Best Places in Dublin to Get Sweets and a Caffeine Fix
By Emily Carson
Dublin Local Expert
Two things that people tend to take very seriously are their coffees and their desserts. Luckily, the Dublin coffee scene has really taken off in the last few years, particularly with the arrival of 3FE, and now you don't have to look far for an americano or a filter coffee that doesn't leave a bitter aftertaste. Whether you're a coffee fanatic who likes to know exactly where things are roasted and what kind of mouthfeel to expect then there are plenty of coffee shops in this list who will be more than thrilled to help you learn more about what you're putting in your mouth or simply inform your already extensive knowledge about what roast is on that day.
What better to compliment your coffee than a sweet treat? Cafés know that people are looking to enjoy a package deal a lot of the time and, as a result, many of these establishments such as The Queen of Tarts are dedicated to creating the most sumptuous and decadent cakes, tarts, cookies, brownies and other dessert items to make your mouth water. All of these establishments are also very well priced and many of them also sell great lunchtime food as well so you'll have all the more reason to head in to sample their wares.
The Bald Barista
The Bald Barista is self-named coffee fanatic Buzz Fendall's venture on Aungier Street. His mission is to bring great coffee to Dublin using the 'Fixx' blend which has been developed in conjunction with Caf� de Cuba. Many hail this place as 'the best flat-white' they've ever drunk and combined with a fantastic spread of sweet treats to accompany the perfect coffee. What's more, as the caf� is attached to the hostel next door it often stays open later than normal caf� hours for those wishing to let the experience linger. (086 312 9980)
The Cake Café
Nestled in between Camden Street and Pleasants Place, The Cake Caf� is one of Dublin's hidden gems. Every aspect of this building has been thought through from the solar paneling that powers the caf� to their ethical coffee and, most importantly, their food and cakes. If you're looking to sample baked goods of the highest order, order a cake or small treats for any occasion, or simply enjoy lunch using fresh, local ingredients then this is the perfect place to slip into. There is also a range of trendily designed tea towels and aprons to enjoy at home. ((01) 478 9394)
Looking over the Wall of Fame in Temple Bar, Roasted Brown is the go-to coffee shop in the tourist mecca. Starting off as a travelling van this speciality coffee vendor is now located on the first floor of Filmbase, Dublin's filmmaker resource centre. Roasted Brown serves great coffee - it has recently become a roaster and wholesaler - accompanied by treats and salads to help you while away and afternoon on its couches. Here you can enjoy your coffee black, with milk, filtered, as an espresso or filter-brewed for two in a Chemex. Check out their Facebook and Twitter for news about cultural nights and gigs that they often host too. (-)
Queen of Tarts
The Queen of Tarts is so good they have two venues one in the heart of Temple Bar on Cow's Lane and the original branch on Dame Street. Sisters Regina and Yvonne Fallon took their experience working as pastry chefs in New York and opened a haven for sugar junkies and coffee lovers alike. Their coffee is freshly ground Lavazza and some of their delicious sweet concoctions include Bailey's chocolate chip cheesecake, tangy lemon meringue tart and warm plum tart - something to suit everyone's tastes. The prices are great, the interior is inviting and the food is second to none. (353-1-670-7499)
Vice Coffee is definitely one of the most relaxed cafés you can go to in Dublin's city centre. Founded in January 2013, Vice is dedicated to bringing its customers a variety of coffees from across the world, regularly dealing with roasters like Square Mile and Koppi and maintaining an ever-changing menu. Located inside the club and multi-use space that is the Twisted Pepper, you can relax in the booths and listen to music while sampling some of their coffees and cakes - the raspberry spelt slice is a particular favourite. They also serve a range of toasties that are pretty moreish. If you're really into your coffee then this is a great place to pick up some brewing equipment, ask some advice and maybe even book into a tasting class. (-)
Kaph is located right in the centre of Dublin's southside shopping district, sandwiched in between lots of independent boutiques, vegetarian cafés and chocolatiers. Its interior is minimalist and artsy - you'll often see illustrations on its large windows and they have been known to host artists in their modest upstairs space. This is a great place to work for a couple of hours during the day and grab a specialty coffee (supplied by 3FE), a matcha latté or a sweet treat. They stock a range of normal treats like madeleines but also a range of paleo goods like brownies and carrot cake slices. If you have any dietary restrictions then this is one of the easiest places to head as they also offer coconut milk instead of regular dairy options. (-)
The Fumbally found its home in a large space that fell victim to the bust of the Celtic Tiger and had been left empty since its construction. What's come from that is a caf� and restaurant that is more reminiscent of continental Europe in it's interiors and use of space. You can see all the fresh produce used in the food stacked up in one corner and the salads and ingredients stare out at you invitingly from the counter of the open-plan kitchen. Coffee comes from both 3FE and other local coffee roasters like Roasted Brown and tea from Wall & Keogh. The cakes and treats change week to week but there are some stalwarts like the rich chocolate cake that are always worth ordering. (-)
Slice is a recent addition to the ever-expanding repertoire of northside suburb Stoneybatter. A sister-cafe to the Cake Cafe , Slice is a small but perfectly formed little neighbourhood cafe that caters for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. As the name might suggest, Slice does a seriously good spread of cakes and treats, taking inspiration from its parent on Camden Street. The coffee is supplied by 3FE and there are plenty of delicious teas to choose from. If you want to put a cap on the indulgence there are also granola buns and virtuous seed slices on offer to ward off guilt. (+353 1 445 6100)
3FE is the head honcho of coffee in Dublin at the moment and it's easy to see why. The supply wholesale coffee to many of the city's best caf�s and restaurants and have a café on Lower Grand Canal Street. They approach coffee in a strict, purist sense with temperatures, sizes and flavours all approached forensically. They also offer tasting trios to enhance your caffeine-ingesting experience. Not only this but they have freshly baked cakes and pastries in store each day to accompany your perfect cup of coffee. (01 661 9329)
Brother Hubbard is a recent addition to trendy Capel Street and they're setting the bar high. Coffee and tea is sourced from two of the best Dublin suppliers, 3FE and Wall and Keogh and their homemade drinks including orange and lemon barley water and rose, raspberry and apple are refreshing and different. In recent months they have really stepped up their sweet treat offerings and there are now a range of baked goods from scones to friandes as well more dessert-style items. If you crave something sweet in the morning to start off your day you also can't go wrong with one of their cinnamon or chocolate scrolls. (01-441 11 12)
About Emily Carson
Emily grew up in Dublin, and studied French and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. During her university years, she lived in both Scotland and France, but traveled around Europe and Southeast Asia. She returned to Dublin after her studies to find it growing culturally (in spite of the economic downturn). While Dublin was once criticized for its expensive nature, a new wave of inventive and affordable restaurants have popped up as well as interesting and exciting cultural events that prove that Dublin is still progressing and rivals other major European capitals.
Read more about Emily Carson here.