Cork City is practically bursting at the seams with amazing, independent coffee houses. So much so that we tried to put a number on it but just kept adding more!! It started at 10 and things got out of hand but here they are, folks, in all their golden-brown and velvety-smooth glory.
Cork Coffee Roasters
These guys KNOW what they’re talking about when it comes to coffee. As specialty small-batch coffee roasters and with more than 20 years in the caffeine game, Cork Coffee Roasters branched out into the cafe business in 2008 and now have three locations around the city. Pop into their truly gorgeous and adorable locations on Bridge, French Church & Anglesea Streets ASAP.
Tucked in on Caroline Street is the clear fan favourite and long-time pillar in the Cork Coffee Community (CCC - new acronym, who dis?), Idaho Cafe. First of all, BAPINIS. Second of all, HOT SEASONAL TARTS. Third of all, COFFEE. And last but most definitely not least: their menu states they use all-Irish produce “Not just because they are the best, but because we believe in Ireland.” Well, Idaho, we believe in YOU. Big shout-out to Richard Jacob for clearly being a sound dude, and for obviously running one hell of a cafe.
You should 100% head to 99 Douglas Street if you’re looking for some of the best coffee & sweet treats in Cork accompanied by SUPER-friendly service! Dan & Sunmi are the dream team behind Café Moly Ireland, which was set up in 2020 during a pandemic (fair dues!!), and roast all of their coffee in-house to ensure the taste profile and maximum freshness. Aside from the show-stopping offerings, you can also take part in their barista academy to learn everything from the history of coffee all the way to the fancy-shmancy latté art techniques that can guarantee you serious wizardry-status at your next breakfast party!! Holy Moly (we almost got there without using it….), these guys know what they’re up to!!
Alchemy Coffee & Books
This place has everything. Or at least, it has all the important things: Great coffee (3fE), amazing food (think Turkish pides, spanakopita plus sweet treats galore), BOOKS (reading is for winners), and on top of all that they are dog-friendly. Check out Alchemy Coffee & Books on Barrack St. to remind you that there are still some really, truly excellent things in this world.
Rumour has it that people just take the train to Cork to visit Lab 82 across the road from the station for the day before heading off again! And could you blame them?! You could but you shouldn’t as they have been changing up the game with their unique coffee, brunch, lunch & any-time-of-the day offerings since 2018. As Instagram accounts go, Lab 82’s is pretty legendary just like the craic, food and caffeine that you’ll have when you swing by!
The Bookshelf has THREE locations and one of them’s not even in Cork City but the two that are in Cork can be found on Southmall and at The Elysian and whichever one you wind up in, you’re not going to be disappointed. Their coffee comes from a place called The Barn in Berlin who small-batch roast their coffee and new beans are delivered weekly. The Southmall location is a bit more cafe-style and The Elysian is a little more on the restaurant side of things and the food is stunning wherever you are.
Three Fools Coffee
Self-proclaimed Coffee Nerds, Three Fools Coffee on Grand Parade is a haven for coffee lovers. These guys comb through all the finer details when it comes to the beans they use in the cafe and those that they sell to their converted coffee congregation. Everything is ethically sourced and the lads support the 20:20 Project, an organisation helping coffee-farming communities to improve their health, social & economic situation. Good coffee, good people and the cafe location is spectacular.
This little coffee bar has been impressing locals and wanderers alike since 2012 and they don’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. F I L T E R Espresso & Brew Bar lovingly grind, extract and serve up 3fE and Badger & Dodo beans to a loyal and discerning crowd. Don’t forget to add a local snack to go with your coffee: In To Food and Diva Boutique Bakery both supply sweet treats here!
On Union Quay, this lovely spot is not only serving impeccable coffee, sambos and sweet baked things, they’re also doing BRUNCH ON SATURDAYS NOW. So basically hurry up and go even if it’s not Saturday is all we’re saying. Union Grind also has some pretty serious sausage roll game and they do in-house barista training. Get a coffee, learn how to make a coffee and eat BRUNCH. Uh-huh.
Joes + Bros
So these guys doing a brunch sharing platter which means we can’t ever eat anywhere else again because a brunch sharing platter is the pinnacle of life. That said, they also make their coffee using Badger & Dodo beans so maybe that’s the pinnacle of life? Pretty hungry right now and not thinking completely straight… Get into Joes+Bros for breakfast, brunch or lunch or all of them and make sure someone’s there to pick you up and roll you home.
If this place were a person it would be Maggie Smith mixed with Zoe Deschanel and if it were a feeling it would be your hands inside of really cute hand-knitted mittens. Does that make sense? We think it does. The coffee is warm, ethically-produced and lovingly prepared. The treats are homemade and served with a smile. Pop along to Pope’s Quay to sample the serenity that Myo has to offer.
Siopa Gan Ainm
In case you haven’t brushed up on your Irish lately, Siopa Gan Ainm means ‘Shop Without a Name’ but this cafe & farm shop is anything but ‘without’. Taking fresh goods from their farm in Rusheen, County Cork straight to the cafe, the food here is probably the freshest on the block. You can also catch these guys every Saturday at the Coal Quay Farmers Market on the south side of the River Lee.
Dukes Coffee Co.
Family-owned and family-run, Dukes have 2 cafés in Cork and have been fueling conversations and feeding Cork bellies since opening their doors in 2005. They support local producers (think Arbutus Bread, Barrett’s Butchers & The Chicken Inn) as well as local coffee roasters and they have our favourite cafe quote: ‘We don’t follow trends, we follow hunger.’ Well, Rest assured Duke’s, we follow you now. Pop in to see them at City Gate or Carey’s Lane!
For all the great things about Cork, coffee may just top the charts. Have fun exploring each and every one these, you can thank us later!