16 Flat Whites Done Right – Ireland’s Best Specialty Coffee Shops

In the shadow of McDonalds’s latest creative, yet disingenuous, IMHO, ad campaign to promote their high-volume, cheap consumer coffee offering – the ad that denigrates the independent, specialty coffee experience that Irish coffee lovers should be so rightly proud of – it’s time to take a stand and call it out for what it is: a cynical act of misappropriation.

By trying to satirise and belittle the culture, they’ve also tried to appropriate it – from the natty Madness soundtrack, to the Insta-esque production quality – all of which is very telling. Granted, it’s a very clever TV spot, but that’s what a global marketing budget of billions gets you: a direct line into indie culture through the back door. It does not, however, give you ownership of the truth, as has been seen with Mango Mussolini’s attempted spewing of alternative facts across the Atlantic in recent months.

The fake news peddled here, by donning the very stylistic tropes it hopes to disparage, is that supporting small, indie coffee guys is a pain when it’s absolutely not, supporting the small guys should be a source of pride, since in doing so you are supporting jobs, home-grown talent and pushing forward that hard-won reputation that Dublin, in particular, is now a great coffee city that can kick it with the very best of them.

So, just in case you didn’t know about the real coffee heroes already, here are some of the best independent places in Dublin, and beyond, to sip a cup worth waking up to this weekend.

1. Coffeeangel, various locations, Dublin city;
Karl Purdy’s is the only coffee chain whose door you should ever darken.

2. Love Supreme, Stoneybatter;
Clean and pristine – minimalist interiors and a consistently velvety flat white.

3. Proper Order, Smithfield Square; @ProperOrder_
Friendly staff with a great and geeky coffee pedigree.

4. The Fumbally, Clanbrassil Street;
More of a lifestyle than a café … but the coffee is always perfect.

5. Vice Coffee, Abbey Street;
One of the originals, serving up specialty Square Mile beans with aplomb.

6. Laine, my Love, Talbot Street, Dublin 1;
The some say terribly-named, spot from Fergal Brown of Roasted Brown.

7. 3fe, Grand Canal Street Lower, Dublin 2;
A trailblazer on the Dublin scene. Always impeccable brews.

8. Kaph, Drury Street, Dublin 2;
The only window to be seen in on Drury Street.

9. Established, Hill Street, Belfast;
Enthusiastic and independent, a must-visit in Belfast city.

10. Canteen, Mallow Street, Limerick;
The food is just as good as the excellent coffee offering in this Limerick favourite.

11. Coffeewerk + Press, Quay Street, Galway;
A really cool craft shop and the best coffee in the City of the Tribes.

12. Clement & Pekoe, South William Street, Dublin 2;
Superb teas, and just-as-brilliant coffee in a calming, WiFi-free space.

13. TwoFifty Square, Rathmines, Dublin 6;
Knowledgeable baristas, roasters and one of the best cold brew selections in town.

14. Oxmantown, Mary’s Abbey, Dublin 1;
Dublin’s friendliest staff, best sandwiches, finest people-watching and some of the best flat whites around.

15. Two Boys Brew, 375 North Circular Road, Dublin 7;
New kid on the Phibsborough block, churning out well-made brilliance, daily.

16. Filter, George’s Quay, Cork
Charming staff and a delicious rotating coffee roster.

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