Top coffee spots in the second most “coffee-obsessed” capital city in the world

Heather Bruton discusses the best places to get your caffeine fix in Dublin

Since the pandemic, meeting for coffee and chats has in many ways become people’s primary mode of socialising. Luckily for us, Dublin is brimming with cafés. In fact, according to a study conducted by Brew Smartly, Dublin is the second most “coffee-obsessed” capital in the world. With the capital city boasting over 180 coffee shops per 100,000 people, there is no shortage of choice for your daily dose of caffeine. 

Given Trinity’s advantageous location to many a coffee shop, there is no time like the present to get exploring all the unique coffee spots the city centre has to offer. Yes, there is of course an abundance of Costas, Starbucks and Café Neros, but as we enter this new academic year why not try instead to support local and independent cafés?

Coffee with a pastry

If you’re looking for quality coffee and something delicious to eat, then look no further. Meet Me in the Morning, just off Camden Street, with its window full of freshly baked focaccia and pastries is the perfect place for a midday pick-me-up. 

Another tasty option a bit closer to campus is Bread 41. Situated on Pearse Street under the DART bridge, you can’t miss the smell of freshly baked sourdough as you walk out of the Science Gallery entrance. Treat yourself to a coffee and one of their unique cruffins or danishes.

Coffee for under €3

There is no shortage of lovely, but often expensive, cafés in Dublin, so where can the broke, caffeine-deprived student venture to then? Dublin Barista School (DBS) on South Anne Street is a student go-to. Not only is it mere minutes from Trinity’s Nassau Street entrance, they offer a discount if you flash your student card. 

Another great option, particularly if you are not bothered to leave campus, is the Buttery. Although not famed for its coffee quality, it is for its prices. Get a further 50% discount if you use your T-Card to pay and maybe grab a cheap lunch while you’re at it.

Coffee with outdoor seating

Before the pandemic, good outdoor seating was few and far between in Dublin, but now we are absolutely spoiled for choice. Some of my favourites include Bestseller on Dawson Street (but be warned you will run into every other Trinity student here), Industry on Drury Street, Coffee Angel on South Anne Street, and Metro Cafe on South William Street. Weather permitting, these are all great options for chats with friends, old and new. 

Brother Hubbard is another great coffee spot with outdoor dining, especially if you want to pair it with some scrumptious brunch food. There is one on the northside and the southside, with the southside one featuring fairly decent coverage if the rain does start to fall.

Coffee on the go

Sometimes you want a coffee and a long catch-up with a friend, but other times a takeaway to soothe those caffeine cravings is all that is needed. Beanhive on Dawson Street serves takeaway coffee with an artistic flare, so if you’re looking for some unique coffee art this one’s for you.

Clement & Pekoe on South William Street is another great spot for a takeaway coffee, or try one of their speciality teas if that’s more your thing. Practically around the corner from Clement & Pekoe, is Kaph on Drury Street, which is perfect for your afternoon coffee break. 

Finally, there is the ever reliable Butlers, with one practically on every corner when you exit College. Given the option of a free chocolate with every coffee, you can’t ever really go wrong getting a coffee here. 

Of course, there are so many other cafés to choose from and as we settle into academic mode once again, I believe the best way to procrastinate your college work is to go out and discover your own favourite coffee spots. Especially if you are new to Dublin or new to Trinity, finding your go-to spot for all things caffeine is a crucial and necessary part of your college experience. And if you are anything like me, this guide to Dublin’s cafés will come in very handy when it comes to exam time. 

Heather Bruton

Heather Bruton is the Life Editor for Trinity News, and is completing a master's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literary Studies.