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Caffè Parigi

Caffè Parigi is a new kid on the block when it comes to Dublin eateries. Doing some research online for this article, it appears the place was trying to get off the ground around 2006. Well, it’s finally happened, and dear lord, it’s been worth the wait.

Located in Dublin’s dockland area, on the south quays, the first thing that strikes you when you enter, is the fabulous interior! Seriously, I know that the two men who founded the place are French and Italian, respectively, but this place has a bang of the gay off it. No heterosexual – even cultured European types – could do so much with what is a relatively modestly sized space.

caffe-parigi-antipasto-misto-stitchandbearSo, it looks great, but what about the food? It’s also fantastic! Caffè Parigi is located right beside a building I frequent at least once or twice a week in the course of my day-job, and it’s a god-send. (Till then, we relied on the local over-priced convenience shop, or a nearby hotel.) There are two menus: breakfast and lunch. I haven’t sampled the breakfast yet, so I’ll limit my views to simply being impressed by the options, and the prices.

Have I mentioned the prices? They are recession-tastic! Panini are a fiver; salads are from four euro to around six or seven; decent helpings of pasta are six or seven euro; and the little tasty Italian and French desserts are a steal – on average about two euro. And with the quality of the food on offer, that’s even more wondrous. Now, let me make it clear, that this is a café, so you won’t be able to get a full-on three course meal. But the food is wonderful, with fresh, tasty, actual Italian and French ingredients. Thus far on my various visits, from the lunch menu, I have sampled: the crudo, pizzico, and cotto panini, the bresaola salad and the minestrone soup, which was soup of the day last Thursday.

The crudo panini contains parma ham, mozzarella, tomato; the pizzico contains spicy salami, emmenthal cheese, sun-dried tomatoes; and the cotto contains roast ham, emmenthal cheese, rocket salad. All of their panini are drizzled with the tiniest amount of olive oil, before being toasted to perfection. The ingredients are fresh, fresh, fresh: the cured meats are sliced on an actual slicer (do you remember them, from the local butchers, in the 1980s before retailers and pre-packaged meats got in on the act?); the sun-dried tomatoes are more sunned than dried, remaining tasty and succulent and juicy (and this is from someone who is typically repulsed by tomatoes..!); the rocket leaves actually taste of rocket!

Okay, I’ll calm down.. Well, in a minute: the bresaola salad was perfection, and generous: several large slices of cured beef, which were, again, not at all dry; rocket salad with plenty of flavour; great big parmesan shavings; plus a drizzle of olive oil, to keep everything together and flavourful! The minestrone soup was also a delight. I was afraid I’d be presented with a bowl of thick-ish soup, littered with bits of pasta. Not a bit of it! The soup itself was deliciously light and brothy, and it contained plenty of chopped , tasty veggies. Even the celery (another evil vegetable) was good! (Yes, I know tomatoes are a fruit, shurrup!)

Caffe Parigi logoRight, so you understand that I’m a fan of the food. But I’m not the only one. The place is invariably heaving, especially from noon time, with nearby workers, local residents and tourists. If you’re a bit late, you may have to join the wee queue. Plus there are always plenty of Italians there (customers, as well as the staff), which is an excellent sign: they like the food, they love the coffee. I can only assume that it reminds them of home, which can only mean that Caffè Parigi has quality by the bucketload.

With all that food and coffee and whatnot, you may find yourself in need of the facilities. Well, I’m happy to report that the toilet (there’s just the one) is perfectly adequate and is fully accessible. In fact, the entrance to the café itself is flush with the pavement, and good use has been made of the interior dining space, so access and a place to eat should be relatively easy for those with mobility difficulties.

Caffè Parigi is located on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, between the Seán O’Casey Bridge and the new Calatrava bridge. You can view the Jeanie Johnston ship on the opposite quayside, especially if you take a seat in the small, sheltered outdoor area.

Okay. I’ll finally stop raving about this place. If you’re in the area, just visit the place, it’s excellent! (Oh, and they do take-aways, including catering and delivering lunches for the workplace. Plus, they have a teeny-tiny gift “boutique“. Is there anything they can’t do?!)

Caffè Parigi
17-19 Sir John Rogerson Quay
Dublin 2
w: caffeparigi.com
t: +353 (1) 697 00 22

(More pics will be on the way, as soon as I take ‘em!)

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10 Comments

  • Is there anything they can’t do..?! Caffe Parigi also has free WiFi and conveniently-located plug points under the couchy-seating area for your ‘pooter’s charger.

    Love it!

    click here (author) said:
  • And now I discover that (having ordered a hot drink for once) they serve their teas and coffees in lovely hot cups and saucers. None of this tea-gone-cold nonsense, even when seated outside.

    * wuv *

    : )

    click here (author) said:
  • I am starving just reading that review. Sounds fab, must check out when I am down that way next :)

    Shelly said:
  • One problem with this place, and which doesn’t seem to be a teething problem, is that if you’re not a pretty girl or a man, don’t expect any service from the male members of staff.

    Shame.

    click here (author) said:
  • Am I actually going to have to *get up* and pay my bill? Ugh.. Caffé Parigi loses a billion bonus points from me this pm for sheer ignorance.

    Well, to be honest, I’m torn between getting up and paying, and just walking out.

    I’m still here. Having been ignored for 30 minutes (and only eventually served after ordering when asking another staff member the whereabouts of my order) and since around 3pm for my bill.

    Christ.

    Ignore everything I’ve said in my post above. It’s not worth it.

    click here (author) said:
  • Oh the joy, I’ve finally been looked at long enough to request the bill. Gestures only, though. It’s not like the muppet would actually approach the table and speak to me face to face. Jesus.

    Let’s see how long it takes to arrive.

    click here (author) said:
  • Still no bill – being ignored by the same guy who has ignored me the whole afternoon long.

    click here (author) said:
  • Just to add… as you mentioned no breakfast choice! When one is killing time in the general area for a work reason, and you are in need of light but tasty, then try the Italian Toast and nice cwafee! Crusty and toasted ciabata, drizzled with lashings with Olive Oil (Extra virgin no doubt) then sprinked with crushed rock salt and black pepper! One must be careful not to bite ones fingers! and the coffee and toast came to about 3 euro!
     
    I must agree with the author re the slightly tardy service … however being one of the aforementioned males who get served … I have not experienced anything near  as annoying! I overlooked it … but again I am biased …as the aforementioned Italian staff … can be pleasing on the eye, so any excuse to wait .. well I kinda took it in my stride! :)
     

    Alan said:
  • lol – Well, I’m sure if there was some pleasant scenery it wouldn’t have been too bad for you, so!

    You are right about the “breakfast” options – not entirely breakfasty in the familiar sense, but they are tasty, as I recall.  In fact, I do miss the food in Parigi. And the good prices!

    But I’m sticking to my guns – the boycott continues!
    : )

    click here (author) said:
  • Hi

    We were so thrilled with your original review of Caffe Parigi in 2009 and I am sitting here horrified to have found this blog and heard about your really poor service. Sorry it has taken me a year but I didn’t know that this blog existed!! I really hope that we can show you that we have improved. Are we still being boycotted? Any chance I can tempt you back with the offer of lunch and to hear any other feedback you might have.

    Victoria

    Victoria Mikulecz said:
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