Here are the top speciality coffee shops in Ireland, from cafes in Cork (here’s our eating and drinking guide to Cork), to top notch coffee shops in Dublin and many more spots in Belfast, Dingle and beyond to visit for your caffeine fix.
From nerdy nooks showcasing extraordinary single estate coffees on a custom brew bar, to family run cafes serving top-notch espresso alongside all-day-eggs and avo-on-everything, Ireland is in the midst of a speciality coffee revolution.
Whether you’re a brew buff or a coffee novice, an explosion in Irish coffee culture means you’re never far from a quality caffeine hit. Kathryn Lewis, editor of the Ireland Independent Coffee Guide shares 10 of the best coffee shops in Ireland, from Dingle to Dublin (find out where to eat in Dublin here).
Best cafes and coffee shops in Dublin
Coffeeangel HQ, Dublin
Gorgeous old features such as open fireplaces, a mahogany staircase and original stained glass windows artfully blend with contemporary coffee shop cool to create a unique HQ for Coffeeangel’s six outlets in the city.
Hungry hedonists flock here to seek out quinoa slices, brownies, quiche, soup and berry scones, rustled up daily in Coffeeangel’s own kitchen. Exclusive single origins and house blends are roasted by Bailies in Belfast.
First Draft Coffee, Dublin
If you’re after a knockout cup of coffee in the Dublin, there are few better places to seek caffeinated refuge than a barista training specialist that serves silky flat whites and phenomenal filters on the side.
As the Irish distributor for beans from Berlin’s The Barn, visitors to the spacious first floor coffee shop can sample the latest import on espresso or pourover, with high-quality tasting notes available on request. If you’re after something specialist of the loose-leaf variety, you’ll also find a good selection of teas from Camellia Sinensis of Montreal.
Clement & Pekoe, Dublin
Meeting the requirements of coffee aficionados as thoroughly as those of tea enthusiasts, Clement & Pekoe on Dublin’s South William Street started out as a standing-only espresso bar and tea shop in 2011.
In the following years, the shop has blossomed into a loose leaf emporium and roomy meeting space, fuelling all types of caffeine lovers from its finely stocked bar. If the house blend from Climpson & Sons doesn’t sway you, go for the wild card option of cascara kombucha.
Best cafes and coffee shops in Cork
Dukes Coffee Co, Cork
Expertly caffeinating the good folk of Cork since 2005, Dukes Coffee Company was doing the speciality thing before third wave went mainstream. From day one, the team behind the family-run cafe has sought to share quality coffee with the masses, introducing Duke’s eclectic mix of followers to the country’s finest independent roasters.
With two floors and a clan of comfy sofas, we’d recommend cancelling your afternoon plans and kicking back with something special on Chemex before lazily lunching on stacked artisanal sandwiches through to afternoon doughy delights.
Filter Espresso and Brew Bar, Cork
If you’re tired of starting the day with the same old espresso fix and want to give your coffee drinking habits a shake up, you need a trip to Filter on George’s Quay. Drip, batch brew, a range of pourovers, along with the pseudo-scientific thrills of syphon, all bolster espresso for the exploratory caffeine fan.
Keep the party going at home by picking up a bottle of the homemade cold press coffee to take away, along with something from the stash of home brew gear and bags of single estates.
Best cafes and coffee shops in Belfast
Talk to anyone in speciality coffee about an upcoming trip to Belfast and the first thing they’ll ask is, ‘You’re going to Established, right?’
Since owners Bridgeen Barbour and Mark Ashbridge started slinging shots in 2013, the sleek cafe – tucked between the cobbled stones and street art of the Cathedral Quarter – has become an institution in the city. With a cluster of AeroPress and Barista Championship titles, plus a sophisticated selection of guest roasters, it’s easy to see why.
Established’s edible masterpieces have gained a similar reputation; the seasonal pie has its own foodie following.
Best cafes and coffee shops in Ireland
Babushka Kitchen Cafe, Portrush
For a bit of Atlantic storm-watching in winter or breakfast on the sunny seaside terrace in summer, Babushka is a much loved spot with Portrush locals – and rightly so.
The menu includes bacon and poached eggs with pancakes and maple syrup, buttery homemade pecan pie and stacks of contemporary cafe brunch favourites. Swedish Koppi coffee (as well as a variety of European guests such as Tim Wendelboe and Workshop) is available as the house ‘phat white’, Kalita pourover and AeroPress.
Badger & Dodo, Galway
Galway’s third wave followers hit the jackpot in 2014 when one of the country’s top roasters chose a sweet spot in the city to open his first coffee shop. Crafting a hefty selection of single origin coffees from his County Cork roastery, Aussie owner Brock Lewin ensures that the same care that goes into the roasting of the beans is applied at the slick La Marzocco machine.
Naturally then, you’ll find some pretty knowledgeable baristas behind the vibrant black and orange bar, slinging shots and fashioning filters on the latest kit. A ‘coffee set’ is the way to go if you’re after something specialist, though a flat white and a slab of cake is equally as enticing.
Bean in Dingle, Dingle
When barista brothers Justin and Luke Burgess set up Bean in Dingle in 2015 they roped in the whole family to make their first speciality shop a success. While sister Georgia works shifts behind the bar in summer, nana Anna’s bakes muster a steady flow of carrot cake converts from behind the counter.
A cracking cup of Cork-roasted Badger & Dodo coffee ensures a constant supply of caffeine converts at this sociable hub, though the offer of freshly baked cinnamon rolls, an old school playlist and a bit of friendly banter means it’s a hit with locals too.
On the ground floor of this community cafe, you’ll find owner Johnny and his team of baristas composing beautiful brews from the copper-lined concrete bar. Another floor up, wife Rachel curates a contemporary art space showcasing exhibitions by local and emerging artists.
Brunch is big business at Haptik, with Instagram-packaged plates such as huevos rancheros and Baghdad eggs earning a legion of local followers. At weekends you may have a tussle for a table, though the breakfast bragging rights are certainly worth the wait.
Discover more of Ireland’s speciality coffee shops in the brand new Ireland Independent Coffee Guide. Buy your copy here – http://www.indycoffee.guide/shop/
We’re chatting about the latest coffee trends on our podcast…