If The Deli could speak, what a story it would share. A tale of reincarnation: from a dank run-down deli to a cranking bar. Since 2016 it's been owned by James Russell (Eire Cafe, Hibernia).

The space started out as a house party-meets-band room in 2004, but moved onto its current course in 2007, when it became a Fringe venue. Expensive licensing costs meant selling pizza to raise funds, which in turn inspired a more permanent shift.

The site is deceivingly small from the street, but wandering towards the rear, it opens up to a vine-laden, fairy-lit courtyard, full of varied furniture that feels like a friend’s backyard.

Cure a dusty head on the weekend with breakfast, which is served late, or eat your way into the evening with tapas, nachos, burgers or the prized pizzas, which are topped with salami, slow-cooked lamb shoulder, parmesan, feta and more.

The food is mostly simple and well priced. Likewise the drinks list is concise, being made up of a few dozen local red and white wines, plus three local tap beers. This is a place that’s more about great atmosphere than a sophisticated menu, and it absolutely nails it.

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Updated: December 19th, 2018

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