Like your coffee independent, your threads thrifty and your tattoos with a septum piercing and a side serving of indie music? Then here’s your alternative guide to Dublin; a haven for counter-culture and Urban Bohemia to satisfy your hipster needs by Mary Cate Smith, AKA The Fashion Horn.
Whether you’re a dedicated carnivore or a strict vegan, Dublin has the answer to your dietary inklings. Joburger is quite easily the best spot for a burger in town while Sova Vegan Butcher goes the full nine yards for those seeking an ethically sound gastronomic experience. Compromise and go for the best of both worlds at the Fumbally; a co-operative restaurant favoured among foodies for producing stellar quality locally sourced artisanal food from Indian and Mexican to vegetarian and everything in between.
Seldom is the day when there isn’t a string of caffeine addicts queuing outside Nick’s Coffee in Ranelagh for that much-needed daily hit. Having worked in the coffee industry for years, Nick Seymour developed a special blend of espresso that has cemented his status as one of the top coffee blenders in Ireland. The mocha in Clement & Pekoe is worth a special mention. A large Belgian chocolate lollipop dunked into your latte is a devilishly decadent touch. Beware – it’s terribly moreish. 3FE and Kaph deserve an honourable mention.
Just a short train ride away from the city centre is Haddington House, a boutique hotel with quirky interiors and an awesome atmosphere to boot. Four Victorian townhouses combined to make this hotel that boasts panoramic views of the Dun Laoghaire harbour. On a sunny day, nothing beats a wood-fired pizza over cocktails in the Garden Hut bar. Interior design enthusiasts will enjoy the heritage décor in the library bar where you can enjoy a whiskey sour or Irish brandy and chat the night away to your heart’s desire.
Easily the city’s most avant-garde theatre venue, the Project Arts Centre is a hub for visual and performance art. Hipsters will love the post-modern art exhibitions and minimal design but the main draw is its theatrical offerings. Boasting appearances from critically acclaimed companies and actors, The Project has shown work from experimental theatre company Forced Entertainment, a world premiere from The Emergency Room, a one-man show from Andrew Scott (Moriarty in Sherlock) and much, much more. Don’t miss The Game, (13/14 April) a groundbreaking theatre piece that explores the act of sex and prostitution. Devised by rule-breakers Theatre Club, it promises to be a wholly immersive experience where five male audience members are asked to volunteer each night and play ‘the game.’
If you consider yourself a fan of modern art and you haven’t visited IMMA, shame on you. Some of the world’s most seminal artists have shown here including Andy Warhol, Marina Abramović, Frida Kahlo and Tino Sehgal. Exhibiting now is The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy by the Turner prize-winning artist Duncan Campbell and a solo exhibition of Lucian Freud’s work. Save the date for Nan Goldin and Vivienne Dick – the feminist artists due at IMMA from June until October.