Meal Ticket: Hansel & Gretel Bakery & Patisserie, Dublin 2

This small bakery, which presents its treats, both savoury and sweet, on vintage dressers and mismatched tables

Hansel & Gretel Bakery & Patisserie
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Address: 20 Clare Street, Dublin 2
Cuisine: French

The story of Hansel & Gretel is, like all the Grimm Brothers’ tales, a pretty scary one involving a child-eating witch. The only lightness about the story is that the children’s hope embodied by the trail of bread the leave behind them. They innocently believe that they will be able to make their way home again.

The Hansel & Gretel Bakery on Dublin’s Clare Street, between the National Gallery and Merrion Square, is a trap for those fond of dough. This small bakery, which presents its treats, both savoury and sweet, on vintage dressers and mismatched tables. Everything is made in their bakery in Ashbourne, Co Meath, baked fresh and transported to the city centre every morning.

In the window, mounds of croissants and breakfast pastries wink at passers-by on the street. One of the finest pastries I’ve had in this city remains a sticky rhubarb pain au parisien (€2.35), a kind of open croissant whose contents are on full display.

There are whole loaves of bread for sale, such as the large round of sourdough (€3.95). The bread is also put to good use in an array of sandwiches - my turkey, cranberry sauce, cucumber and rocket on ciabatta could only be improved by the quality of the turkey, which is deli turkey slices rather than slices of turkey breast. But that’s probably why this sandwich is €4.95 and not €6.95.


A glass-covered dresser near the coffee counter is where the really fancy cakes live - the eclairs and glazed strawberry tarts. You can almost smell them through the glass. On table in the centre shop are the more proletarian treats of rocky roads, gingerbread men and cookies.

The coffee is by Ariosa, the soup is supplied by The Blackbird Bistro across the road. Also handy for the city- centre office worker is the small pantry of Irish goods available for sale including Ariosa coffee beans, Newgrange Gold Irish Rapeseed Oil and Lily’s Tea. Next time you’re on your way for a walk through Merrion Square Park after an afternoon spent in the National Gallery, drop into this little bakery and pick up a treat for yourself on the way.

Aoife McElwain

Aoife McElwain

Aoife McElwain, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a food writer