May 26, 2012

Bonza Pies - Seriously Aussie ... Made in Ireland

As a child myself and my sister watched Home and Away religiously. Once 6.30 hit we were there in front of the telly watching the drama filled lives of Sally Fletcher, Donald Fisher and Alf Stewart unfold in front of us. We pined for the sunshine, the sea and wished our Irish skin looked as tanned as the girls on the telly. A fair few years later and I have come to accept that the county we live in will never be that hot (except for this one week) and if it was, as a red head, I would in constant fear of sunburn (which I am after an hour in the sun!). As a grown up though I have found a new way to fill that Aussie gap and of course its food related!! Meet Bonza Pies - Seriously Aussie...Made in Ireland. 


I first came across Bonza Pies when the boyfriend came home one afternoon after sampling one of their pies in the Ilac centre. Sausage, mash and gravy in a pie what a revelation! He didn't stop talking about it until I specifically made my way into town to give it a go! So when Bonza Pies told me that they had opened a new branch on Poolbeg Street and asked if I would like to come down to visit and sample some pies I was down there like a roo on fire!!

Bonza Pies is run by Emma and Colin, an Irish Aussie couple who saw a gap in the market when they returned to Ireland (yes it does happen people actually come back!!). In Oz a lot of people eat pies even with the extreme heat as a lunchtime or dinner feed. So with abounding positivity and optimism Colin faced down the recession and set about opening the Ilac branch. The Ilac branch opened two years ago and was received so positively that a second branch was opened at Christmas on Poolbeg Street. 

Bonza Pies offer a substantial array of pies. The Banger as previously mentioned is delicious as it has everything in it and the boyfriend's favourite is the Porterhouse. The Porterhouse Pie is actually made especially for the Porterhouse pubs and is filled with a stout so I can see why he likes it. On the day I was there I picked a Chicken & Wild Mushroom Pie as it is one of my favourite combinations.

It was full of flavour with good sized chunks of chicken and mushroom and was filled with a creamy, oozy sauce all wrapped up in a golden shortcrust pastry. It was accompanied by some colcannon mash and some veggies. To wash it all down and to complete the whole Aussie experience Emma insisted that I try a Bundaberg Ginger Beer. My reaction to this was 'How have I never had this before'!! It is the most thirst quenching drink ever.

So with a choice of 10 pies, 3 types of mash and gravy there is something for everyone's taste in both the Ilac and Poolbeg branches. But Bonza Pies in Poolbeg Street goes one step further and offers sangas, soup and a range of breakfast items such as Eggs Benedict and Banana Pancakes. The boyfriend has gone as far to say they are the best eggs in town!! The Banana Pancakes cheered me up on a very wet and windy Friday morning and the slightly carmelised bananas were a lovely touch (yes we have been back a few times since my first visit!)

Bonza Pies is a family run business and Emma and Colin take great pride in their food. For example they salt their own beef and they make their own shortcrust pastry. A lot of love and care is put into preparing the food and it comes through in the taste. Poolbeg Street has only been open a few months but already they have a loyal following who Emma already seems to know by name! There was some great banter going on in the restaurant the day I was there with people trying to pronounce Aussie codewords in order to get a free drink.

Emma and Colin's mission is to open a Bonza Pie Cafe, and another, and another so everyone has access to their delicious pies! I truly hope they succeed as I believe they are onto a winner. Bonza Pies is all about good quality, filling food at great prices!! Bonza Pies kindly provided me with my pie that day but all the other times I have eaten there they cost €4.50 and you can get one with mash & gravy for €6.  So next time you are in town take a trip off the beaten track and go for a walkabout to Poolbeg Street. Now all I want is for a Bonza Pies to open closer to home or work so guys, Ranelagh or Meath please as your next branch!!

Opening hours Ilac Centre, Dublin open Monday - Saturday 8.30am - 6pm, Sunday 11am - 6pm.  Poolbeg Street, Dublin open Monday - Friday 7.30am - 4pm
For more info on Bonza Pies find them here

Update 2013: Bonza Pies have now moved from Poolbeg Street to Talbot Street.


  1. Oh my god!! Bundaberg ginger ale! Now I just need to know how to get bundaberg rum and all is sorted!

  2. Does anyone know what happened both shops just closed suddenly without warning not long after the shop opened on talbot street and their's no info online or on their web page...

    1. I don't actually know. I 'd say the footfall decreased dramatically on Talbot Street and maybe that had something to do with it. It's a shame loved their pies.