Limerick isn’t the best for weather, which means you might well spend quite a bit of time breaking up strolls or dodging showers while exploring the city. Fortunately, as well as more pubs than even the locals have ever dabbled in, there are plenty of nice cafés to stop off in, consume some caffeine, and watch the city (or county) unfold before you. Here are our favourite cafe stop-offs around Limerick, avoiding the chains, naturally.
Cafe, Restaurant, Irish
Jack Monday's Coffee House, Limerick
The star attraction of this popular coffee shop in Thomond bridge is the patio, overlooking the Shannon River and King John’s Castle, and considered by many locals to have the best view in the city. You’re a short stroll from almost all the core attractions, and as well as Jack Monday’s coffee, there’s a fantastic Belgian hot chocolate, wraps, waffles, bagels and soup to keep you sated. Essentially everything you need for a warm lunch stop off.
Here’s your high-end option, and a worthy detour it is, too. The recently revamped Adare Manor Hotel is best known for its golf course and stunning village setting, but the utterly charming café options are ample reason to drop in. There are a few rooms where you can take your coffee, but the Drawing Room is our favourite. It has a smart casual dress code even around lunchtime, and their coffee and cakes are pricier than most, but you’ll get more than your money’s worth with garden views, regal ambiance, gold-leaf shamrocks on the walls and a carved crocodile adorning the fireplace.
Hook and Ladder is much more than just a café, but let’s start with the basics. The concept here is a clever one, based on the idea of a ‘living cafe’, a community integrated initiative that offers a lot more than just somewhere to sit and slurp. In a practical sense, that means that things like a cookery school and revolving locally-sourced products are at the heart of the place, while even the furniture acts as a selection of display models. Don’t worry, they get the basics right, too. Sometimes imaginatively so.
If you wanted an excuse to drop in on Limerick’s most notable department store, this is a good one. Brown Thomas is best known for its endless stalls of make-up and high-end brand corners, but the café is a great slow-paced stop off, too. The kind of spot where you can spend an entire afternoon with your nose in a paper. Simply called ‘Brown’s’, you should expect classy cake and a high-end version of the usual selection of coffee and tea options.
Where better to bed down for a cup of the bitter stuff than at Limerick’s shopping heartland? The Milk Market is an iconic city location (arguably one of only a handful of absolute ‘must sees’ in the city), and Harper’s is a worthy, relaxed stop off. At peaks times, it’s fiercely busy and largely the kind of place where you’re better grabbing your drink and heading for a stroll, but as soon as you get a sip of their coffees, you’ll understand what all the fuss is about. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only, to coincide with the peak market moments.