Corkonians know a thing or two about coffee. Aside from being arguably the food capital of the country, Ireland’s second city is also a destination for coffee lovers, gloriously appointed with all manner of cafes, roasters and baristas to beat the band.
So where do you need to get your caffeine fix on a quick trip to the Rebel city? Here’s seven suggestions from us!
A fine specimen of a third wave coffee spot, Filter on George’s Quay is a coffee-lovers paradise with its stripped-back interior and easy-going atmosphere. Run by Eoin McCarthy, each cup is brewed to perfection and with serious precision.
Though it might be small and unassuming from the outside, this is a coffee shop with character, serving in mismatched cups and appointing the wall behind the bar with all the glorious blends of coffee beans they stock from the world over.
Filter’s little sister, Portafilter, is located north of the river in one of Cork City's most historic buildings, St. Peter’s on North Main Street.
Behind every cafe, there’s a personality, and Idaho comes with bucketloads from husband-and-wife owner-operators Richard and Mairéad Jacob. Him in the front of house, her in the kitchen.
Idaho is just a stone’s throw from Brown Thomas on Caroline Street and is a two-time winner of ‘Best Cafe in Ireland’ from the Restaurant Association of Ireland. Idaho’s mantra is "small is beautiful" and they’re vocal about local whilst the menu is punctuated with the finest local produce.
At Idaho, it’s service with a smile (or a joke) and always a properly good cup o’ joe.
A proud family-owned business with Aidan Duke at the helm, Dukes is famed for supporting local artisan roasters, from Marc Kington’s Golden Bean to Brock Lewin’s Badger & Dodo. Set within the city’s historic Huguenot Quarter, Dukes on Carey’s Lane has an historic connection to coffee, as its location is where once stood Newsome’s Coffee Warehouse but in its current incarnation its been satisfying caffeine cravings of Cork locals and visitors alike since 2005.
Food-wise, Dukes’ chicken, bacon and Ballymaloe panini is a popular local choice, the daily-changing soup is always in demand, and brunch is incredibly popular too; eggs and avocado on Arbutus bread is forever a winner. Spread over two floors, there’s ample space for groups and for all the family. Dukes also has a second branch at City Gate in Mahon.
Perched above the English Market, Farmgate Cafe is Cork to its core – you couldn’t get more Cork! From the menu appointed with produce sourced from the colourful traders right below, this cafe is also remarked as one of the best places in the city to relax with a coffee and watch the trade of the market take place below. There’s something so special, satisfying and delicious about this Cork gem of a cafe.
Cosily set into a corner of Rory Gallagher Place, Ali’s Kitchen is a modern bakery and café serving speciality Italian coffee alongside an drool-worthy line-up of bakes like doughnuts, fresh bread and filled buns, all made on-site daily.
A strong cup of tea is always guaranteed but coffee really is the perfect pair to one of owner Ali Honour’s incredibly popular sweet treats, while lunch offers exceptional value for local ingredients lovingly put together in wholesome dishes.
Three Fools Coffee
Offering refuge from the busy streets of Grand Parade is a coffee shop in a glass unit on Grand Parade. Meet Three Fools, a cafe run by a trio of pals - Séan, Kevin and Gary - who combined their passions for coffee into a bricks and mortar base in 2015 and have been hitting it out of the park since.
Particular about sourcing coffee, and now selling their own beans too, step inside for something interesting and full of flavour – especially if you’re experimental with your brewing methods, like V60, Aeropress and Chemex. Want to takeaway on a sunny day? Right beside is Bishop Lucy Park – a blissful place to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Union Grind is a small, yet well-formed coffee shop on Union Quay run by James Donovan who pulls perfect shots and serves a comforting food menu of scones, sausage rolls, sandwiches, salads and more accompanies a really cup of coffee – the music from next door adds to the chilled vibe, too.