Bibi’s Cafe: ‘Neighbourhood Food’ in a Former Clothing Shop


Bibi means grandmother in Swahili. Chef and owner, Maisha Lenehan, who grew up in Tanzania, named her kitchen after her granny – an avid baker and major influence on her love of cooking. The Portobello cafe has been a massive hit with locals and tourists alike, despite being located on a quiet backstreet.

Maisha opened her cafe as a side feature to her sister’s upmarket boutique: Dolls. It has since expanded into the shop’s space; fridges occupy the former changing rooms, and the wooden mannequins and sewing machine now serve only as decoration. Sacrificing a budding career as a pro golfer, the girls’ brother, Geoff, jumped on board as manager and co-owner.
The ‘Neighbourhood Food’ menu has been influenced by trips to Brooklyn, time spent in London and of course by Bibi’s home cooking. Try the hugely popular Squash Eggs, or in summer months, the Smashed Avocado. Brunch dishes are generally served with sourdough from Tartine Organic Bakery, on custom made plates from UK-based Made in Cley.
Cloud Picker coffee or Clement and Pekoe teas are the perfect companion to the many brownies and baked goods on offer. Unless of course, you chose to come for dinner on thursday nights, when biodynamic Spanish wines are the perfect match.
14b Emorville Avenue Dublin 8, Ireland +353 1 4547421
Mon–thurs: 9 to 4
Thurs: Dinner til 9
Fri: 9 – 4.30 Sat – Sun: 10 to 4.30


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