Dublin might be famous for its stout, but it’s fast becoming known for the quality of another dark liquid. The Irish capital’s coffee scene is flourishing, with a whole new generation of passionate baristas, roasters and purveyors of fine beans. Concurrently, café culture has taken off in Dublin with regular new openings in both the city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods.
With brunch becoming an integral part of most people’s weekends and a cup of coffee remaining the casual catch-up of choice, the humble café is at the heart of Dublin’s eating and drinking scene. Whether you’re starting the day with some restorative eggs or need an afternoon pick-me-up while exploring the city, any one of these independently run cafés are worth a visit when in the capital.
Cafe, Coffee, Snacks, Contemporary
Groundstate Coffee is a café by day and yoga studio by night | Courtesy of Groundstate Coffee
Those who like a side of yoga with their brunch should take a trip to Groundstate Coffee in Dublin 8. A café by day and yoga studio by night, this busy venue serves a healthy menu that doesn’t compromise on flavour. Focussing on locally sourced seasonal produce, it offers plenty of hearty vegan dishes, such as slow-roasted miso sweet potato with wilted Irish kale on sourdough, and vegan desserts, along with options for meat eaters. The coffee is just as good, with speciality blends that change often. The café lies within the Golden Triangle – a trio of excellent distilleries and breweries, including the historic Guinness landmark – making Groundstate Coffee the perfect place for a pit stop while sightseeing.
Head to Love Supreme for great coffee and tasty eats | Courtesy of Love Supreme
The suburb of Stoneybatter, just north of the city centre, is one of Dublin’s trendiest locales. While it still retains its original authenticity, with neon-lit chippers and traditional pubs, it’s also home to some of the city’s best bars, restaurants and cafés. Love Supreme opened its doors in 2015 and has since become a stalwart of this hip neighbourhood. Small but brightly lit, with minimalist furnishings and white walls, this café offers a signature blend of beans from Koppi roasters in Sweden alongside coffee paraphernalia – including AeroPress, brewers and filter papers – for purchase. Pair one of its smooth coffees with a delicate pastry, pie or croissant, all lovingly made in-house.
Good food, excellent coffee and some fascinating history can be found at this café tucked away in the National Print Museum. Located in the genteel suburb of Beggars Bush, just a 10-minute walk from Dublin city centre, PRESS Café is housed in a light-filled conservatory dotted with indoor plants. The weekend brunch menu offers classics with a twist, such as the full Irish breakfast with sourdough and chilli jam, and soda farls (a traditional Irish bread) with avocado and chorizo. The lunch menu features a range of filling sandwiches and specials that change daily. After you’ve eaten, be sure to check out the museum, which showcases objects such as printing presses, vintage posters and typography tools.
One Society lies in Dublin’s north inner city, just a short walk from O’Connell Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares and most historic areas. Drop in for a pick-me-up with its coffee, which is made of beans sourced from Roasted Brown, an independent roaster in County Wicklow. The café offers a succinct brunch and lunch menu with a handful of daily specials. A highlight is the slow-cooked beef brisket – sourced from the owner’s family farm – which is served with greens and a poached egg at brunch and on a rustic baguette with salsa verde at lunch. Come evening time, One Society cranks up its pizza oven and turns out beautiful traditional pizzas topped with local ingredients.
Cafe, Irish, Coffee, Tea , Vegetarian, Vegan, Street Food, $$$
Try Meet Me in the Morning’s french toast with a spiced plum compote | Courtesy of Meet Me in the Morning
Finding a spot that makes both vegetarians and omnivores smile isn’t always easy. Those visiting Dublin shouldn’t miss Meet Me in the Morning, a bright and sparsely decorated café in the leafy suburb of Portobello, just south of the city centre. This neighbourhood favourite offers a weekday breakfast and lunch plus weekend brunch, with plant-based menus supplemented with quality non-veggie sides such as Gubbeen chorizo and Kanturk black pudding, both sourced from County Cork. Meet Me in the Morning does collaborations with independent roasters, but if it’s just a caffeine hit you’re after, head next door to its sister café, Reference, for a hot drink to go. If you do feel like lingering, however, the bench beside the door is the perfect place for a spot of people-watching.
Choose from a variety of sweet and savoury brunch dishes at 3fe | Courtesy of 3fe
Often cited as the centre of Dublin’s flourishing coffee scene, 3fe is quickly becoming an institution for coffee lovers. It has a roastery in the city centre and supplies many establishments throughout Ireland with its quality coffee. Also, a trip to its original café on Grand Canal Street is a must for those who appreciate speciality coffee. It also has a short food menu that changes weekly but offers firm favourites such as avocado toast, chorizo hash and filling sandwiches.
Clement and Pekoe procures nothing but the finest tea and coffee | Courtesy of Clement and Pekoe
Can’t decide between tea and coffee? This excellent café in the city centre is a quality purveyor of both, plus it does a punchy home-brewed kombucha. Clement and Pekoe stocks over 50 teas from around the world, providing tea lovers with an immense selection of classic flavours plus niche loose-leaf blends. Those needing a stronger caffeine kick can choose between an assortment of coffees from local and international roasters. Should you wish to extend your visit, it also sells a range of teas and coffees in take-home bags. Clement and Pekoe lies on South William Street, a busy strip packed with bars, trendy restaurants and vintage shops.
Tucked away off a high street in the suburb of Rathmines, this café is not necessarily the easiest to find. But those who go searching will be rewarded with some seriously good coffee that is roasted in-house. Along with your usual flat whites and cappuccinos, it also offers speciality beverages such as AeroPress and V60 filter coffee, Vietnamese iced coffee and affogato. There is a concise but interesting offering of teas, while the food menu includes the usual suspects of eggs and pancakes, as well as crab cakes, a tasty halloumi burger and a brunch tortilla.
Two Boys Brew is a neighbourhood café offering breakfast, brunch and lunch | Courtesy of Two Boys Brew
Ease yourself gently into the day with Two Boys Brew’s relaxed atmosphere and carefully selected coffee. Located in the inner north suburb of Phibsborough, which is lined with restaurants, traditional Dublin pubs and busy bars, this neighbourhood café has a hearty menu packed with the likes of a roast chicken sandwich, Moroccan chickpea soup, and fig and black pudding salad for lunch. It’s known for its beautifully brewed coffee and takes particular pride in sourcing local ingredients, with house coffee from Root & Branch in Belfast and plenty of other suppliers listed on its menu.
Head to The Cake Café if a good book and a cup of coffee is your idea of heaven. Enter through The Last Bookshop, and pick up a good read before exiting onto the back terrace. A handful of brightly coloured chairs and tables are scattered outside, while inside, there are a dozen or so tables. It serves great coffee, delicious brunch and yes, lots of home-made cake – its classic sponge is a firm local favourite, while the decadent chocolate and Irish stout cake pairs perfectly with a strong espresso. The selection of baked goods changes daily, and you can up the ante with a sweet and savoury afternoon tea paired with a glass of sparkling wine.