Dubliners like tea. In fact, Irish people are the second biggest consumers of tea in the world (the Turks are in first place). But Coffee culture is taking over and more people drink coffee than don't these days. So where do people in Dublin go for their cup of Joe? Starbucks is popular, of course. I have no love for the café chain 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 cup of coffee in Dublin. Here are the Top 10 Best cafes in Dublin (in my humble opinion). Wildly subjective Arguments, humorous comments, Coffee-snob hysteria, and trash talk are welcomed.
1. Fallon & Byrne. This Dublin 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 produce 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.
2. It might be a damn 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!
3. To get to Anderson’s Cafe is a bit of an out-of-the-way trek, and a trek to the north-side so it shouldn’t work. Us 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.
4. 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 makes 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.
5. 3fe. 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 here is perfectly prepared, the shop’s location suits the coffee-fueled techies in nearby ‘Silicon Docks’, and they are nice to you. ‘Nuff said!
6. 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.
7. I always loved Lemon Jelly for the friendly staff. 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, speciality teas and awesome omelettes.
9. 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 one of the best around. Another excellent option to the north side and a boost to the up and coming Capel street area. May be the best cafe in Dublin. Recommended!
10. Coffee Angel is an interesting and fairly recent addition to the café scene in Dublin. Maximum serving size is 12oz. This is a mandate from the owner so you know you’re in a coffee fanatics 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 hipsters pass by. Coffee Angel also offers speciality coffees, grinders, and other accessories for home brewing.
Trying all ten cafés in the same day is recommended only under medical supervision!