Combine a weekend coffee run with lunch or brunch at one of these top spots …
Happily, the days of accepting substandard coffee or a slice of once frozen quiche from a local coffee shop are long gone. Many establishments within the new breed of cafés take as much pride in their food and drink offering as their neighbouring restaurants, sometimes more. Here are five places where you can expect excellent coffee, top notch food and devilishly good sweet treats.
Established Coffee, Cathedral Quarter, Belfast
Established Coffee in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast has long been THE place to go for brunch in the city. It’s known for the legendary ‘pie and drip’ which is essentially coffee and pie. Both change weekly and specials during the summer months included strawberry shortcake and a peach cobbler that would inspire you to hop on the Belfast Enterprise just to taste it. There is an excellent brunch menu for those of a more savoury persuasion, but pie and drip; yes please. Do yourself a favour and pick up a bag of their in-house roasted coffee beans while you are there too. established.coffee
Bibi’s, Emorville Avenue, Dublin 8 and Dun Laoghaire
The original Bibi’s on Emorville Avenue has long been recognised as one of the original ‘neighbourhood gems’ for its stellar offering of coffee, excellent food (pan toasties, we are looking at you) and sweet treats. The team at Bibi’s were churning out Turkish eggs long before anyone else in the city and the brownies have a legion of fans – not to mention the lemon squares. It’s a busy spot and the newest outpost in Dun Laoghaire is just as popular so be prepared to wait – it’s well worth it. www.bibis.ie
It’s all about the bread at Aran in The Marble City of Kilkenny. And the cakes, the tarts, the cookies and the pastries… In fact, anything that can be baked is baked (to a supremely high standard) at Aran. The all day brunch menu is excellent and the menu pays homage to the litany of quality food producers in the area. What’s more, a selection of the brunch dishes come with unlimited coffee for €11.50 which is very good value indeed. www.arankilkenny.ie
Two Boys Brew, Phibsboro, Dublin 7 (pictured main featured image and above)
Two Boys Brew changed the culinary landscape of the north city suburb of Phibsboro when it opened its doors in 2016. Owners Kevin and Taurean spent time in Melbourne before returning home to Ireland in 2015 and the menu is strongly influenced by the Melbourne café culture, with good coffee being the cornerstone of the offering. Suffice to say, the food lives up to the coffee and the hotcakes have become somewhat iconic in the neighbourhood. In summer, they are adorned with seasonal berries, while in the winter months, the apple crumble hotcake is a hug on a plate. www.twoboysbrew.ie
Urbanity, Smithfield, Dublin 7
Diners will be spoiled for choice at Urbanity, just off Dublin’s Smithfield Square. To give you an idea of the mouth-watering dishes that can be found on the menu: how about Korean braised short rib with black garlic yoghurt, cashew and sesame rayu, crispy shallot, pickled red chili, organic fried egg, with Tartine organic sourdough; or you could try house waffles with grilled pineapple, caramelised white chocolate ganache, lime mascarpone, toasted coconut and mint. Don’t even get us started on the sandwiches … www.urbanity.ie
Some other notable places to drink good coffee with good food are Bread 41 on Dublin’s Pearse Street, Tiller and Grain, Dublin 2, Good Day Deli in Cork, and Green Bench Café on Montague St, Dublin 2 for ALL the sausage rolls.