Whatever your reasoning - an office escape or a freelancer needing company - more of us are on the lookout for social places to set up shop. For me, the essentials are a guarantee of good coffee, a warm welcome, a call to creativity and of course wifi helps. Coffeehouses have been providing us with a creative social space since they first emerged in cities in the 17th century when people met there for conversation and commerce, and it’s great that so many spots, especially the independents, are reverting back to their origins as meeting places and creative environments to sit, sip, observe and get some work done. These are some of my favourite places to head to when deadlines are looming...
Network Cafe, 39 Aungier St, Dublin 2
This under the radar Aungier Street cafe is a gem of a find for working in. It’s a small enough space but wonderfully designed right down to how your spoon sits with your cup and there are plenty of spots to perch with your laptop, my favourite being the bench in the window. The team are super friendly but you can chat as much or as little as you want. They always have excellent coffee, featuring rotating guest roasters, brilliantly made. For morning visits the porridge is a must try and during the day keep yourself fueled with their enticing food menu and delectable Nutshed treats. There is good wifi and they open 7 days a week.
Shoe Lane Coffee, 7 Tara Street, Dublin 2
Coffee shops by train stations are worthy knowledge but Shoe Lane Coffee, located just by Tara Street, is also worthy for the coffee alone. They serve Full Circle, a local roasted bean, well made. It’s easy to feel at home here, the charming interiors are decked out with beautiful vintage wood and there are old Singer sewing machines and shoe making paraphernalia scattered around, a nod to the buildings shoe making past. The light filled down stairs space has a few seats but head upstairs for a workers dream, long bench seats and a large communal table, with good wifi and power points. They also helpfully open at 6.30 during the week for early birds and there are pastries galore and light food available to keep you going.
Vice Coffee, 54 Middle Abbey St, Dublin 1
Vice Coffee is Dublin's best and worst kept coffee secret - I’m always surprised if someone doesn’t know where it is as it’s probably my favourite coffee in the city. They rotate a mix of Irish & international roasters and craft wonderful flat whites and filters. There is plenty of seating in the coffee shop cum bar (it was once Twisted Pepper nightclub) comfy booth seats, wifi and spot on music. It can be busy, there is a constant stream of regulars during the day, but find a place and you can melt into the background and soak up the busy buzz. There’s a divine toastie menu and plenty of pretty treats to keep you going.
Science Gallery Cafe, Trinity College, Dublin 2
The simple act of being in a gallery and on the grounds of Trinity can get the creative juices flowing for me. It helps that there is great coffee and bright ample seating in the modern, white space. It’s the home of Cloud Picker coffee, roasted down the road in Sheriff Street, so the coffee is well thought out. They have an extensive menu for breakfast and lunch, sandwiches, salads and fresh stone baked pizza using local and seasonal ingredients. The cafe is entirely glass on one side so it’s flooded with natural light, there are lots of options for seating and plenty of scope for people watching and wifi.
Laine My Love, 38 Talbot Street, Dublin 1
Tucked away under the train bridge on Talbot street is coffee haven Laine, My Love. The wistful name matches the ethereal interiors, it’s a clean white space dotted with delicate flowers and baked goods that look like they are straight from the pages of Kinfolk. The coffee dreamy too, coming from Roasted Brown and it's well crafted by the busy baristas. It is a busy spot, and not much seating, so off peak visits are recommended but if you like to work with business around it’s the perfect place to perch on a high stool or nab a window seat and get stuck in. There are bright salads, sandwiches and plenty of tasty morsels on the menu too.
Clement & Pekoe, 50 South William St, Dublin 2
I think of this like the library of coffee shops, perhaps because there are always plenty of books piled around, hushed tones and when you order your drinks you are given a page of a book with a country marked on it. I find it’s a great place to concentrate or day dream. They don’t have wifi but this is an ideal place for creative work meetings. The walls are adorned with local artists portraits, crafty looking tables and chairs and as well as great coffee they probably have the best selection of loose leaf tea in town with one for everyone mood and taste. Sometimes being surrounded by creative, arty types is all that’s needed to get some work done and maybe a Turkish apple tea...
Blas Cafe, 26 Kings Inns Street, Dublin 1
Neatly tucked away on the corner of Kings Inn Street, Blas Cafe, is hard to stumble upon but a great find. Housed in Dublin’s first ever concrete building, the bright industrial chic cafe serves wonderful modern cafe food throughout the day, good coffee and there is plenty of space. Grab a cosy seat and settle in, the cafe is on the ground floor of the uber cool Chocolate Factory Studios so there are plenty of creatives knocking around giving the cafe that extra edge. Breakfast is good here and the lunch time Po-boy sandwich is an essential order and there's plenty of sweet stuff for afternoon slumps.