I wanted to do a blog post on my favorite places to go for a coffee in Cork city and County. There’s something about the experience of having a good coffee in a unique/quirky café rather than a franchise that is so enjoyable and Cork is full of some great spots that you can try out. Don’t get me wrong I do sometimes enjoy a Starbucks (especially now that they dairy alternatives like coconut milk) but usually the vibe is more impersonal, you could be anywhere in the world. So here’s a list of places in Cork city & County where I like to have a coffee and sometimes a bite to eat:
1. Hassetts, Carrigaline (http://www.hassettsbakery.ie/)
I go here with my friends for a catch-up whenever I’m home and love the place. The coffee is good, staff are nice and rarely change. For all you sweet-tooths the selection of different cakes and pastries is fantastic. Saturday’s are their busiest day and it can be hard to get a table so get there early to beat the lunch time rush.
2. Camden Fort, Crosshaven (http://www.camdenfortmeagher.ie/)
This place is one of Cork’s best kept secrets in my opinion. You can enjoy lunch and a coffee from the heights of Camden Fort with panoramic views of Cork harbour. Sandwiches are made fresh & delivered everyday by Hassetts bakers and afterwards you can enjoy a stroll around the massive fort (it’s like a mini-town) which is having ongoing restoration work completed.
3. Ballyseedy Garden Centre, Carrigtwohill (http://www.ballyseedy.ie/ballyseedy-cork)
This is a nice place to go on a Sunday with friends or family – if I go it’s usually with my parents! The restaurant/coffee shop is located within the garden centre and there is a clothing and home-ware section from Meadows & Byrne that is always worth checking out.
4. Bookshelf Café, 78 South Mall, Cork City (https://www.facebook.com/TheBookshelfCoffeeHouse)
After hearing a lot about this place I finally managed to pop in for a visit about a month ago. The coffee tastes great, staff and super friendly and if you want to purchase some coffee to take home they will grind it for you. If you’re lucky to get a window seat you can look out and watch the world go by on the South Mall.
5. Cork Coffee Roasters (http://www.corkcoffee.com/)
There are 2 Cork Coffee Roasters in Cork City, one on French Church Street and the other on Patrick’s Bridge. Coffee is great in both of them and the staff cheerful and friendly. The Patrick’s Bridge café is bigger however on French St there’s loads of outdoor seating and usually if you’re there on a Saturday the atmosphere is great.
6. Fellini’s Tea Rooms, French Church Street, Cork City
This is another gem within the city centre also located on French Church St. If quirky art deco/vintage interiors are your thing then you’ll love this place. They serve their hot chocolate with marshmallows in a mini-carafe…so cute!
7. On The Pigs Back, Douglas (http://www.onthepigsback.ie/)
The Pigs Back started out as a cheese and charcuterie stall in the English market many moons ago and now their produce is stocked in supermarkets all around the country. I worked in their restaurant in Douglas in 2013 for about 3 months, a place initially set up to produce their famous pâtés. 3 years on the restaurant has expanded and everything from wine receptions and set-dancing to sing-songs and art exhibitions are organized and held throughout the year.
8. Alchemy, Barracks Street, Cork City (https://www.facebook.com/Alchemy-Coffee-and-Books-375457815953898/)
I haven’t been here yet but this place is numero uno on my bucket list! Located on Barrack Street, the upcoming hipster area of Cork City, there are loads of books in the café that you can read while you enjoy your coffee. Also they serve their coffee in conical flasks that you would find in a chemistry lab – so cute!