- a blog about food and value

Review: The Cheese Pantry, Drumcondra

cheese-pantryThere’s a great deal on at The Cheese Pantry in Drumcondra Road this weekend: a cheese and charcuterie board with a glass of wine for only €8 per person.

I had a really delicious meal here last Saturday. My friend Cat very kindly invited me to join her family for her graduation lunch – and it was incredible.

This is a top-notch deli with a beautiful, bright, airy dining space. There’s only a few tables there and when we arrived at 2.00pm, the place was buzzing: always a good sign.

The Food

I loved the sound of a cheese board for lunch – how decadent! But I ordered the Fish Pie. It was a substantial but not oversized meal, served in its own dish. I thought the thin slices of raw onion inside the pie were a really nice touch and gave this creamy dish an extra edge. Cat’s mum ordered the lasagna and it was rich and meaty, with just a hint of red wine – everything a nice lasagna should be.

Cat herself went for the Chicken Terrine. It’s a dish I normally run a mile from: weird, cold slices of reformed chicken. This was different: really light and full of delicate flavours while still maintaining its identity as chicken. It came with some really good bread, cheese, chutney and apple.

I was slightly hesitant about dessert as €5.50 seems like a lot to pay for a slice of cake. However, they were some of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten and clearly prepared with love.  The Cheese Pantry’s pavlova was at least equal to my sister Barbara’s, and strangers offer her money to make one of her renowned creations. Wow. Meanwhile, a moist carrot cake with a magical coffee icing and a scrumptious chocolate cake sealed the deal. These were quite big so, depending on your appetite, you could split a dessert between two.

The Service

Service was nice and friendly. They gave Cat a complimentary Prosecco cocktail to congratulate her on her graduation. It was heavy on alcohol and, we all agreed, a really lovely touch.

The Prices

Most of the lunches here are around the €10-12 mark. Dinners range from €13.95 for Rigatone with Sauteed Vegetables to €23.95 for a Chargrilled 10oz Dry-Aged Striploin Steak. It might not seem cheap but if you skip a bottle of wine you could get a starter, main and dessert for around €30-40. Or, check out the Prix-Fixe Early Bird Menu (Mon-Tues 5.30-8.00pm, Weds-Sat 5.30pm-6.45pm), where two courses cost €18.00 and three courses cost €21.00.

The worst thing about The Cheese Pantry is that it is in Drumcondra and I live in Wicklow, so it’s too far away. From now on, I’m going to skip the overpriced rubbish at the airport and pull into The Cheese Pantry for my lunch or dinner before I hop on a flight. The food here is really special, the prices are fair and reasonable, the service is good, and the decor is perfect. Highly recommended.

  • The Cheese Pantry, 104 Drumcondra Road Upper, Dublin 9. Tel: 017978936


  1. Yay, it’s local for me. I’ll be definitely adding it to my list of local places. Best cakes in Drumcondra however are in the Botanical Gardens cafe. I’ll have to investigate the cheese pantry now and see if it lives up to the already high standard in Dublin 9

  2. I ate lunch here yesterday and I was really disappointed. When the waitress took our order I asked for an open club sandwich which was supposed to come with panfried potatoes but was told they had no panfried paotatoes, would I like salad or bread instead. I asked if I didn’t take a side would the meal be cheaper, the waitress said she’d knock €1 off the price. Considering the potatoes would normally cost €3.50 on their own I decided to go for the salad. My girlfriend order the healthy breakfast but it was pointed out to her that it said on the menu brunch was only until 3, when we replied it was only 2 o’clock the waitress said they finished serving it a bit early today. These are things we should have been told when we sat down instead of after we had picked what we wanted. Instead my girlfriend went for the warm goat’s cheese salad. Our meals arrived, my sandwich came with tomatoes in it when I had specifically said no tomatoes, and my side salad I had been given instead of the potatoes was just a pile of baby spinach leaves with no dressing or anything on it. The chicken fillet in the sandwich was very greasy and the gristle had not been taken off it. My girlfriend’s salad did not come with pesto or pine nuts, and the goat’s cheese was not warm, even though the menu specified this is what the salad contained. On top of this we also found the waitress to be rude and unprofessional. I can’t understand how somewhere charging €11 for simple lunches like this can make such little effort and such simple mistakes. Running out of potatoes is pretty ridiculous, especially considering there was a tesco a few doors down.
    When we were asked if everything was to our liking I listed all the things that were wrong but we were still charged full price for everything. I won’t be going here again.

  3. I live local and have been in The Cheese Pantry a few times. I was never happy with the attitude of the staff and also the food is a huge let down considering the prices they charge. I didn’t get what I ordered and indeed a guy beside me had to request some items missing off his breakfast. The irish beakfast isn’t bad and a good price but they put the price up after 11 and call it a mixed grill. Shouldn’t a mixed grill be a plate full of chops along with the brekkie goods? Anyway I can get over the food and being out of things but the staff should act like they care as they are getting paid to act so. Anderson’s down the road is far superior. At least they smile as they rip you off . peace 🙂

  4. I live around the corner from Cheese Pantry and this morning I decided to give it another try as the previous attempts have been disappointing (small portions and poor service) Well, all I can say it is still a rip off and service is terrible. My wife and I got 2 breakfasts and 2 orange juices and pot of tea which came to just under €30. Sausages were rubber, toast was burnt and when I asked could I have my eggs scrambled instead of fried I got a very straightforward “no” without the waitress even asking the kitchen!! What the place needs is a bit of personality, most of the staff look like they are working in a morgue and although they have some nice cheeses, wines etc. I certainly wont be back again which is a shame as the area is crying out for a “quality” cafe