Cowtown Cafe has brought the charm of the traditional ‘greasy spoon’ to Stoneybatter. While it’s the first place I’d send anyone looking for an authentic Irish breakfast, this little spot goes beyond the sum of its sausages and rashers.
I’d previously found it quite difficult to direct tourists towards Irish cuisine – after all, what even is that? The tired suggestions of Irish stew or fish and chips gets repetitive – not to mention hard on the arteries – but Cowtown offers refreshing alternatives.
I’d file the menu under: Things An Irish Mammy Would Make. The choices are relatively simple but they involve the best cuts of meat, the freshest homemade bread, familiar brands we all grew up with (Ballymaloe Relish, Hicks black pudding, Dubliner cheddar – the good stuff!) and most importantly that mammy-style comfort and care.
Cowtown is definitely a family place. There’s a specific kids menu, but the under 10s can alternatively get a small portion of any regular main meal for €4.95. And then go straight to the Italian gelato counter for desert.
The decor is local caff meets shrine to Dublin. There are diner-style seats and tables, there’s a waitress serving free coffee refills (an Irish rarity!), and the walls are decorated with local memorabilia.
My favourite item on the menu is the fish-finger sandwich, which is prime hangover food (a visit to Ireland invariably includes one). It involves a delicious mess of mushy peas and tartare sauce in a big floury bap, and it alone is worth the trip!