Cork is hailed as Ireland’s food capital for a bunch of convincing reasons. This little gem of a city takes pride in its wide array of products, including crafted smoked fish, roast duck, and artisan farmhouse cheese. Cork is home to the English Market too, which is among the best food markets in Europe. Cork’s thriving culinary scene can also be seen, smelled, and tasted once you step into their exquisite restaurants, bars, and pubs. Everybody knows Cork is the best place to be for everything gourmet, but only a few know that their coffee culture is also top-notch.
Cork is a treasure trove for coffee lovers, as it houses some of Ireland’s finest coffee roasters, as well as a plethora of vibrant coffee bars. Isn’t it nice to skip your in-room coffee maker, step out of your hotel in Cork, and just enjoy a nice cup of coffee made with the finest Irish coffee beans? Whether you like your cup filled with pure, straightforward black stuff or you like it creamy and topped with fascinating latte art, here are some of the best coffee shops you may cheque out in Cork.
1. Alchemy Coffee and Books | Barrack Street
Some people love their coffee paired with pastries, others with cigarettes. As for me, I like it with a side of culture. We’re talking about street art murals, books, music, and poetry.
Alchemy Coffee and Books is an intimate cafe off the beaten track that’s furnished with rustic furniture and bookshelves for you to enjoy. It shape-shifts too. During the day, it serves up quality drinks made with Irish-roasted 3fe coffee beans. When the sun goes down, it hosts intimate performances by poets and singer-songwriters.
2. Cork Coffee Roasters Cafes | Bridge Street
As its straightforward name implies, Cork Coffee Roasters Cafe is a reliable, no-nonsense coffee shop that hand-roasts its own coffees. They roast local beans using traditional methods, and they use only the best beans in all of their signature blends. The menu is small and uncomplicated and is perfect for true coffee lovers who just need their daily dose of caffeine.
Consider yourself lucky if your hotel in Cork is just a couple of blocks away. Aside from seriously good coffee, Cork Coffee Roasters Cafe also doesn’t scrimp on experience. Sipping coffee in a vintage shop, from the intricately patterned ceilings to the eclectic mix of brick, wood, and steel furniture might be the vibe you’re looking for.
3. Café Gusto | Washington Street
Café Gusto and the site where it stands have become a favorite coffee spot in Cork for decades. This coffee house opened in 1999 when it took over the popular O’Brien’s Coffee Shop, a city landmark that had operated since 1941. Under the current ownership, Café Gusto didn’t disappoint their local coffee-loving patrons with their consistently delicious drinks and a wide array of toasts, sandwiches, and brunch options.
4. Filter Espresso & Brew Bar | Georges Quay
There’s more to coffee making than espresso machines — coffee can be extracted via french press, pour-over method, and siphon method. And if you’re one of those coffee geeks who treats coffee-making as a lab experiment, then Filter Espresso & Brew Bar is a great place for you.
Lonely Planet describes the cafe as “a carefully curated shrine to coffee nerdery”. The brew bar looks more like a chemist’s playground, taking you through eight (or more) brewing methods. You won’t only fall in love with the aromatic liquid in your cup but also with the complex process of coffee brewing.
5. Coffee at O’Conaill Chocolate Shop | Princes Street
O’Conaill takes pride in their cup of hot chocolate, which many claims to be the best in the whole country. It’s such a shame to miss it and go for coffee instead. It’s a good thing that O’Conaill lets you enjoy the best of both worlds. They have coffee too and you can order both coffee and hot chocolate at the same time for sampling — no judgments involved!
6. Badger & Dodo Cafes | Barrack St
If you’re looking for no-frills coffee, then Badger & Dodo is a must-visit place.
This renowned Irish artisan coffee roaster has consistently been ahead of the curve ever since. Badger & Dodo roasts their coffee beans, and they even supply high-quality coffee to cafes and businesses all over Ireland. Today, they have their cafes in Fermoy and on Barrack Street in the heart of the city.
In case you’re wondering, Flat White is their specialty and bestseller.
7. Myo Cafes | Popes Quay
Some coffee lovers like their cuppa fast and on the go, others want to take their time to reflect. If you’re more of the latter, Myo is your classic cafe experience in Cork. It’s a place of warmth, serenity, and stimulation. This beautifully decorated cafe is the kind of spot you’ll want to linger for a while. The menu revolves around organic Italian coffee that’s full and rich in flavor, herbal teas (including caffeine-packed yerba mate), and a wide array of cakes, soups, and sandwiches made in-house.
All this talking about coffee makes me want to grab a cup of my favorite brew. What’s your top pick from our list? We’d love to hear it in the comments below!