Dublin has a fantastic collection of eclectic cafes, whether you’re in need of a cosy study spot, a pick-me-up coffee or a snack between lectures. Here are some of the best places I’ve discovered in my four years studying, working and living in the city. This article was a lovely excuse to play at being a food journalist, but also a chance for me to revisit places where friendships were forged, good dates enjoyed and bad ones endured, and caffeine consumed by the gallon.

Bestseller Cafe


Sitting halfway up Dawson Street, Bestseller is a hideaway in the heart of the city. The cafe inhabits what was formerly the National Bible Society, and the books and little trinkets all over the walls give it a homely, cosy feel: like eating lunch at your very chic grandma’s house. Bring your laptop and grab yourself a coffee and complimentary mini flapjack, and you can easily lose a day there. Bestseller was a favourite haunt of mine during my college days (and still is), and with good reason: the staff are as friendly as the soup of the day is consistently delicious. Bestseller is also home to the Glass Mask Theatre Company – you can buy tickets for their next show here.


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Also on Dawson Street (take a guess at where I went to college), Beanhive are famous for their massive sandwiches, delicious smoothies, hearty cooked breakfasts and, most notably, their fabulous coffee art. As the proud recipient of a cappuccino with my face drawn in the foam, I can confirm that the novelty of the experience makes the already-delicious food taste just a little bit better. Wrap up warm though, because they’re only doing outdoor seating at the moment. And make sure you get there early – Beanhive is popular for a reason!

Metro Cafe

Metro Cafe - Dublin (43, South William Street) | William Murphy | Flickr

Unless you’ve been living under a bush you’ll have heard of Metro Cafe’s show-stopping breakfast butties and syrup-laden pancakes. There’s usually a queue going out the door and around the street, so avoid peak times on weekends unless you’re willing to wait. Metro Cafe was my go-to hangover cure in college: my best friend and I would make the bus journey in to South William Street to analyse the events of the night before in detail while munching on bacon and eggs. For a hearty brunch and a heart-to-heart, there’s no better place.


On Meath Street, this recently-opened Argentinian coffee shop is a hidden gem. They sell delicious Argentinian treats like empañadas, alfajores and all things dulce de leche. The cafe is gorgeous – all yellow and low-hanging lightbulbs – and the staff are lovely and friendly. Perfectly situated for NCAD students on a break to grab a breakfast pastry, a sandwich, or try something new.

Want to share your favourite coffee spots in the city? Email editor@oxygen.ie with your pitch.