Address: 50 Pleasants St, Saint Peter's, Dublin 8, D08 VN22
You might imagine with Ireland being next to England, there'd be a dominant tea culture. Surprisingly, that is not the case, as recent years have seen a shift in preferences, with more residents choosing specialty, locally roasted coffee over the traditional tea. This change is most evident in Dublin, where a sprout of coffee shops has led to the city becoming a hotbed for cafe lovers. Often independently owned family-run establishments, these cafes tend to have a quaint, inviting atmosphere about them, perfect for a quick boost of caffeine high or to spend hours hanging around, doing nothing but watching people go about their business.
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There's something eternally charming about Meet Me in the Morning. Firstly, the name evokes a sense of romance, and the cafe epitomizes subtle chic with its homely mismatched interiors, cozy ambiance, and the omnipresent smell of delicious coffee that pulls you in to sit down, provided the place isn't packed.
However, it's not just the selection of coffee beans that makes Meet Me in the Morning, a favorite with travelers and locals. Instead, it's their ever-changing food menu that comprises of fresh and colorful ingredients and preparations influenced by the owner's travels. For a truly remarkable brunch here, pick either their house-made kombucha or the filter coffee and drink it with a delicious miso rice bowl or savory french toast.
Address: 50 Pleasants St, Saint Peter's, Dublin 8, D08 VN22
A truly novel and creative experiment, The Fumbally consists of several different chefs working on different days in the kitchen. As a result, besides the regular menu, there's always something new coming out in the form of daily specials. Focus is still on wholesome in-season ingredients, obtained sustainably from independent producers. The food at the bright and homey cafe is exclusive yet straightforward and features sourdough toast with different toppings, falafel, and sandwiches. However, it is The Fumbally's fermented drinks, use of specially sourced beans, and their made-in-house sunflower milk that gives the cafe an eccentric identity, making it a must-visit when in Dublin.
Address: 8 Fumbally Ln, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8, D08 KA43
Kaph has a really cool frontage that makes it stand out. It's nothing extraordinary, except for the use of bold dark color and a large window, but it's enough to hint that there's something magical inside. Started in 2013, the cafe has been quite revolutionary in its approach towards the environment while also creating a place that encourages interaction. Their "keep cups" initiative is something others can learn from, and biodegradable straws and cups make buying any drink from them all the more special. As for the menu, there's everything here from good matcha and freshly baked goods to a warm cappuccino made with carefully chosen beans.
Address: 31 Drury St, Dublin 2, D02 Y684
A brother and sister venture started in 2015, Bang Bang is your typical neighborhood coffee shop that oozes a feel-good vibe. There's a lot of character to the cafe. It sells vintage clothes for one and creates an atmosphere that makes it an ideal place for the entire family. Bang Bang is proud of being local, and except for a few bits and bobs, most of their ingredients are sourced from nearby producers. On weekdays, the cafe serves an assortment of sandwiches, coffee, and a selection of packed food products such as pesto, honey, kombucha, and dressings. Weekends are especially exceptional at Bang Bang as the brother-sister duo whips up some of the best burgers in town.
Address: 59A Leinster St N, Phibsborough, Dublin 7, D07 X962
Shoe Lane is an homage to the street it is on. Now called Tara Street, it was in the 1800s a hotbed for shoe manufacturing, and that's why there's also a host of memorabilia related to the region's past in the cafe's show window. Shoe Lane is probably the most hipster cafe in Dublin if you take decor into account, which is further accentuated by their excellent coffee service.
There are a bunch of milk alternatives on hand, and customers can choose an espresso, a V60, iced coffee, or go the traditional way with classic coffee preparations. There's also new-age style matcha and for a bit more involvement, the opportunity to indulge in individual tasting sessions. If feeling a bit peckish, fear not, for Shoe Lane has croissants, donuts, cupcakes, and pastries to go along with your favorite cuppa.
Address: 7 Tara St, Dublin 2, D02 Y662
Two Pups is your quintessential Dublin cafe. It's got a deceivingly amusing exterior with a rather plain frontage next to a vibrant street mural that draws the eyes. Inside, it's like a little maze with a few different seating rooms, mismatched furniture that works, and a whole lot of personality. On offer are a host of delights. You'll find homemade elderflower kombucha and ginger beer, soft-serve ice cream on summer days, a small collection of teas and coffees, and standard cafe bites like french toast, avocado on toast, and flatbreads. Best of all, there's a yoga studio upstairs if all the lounging around the cafe makes you want to get up and burn a few calories.
Address: 74 Francis St, The Liberties, Dublin 8, D08 KA43
Adding a hint of international panache in Dublin's culinary space is the family-run Alma that serves up delightful Argentinian fare. Behind the counter and in the kitchen is an Argentinian couple who, along with their four daughters, whose initials form ALMA, have been dishing out seasonal creations with an Argentinian soul.
The ingredients are local, so fresh flavors are abundant in every preparation. However, the menu is very personal to the family and celebrates their heritage with options like loaded batata, which consist of Argentinian sausage and grilled sweet potatoes. Their ragu on toast and steak con chimichurri are highly recommended, and so is making time to savor the food in a relaxed, leisurely manner.
Address: 12 S Circular Rd, Portobello, Dublin 8, D08 XTN5
To truly appreciate Dublin's coffee scene, you've got to be okay with its peculiarities. The odd thing about it is that Dublin's cafes aren't quirky. Instead, it is their passion for serving good quality coffee and local produce that gives them an edge. As a result, sometimes the prices are a little high, but the soul-satisfying drinks more than make up for the extra bit you end up paying.