Dubliners like tea. In fact, Irish people are the second biggest consumers of tea in the world (the Turks hold first place). But Coffee culture is taking over and more people drink coffee than don’t these days. In fact, Dubliners are the second most obsessed coffee drinkers in the world. So where do people go for good coffee in Dublin? Which businesses compete for the prize of Dublin’s best cafe?
Starbucks is popular, of course. I have no love for the big café chains but the Irish have taken it to heart. The Irish are Europe’s biggest fans of the Seattle Coffee chain but there are plenty of other places to get a delicious coffee in Dublin. Here are the Top 10 Best coffee shops Dublin (in my humble opinion).
Wildly subjective Arguments, humorous comments, Coffee-snob hysteria, and trash talk are welcomed.
So here are the Best Dublin cafes as voted by a very caffeinated reviewer.
Bear Market Coffee
A new addition to the Bar Market Coffee chain of specialty cafes, this George’s Street branch is uber cool. With some delicious decor, smooth-angled coffee machines, hipster seats, and a ton of different brews, this is one of the best places to grab a coffee in the city.
Card payments only so don’t think you can get rid of that spare change on a quick espresso.
Location: 3 South Great George’s Street
Cloud Picker Coffee Roasters
Cloud Picker not only has one of the best coffee shops in Dublin, but they also roast their own coffee beans and supply many other cafés in town with their specialty brews. Beans are hand-roasted to order weekly in the roastery that’s been part of the Dublin specialty coffee scene for almost a decade.
The staff are helpful, knowledgeable, and craft amazing coffee. Find the cafe across the road from the Science museum on Pearse Street. The shop also sells tasty pastries and plenty of coffee equipment for the home brewer.
Location: 42 Pearse Street, The Academy, The Projector Room, Dublin 2
One Society Cafe
One Society cafe on Lower Gardiner Street is a “hidden” gem. If you’re looking for a cool coffee, breakfast, brunch, or lunch spot, check this place out. It’s a little bit out of the way to get to, but no more than a 5-10 minute walk from O’Connell bridge. Trust me, it’s worth it.
The cafe also offers all-day breakfasts and great food like “brisket & greens”: slow-cooked Irish brisket direct from the family farm with vegetables.
The coffee gets a near-perfect score, by the way. Choose from a range of different coffee drinks and blends
Location: 1 lower Gardiner street, Mountjoy
Anderson’s Food Hall & Cafe
To get to Anderson’s Food Hall is a bit of an out-of-the-way trek, and a trek to the north-side so it shouldn’t work. We Northsiders don’t drink coffee and it’s too far/dangerous/uncool/unreachable for the rest of Dublin. But if you don’t make it to this little oasis you are denying yourself really tasty food (They make some mean lunches) and a delicious cup of coffee. Almost 100% hipster-free zone. They also do concerts and the restaurant is really good.
One of the best spots north of the River Liffey for breakfast and thanks to an extensive menu, it’s also a top spot for lunch and dinner. I’ve been here many times and the experience is always positive.
Location: 3 The Rise, Whitehall, Dublin 9 (Open every day)
One of the coolest cafes in Dublin, located in one of the city’s coolest neighbourhoods and a part of Dublin you should visit if you haven’t already. Stoneybatter is officially a hipster neighbourhood and Love Supreme was leading the local hip brigade long before anyone was taking notice.
No prizes for guessing that the owners are John Coltrane fans, this tiny cafe is staffed by coffee lovers. Expect freshly roasted and loved, hand-picked and individually selected beans, gently squeezed through a gold mesh by water from mountain streams. Okay, I made that last bit up but if any cafe in Dublin was to go offer this level of attention, it would be Love Supreme.
Drop by and enjoy the smell of fresh-roasted beans while enjoying some croissants or delicious pies.
Open every day.
Location: 57 manor street, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7
What started as a coffee cart in Howth in 2004 has turned into a 5-store empire in Dublin. Owned by Karl Purdy, recognized as one of the founders of the new coffee appreciation wave in Dublin, speciality cafe Coffee Angel is one of those places where you know you won’t be disappointed. The SAS (South Anne Street) location is the one I’ve known the longest and is still one of the best places in central Dublin to get your caffeine fix.
Maximum serving size is 12oz. This is a mandate from the owner so you know you’re in a coffee fanatic’s den. The café is all minimal and clean lines but there’s a certain warmth to it. The tall chairs mixed with normal height seating creates a feeling of space. I love the bench outside where you feel like you’re the only customer and have the world to yourself to watch as politicians, tourists, and Dublin hipsters pass by. Coffee Angel also offers
With Guatemalan and Ethiopian beans on the menu, as well as some tasty Colombian decaffeinated brews for people that want to keep their caffeine jitters under control, there’s a coffee for all tastes here. Expect as close to the perfect cup of coffee as you can get.
Location: 16 South Anne Street, Dublin 2
CocoBrew Coffee & Superfoods started in 2015 and is a popular spot with the health-conscious consumers in Dublin’s city centre. The cafe offers smoothies, superfoods, chicken salads, vegetarian salads, sourdough toast, and protein pancakes as well as the usual range of cappuccino (Ireland’s favourite coffee brew style), Americano, flat whites, speciality filter coffee, mocha, latte, and flat white drinks
Owned by a CrossFit coach, CocoBrew offers the beverage of choice of the CrossFit community, Bulletproof coffee. Bulletproof is a blend of coffee, grass-fed unsalted butter and MCT oil (usually in the form of coconut oil). CocoBrew uses cacoa butter. Sounds horrible but I assure you it’s a great way to start your day. It’s also very tasty (I love it).
As one of the few places in Dublin that offer Bulletproof coffee, expect to find lots of very strong and fit people slurping on weird-looking beverages inside.
Location: 5 Bedford Row, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Two Boys Brew
A cool cafe in Phibsborough, the hipster enclave of Dublin’s Northside. Open every day from 7.30 am (I like that), Two Boys Brew not only does cool coffees like cold brew and will serve oat milk if you want it (though why would you?), you can get a decent breakfast, lunch, or brunch. It gets busy on the weekends, so plan accordingly if you’re going for food. One of the top places to get caffeinated and fed north of the river. Delicious, expertly brewed coffee, and a cool interior. Outside seating available.
Location: 375 N Circular Rd, Phibsborough
Shoe Lane Cafe (Tara Street)
The city centre branch of this artisan cafe is small but perfectly formed. Serving pastries, coffee beans, cold brew coffee, and the third wave specialty brews. Grab some snacks and a snack to enjoy on the run or at the nice wooden tables inside.
A lovely place to hang out with friends or do a bit of work while enjoying the smell of fresh ground coffee.
Location: 7 Tara St, Dublin 2
3FE (Third Floor Espresso)
This is probably the most obvious choice for a top ten list as it’s generally regarded as one of the barometers of how the Irish coffee scene is going. Champion Barista and owner Colin Harmon‘s ethos of “make nice coffee, be nice to people and they’ll probably come back” is a simple idea, but one that most businesses should heed. The coffee in 3FE is perfectly prepared, the shop’s location suits the coffee-fueled techies in nearby ‘Silicon Docks’, and they are nice to you.
Coffee blends described as “Honeydew melon, brown sugar, red grape” are just some of the interesting
Location: 32 Grand Canal Street Lower, Dublin 2.
Queen of Tarts
A little gem in the sloping Cow street in Temple Bar is Queen of Tarts where you can indulge in chocolate fudge cake and enjoy a traffic-free terrace seat while sipping your cup of choice.
Check out the great menu of traditional Irish soups and soda bread, pulled ham, tuna melt sandwiches, fudge cake, pecan tart, Baileys Cheesecake dessert, and a lot more. Queen of tarts has a huge menu that offers morning breakfast, brunch, lunch and snack meals. Trust me, you won’t leave hungry.
Location: Cows Lane, Dame Street, Dublin 2
I used to say that the Southside of Dublin was the only place to get good coffee. But in recent years, there’s a better balance. Driftwood Coffee is a relatively new addtion to the specialty coffee scene in Dublin. This cool little coffee shop in Finglas is staffed by cool people and everyone is made to feel welcome. It’s a true neighborhood cafe where everyone knows your name and there’s zero level of snobbish here.
Consistently good coffee, baked goods, bags of coffee by Upside to take away, and all the different types of milks (soy, oat) and drinks (Americano, cappucino, filter, Aeropress) you might want.
Location: 4 McKee Road, Finglas
I always loved Lemon Jelly for the friendly staff. The coffee here is also superb and it’s a very relaxed, spacious place to enjoy a cup. They mostly offer crepes, which I’m not a fan of (in general) but you can also get a full Irish for breakfast,
Location: Millennium Walkway, North City, Dublin 1
It’s hard to open twitter or facebook and not see something about Brother Hubbard. Can this place do no wrong? Well yes, the addition to the original cafe in the form of a prefab-school canteen-Ikea showroom next door isn’t much to sing about. However, the original cafe is excellent. The food is top-notch and the coffee is close to perfect. Another excellent option to the north side and a boost to the up-and-coming Capel street area. It may be the best cafe in Dublin. One of the best menus to accompany your coffee (or is it the other way around?)
Location: 153 Capel St., Dublin 1
The Bald Barista
Buzz the Bald Barista is a bit of a character and hails from New Zealand, which he says has a coffee culture second to none. He’s managed to open up several stores in a few years. Does that make it a chain? Each store still has a small coffee shop vibe and although Buzz, the owner/barista/entertainment can’t be present in all stores at the same time he’s organized a tight-running ship that serves excellently prepared Fixx brand cups of Joe.
Location: 68 Aungier St, Dublin 2
Butler’s Chocolate Café
It might be a chain, but it’s our chain! Yes, Butler’s Chocolate Café in an institution, almost. Their mantra of bringing ‘a little happiness to the world one chocolate at a time’ is working, in my case anyway. Not only do you get a great cup of Joe served by local super-friendly home-made Brazilian/Polish baristas, but you are rewarded with a little blob of cocoa heaven for being such a good person. The dark brown and gold interior is so posh!
Location: 3 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
Fallon & Byrne
This Dublin city centre gem would probably not be on most people’s top ten lists. But that’s a shame. I don’t know why a bustling, lively place, with excellent products all around, fantastic smells, and with a superb location isn’t more highly ranked. Oh, and their coffee is excellent! (Check out their coffee brands in-house, like this new one here). Do your exotic product grocery shopping afterwards and grab a glass of wine once you’ve paid (it’s not cheap) to calm your nerves.
Location: 11 -17 Exchequer Street, Dublin
Trying all ten cafés in the same day is recommended only under medical supervision! 😀
Coffee fans, if you’re looking for a great way to learn about the world’s most consumed drink, pretend you’re a barista for a day, drink copious amounts of freshly made brews, and bore your friends about how you are now a certified coffee tech, join a coffee tasting and brewing workshop in Dublin.
These fine establishments offer regular coffee tasting courses and classes:
- 3FE is the place in Dubin city to learn how to make coffee
- Dublin Barista School – Learn how to be a barista.
- The Taste runs regular special offers to some of the coffee tasting courses in the city
- The Fat Fox offers workshops on coffee
when there’s enough interest.