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31st May 2024

10 of the best outdoor seating cafés in Dublin


Moments don’t get much better than reaching for a cup of coffee when the sun is shining down upon you.

Summer is back y’all. We’re choosing to ignore the 5 rainy days for the 2 days a week where it’s giving actual summer vibes because winter has gone on too long. If you’re anything like us, then you’ll want to squeeze the most sunshine out of every sunny day possible, which includes soaking up the rays when you’re having your coffee or your daily sweet treat.

With covid restrictions, many Dublin businesses explored their outdoor dining capabilities, and thankfully some of them (with DCC playing ball) have been able to keep them on. Dublin is slowly jumping on the European bandwagon of fully incorporating outdoor seating into their businesses, and we say it’s about time! A coffee in the sun, eyes closed, maybe some earphones in – hard to beat. Let’s manifest the good weather by having a look at the best outdoor seating cafes that are already available in the city:

10. One Kinda Folk

28A Dartmouth Rd, Dublin 6 more info here

We’re starting as we wish to go on with this one. One Kinda Folk has two locations, one in Dublin 4 and one in Dublin 6. Our personal preference for outdoor seating is its Ranelagh-based spot. Upon entry, you’re welcomed into an adorably quaint courtyard, surrounded by greenery known as “the secret garden“. This hidden gem is everything you’d want on a sunny day — staff are friendly, coffee is high quality, and there’s a variety of baked goods available too. If you want our personal recommendation, opt for the matcha latte.

The outdoor seating is more limited than some of the others on this list, with just some simple benches lining the outside of the little hatch. Only a stone’s throw away from the canal, both the cafe and its surrounding area are lovely. If the benches are full, you can take your coffee to the waterfront, which we think makes it more than worthy of securing a spot on the list.

9. Caffe Cagliostro

Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin 1, more info here

Anyone who prides themselves on being a real coffee drinker might already know this next stop on our list. Tucked away in the heart of the Italian quarter, Caffe Cagliostro opened all the way back in 2004 and since then has become renowned for its phenomenal Italian coffee. Weather permitting you can sit at one of the many tables outside and find yourself surrounded by the romantic Italian language, as it’s a regular go-to for Italians who find themselves over here. Feel free to roleplay a tourist who’s found themselves at a local cafe in a little Italian piazza (because that’s what we do).

The authenticity of the place is undeniable. It has almost an entirely Italian staff, and Italian native Chef Domenico Santo oversees the cafe’s baked goods. They source their beans from “small Italian producers” and after you’ve had an espresso here, you might start thinking of yourself as something of a coffee connoisseur.

8. Two Pups Coffee

74 Francis Street, Dublin 8, more info here

We’ve got a 2-in-1 with this one. A great spot if you’re looking for a meal alongside your coffee. Their menu is pretty eclectic, with a range of traditional dishes like breakfast baps, to more creative options like beetroot Turkish eggs. The coffee is great too, but this place’s vibes definitely make it stand out. Most of the time there’s an upbeat bustle about the place, and the staff all seem to have good banter with each other. As a past hospitality worker – we love to see staff having a good time at work. It’s chill, friendly and laid back, which has made it a bit of a haven for Dublin’s hipsters (but get ready to pay hipster prices, unfortunately).

The outdoor seating accommodates people who can’t get enough of the sun, and their vampire counterparts who seek darkness and shade. With tables both underneath and outside the awning, you have options for whatever the Irish Summer throws at you.

7. The Morning Bakery

50 Pleasants St, Dublin 8, more info here

It feels a bit cheeky to have this beloved cafe here as the outdoor seating is quite limited, but boy is it a suntrap when you can get it. However, the pastries are so yum that we’d be willing to sit on the curb if necessary (which people do!), so we think it deserves a place on our list. They have a seriously impressive range of savoury and sweet baked goods, with new options coming in daily. It’s a creative bakery in its approach, with the bakers on board trying new things all the time, so you’ll never get bored of the place.

There are only about two or three tables outside the little spot, but its humble size creates a kind of intimate communal vibe, and it’s normal to see chairs dotted around the footpath. Its location sees a lot of office workers, so the customer turnover is fast-moving – if there’s not a seat when you first get there, it shouldn’t take too long for one to open up. The bottom line is their baked goodies are so good you’ll be entirely unaware of your surroundings anyway, so don’t worry too much about where you’ll sit.

6. La Pausa Caffé

1B Blessington St, Dublin 7, more info here

If you’re on O’Connell Street looking to sit somewhere that’s not cripplingly dull and grey, walk a few minutes north and find yourself at one of the cutest cafés that side of the river, with some equally cute drinks as well. From floor to ceiling the place is colourful and covered in artwork, so there’s lots to have a goo at while you’re waiting for your order. If you’ve had enough of the pretentiousness of black coffee, La Pausa Caffe offers its customers an almost endless (and fun!) drink menu. Smoothies, milkshakes, flavoured hot chocolates and coffees, frappes, and a whole list of teas you’ve never heard of, this place has something for even the most adventurous beverage drinker.

Their outdoor seating is a reliable option for Ireland’s unreliable weather, with an awning that’s closed when it’s sunny and opened when it’s not. It’s a busy enough area which makes it a great people-watching spot, and it’s nicely spaced out so you don’t feel like you’re going to touch elbows with the person next to you when you lift your cup.

5. The Cheeky Piglet

Fumbally Square, Dublin 8, more info here

A bit of a hidden gem, this little cafe could be walked right past if you weren’t looking. Snuggled into a quaint courtyard overlooking St Patrick’s Cathedral, The Cheeky Piglet is an all-rounder, offering coffee and food, and even some alcoholic beverages (because on sunny days it’s hard to stay on the wagon). It was awarded a Restaurant Guru recommendation last year, and if you’ve been there this won’t be surprising. They’ve perfected their classic breakfast/brunch menu, and are one of the few places that provides a full Irish breakfast actually worth the ever-rising Dublin prices. Their coffee menu is similar – focuses on the classics – but they’re good at what they do.

Their outdoor seating is much bigger than you usually get in the city centre, which always deserves some kudos. Like some of the others on the list, there’s seating for all customers regardless of how much trust you’re willing to put in the Irish weather, with both covered and uncovered outdoor seating available.

4. Metro Cafe

43 William St S, Dublin 2, more info here

What would an outdoor seating cafe list be without old reliable? Serving young adults who’ve just found out about rollies for the last 26 years, Metro cafe is an outdoor seating OG. It’s another cafe that relies mainly on its atmosphere for brownie points, as its coffee and pastry menu is quite simple. The exterior mimics a Parisian-style cafe, with its iconic red and white striped awnings. It’s probably the best people-watching spot on this list because you’ll see people from just about every inch of Dublin passing by. The tables are very close together, so while not the spot for an intimate conversation, on days when the sun is out it’s one of the more fun and buzzy spots for a coffee in the city centre.

3. Il Valentino

Gallery Quay, Dublin 2, more info here

Another taste of Italy here. Il Valentino has it all, great view, great coffees, great pastries. Situated on Grand Canal Dock, you can have your coffee overlooking the waterfront. They take the quality of their outputs very seriously, priding themselves on their Arabica blend coffee beans that “features in some of the most iconic temples of Italian coffee culture”. They also make their croissants from scratch, every day — so if you’re looking to really embody that dolce vita lifestyle, you’ll want to hit this place up.

Their outdoor seating is relatively large, and the clientele is a gorgeous mix of people, from visitors, locals and folks heading to the nearby Bord Gas Theatre for some culture. Whether you are going along, or heading with friends or family, it’s a friendly atmosphere for anyone who walks through the door.

2. Tram Cafe

Bride St, Dublin 8, more info here

This one is a humble mention. It’s a chain, but we’re recommending the location above. A peaceful spot, both aesthetically and ambience-wise. Located in the corner of St. Patrick’s Park, it’s an ideal spot for anyone who wants to enjoy a simple coffee surrounded by nature – without having to trekk halfway across St. Stephen’s green and ending up with a watered-down iced latte, or a lukewarm Americano. It’s one of the best spots to quietly soak up summer’s rays, with a pretty spacious outdoor seating plan that facilitates privacy, so it’s a safe bet whether you’re having a gossip with a friend, or cosying up to a book.

Again, it relies mostly on its location for a spot on this list, as its coffee and pastries are relatively average. But this list isn’t about the best coffee in the city, it’s about the best outdoor seating, which is why we advise you not to let the below prestige coffee scare you off.

1. Cake Cafe

The Daintree Building, Dublin 2, more info here

Finally, a not so hidden, hidden gem here (thanks TikTok). The Cake cafe has done a great job at combining a lot of the features of others on this list and producing one adorable little unassuming spot. Its quirky location, hiding behind a bookshop, paired with its mismatched tables and wildly growing shrubbery, makes for a super cute coffee experience. Hence their name, they serve a whole bunch of delicious cakes that are baked in-store, whose flavours change all the time. The whole vibe, including the staff, is easygoing and offers shaded and sun-facing seating. The decor is very homey, and it kind of feels like you’re having a coffee in your granny’s backyard – right down to the tablecloths that don’t match (although if it was your granny’s you’d be getting bigger slices of cake).

Header image via caffecagliostrodublin, metrocafedublin, two_pups_coffee on Instagram

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