Shanell Peterson is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2016, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A journalism major South Dakota State University, she is studying abroad in Dublin this term.
In this week's post, Shanell has put together this handy guide for shopping in Dublin - from the essentials to clothes to restaurants.
I know that last week I promised I would do a day-in-the-life post, but I decided to hold off on that until I have high-quality photos to show you. However, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with what I have in store for you today.
I have been in Dublin for a couple of weeks now, and I have finally figured out the stores here. I know where to shop for things like clothing and food (since Wal-Mart doesn’t exist here) as well as a few good restaurants I’ve encountered. I think that this is very important information to have if you are planning on studying abroad in the future. Get ready for information overload!
Where to shop for groceries:
(Note: Be sure to bring your own shopping bag when you grocery shop! Otherwise, you’ll be forced to buy one.)
1. LIDL. Pronounced "little", this is my favorite place to shop for groceries. It is by my house, reasonably-priced, and has a large amount of products to choose from.2. TESCO. Tesco is also a good place to grocery shop. I find that they have the best assortment of products. Keep in mind that most of the Tescos you’ll encounter are Tesco Expresses. This means they are a little smaller, but they are still extremely handy nevertheless.
3. ALDI. My first European grocery shopping experience was at Aldi. The one I went to had the essentials, but I wasn’t particularly impressed by the size or assortment of products. I’ll stick to Lidl and Tesco from now on.
Other shops I love:
1. PENNEYS. Penneys, run by Primark, is a European clothing retailer that was founded in Dublin. It sells a ton of cute, inexpensive clothing, shoes, accessories and more. For example, I picked up two towels for €5 each and a very nice raincoat for €10. For the ladies out there, it is interesting to know that you can buy adorable €4-10 bras here—which is a ridiculously better deal than you'll find in the states.
Photo: So, this isn’t the cutest outfit in the world, but it was perfect for a rainy day shopping outfit. The coat and purse are from Penneys.
2. DUNNES. I’ve never shopped at Dunnes, but they sell both clothing and food; although, I hear that varies from store to store. I would suggest you check out your nearest Dunnes to see what they sell. I’m sure they’ll have something of use to you. It is slightly more expensive, but you get great quality things here.
3. TIGER. Tiger is on my list purely because it has cute, inexpensive stuff. There are three of these in Dublin. You can buy towels, quirky journals (like a heart shaped one or one with a picture of onions on the cover), girly colored phone chargers, pens, mugs and more. You might want to check it out.
Restaurants to visit:
1. NOSHINGTON. I mentioned NOSHington on this blog before. It is just so good! When I went there, I got a matcha latte, Shakshuka with chorizo, and torta caprese. It was all blow-my-mind delicious. As I recall, it’s averagely priced. I recommend going there, especially since it’s just across the street from Griffith (where CAPA classes and accommodation are).
2. DICEY'S GARDEN. This place has great food and super nice people. However, the best part is that it constantly has specials going on. Yesterday, I ate a delicious burger for €5 and my friend spent the same amount on some incredible buffalo wings. It’s a great place!
3. JO'BURGER. I had a really wonderful lamb burger cooked "zola" style (which means "roast pepper and rocket almond pesto" whatever those things are) here my first night. It was slightly spendy, but you get a lot of food for your money.
This was my first time eating lamb. I was pleasantly surprised by its yummy-ness!
4. FITZGERALDS. I went here with a friend after asking a local where a good place to eat would be. It’s a nice place with live music and great food. Here, I experienced traditional Irish stew. And it was absolutely amazing.
Photo: Irish stew was on my list of to-eats. I’ll be trying a full Irish breakfast next!
5. CAFE NERO. I adore Café Nero. It’s got a fun vibe, nice people and delicious drinks. It’s a good place to go and get your homework done. My favorite memory of here so far is, as I was leaving, noticing the barista talking very quickly in Italian to someone in the restaurant. (Since this is an Italian chain, this wasn’t a surprise.) I smiled as I walked past the her. She grinned and said, “Grazie!...Oops! I mean thank you!” It was adorable and sweet. I will be returning here.
6. INSOMNIA. You’ll find tons of Insomnia cafes around Dublin, and you can tell why once you go there. The food is very good and decently priced. However, the one I went to didn’t have the friendliest staff.
Photo: The Insomnia napkin says “smile at the person next to you” which, in my opinion, is ironic since the staff seemed to be in no mood for happiness.
I’m sure that there will be more stores and restaurants on my list by the end of this trip. If I find anything life-changing, I’ll let you know!
Until next time!
Shanell's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.