The wordplay in this little restaurant’s name inspires reviewers to write things like “Honest-lea, it’s good”, but more importantly, the food and prices inspire them to give it consistently good ratings (it averages five stars on TripAdvisor). With the name, you might expect a specialty tea shop, but, after all, in this part of the world the word “tea” has a second meaning as a light meal in the afternoon. This fits in with HonesTea’s self-description as “A modern day eatery serving unique homemade locally sourced signature sandwiches, salads, homemade treats, barista coffee & fresh organic soups.”
The first thing you read on the menu cover is “Absolutely everything is made by hand.” The next thing you’ll probably notice is that there are no Continental breakfasts here — even the Mini Breakfast contains bacon, egg, sausage, and two pieces of toast. The white pudding in the Large Breakfast, by the way, is not vanilla, it’s sausage made of pork and oatmeal. Breakfast costs from just € 3 for pancakes or porridge, to € 8.50 for that Large Breakfast. The meal is served all day.
The lunch menu is not so Irish, offering quiche, ciabatta, and falafel among others, but the vegetables for soups and salads all come fresh from local markets, according to owner David B. Hot lunch dishes are all € 5.95 except for chicken wings, which are only € 3.95. You can order “healthy oven baked chips” — meaning fries — for € 2. Sandwiches, which cost € 3.95 to € 5.95, include standbys like the BLT and tuna salad, but you can custom create your own sandwich for € 3.95. There is always a soup of the day, made fresh, and a soup and salad combo for € 6.50. If your appetite is really light, you can get soup and a slice of bread for € 3.95. Gluten-free bread is available.
Salads are mostly € 5.95 — for one more euro you can add two slices of bread if that’s the kind of light meal you prefer. Desserts are classics like almond tart and carrot cake, plus homemade cakes that change each day. Hot beverages run from € 2.50 to € 3.00, cold beverages from € 1.20 to € 2.00.
All around, this looks like a good place to get a filling breakfast or lunch — or a not so filling one, if that’s all you need — at a reasonable price.
HonesTea, at Unit 2, Newmarket Hall, St Lukes Avenue, Cork Street, is open Monday to Wednesday 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM, and Thursday to Saturday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Editor’s Note: There are many free museums and other budget friendly places to visit while in Dublin. Check out our suggestions here.