When you think coffee in Dublin, the first thing that may come to mind is Irish Coffee, the frothy, boozy, unofficially national caffeinated drink of a land known for its brown distilled spirits. But beyond whiskey-spiked drinks (and including them, really), Dublin's coffee shop culture is stepping up. A new round of third wave brewers take their beans as seriously as the espresso sipping experience, leaving Dublin sprinkled with trendy, independent coffee shops that make any chain you may see on either side of the River Liffey obsolete. Here's where to down an espresso, slowly sip an expertly crafted flat white, and yes, indulge in spirit-forward coffee drinks in Dublin. Legit Coffee Co. Wooden bar tables, benches, and stools; baristas in flannel shirts; and a moose-head painting all give this coffee shop a cabin-like feel, one that transports visitors out of the city and into a more rustic setting. Different coffees—some by Good Morning Project—serve as the foundation for strong double espressos and frothy drinks. Mochas, made with Belgian dark, milk, or white chocolate, are also a highlight.
Wooden bar tables, benches, and stools; baristas in flannel shirts; and a moose-head painting all give this coffee shop a cabin-like feel, one that transports visitors out of the city and into a more rustic setting. Different coffees—some by Boabab Coffee Roaster in nearby Celbridge—serve as the foundation for strong double espressos and frothy drinks. Mochas, made with Belgian dark, milk, or white chocolate, are also a highlight.
Thanks to the coffee-making gizmos, gadgets, and tools displayed on the counter, this slim joint in artsy Smithfield has the vibe of a science lab. Little distracts from owner—and champion barista—Niall Wynn's simple menu, which consists of espresso drinks made from specially sourced beans and seasonal flavored lattes, which are a deviation from syrupy, artificially flavored drinks. Instead, the versions here are made with infusions of fresh ingredients, including real roasted pumpkin and autumnal spices.
Tiny flags and bright lights hang above the counter at Vice Coffee, which is, rather appropriately, located in the back of a bar. The coffee shop itself doesn't open until 11 a.m., meaning you can indulge your vices the night before, sleep in, and roll in for some caffeine at a civilized hour. Vice's standard coffee drinks are decent, but first-time visitors should opt for a more decadent option, such as the award-winning Fancy Franky, a hot Irish coffee topped with orange-blossom cream.
With a light-drenched room filled with simple, almost dorm-like furniture, Kaph is a great place to congregate with books or a laptop, or just huddle by the window and people-watch. The no-frills design reminds you of a time pre-Wifi and social media, though you'll be hard pressed to find anyone here who has detached from their devices completely. After all, this is a great, cozy spot to post up and catch up on work. Go for the solid, simple espresso drinks—lattes, flat whites, noisettes—plus a matcha latte.
Drenched in light thanks to a large window up front, this dreamy breakfast spot feels like an old friend's ultra-trendy, yet comfortable, new flat. You'll find oat milk—so hot in U.S. coffee shops right now—on the menu here, plus apple juice sourced from North Dublin, teas, and hot chocolate. The menu, which features items made with local ingredients, is always changing; don't miss the specialty pastries—like doughnuts filled with seasonal fruits or foraged ingredients—or the particularly artistic brunch dishes.