Dublin is a city full of surprises. No matter where you go you’ll be amazed by the artistic graffiti, inspiring quotes and architectural beauties. Among all the neighbourhoods making up Dublin, there’s Stoneybatter. An inner-village within the city which conceals the hidden Pender’s Yard in Stoneybatter.
In the last 10 years, Stoneybatter has made a name for itself as Dublin’s hipster and an international quarter. It also boasts a formidable neighbourhood spirit, with a friendly atmosphere and strong links to an established Dublin community. It’s a bustling cultural corner in its own right, a natural hub of the city’s creative types, and full of great design and enticing attractions. And in this multicultural and artistic environment, disguised behind an intense navy blue gate, there’s a small, cosy and welcoming market: Pender’s Yard in Stoneybatter.
This weekly market, open at the weekend, is a small corner of every country in the world. Providing fresh food from local vendors, Wicklow especially, Pender’s Yard mirrors the variety of cultures filling Stoneybatter neighbourhood. The promoters and owners, Brenda and her husband Peter, opened some time ago with the aim of reevaluating Stoneybatter’s life and rejuvenating a place that was once forgotten. When you cross the blue gate of Pender’s Yard you will be teleported into a whole new world. The stalls selling fresh and bio food, portraying the genuine love for Irish people of healthy food, coming mostly from Wicklow, especially Carraignamuc Cottage Organic Fruit & Veg. The international stalls make this corner of paradise in the hearts of Dublin even more interesting. In fact, you can find:
Marley Coffee is a brand, founded by Rohan Marley, son of the legendary and beloved musician, Bob Marley. Marley Coffee is determined to deliver the same intoxicating aroma and rich smooth flavour into every cup. And as Brenda, a long-time coffee maker said: “ We wanted to integrate that exotic taste and culture aspect into the Irish life, after falling in love with this coffee”. Importing the coffee directly from jamaica, Pender’s Yard is actually one of the few suppliers in Ireland that sells this coffee. Walk through Pender’s Yard’s entrance, sit in the coffee area organised for the occasion and enjoy the finest Jamaican coffee. You’ll also have the chance to taste the delicious and flavoursome cakes cooked and prepared by Brenda herself.
Lebanese falafels made from an authentic traditional recipe by a Jordanian family who moved here to Ireland and are exporting their cultural and comfort food. And if that doesn’t satisfy your hunger for ethnic food (and meeting their foreign vendors) you can always rely on some fine Venezuelan empanadas or Brazo gitano (a chocolate swiss roll that would melt your taste buds!).
If it’s freshness you’re looking for also, try the ‘Batter. Peter, Brenda’s husband, exploiting exotic spices combining them the finest fresh and organic ingredients from his own Irish background, prepares the most delicious and fulfilling burgers in Dublin. Low profile, indeed, as they are not very well known in the city but as they put it “We’re here for the people. For making them feel at home”.
A great peculiarity of Pender’s Yard is also the fact that it’s possible to find some lovely crafts from all over the world. Johanna, for example, is the owner and crafter of her own handmade knitted ponchos, carpets, scarfs, home’s accessories, and lovely small bags full of Lavander. She established “the Winkel” corner, which comes from the place in Holland where she moved from to settle in Ireland and shares her great traditions and love for crafts. Or there’s Trish, who with her specialised designed and handmade pieces has one mission, to help people with self-healing, self-love and self-help. From gemstone “healing” jewellery to incense holders and pots, gifts to get more in contact with people, understand them better and let them understand themselves even more.
This hidden gem in an inner-village in the middle of the mayhem of the city is definitely worth a stroll, no matter the season. There’s always a reason to discover new places and to get even more in contact with different realities.
However, if you are an unapologetic snooper, you might find it interesting that Stoneybatter itself holds a large international community, not just in its small and cosy yard sales. In fact, while walking up and down Manor Street and then Prussia Street, you’re attention will definitely be caught by the amount of Italian restaurants and vegan and coffee bars (try Social Fabric cafe and Love Supreme cafe!) Chinese delis, Asian cuisine restaurants and Japanese and Indian establishments where you can enjoy the exotic dishes of their culinary traditions. The Ramen Kitchen is unmissable. They are a casual Japanese neighbourhood restaurant, aiming to provide the very best of Japanese cuisine using both Japanese and classical European techniques.
Not to mention that among all the authentic pubs, scattered on both sides of the streets, the Glimmer Man stands out for its “Vietnamese food night”. If you ask around, the people of the Stoneybatter will cheer with such happiness about this inclusive initiative, smelling and tasting the open-mindedness toward new cultures.
And don’t forget the vibrant L. Mulligan’s. Some will say it’s the classic local pub, but there’s more to it. Not only do they have some of the finest beers available, but also their wide range of whiskeys will leave you astounded. Actually, you will never really want to leave.
Therefore, if you are travelling to Dublin, or if you are just down for a nice walk in the Irish weather, come past Smithfields and start walking through Stoneybatter. You’ll end up in a small corner of the Irish world, filled with multiculturalism. And if that still isn’t enough, remember that even the SpiceGirls found Stoneybatter so cool to record the video of their “Stop” single here. So as the gals would say “Gotta slow it down baby, gotta have some fun”.