Looking for some great coffee spots in South Dublin, but want to avoid going to a popular chain? With the likes of Starbucks and Insomnia popping up on every available corner (with there sometimes being two to a street) it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find good quality coffee out there. Sometimes it is just easier to pop into a Caffe Nerro or a Costa out of pure necessity, but as any avid coffee drinker will tell you, the difference in quality is night and day. Moreso, in 2020 it has become even more important to support local businesses, and the below coffee spots are sure to hit that caffeine craving more than that Starbucks Frappuccino ever could.
Grindstone Speciality Coffee Bar is tucked in unassumingly beside a barbers and Brickyard Gastropub at the Balally Luas Stop. Known for its minimalist menu, it produces some of the finest coffee around the Dundrum area. Grindstone has proven itself to be even more satisfying than the surrounding chains in the Dundrum Town Centre. There’s no indoor seating, making this spot ideal for commuters, and they open at 7:30AM to provide those early-risers their caffeine fix to start their day.
Ernesto’s, from the outside, may not seem too glamorous, however, it is a cosy spot in the heart of Rathmines with even cosier coffee. A true gem of a coffee spot in South Dublin, with its homey interior, it is the perfect place if you need a caffeine hit on your way to work, or if you just need a quiet spot to decompress or read a book. Ernesto’s is open Monday to Friday 8AM-4PM, and 9AM-4PM on weekends.
While this spot was known for its brunch and lunch options pre-COVID, during the many weeks of lockdown, it was able to remain open for its regulars and became a habitual spot for family and friends to meet when you could only do so outdoors. A great spot for a catch-up either in one of their outdoor seating areas or on the green opposite, it’s a wonderful place for socially distanced meetings. You can grab your coffee from 9AM during the week and at 10AM on the weekends, with it staying open until 6PM every evening.
This is a spot that could be easily missed, and probably is for many people, but is a fantastic coffee spot in South Dublin. Particularly good for commuters, there is a drive-thru window available, meaning you don’t even have to get out of the car to get your daily dose. They provide a wide variety of coffee (their oat milk lattes being a personal favourite), and the staff are consistently bright in their mannerisms, despite the early opening hours. This drive-thru spot is open from 7:30AM every weekday morning.
While Dundrum Town Centre may be the beacon for all things shopping, Old Dundrum is where you can find a good cup of joe. Relish is a small coffee shop with great sandwiches and even better coffee. The staff are personable and friendly and you’ll never walk away without a smile on your face. Although closed on a Sunday, Relish is otherwise open as early as 7AM on weekdays and 8AM on Saturdays.
Barista’s Café, buried in the heart of Sandyford Industrial Estate, is a funky hotspot for a good feed and some java. With its groovy furniture and large plates for breakfast, this is a lovely place to come on a Saturday or Sunday morning when you need to relax and get some good conversation in with friends. It opens 9AM to 4:30PM Monday to Wednesday but is open until 9PM Thursday to Sunday. The atmosphere alone makes it one of the best coffee spots in South Dublin, particularly for those working in the surrounding offices.
This coffee spot is tucked away between Clonskeagh and Dundrum, but provides a wonderful selection of beverages; be that an oat milk latte or Americano, there’s something for everyone here. Kitted out with water bowls for passing dogs (which also makes it a great location for dogspotting) this spot is filled with friendly staff and some of the nicest coffee South Dublin has to offer. Sam’s opens at 8:30AM and though it closes early, at 3:30PM on weekdays and 2:30PM on Sundays, it is well worth a try, even if you’re just out for a morning stroll or a dog walk.
Square One, Sandyford, Dublin 18
Once you start going to Square One café, it’s hard to stop. Not only do they offer delicious cups of intensely rich coffee, they also serve a wonderful selection of brunch items. The staff are always up for a laugh and are extremely courteous of whatever you might ask of them – a go-to coffee spot in South Dublin that won’t ever disappoint. It opens 8AM to 4PM Monday to Friday and 10AM to 4PM on weekends. Being only 200m away from the Stillorgan Luas Stop, it is the perfect place for a coffee or some brunch, making it one of the best coffee spots if you’re in South Dublin.
Bear Market Coffee, Blackrock, Dublin
This South Dublin coffee spot has gained a cult following in its short time on the scene. As the owners say on their website “From the hustle and bustle of your 9-5, to a sleepy weekend morning, Bear Market promises a revitalising break from the everyday” and this rings true when you step in amongst the bright lights and wooden interiors. It is the provider of reusable coffee cups as well, which becomes ever more important in a world trying to become more sustainable. With six locations around the county, Blackrock claims its South Dublin location. Bear Market opens every morning at 7:30AM with the exception of Sunday, where it only opens at 9AM.
While most people go to Carrickmines for the retail park or The Vanilla Pod Eatery (which is also a fine coffee and food spot) Barry and Browne provides a darkened sanctuary, with an ambiance that matches the one product they promote the most – coffee. With a red LED sign stating “life happens, coffee helps,” the atmosphere instantly relaxes you and prepares you for the delicious coffee to come. Although often overshadowed by The Vanilla Pod Eatery, and even chain-cafe BB’s Coffee and Muffins, Barry and Browne has a lot to offer, particularly when it comes to its coffee varieties. On weekdays it opens at 8AM to 6PM, 10AM to 6PM on weekends.
This is a coffee spot in South Dublin that does exactly what it says on the tin. Upon entering the cafe, it feels more like a fancy teahouse than a bog-standard place for a cuppa. The interior has a luxurious style that compliments the coffee it serves, as well as its decadent selection of pastries and cakes. Ballsbridge is an epicentre for restaurants and cafes, and The Art of Coffee is by far one of the most chic. For those working 9-5, it opens at the crack of dawn at 7AM and stays that way until 4PM.
Although most of the coffee spots in Dundrum are a part of large chains (Starbucks, Costa, Butlers) there is one cafe that has been there for years and definitely deserves a spot on this list. It’s tucked into the second floor of the shopping centre and could be easily missed, but is well worth seeking out. While it does beautiful lattes and cappuccinos, if you love coffee, a simple Americano from this cafe will hit the spot with its rich and silky texture. Opening at 8:30AM, they also provide a wonderful breakfast and scone selection for those who like a bite to eat with their coffee.
Sandymount, known for The Sandymount Strand, is a hotspot for tourists and Dublin residents on a warm day. It has many coffee locations if you want to stop for refreshment and none are more quaint than Brownes. It feels quintessentially beachy with its laid back vibe and though there are no frills about this spot, what you see is what you get, they know how to prepare a good cup of joe for the avid coffee drinker. Browne’s opens bright and early at 7:30AM and doesn’t close its doors until 6PM.
Writing and coffee go together like salt and pepper or Wallace and Gromit. This cafe in Monkstown provides a safe and comfortable space for writers, readers, or anyone who needs a break to reflect, and they have the coffee to keep you going too. They lean into the affiliation of coffee and writing, adorning a Christmas Tree made of books during the holidays, that nods to this affiliation quite nicely. Opening at 8AM and closing only at 6PM, there’s plenty of time in the day to stop by for some much needed decompression, making this one of the best coffee spots in South Dublin.
The website states “life’s too short for bad coffee” and for the avid coffee drinker, no statement rings more true. Not only does Two Beans provide quality coffee, they also are adamant about doing so fairly, paying their farmers at a good rate in order to ensure the industry remains sustainable. It is always nice to support a cafe with a cause, and knowing their coffee has been fairly sourced will only make it taste all the sweeter. Plus, Dun Laoghaire is a gorgeous location, which makes it the perfect coffee spot in South Dublin to enjoy a beverage. On weekdays Two Beans is open 8AM to 4PM.
This cafe is situated in a nook in Dalkey, a part of Dublin that is known for its stunning scenes and literary events. With the halting of such events, The Corner Note Cafe still provides sustenance, making it one of the best coffee spots in South Dublin. Try getting a cup to go and take a stroll around this lovely part of Dublin, maybe even stopping into one of their local bookshops, The Gutter Bookshop. Open at 9AM every day until 3:30PM
For more independent cafes in Dublin to serve all your coffee needs, have a look at this article: https://babylonradio.com/coffee-addicts-anonymous-independent-cafes-in-dublin/