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Sally's blog

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Legenderry Warehouse No. 1, Derry

If you seek the ham sandwich of your dreams, you will find it in the Legenderry Tearooms, just beside the Guildhall. Made with sublime sourdough bread, sandwiching superlative ham and fantastic cheese and chutney, it is the very definition of how to ennoble simple ingredients and make them into something special. The team here take every detail and amp it up to the max, so the vegetables and salad leaves are bursting with vitality, the crab salad with Guinness brown bread is benchmark, the soups and stews are soulful and satisfying.

Pyke'n'Pommes Food Truck, Derry

Kevin Pyke is yet another guy from the North West who is way, way ahead of the curve. Stroll down to Queens Quay, hard by the river, and you will find Pyke ‘n’ Pommes, the food truck of your dreams. As we sat in our car eating The Codfather, the Notorious P.I.G and the Legenderry Burger, there was nothing less than stupefied silence, as we all thought the same thing: how on earth can this food, which has been finished in an old British Leyland truck parked beside a river, possibly be so good? This is restaurant quality food, this is cutting-edge food, this is magnificent food.

Derry City Guide

Primrose Café
Here’s why you should order the braised beef cheeks in the pretty Primrose Café, on Carlisle Road. Melanie Breslin’s husband, Ciaran, owns two butcher’s shops in the city, so Primrose is getting the best meat imaginable, which is why the brisket burger and the braised beef cheeks should be on your to-do list. It’s a sweet and charming room, the staff are fleet and polite, and they bake whizzo cakes, which explains why the room is chokkers. Primrose on Facebook

The Daily Spud at Mr Midleton Garden Shop, Dublin *Video

Mr Midleton, have been trading in Dublin for 40 years. In their shop in Mary Street they sell no less than 58 varieties of seed potato. St Patrick's day marks the date when your spuds should be planted! So we met up with Aoife Cox of The Daily Spud to find out her recommendation of what to plant.

Read other features in this issue of Megabites...

1MinuteFoodNews - The new 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland smart guide

The 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland digital smart guide, was published yesterday at a photocall in Brother Hubbards in Dublin. Here we talk to Dónal Mulligan, who designed the digital guide, about what influenced his choices.

Publishing the McKennas' Guides is very much a team effort. We would be nowhere without our Editors, Eamon Barrett, William Barry, Caroline Byrne, Aoife Cox, Elizabeth Field, Caroline Hennessy, Joe McNamee and Leslie Williams. 

The 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2014

After we finish fussing and fighting over the content of the annual 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland, after we have decided which are the 100 best places to eat throughout the country, we like to take a step back and see if anything is shared by the folk who make the final cut.

For 2014, we came up with the expression “creative casual’ as a term to describe the fact that many of the new entrants were concentrating on what was on the plate, and weren’t consulting with an interior architect and a lighting designer.


Our community video this week comes from Keith Bohanna, co-founder of Food Camp at Savour Kilkenny, and organiser of BiaBeag.

The video is an unedited version of the full programme of the now-achieving-cult-status-event that was the first BiaBeag event in Kilkenny, where Declan Ryan of Arbutus Bread, Joe Fitzmaurice of Cloughjordan Wood Fired Bakery and Josephine Plettenburg of Spelt Bakers came together in the Green Stage Room at Highbank Farm to discuss #realbread.

O’Connell’s, Donnybrook


Tom O’Connell could do it the easy way. He could coast by on his family connections, he could allude to his famous siblings, tell you about his illustrious extended family. He could drop names. He could make it easy for himself.

Instead, he does the opposite. He never drops names, but he will tell you the minute he meets you of some interesting new food person he has discovered, and he will send you a mail advising that so-and-so is worth the detour. He obscures himself, the better to advocate for others.

The Phoenix Cafe, Phoenix Park, Dublin

Vivid. If you were allowed only one word to summarise Helen Cunningham’s Phoenix Cafe, then the word has to be: vivid. The food is wonderfully vivid: the flavours are bright and focused all the way through a gorgeous lamb and chickpea tagine, all the way through a superlative ham and Wicklow cheddar quiche, all the way through a superb beef lasagne. 

The salads are vivid – meticulously cooked lentil salad, crisp and tangy carrot salad and an especially vivid kimchi, all of them delivering healthfulness under the guise of deliciousness.


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