There is much a man can live without. Shelter, friends, dignity. But, of the few true necessities, tea is the greatest.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Civil Disobedience.
Here in Trinity College Dublin this yearning is sated in the various canteens in which you will find a self service area with a boiler, a stack of white mugs and a basket of tea bags. Most people pocket the tea bag, putting water in the mug- there by saving themselves the massive 70 cent the college catering charge for a tea bag- via the mechanism of theft. MLBJ, of course, would never encourage you to do this. Instead bring your (superior) tea bags from home. Right. If you
are English or trying to sleep with someone, you may wish to go somewhere pleasant for tea.
If you are after something a bit more substantial, like a sandwich, it is hard not to recommend making it at home. As with everything else in Ireland snack type food is cripplingly expensive. For the same amount as a BLT in Dublin you buy a riverside property in Vienna. Indeed, the spectrum of Dublin’s cafés are united by one central characteristic: they are all wildly overpriced.
SIMON’S PLACE, George St Arcade.
Full of beautiful Spanish women, Simon’s Place is the place for clefts and the mentally ill to hang out. Tea is cheap, sandwiches expensive and soup horrid.
STARBUCKS, Collage Green.
Ok, so Starbucks is an easy target, and we here in Marshmallow are nothing if not lazy, but to be honest far worse than any of the horrible misdemeanours in Starbucks past are their customers. “You know, I wouldn’t normally come in here, their record of human rights abuses in East Siam is disgusting, but I’ll have Grande
Soya-milk mintchocofrappiechinotte with no cream and cinnamon sprinkles. You capitalist pig.” Now whilst I’m all for people having a social
conscience, if you’ve decided somewhere is reprehensible enough to fucking engage me in conversation about it then you ought to be
firebombing the place sooner than you frequent it. You twat, twat, twat.
COCOBUSY FEET CAFÉ, South William Street.
The very best bacon and brie sandwich in Ireland is to be found in Busyfeet, crispy streaky bacon, big slabs of brie, sundried tomato paste and rocket all in delicious fresh bread. But the coffees tastes like its been put through the machine twice. So only get the (expensive) sandwich. Not the (expensive) coffee.
CAFÉ IRIE, Temple Bar.
Horrible tasteless food served by people who look like the victims of sexual assault.
CORNUCOPIA, Wicklow Street.
The same as Irie, but with a fat fug of farts and smug, a particular mix that can only be caused by vegetarian food. And not nice vegetarian food, but that horrible “we cleanse ourselves by how disgusting our food is” vegetarian food. Insufferable. If you know anyone who is a regular there, tell them they are a
shitbag and never talk to them again, it’ll save you a lot of time and fury. The waitresses have the same haunted look in their eyes as Café Irie’s,
and they flinch when you stroke them.
NANNARYAN’S KITCHEN, Meath Street.
Serving up resolutely homely fair for the exceedingly cheap price of free Nanna Ryan is still going strong, despite that stroke scare last year. You get strong sweet tea, a sandwich made on batch loaf and a strong dollop of Catholic guilt.
GRUEL, Dame Street.
Over priced and populated with tossers I’d cross a river of fire and piss to avoid, but they do a very decent Roast in a Roll, even if they are a little heavy handed with the horseradish on occasion, and its a bit of a trek from the Ladyboy Offices. It’s almost good enough to make me like the place. But I don’t.