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'The loveliest coffee and food': A locals' guide to the best shopping, dining and walks in Newbridge

Insider tips on where to head first in the bustling Kildare town.

A cafe at the Courtyard shopping centre in Newbridge
A cafe at the Courtyard shopping centre in Newbridge
Image: Glenveagh Homes

“THERE ARE SOME great pubs in Newbridge,” says one resident of the town. “They’re super helpful and will always order anything you need,” says another, about the staff of a local independent bookshop.

“I’ve seen everyone from Des Bishop to [internationally renowned fiddler] Martin Hayes play here,” says a third, recommending the arts centre.

Founded near a 13th-century priory and rising to prominence as a local centre from the 1700s, Newbridge is today an increasingly popular location for those looking to base themselves within easy reach of Dublin – thanks to the M7 motorway and rail link to Heuston – but with the natural amenities of the Kildare countryside and the Curragh Plains at hand. 

A view over the Curragh Plains Source: Glenveagh Homes

It’s known as a bustling town with a welcoming spirit and a diverse range of local businesses. New homes are currently under way at the Belin Woods development from Glenveagh Homes, where two, three and four-bedroom houses are now available for virtual tour.

So if you’re thinking of buying in Newbridge – or even just paying a visit – what are the do-not-miss highlights? We asked some expert locals to share the benefits of their experience, with top picks for eating, drinking, shopping and walking. 

Best for eating and drinking

Chat N’Chew: An independent café on Edward Street serving breakfast, lunch and brunch. This café is owned by Yvonne and Séamus, they do great homemade food in an intimate atmosphere,” says local business owner Vivian Carroll. “There are brilliant breakfast options ranging from full fry-ups to healthy options, but most often I’ll just pop in for a quick coffee.”

Mini Mocha: Tucked away in the greenery of Liffey Linear Park, Mini Mocha serves coffee, toasties and treats – good motivation for anyone out for a stroll. “This spot combines a great place to eat and drink with a lovely place to walk,” says resident Anna Deegan. “They have the loveliest coffee and food, right by the Liffey. It’s definitely one to check out.”

At the Liffey Linear Park Source: Glenveagh Homes

Market Kitchen: Locally sourced ingredients are the name of the game at this cafe and restaurant, tucked away behind Michael Murphy Furniture Shop. “They have a lovely variety of food here: breakfast and lunch with daily specials,” says Annette Tully, who moved to Newbridge seven years ago. “My go to items are either avocado toast or carrot cake – they have a great dessert selection displayed on a counter as you enter – but they have a great burger, too!”

Coffeys Bar: The buzz at Coffeys, a historic pub on Main Street, is hard to beat on big sporting occasions. “There are some great pubs in Newbridge, and I love this one in particular for watching sport or for after matches,” says Ali Fennell McCormack. “The atmosphere is brilliant.”

The Whitewater Shopping Centre offers a selection of Irish and international brands Source: Glenveagh Homes

Best for shopping

Farrell & Nephew Bookshop: An independent bookstore is a rare gem, and Newbridge’s Farrell & Nephew doesn’t disappoint. Founded in 1957, it’s been offering a friendly and personal service for 65 years. “I love this independent bookshop,” says Aoife Pluncéid. “I have bought many kids’ books there. I always go there over chain bookshops to support local – they’re super helpful and will always order anything in that you need.”

Klare Asia Shop: Foodies will find a range of staples and delicacies here from China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and more. “It’s a great place to stock up,” says Annette Tully. “You’ll find so much more here than the tiny Asian sections of the bigger supermarkets. I stock up on short-grain sushi rice; soy sauce; Japanese curry; vermicelli noodles – great for making Thai salads at home – and frozen gyoza.”

Best local amenities

The Gym: Newbridge has a good selection of gyms and fitness centres alongside sporting facilities, but it’s the straightforwardly-named The Gym which comes recommended by Vivian Carroll. “I’ll often head here before work,” he says. “It’s such a great local facility and a real asset for the town. Whether you want to do spinning classes, yoga classes or just some training by yourself, they have everything you need in a lovely building with lots of space.”

Riverbank Arts Centre: There’s a multiplex cinema at the Whitewater Shopping Centre for the latest blockbusters – but if it’s independent film, comedy, or music you’re after, the Riverbank has you covered. “I have seen everyone from the comedian Des Bishop to the fiddler Martin Hayes at the Riverbank,” says Annette Tully.

The boardwalk at Pollardstown Fen Source: Shutterstock/Jack Crossan

Best for a relaxing stroll

Pollardstown Fen boardwalk: For nature lovers, this wetland reserve – just ten minutes’ walk from the town centre – is an internationally recognised fen ecosystem which supports a number of endangered species. “I am looking for somewhere nearby for a walk, this is the first place I head,” says Vivian Carroll. “There’s a walkway right out into the middle of the fen, and because it’s all wetlands, the wildlife is amazing with lots of different birds.”

Liffey Linear Park: Part of a historic flood plain, the Liffey Linear Park is 9.5 acres of greenery along the river in as it passes through the town. It’s a favourite of many locals for a stroll, a chat, and even a coffee at Mini Mocha (see above). “It’s not a long walk through the park, but it’s a very peaceful one, looking over the river,” says Annette Tully. “Before getting our rescue dog, I would do this walk early mornings around 7:30am, but our dog doesn’t do well walking around other dogs, so those walks had to end – because it’s very popular with dog walkers! Lots of people bring their kids as there’s a playground and picnic tables.”

The Curragh Plains: The Curragh is a unique part of the Irish landscape – 5,000 acres of historic grassland stretching across a swathe of southern Kildare. “It’s an amazing amenity right on our doorstep – we love going for walks there, and no two walks are ever the same, there’s always something new to discover!” says Aoife Pluncéid. “Our daughter loves spotting the horses and the sheep. It’s a great place for picnics and it’s safe for kids to roam – the plains are so vast that they’re always in your sight!”

Considering making Newbridge your new home? Homes at Belin Woods are coming soon – register your interest here

At Glenveagh Homes, our vision is that everyone should have the opportunity to access great-value, high-quality homes in flourishing communities across Ireland. We understand that buying a home is possibly the biggest decision you will ever make in your life – but we want to make it your easiest. Click here to find out more about Glenveagh developments.

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