Mercado 52 offers several different restaurant concepts in one venue on South William street in Dublin city centre, from the LA-style street food of Juanitos to Tapas y Pintxos in Eivissa-Ibiza. Mercado 52 has taken inspiration from Lisbon’s “Mercado da Ribeira” to create its fiesta ambiance, giving you all the feels, flavours, colours, and buzz of one of Europe’s most iconic food markets.
On our lunch visit to Mercado 52 we ate in Juanitos. Some people will know Juanitos from its prior home on Drury street where it had built up a good reputation in a short time. Their new home located inside the much larger multi-use venue, Mercado 52 offers a superior dining experience and atmosphere, but you can still expect the same delicious food. Visitors to Mercado 52 can expect a lot more to come from this cool new city centre venue, including a Mediterranean food market and a late night cocktail bar.
Juanitos has a diverse range of dishes from around the world, from Asian Bao Buns, to Latino Tacos to burgers to fusions of different cuisines. There really is something to suit everyone. We recommend that you choose a range of dishes and eat tapas style so you get to taste as much as possible during your visit.
During our quick lunch visit we had the, perfect for sharing, Mojo Pulled Pork Tacos, which are served with a fresh tangy pineapple salsa €11.00. We also had the Roasted Duck Spring Rolls with the Hoi Sin & Sweet Chilli Sauce from the small & light section of the menu. The dish consists of 8 spring rolls for €8.00, which we thought was really good value.
For something a little more filling we ordered the popular Korean Popcorn Chicken €14.50 which was served with basmati rice. The Korean popcorn accompanied by a sauce with pineapple, lime and fresh chillies gave that perfect balance of sweet initial taste, followed by a spicy kick.
Our waiter also recommended that we also try the Fried Buttermilk Chicken Burger €13.00 and it did not disappoint. The crunchy on the outside, tender, marinated chicken breast was served with a toasted brioche bun, guacamole, mixed leaves and a homemade lime & chilli mayo. On the side we ordered a portion of Sweet Potatoes Fries €5.50 which comes with a lime chilli mayonnaise, siracha & spring onions.
Juanito’s is a fun, informal dining experience. The great thing about such a diverse choice on the menu is there were many more interesting dishes that we didn’t get to try, such as the loaded nachos, chicken or halloumi spice bag, the bao buns and the Mindful Bowls for those after something a little more healthy. As it was lunch we kept to water, but they have an extensive bar and cocktail menu, so there are many reasons to return to Juanitos again and again.
For us Juanito’s is the perfect restaurant to choose when you don’t know what you are in the mood for or when you have a group of people with different palettes or tastes because with Juanito’s you can have it all.
52 South William Street
WRITTEN BY ABIGAIL FOX CARROLL & CLYDE CARROLL