Dublin: The Cross Café

the cross cafe

Painting by John Boyd

When I first heard about the Cross Café, a myriad of months ago, I thought that it sounded ‘just so’ and exactly the type of place I would like. At the time I mentally filed its name and location thinking I really must visit it some time soon. Then the weeks leapfrogged into months and the months into almost a year so I only got to try the Cross Café a few weeks ago. I was not disappointed: in an ideal world it’s the sort of café that every neighbourhood should have.

the cross cafe

The cafe is on Francis Street. A street that, with its varied collection of shops selling: furniture, paintings, and artefacts – from different epochs, is antique central in Dublin. And indeed the café is just a small part of the Cross Gallery, a gallery that specialises in 20th Century furniture and collectibles and which also hosts regular exhibitions of work by contemporary artist.

the cross gallery and cafe

Nicholas Gore-Grimes owns the Cross Gallery and Café, his interest in 20th Century furniture was sparked when he worked in the antiques trade in New York some years ago. The delightful café, which is in a light filled high-celinged room to the front of the gallery, is managed by the charming Sungsu Lee.

the cross gallery and cafe

The café is simply and tastefully furnished: plain but chic tables and stools rest on a planked wooden floor and the space is enlivened by the artwork on the walls and the dangling ceiling lights.

the cross gallery and cafe

Painting by Michael Wann

The Cross Café sources its coffee from Badger & Dodo and its teas from Clement & Pekoe: it’s always a good sign when a café chooses suppliers of such calibre. Sungu is a well versed in the art of making an excellent coffee, the lattes I had on the two occasions I visited the café where models of velvet-y smooth perfection.

the cross cafe

The food too is good. There is a limited menu listing: home-made cakes, flapjacks, and cookies; and sandwiches made with bread from the Bretzel Bakery. Nicholas makes the deliciously crunchy flapjacks, his mother Catherine the cookies, and his sister Caroline the cakes. Sungsu tells me the lemon drizzle cake is legendary but I have yet to try it. I did sampled a slice of carrot cake on one of my visits and it was so good: moist, dense with carrots, and topped with a tangy citric flavoured icing. Very moreish.

the cross cafe and gallery

Painting by Graham Charlton

The Cross Café is a place that’s well worth visiting. The café itself is lovely and, of course, it has the added attraction of a gallery to browse. The first time I visited there was an exhibition of paintings by Graham Charlton and coming soon (7th to 30th May) is ‘Not Just Yet’ an exhibition of some of Hannah Brown’s work. Plus there’s the furniture and collectibles to admire, mainly either Italian or French from the Art Deco or the 1940’s to the 1960’s periods.

The Cross Gallery is at 59 Francis Street Dublin 8 and on the web at www.crossgallery.ie

18 Comments

Filed under Coffee, Dublin, Food/Wine, Restaurants/Cafés

18 responses to “Dublin: The Cross Café

  1. I love it when one of your cafe posts pops up in my feed – I know I’m in for a treat! In fact I think I need to come to Dublin and do a tour of the cafes and coffee shops 🙂

  2. H

    This cafe and gallery are a definite must for a visit. I have never been and Francis Street is such a gem in Dublin. Hx

  3. I’m an Irish/Australian living in Sai Gon, Viet Nam and I think I’m just hurting myself looking at your blog posts.

    I love my adopted home, but I haven’t had a decent flat white coffee in a year.

    Anyway, this looks like a great find – I’ll have to stop by the next time I’m in Dublin.

  4. Sounds like an absolutely lovely place to grab some coffee and a bite to eat. I agree that every neighborhood needs a nice cafe. We had a great one that was walkable distance from our apartment that just closed. Matt and I were so disappointed!

  5. Oh, that’s sad Heather, hopefully another one will open up as it’s lovely to have a good cafe close to home. I lucky that I have a few cafes locally that I can walk to.

  6. That cappuccino looks to die for, B.! I’m not completely sure about the style of the cafe. Maybe a touch too modern for my taste. Don’t get me wrong: it is beautiful but I’m not sure I’ll feel enough coziness.
    Have a great Sunday!

    • Thanks Francesca, I had a good Sunday. That cup of coffee was seriously good. I think I know what you mean about not feeling the coziness, I too like cosy cafes especially on rain soaked days and we get a lot of those days in Ireland. But still and all I really liked this cafe. Have a lovely week. 😉 Bx

  7. The very notion of a ‘cross’ cafe had me smiling at the outset, especially as it didn’t look at all cross when I got inside 🙂 I really liked it, and that painting of the fountains looks like a photograph! It’s good when there’s something to look at as well as the food. I only ever spent a snatched few hours in Dublin. I’m sure that strolling with you would be a different proposition. 🙂 How goes the bathroom project? Successful, I hope.

    • Thanks so much Jo, yes my bathroom project is complete and I am most pleased with the result. I laughed when I read you comment as I hadn’t thought of the ‘cross’ cafe meaning. Maybe one day we will get to take that stroll through Dublin. 😉

  8. Wow–what a cool cafe! I love that blue chair. I could live there…

  9. It sounds like a nice cafe. I love the pine framed doorway combined with the modern furniture. By the way, has your bathroom project been completed…I hope you are happy with it.

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