With the recent dip in the Euro, the dollar is now worth around 83 Euro cent. This is great news for American visitors to Europe who will now get a lot more Euro for their ‘buck’. It was also good news for me as I was recently challenged to see if I could get lunch in Dublin for $5 (€4.13). I was very glad I was not asked to do this last year as I would have really struggled to come with any suggestions at all as $5 would have only given me €3.30 to play with!
Dublin in 2008 was ranked as 4th most expensive city in the world. Thankfully this is no longer the case and the upside to the recession here is that sales are to be found everywhere and prices have been steadily falling. Still this challenge was not going to be an easy one, lets face it, you would struggle to even buy a pint of Guinness in Dublin for that amount let alone buy a whole lunch.
All my favourite local spots came in over budget, including Café Irie, Queen of Tarts and Lemon. I thought I was going to have to forfeit this challenge until I came across a special offer from the Soup Dragon on Capel Street. For 3 euro you can get a gourmet soup with bread, butter and a piece of fruit, simply unbeatable value!
To celebrate the Soup Dragon’s upcoming 10th Birthday they are having a Bloomsday celebration next Wednesday June 16th, with everything in the café half-price including favourites such as Thai green curry and yellow split pea with lime and ginger. Also on the menu within budget is a cheddar bagel which is filling and tasty or why not try a wholesome sandwich.
Another option is a long time favourite of many, Simon’s Place in Georges Street Arcade. The menu has not changed in well over a decade at this old haunt. Posters of gigs, events and festivals cover every inch of wall space and flyers for upcoming events can always be found here. They keep it simple and what they do, they do very well. No frills, no fuss, just downright good food and always great atmosphere. Tuck into a hearty fresh Cheddar, Egg or Tuna sandwich for €4.10 or general vegetable soup and bread for €3.70.
The final option is undeniably unhealthy however it is a must on a visit to Dublin. Established in 1913 and still going strong Leo Burdock’s is famous in Dublin for being the best chipper in town. For just under €3 you get a large portion of chips wrapped up the old fashioned way in paper with a generous sprinkling of salt and vinegar. Simply irresistible. On a good day bring your chips over to a bench outside Christchurch Cathedral and enjoy. A long list of famous people who have also indulged in Burdock’s chips is on display outside the front door and people have been known to pull up outside in stretch limo’s to get there fix. Names on the list include, Bono, Van Morrison, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Westlife and amazingly some supermodels including Naomi Campbell.