When I walked through the door of The Fumbally, for the first time, a few months ago, I knew that it was my sort of café. I loved the decor and was struck by the ambiance. I ordered and crossed my fingers and toes hoping that I would like the food as much as I liked the place. And I did. As it’s off my beaten track I don’t get back there often. Last Friday I left home without scarfing down breakfast so when I found myself a few kilometres away from The Fumbally I made a small detour to sample again The Fumbally’s ‘Eggs with Gubeen Cheese’.
The café is on the corner of New Street South and Fumbally Lane in Dublin 8 not far from the tourist set piece that is St Patrick’s cathedral. The area which has an urban-grity feel was a bit of a culinary wasteland until Aisling Rogerson and Luca D’Alfonso opened The Fumbally.
Aisling and Luca earned their foodie stripes by spending a number of years cooking at festivals; they did this during the summer months, saving madly so they could travelling the world for the rest of the year. They did a lot of food research during their travels sometimes eating more than one lunch a day!
They originally intended opening a falafel place in the city centre and were searching for a premises. However there was change in their thinking and they decided instead to open a café and as they wanted the place to have regular customers and a sense of community they shifted their search for a premises to a slightly out-of-town location.
When they saw the large cavernous space, that they have since transformed into The Fumbally, with its: large sun-filtering window along two elevations and its six metre ceiling height they were instantly smitten. They ignored the bog-standard brick-built walls, the ocean of concrete on the floor and the lack of redeeming architectural features; they had a vision for what could be. Aisling and Luca run the Dublin Flea Market so over the years they collected a diverse array of items for the food destination they knew they would one day open.
Their metamorphosis of the building was not done using a template: the café has a unique boho-eclectic crossed with shabby-chic style. The decor is entirely down to the talented pair as they had no professional help. In the wrong hands it could have ended it up as a maladroit mish-mash but they got it exactly right. It’s best seen rather that described but to give you a flavour the mix includes: a gargantuan wooden table surrounded by long benches; battered (in a good way) old leather chairs and sofas; delicious lights; assorted mis-matched vintage tables and chairs; gold painted statues; and a blackboard inked with the best recommendation ever for carbs (visual above).
The Fumbally is a cool place to visit and on certain mornings you can eat your food while listening to live jazz or classical music. It’s also a place where you get a glimpse of an imperceptible shift of the city from its central axis and can witness the evolution of Dublin’s café culture.
Note: The Fumbally is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm (the kitchen close at 4pm) and on Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Closed Sunday and Bank Holidays.
23 responses to “Dublin: Breakfast at The Fumbally”
B the Fumbally sounds great! I had not heard of it so will go and enjoy. Sounds like a real find in an area which I love having spent years on the other side of the Quays in the Law Courts.
I hope all is well. And I also hope that you like The Fumbally when you get there and that it brings back good memories of your time on the other side of the river bank in that part of the city.
Thanks as always for taking the time to comment.
What a great looking place…and the food looks good too.
Yes, it is a great place with very clever decor that works well.
My kind of place the Fumbally. Love quirky!
I love quirky too: ergo I love The Fumbally.
The Fumbally sounds (and looks) wonderful. And this is a wonderful review on all levels!
Thanks G for your lovely comment. B xx
Cool joint and interesting project they went through!
And, very nice review with pleasant complementary photography: thank you, B!
It is a cool place but the staff are not all frosty as friendliness is the order of the day. Thanks for your comment Stefano.
worth a visit. thanks for sharing!
Yes, definitely worth a visit – thanks for your comment.
This looks such a comfy place where to enjoy your cappuccino. So…they had a vision…this is so important to run a successful business and, maybe, live a happy life.
Fransceca I think you have hit the nail on the head about the importance of vision esp relating to happiness. The owners had a vision not just for the cafe but also for how it would fit in with their lives. For example they decided not to open on Sunday’s and have so far resisted opening in the evenings as they didn’t want the business to totally dominate their lives or for it to be a place where the staff weren’t happy working. These things are often not factored into business plans but I for one thing they are very important. B 😉
The owners have an interesting story and it sounds like they found a great location for the cafe – it looks fun and unique!
I love hearing the story behind a business. And yes a fun place!
You seem to find the most interesting places to visit. 🙂
Thanks Karen and I hope your arm is now better. B 😉
It looks to me like it gives the immediate sensation you’ve walked into an old friend’s home. If that old friend happens to be a great cook and kind comforter! Lovely. I can see why you’ve enjoyed it so.
I think the decor could be described as granny-parlour chic. The place is fun, funky and welcoming and I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast.
Looks fabulous. You make a perfect blog tour guide.
Thank you so much.
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