- Kate Phelan
To the intense delight of local coffee-lovers, the Dublin café scene has exploded in recent years, giving the presiding chains of the city something to worry about. Nearly every pocket now has a specialist café proffering the newest and best coffee blends, with Ireland’s own roasters well represented on menus. Read on for a taste of Dublin’s best independent coffee shops today.
One of Dublin’s newest cafés, Network on Aungier Street is a beautifully appointed spot serving coffee from the best Irish and international roasters, alongside a delicious range of pastries and baked goods. Owner Oliver Cruise recently gave up a job in accounting to open this enterprise opposite his former alma matter, the Dublin Institute of Technology. He has fitted it out with oak stools by up-and-coming Irish furniture designer Alan Meredith and given it a distinctive and fresh brand identity that has their coffee cups being Instagrammed with abandon.
Network, 39 Aungier St, Dublin 2, Ireland +353 87 953 5518
A photo posted by Network (@network.cafe) on
Colin Harmon was another who left a 9-to-5 job to follow his caffeine-fuelled dreams. In 2008, he quit investment banking to work in a café, a decision that eventually brought him to his current position as one of the best independent coffee roasters in Ireland. As well as supplying many of the other cafés on this list, 3fE have a stand-alone outfit in Dublin’s Grand Canal Street, where they do a tasting menu of their best blends. The all-important coffee is accompanied by a tantalising brunch menu.
3fE, 32 Grand Canal Street Lower, Dublin 2, Ireland
A photo posted by 3fe (@3fecoffee) on
Since establishing Brother Hubbard café on Dublin’s Capel Street in 2012, James Boland and Garrett Fitzgerald’s Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-inspired cooking has become so popular that they’ve just launched a cookbook sharing its best-loved recipes. Brother Hubbard’s understated storefront is stencilled with the simple phrase ‘This is the café you’ve been looking for’, and in many ways they’re right. The savoury menu is finished out with coffee from 3fE and their own freshly baked sweet treats, and their sister café – Sister Sadie on Harrington Street – is equally impressive.
Brother Hubbard, 153 Capel St, Dublin 1, Ireland +353 1 441 1112
recipes in today's Irish Times from our new baby – The Brother Hubbard Cookbook!! http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/oh-brother-recipes-from-one-of-dublin-s-favourite-cafes-1.2810627
A photo posted by brother hubbard (@brotherhubbard) on
The Cake Café
Michelle Darmody’s Cake Café is hidden away in a petite courtyard behind the Daintree Paper shop in the trendy area of Camden Street, giving it an air of exclusivity and an aura of peace and quiet amidst the city hubbub. Having expanded into the hipster haven that is Stoneybatter in 2014 with A SLICE of Cake Café, Darmody ensures that both venues serve scrumptious dishes made of only the freshest, mostly local ingredients. Bring a friend and try the afternoon tea for two – you won’t be disappointed.
The Cake Café, The Daintree Building, 8 Pleasants Place, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 8, Ireland +353 1 478 9394
A photo posted by The Cake Cafe (@thecakecafedublin) on
Meet Me in the Morning
Meet Me in the Morning only opened earlier this year, but it is already a firm favourite with Dublin’s foodies and coffee lovers. Named after the 1975 Bob Dylan song, this café is owned by Dubliner Brian O’Keefe, a former winner of the Irish Brewers’ Cup championship. The chef is Fiona Hallinan, whose experimental The Hare Café with the Dillisk Project founder Katie Sanderson popped up in the Temple Bar Gallery back in 2013. The food here is genuinely delicious.
Meet Me in the Morning, 50 Pleasants St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 8, Ireland
A photo posted by Meet Me In The Morning (@meetmeinthemorning) on
Another element in Stoneybatter’s relatively recent revival, Love Supreme set up shop there in 2014. They make their own cakes in an on-site ‘mini bakery’, and get their coffee from the Roasted Brown roasters in Delgany, County Wicklow. The store also houses a so-called ‘Chocolate Emporium’, offering selections from Irish chocolatiers like Bean and Goose made in Ferns, County Wexford and Wilkies of Cork, as well as artisan chocolate makers from across Europe. The décor here is just as good as the coffee – minimal and inviting.
Love Supreme, 57 Manor St, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, Ireland +353 1 549 6489
A photo posted by Love Supreme (@lovelovesupreme) on
Proper Order Coffee Co.
Adding the list of fairly brand-new cafés in Dublin, Proper Order in Smithfield was founded by two award-winning baristas in early 2016. This pair have managed to stand out from the crowd by being a multi-roaster café – that is, using many different roasters from Ireland and abroad – giving the caffeine addicts of Smithfield an enviable array of choices for their morning latté. They also do a daily signature drink, experimenting with different flavours.
Proper Order Coffee Co., 7 Haymarket, Arran Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland
A photo posted by Proper Order (@proper_order_coffee_co) on
Vice Coffee Inc
Vice Coffee Inc is a speciality coffee bar right in the city centre, on Middle Abbey Street. A comforting oasis to escape to on a rainy Dublin afternoon, they use roasters like London’s Squaremile and Koppi in Sweden, as well as Ireland’s own 3fE. Their stated mission is to ‘reignite Dublin’s love of the classic toasted sandwich’, and their menu includes both sweet and savoury options. This place gets extra brownie points for serving Dublin Doughnut Company doughnuts – the best in Dublin – every Thursday to Saturday.
Vice Coffee Inc, 54 Abbey Street Middle, North City, Dublin, Dublin 1, Ireland
A photo posted by Vice Coffee Inc (@vicecoffeeinc) on
Close to Grafton Street, Kaph can be found in Dublin’s Creative Quarter on what is now one of the city’s trendiest retail streets – Drury Street. Run by husband and wife team Chris Keegan and Sarah Bargus – the latter was responsible for the interior’s much-lauded design – Kaph is one of those places that manages to successfully blend its trendiness with friendliness, making it a regular haunt for those that live, work and shop in this area.
Kaph, 31 Drury St, Dublin 2, Ireland
☕️ Matte black shopfronts, fixies and plenty of MacBooks, it seems specialty coffee shops and their millennial clientele have taken Dublin by storm too. Although their single estate coffee is great, my favourite thing about @kaph_sc is their ever-changing window art. You can actually see their previous displays when checking out the geo-tag. — #RLMinDublin #coffeewithRLM
A photo posted by Richard Lee Massey (@richardleemassey) on
Last but definitely not least, The Fumbally was one of the first to bring a bit of European-style coffee culture to Dublin. Established in 2012, it remains totally unpretentious in spite of its status as a favourite amongst Dubliners, with countless rave reviews. Owners Aisling Rogerson and Luca D’Alfonso have approached their enterprise with a holistic ethic, focusing more on quality than quantity. Though many would appreciate another Fumbally on the other side of town, they have chosen to concentrate their energies on keeping the original great.
The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland +353 1 529 8732
A photo posted by Lia Din (@anelia_a) on