It seems like Dublin has any many coffee houses as they do pubs. The good news is that most of these seem to be pretty independent places (for the most part). You do see the occasional Starbucks, but you don’t see the typical Costa, Starbucks, Nero trio on every part with either a bit more of a local feel. Hunting down places that do good coffee seems like a mission I’m happy to take when trying a new city.
My favourites for the coffee turned out to be:
3FE – I dropped into here on the way to head out to Howth. It was positively buzzing with people sitting, chatting with a friend or people reading their kindle or messages on their phone. The coffee took a while to make with only a single barist and a backlog of coffee orders but it was pretty tasty. Found at 32/34 Lower Grand Canal Street, Dublin 2.
Coffee Angel – I tried to find the store quite close to the Custom House’ Quay to no avail, but stumbled across their smaller, tiny store around … those seemed to sell more of their hand-roasted beans and coffee equipment. They did a mean flat white that was nice to sit on their only bench outside in a ceramic cup. Found at various locations but I visited the one at 16A South Anne Street, Dublin 2
The Bald Barista – Named after Buzz Fendall, their bald barista (who I did not see), this place seemed more like the place you’d sit down to have a breakfast. Order at the bar, and then take your seat. The flat white here wasn’t as good as the others, but still drinkable. For me it had a bit too much milk, the milk was slightly too hot and yet somehow missed out on being the microfoam that a flat white really deserves. Found at 55 Aungier Street, Avalon House, Dublin 2.