by Jessica Colley—
Ireland has a tea culture. It’s almost considered rude to ask someone how many cups of tea they consume in a single day. For many, the answer could be in the double digits. Others who don’t have much of a “tea habit” can drink up to five cups a day.
So what is a traveler to do when that java craving hits while wandering through the streets of Dublin? There are two choices. First, know the best cafés for coffee or alternatively, drink tea.
The Irish use one word that I especially like to describe coffee: “muck.” The general standard of coffee in Dublin is certainly “muck,” so if you have high standards for a cup of joe, don’t just stop in anywhere and expect to get a quality cup.
Here are three cafés that serve high-quality coffee in central Dublin:
132 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
Not only does Café Boulevard offer perfect tables in the window to do some Dublin people watching, but it also offers hearty sandwiches and spicy little potato wedges that make this a favorite lunch spot in City Center. On top of the food, they also know how to make a lovely cappuccino. No burnt milk here, no bitter coffee. They also have a nice selection of desserts to accompany your coffee.
The Bald Barista
55 Aungier Street, Dublin 2
Constantly rated the best coffee in Dublin, the Bald Barista is serious about how they make their coffee. Baristas here enter competitions to show off their skills, so you can bet they can make you a cappuccino that will rival the best you’ve had at home. Ironically, the Bald Barista is located in the Avalon House hostel. Here you’re sure to find a young crowd who shares the bald baristas passion for coffee.
Queen of Tarts
4 Cork Hill, Dublin 2
Queen of Tarts might be better known for its stunning (and I mean stunning!) range of pastries, but they also serve up a solid coffee to accompany your fresh-baked treat. With plenty of tables outside, this is a nice spot to refuel after exploring the galleries, shops and markets of nearby Temple Bar.
78 Grafton Street, Dublin 2
Sometimes, you just have to give in to the local traditions. For one of the most traditional places in Dublin to sit down with a cup of tea (or better yet, a pot of tea) head to Bewley’s on Grafton Street. Climb the stairs to the second floor and try to get a table overlooking the street. Once you take that first sip of Irish tea, you might understand what the fuss is all about.
Have a favorite coffee spot?
Do you have a favorite café in Dublin? Tell us about it in the comments section.