What food spots do students recommend in and around Smithfield?

These days it seems that all anyone is hearing about is how ridiculous the prices have gone in this country. No one can buy a house, a pint will cost you a tenner, and so on and so forth.

For students today, everything is expensive, so they (we) must look for a bargain. A meal deal, student discount (which less and less places seem to be offering these days), anything that will save a few bob.

Smithfield is a buzzing area, being named ‘Second Coolest neighbourhood on Earth” by Time Out in 2023. According to Google, it is known for its hip coffee chops and the different markets and fairs held seasonally in Smithfield Square.

Smithfield is also within walking distance of Technological University Dublin (TUD), Liberties College, and a number of other education institutions. It is an area often seen filled with students. So, what are the best spots in (and near) Smithfield for a student to eat?

I did a social media callout looking for what spots different students would recommend. I combined this with my own experience of dining in Smithfield over the last two years. So, what are the best student friendly spots?

Neat Pizza is a hidden gem, literally. It is located behind Chopped (which I have been told is another good spot, though I have so far bypassed the counter every time and gone straight for the pizza). It is woodfired and cooked in front of you, which is always a nice touch. What is great about Neat Pizza is their deals – the Midweek Deal being a personal favourite of mine. A pizza drink and side for €16.30. Between the pizza and the side, it is usually enough for two people, therefore splitting the cost and making it an affordable and tasty lunch.

One that I haven’t had the chance to try yet though I am now keen to is ‘All Bar Chicken’, which has locations on Capel Street and Stoneybatter, both walking distance from Smithfield and the surrounding areas.

One student who wished to remain nameless (but works with food and has a big interest in culinary arts) raved to me about All Bar Chicken.

“Its got a great lunch deal from 12-3, which usually fits in around lectures. It’s €12.50 for tenders or wings or a burger, with sauce and dip and fries included.

“After a gruelling day of college we all need a sweet treat”

This particular man was so enthusiastic that he sent me photos of previous meals. “The cookie dough isn’t included with the deal, but after a gruelling day of college we all need a sweet treat.” Never has a truer word been spoken.

Moving on, this was recommended by practically everyone who responded, and for the life of me I will never understand the appeal of a burrito, but I must mention ‘Boojum.’

Boojum, the well established Mexican Burrito Bar first opened in 2007 and now have 17 establishments across the island. Many will remember the Boojum versus (the now defunct) Tolteca debate. It is clear now who the true winner was! Boojum offer an array of burrito products, a burrito bowl, fajitas, the list goes on. For what I am told is a very filling meal, Boojum is well priced starting at €9.70 for your average burrito to the more exotic Meal Deals.

I did receive other recommendations which you might deem ‘basic’ (McDonald’s etc), One person did suggest that Eddie Rockets offered good deals, though in my experience the motto has always been ‘Eddie Rockets, Empty Pockets,’ though they do make a fantastic milkshake.

So, all in all there are a number of spots that are semi-budget-friendly in and around Smithfield. There is no point denying that even the best deals still seem overpriced, but unfortunately that relates more to the state of the country than the decisions of the owners of these establishments.

If you are a student (or just someone who loves a bargain), why not give one of these spots a try? If you are disappointed however, I take no responsibility.

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