are many delicious meals on Cali Kitchen’s menu, but if Steve has to choose, he’d go for two items. If you are are particularly hungry he recommends chili sausage ‘bath’ with locally produced sausages and firehouse brioche ‘bath’. If you something lighter and healthy, go for one of fantastic salads from the menu. Cali Kitchen always does three types of salads a day, but the one Steve always goes back to is a mushroom toast. Mushrooms are sourced from Wexford.
Some other interesting items on their menu are tacos, sandwiches, French toast, spiced chickpea ragu, sweets, and so much more. There’s also something for our little ones.
How to Dine-in/Order From Cali Kitchen
Cali Kitchen offers dine-in and take-away options. To book a reservation, or order the food for take-away you can visit their website, send an email at [email protected], or reach out directly over social media channels Facebook and Instagram. Walk-ins are also always welcome.
Here’s where you can find Cali Kitchen:
Unit 4, Grounds of the Royal Marine Hotel, Marine Rd, Dún Laoghaire
Bits and Pizzas
If you are looking for a family friendly restaurant then Bits and Pizzas could be exactly the place for you. We had a pleasure to speaking to Zoe their supervisor, and learn more about one of the favourite pizza spots in Dun Laoghaire.
Bits and Pizzas is in Dun Laoghaire for more than thirty years. It is serving customers since 1987. The pandemic was a difficult time for the business and it was forced to close. But the business reopened in December 2020 and is going strong ever since. As the business has a long tradition in our town, a lot of families are stopping by to eat their delicious pizzas. The dough is fresh, home made every day in the shop. The ingredients are also always fresh.
The restaurant has been recently renovated and it has a rooftop open over summer time.
Zoe Sheng and Charlie Cai, staff members at Bits and Pizzas
Favourites and recommendations from the Bits and Pizzas Menu
The absolute winners from the Bits and Pizzas menu are Buffalo wings, garlic mushroom, and every pizza they have on the menu.
Besides well-known pizzas, the restaurant offers cocktails, soups, salads, kids menu, deserts, and more.
How to Dine-in/Order From Bits and Pizzas
Bits and Pizzas offer both dine-in and take away options. However, Zoe recommends dining-in because of the freshness of the ingredients. You can make reservations via website, phone number (01) 284 2411, Facebook page, Instagram page, and walk-ins are welcome as well.
Here’s where you can find Bits and Pizzas:
15 Patrick Street, Dún Laoghaire
(01) 284 2411
Wild Spot – NEW BUSINESS IN TOWN
Please join us in welcoming a new business in our town. Wild Spot is the place with arguably most nutritious menu in the town. We were delighted to talk to their business owner Ella and find out what prompted her to start her business in Dun Laoghaire.
Ella has a great passion for nutrition and healthy eating. She has been sharing this love with other people for the last 15 years. Whoever wanted advice, help and support with food Ella was there for them. Having the Wild Spot just made all her efforts more public. People can come any time to the café, it’s not by the appointment as it use to be. By opening her business Ella made her services more accessible. Not only that you can eat in the Wild Spot but Ella can teach you good practices in nutrition so that you can implement them in your home.
Wild Spot offers nutrition dense meals and beverages. People are paying for the nutrients as well as the advice if that’s what they want. If people like the taste and flavour of the food they are coming back for more and Ella likes teaching them how to prepare those meals at home. People have an opportunity to become members of the Wild Spot and gain access to the exclusive cook book and recipes by Rachel Allen. This book is available to the members who want to work with Ella outside of the shop via online appointment or different nutrition groups that she organizes. Some of these nutrients are not available in supermarkets so it’s science of nutrition that’s included in the food as well.
All food is balanced correctly, it’s not consisting just of protein! So although you are having a protein donut, it is balanced with carbohydrates and fats. All food is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Ella likes to ask people how do they feel and then offer the food that suits the mood. Whether it’s warm or refreshing, snacks or full meals, Ella is able to make an recommendation based on your needs and what you could potentially love. Ella loves making people happy, and wants them to come back for more and tell their friends about her business, which is already happening. She encourages communication, nutrition related questions, and she is always eager to share nutrition tips.
As Ella is getting into conversation with people on a daily basis she realized that her business has the potential for expansion across Dublin the whole Ireland. She is open to cooperating with people interested in nutrition and willing to help her operate the Wild Spot. There would be no franchise fees as all potential partners would be self-employed. What’s needed is just willingness to learn from Ella and finding the premises to establish a new shop. According the Ella, the demand for her services is so very high, so she expects to start partnering with people as soon as possible.
Ella Skomra, owner at Wild Spot
Favourites and recommendations from the Wild Spot Menu
Although the business is new and Ella is actively listening what’s that he customers want, she can already see that gluten-free options are quite in demand. She has vegan options as well.
Ella’s personal favourite is the smoothie. It’s probably the most nutritious item on the menu together with the savoury option on the menu which would be the mushroom soup. The smoothie could be an ideal, most nutritious option any time of the day whether it is a breakfast time, lunch on the go, pre-training meal or post-training recovery.
How to Dine-in/Order From Wild Spot
Everything in the Wild Spot is for take-out. Ella is still building her shop, so there could be a few places in the shop for people to sit down and chat while they are waiting for their food. The Wild Spot is close to the People’s Park, so you can grab your food and head to the park to eat it in peace. You can also preorder your food by sending a message at 083 079 4678.
Here’s where you can find Wild Spot:
67a Upper, George’s Street Upper, Dún Laoghaire
083 079 4678
Belli Dentro Caffé
Craving Italian food? We are very lucky to have an Italian restaurant run by an Italian family, bringing the taste of home-cooked Italian cuisine straight to Dun Laoghaire.
Belli Dentro Café is a story of local everyday heroes. Max and Valentina followed their dream to build a better life for their two daughters and their family. They moved from Italy to Ireland in August 2016 and decided to invest into their own business.
They opened the café in July 2018. In this short period of time the restaurant gained an excellent reputation, so per Valentina’s words, even during the pandemic they were able to keep working. Thanks to their delicious food, take-aways, and support from the local community the business has survived and thrived.
Belli Dentro Café serves Italian food exclusively made the Italian way. Everything from breakfast to deserts is prepared by Max and Valentina. Max is a specialist in savoury food and Valentina is a baking chef. Max is your typical Italian. He is from Roma and he cooks exceptional amatriciana and carbonara pasta which are local dishes from this city. But their menu offers much more. As Valentina said, they are cooking the food you’d be able to eat if you visit an Italian family. All the staff members are Italian which was important to Valentina and Max, as they wanted to build a true Italian experience once you step in into their café. Everything on the menu is tested and tried by the owners first and only if it’s good it’s served to the customers.
They couldn’t be more grateful to Dun Laoghaire community. Valentina and Max have regular customers, and people are recognizing and greeting them on the street, so their business made them local celebrities of sorts.
Valentina Simeoni, owner at Belli Dentro Caffé
Favourites and recommendations from the Belli Dentro Menu
Everything on Belli Dentro menu is good, but Valentina recognized that their power is in good pasta and deserts.
You can also find breakfast food and starters like croissants, eggs in various combinations, brushetta, salads. There are delicious pasta dishes, paninis like Valentina’s and Max’s mamas use to bake it. And of course mouthwatering deserts which are subject to change according to Valentina’s mood.
How to Dine-in/Order From Belli Dentro
Their café is small and almost always packed, so it’s best to book by calling or messaging Valentina at (083) 866-3784. Walk-ins are also acceptable, but booking in advance is recommended especially in the evening. They are also preparing food for take-aways.
Here’s where you can find Belli Dentro Caffé:
115 Lower George’s Street Lower, Dún Laoghaire
083 866 3784
Nando’s Dun Laoghaire
Our next culinary destination is Nando’s, a home to famous flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken. Nando’s is a fast food chain founded in South Africa by two Portuguese gentlemen Robert Brozin and Fernando Duarte. It expanded to more than 1,200 restaurants in 30 countries, including one in our Dun Laoghaire.
Their general manager Charlie helped us learn more about the Dun Laoghaire branch and what makes people coming back for their legendary chicken. Did you know that Nando’s staff members have special names? They are called Nandocas. Charlie started as a Nandoca ten years ago in Blanchardstown branch and worked his way in the company from buddy trainer, supervisor etc. to now being the Patrao of the Dún Laoghaire restaurant. Patrao is their term for a general manager. Cool, right?! What Charlie enjoys about Nando’s is the welcoming, family environment. It motivates him to come to work every day as it feels like going from one home to another.
Nando’s has a company culture centred around the people that work here. Their decisions are made through feedback from their Nandocas. They have a culture that is based around having fun while working hard and they believe in changing lives when you start working at Nando’s. Of course, Nando’s wouldn’t be there without its customers, so another main goal is making sure that their customers are well looked after and creating a welcoming environment where they can have an unforgettable experience enjoying what Nando’s does best – PERi-PERi.
Charlie, general manager at Nando’s Dun Laoghaire
Favourites and recommendations from the Nando’s Menu
You can not go wrong at Nando’s with their mouthwatering chicken, but here are some of the top picks from the staff and customers.
Charlie’s personal go-to is a quarter chicken hot with spicy rice and coleslaw.
Some of their most popular items are the butterfly chicken, the fino pitta, and their wraps. The Nando’s has some great vegetarian and plant-based options on their menu and for the little ones they have the Nandinos menu which is a phrase for their kids meals.
Charlie also highly recommends checking out their new limited-edition spice, the smoky churrasco which has quickly become his new favourite.
How to Dine-in/Order From Nando’s
Nando’s is open for eat-in and it is all walk-ins. Customers can order online at nandos.ie for click and collect and delivery.
Here’s where you can find Nando’s:
6-7 Marine Rd, Dún Laoghaire
(01) 280 9222
Ready to Enjoy Delicious Food in Dun Laoghaire?
With so many amazing options, there’s no way you’d be hungry in Dun Laoghaire. No matter what time of the day is, if you need a treat or a full, hearty meal we have it within a walking distance. Dun Laoghaire can also be your destination for a culinary adventure with so many different options and kitchens from all over the world. Why wouldn’t you open your horizons and try something you haven’t had before? No matter what you are in the mood for, we hope you’d enjoy yourself and come back for more.
Thank you for supporting our Dun Laoghaire business community!
For a list of all the retail outlets in our town please see our Dún Laoghaire Town business directory.
Would you like us to include your business in future Love Dún Laoghaire features?
We would be delighted to, please send an email to [email protected] with details of your location in Dún Laoghaire and we will be in touch.