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.
Cup is a lovely little caf� at the bottom of Nassau Street near the National Gallery, behind Trinity College. They stock Hasbean coffee from 3FE and the shop itself is kitted out with great machines and little extras like the aeropress and chemex jugs to enhance your coffee imbibing experience. Bread comes from the infamous Bretzel Bakery and their sweet treats are baked daily in house. Cup has also received praise from many of Dublin's food writers and is a firm favourite of the Trinity students due to their great lunch deals, friendly staff and fantastic flat-whites so go and pay them a visit. (01 664 0000)
9 KC Peaches
KC Peaches is the brainchild of former corporate consultant Katie Cantwell, a native of Seattle who wanted to bring natural, flavourful food to the masses as well as catering for people with food intolerances and vegetarians/vegans. All the food is prepared and baked on site in the morning from freshly delivered ingredients and it shows. Sweets include muffins, cookies, teacakes, brownies and dessert breads in an array of delicious flavours. Coffee comes both hot and cold in a variety of tasty forms from Ariosa Coffee in County Meath who source coffee ethically from Central and South America, Africa and Indonesia. ((01) 633 6879)
8 Lolly and Cooks
Lolly and Cooks are perhaps most famous for their cupcakes, which first adorned their stand in Georges Street Arcade and are now available at their coffee shop on Upper Merrion Street. Their baking prowess has led to wholesale and corporate baking on top of their smaller ventures and once you try some of their wares you will see why. Combine this with a good selection of coffees and you have the perfect afternoon treat. For those with a more savoury inclination the sausage rolls are a local favourite and contain lots of exciting secret ingredients. (087 943 0349)
7 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)
6 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)
5 Roasted Brown
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 3FE coffee with great sweet 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. (-)
4 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)
3 Brother Hubbard
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. The newly opened courtyard includes an entirely edible garden and they are currently nominated for 'best scone in Ireland'. The baked goods and lunch menu are of a truly high standard and it's best to show up early in order to get the full quota of choice, you won't be disappointed. (01-441 11 12)
2 Avoca Café
The Avoca company is dedicated to being quintessentially Irish and you'll be sure to find many people indulging for their 'elevenses' at the Suffolk Street Café. Their coffee comes in plenty of permutations and is supplied by 3FE which you can enjoy in conjunction with their luscious desserts such as chocolate meringue roulade or rhubarb and apple crumble with a custard centre. The café sits on the top floor of Avoca's plush and quaint home and kitchenware shop and you'll soon find you want to take home a piece of their homely aesthetic along with a couple of homemade scones. (+353-1-677 4215)
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 two premises - one in the Twisted Pepper building on Middle Abbey Street and another main caf� on Lower Grand Canal Street. They approach coffee in a strict, purist sense with a limited menu and coffees changing weekly. 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)
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.
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