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Since becoming a mother five months ago, I have been going to some old favourites while also discovering new places to eat around the city. Being a mum is hard enough so I'm not inclined to deprive myself of the best food I can find.
Eating out is one of my favourite things to do in the world, and it hasn’t changed since my baby boy Elio was born last September. Obviously, my partner and I have had to slow down the pace of our dinner dates in cool restaurants, but having a baby doesn’t mean that the only option when you want to eat “out” is getting a Deliveroo and hoping for the best.
Like a lot of parents, I don’t want to have to decide where to eat depending on the facilities available for babies. I don’t want my only options to be the chains that have kid-friendly playgrounds and changing bathrooms. I want to be able to go to my regulars, or to all the nicest places in Dublin, just like anyone else. I have been doing exactly this for the past five months, so I can share with you some baby-friendly cafés and restaurants that actually serve some of the best food in town.
Before I start, I need to stress the fact that most places are happy to accommodate a buggy, but you should probably tell the restaurant when booking that you will need some extra room for your baba.
The Fumbally, Merchants Quay
With its massive bright space and a ramp to make it easy for buggies (and wheelchairs) to access, The Fumbally is a great place to grab lunch or brunch with a baby. The staff are always very friendly and helpful. Led by their ethical and sustainable approach to food, the Dublin 8 cafe offers delicious plates and quality coffee, Tuesday to Saturday.
This fabulous Italian and Middle Eastern-influenced eatery is the perfect example of how restaurants and cafés should handle “the baby issue”. We recently booked a table for 4 people, mentioning that we’d come with a pram, and they made sure to give us a table where space wouldn’t be a problem. Also, the food is so delicious, it could almost make new parents forget about the struggles of sleep deprivation.
Pi, George's Street
If you ever crave an incredibly good pizza, Pi is the place to go. It's quite busy at dinner time but the eatery is pretty quiet during the day and if you manage to get the big table right by the entrance, you will have plenty of room for your buggy. Also, the fact that a pizza can be eaten with one hand makes it great when baby is done sleeping and wants to join the fun around the table.
Lucky’s, Meath Street
Lucky’s has a particularly special place in my heart as a new mother as the ladies of my Dublin 8 breastfeeding support group have made it their HQ every Wednesday at lunchtime after our weekly meeting. Some lovely soups and sambos are available for lunch, and if you can make it for dinner, the pizzas from Coke Lane are a must-try.
Union 8, South Circular Road, Kilmainham
Another favourite among my mum’s community, Union 8 offers a delicious brunch in the Kilmainham area. The staff are really helpful and friendly to babies, plus they deliver yummy cocktails to parents. What more do you need?
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Yamamori North City, Ormond Quay
When you have been banned from eating sushi for 9 months, finding a great Japanese place to indulge in raw fish is essential. Once you make it up the three steps at the entrance, this North Side restaurant overlooking the Ha’penny bridge offers handy baby changing facilities and is roomy enough for your pram.
Masa, Drury Street
According to my local mums’ group chat, finding a nice place to eat near enough to Grafton Street isn’t easy when you have already spent too much time in the M&S cafe. With its beautiful exotic-themed decor, quick and friendly service and central location, this Mexican eatery is a great option if you like a good chicken taco. Also, don’t miss the churros – they are heavenly!
Mykonos Taverna, Dame Street
Offering a range of tasty Mediterranean dishes – and a children’s menu – this Greek restaurant welcomes parents and is very accommodating to buggies. We also like the fact that it provides a baby changing room on the ground floor.
Main image by @cellajaneblog on Instagram
This post was originally published on our sister site Food and Wine.