Back to School Breakfasts & Brews – The Best Cafés For Parents in Dublin

While the colder evenings and shorter days signify the end of the summer, it’s the hordes of school children with books in hand that also makes us say goodbye to summer. To quote my favourite TV show: “Winter Is Coming”.

Busy parents are packing school bags, making lunches and dropping their budding geniuses to school. It’s a tough job, it’s a tiring job, it’s a job that needs one thing…coffee.

Coffee culture has thrived in all corners of our little island. Long gone are the days of simple black coffees or worse, instant coffee from a tin.

These days, we are a nation of cappuccino converts and latte lovers. We know that many of you, much like ourselves, need an essential caffeine hit to start the day (especially if you have little ones to look after). So with that in mind, we have put together a list of some of the best places to grab a coffee during your school run.

Union Café – Mount Merrion

Open from 8.00am every day, Union Café is on hand to supply you with your essential caffeine hit, along with freshly baked pastries and savoury snacks. If you’re avoiding temptation and opting for a healthier choice, there are plenty of squeezed juices and flavourful salads to keep you satisfied.

Enjoy Poached Eggs with Spinach, Asparagus and Tomatoes or for an indulgent treat, Eggs Benedict with Baked Ham. If you have the little ones in tow they will be well-fed with the kid’s breakfast priced at just €5.95 with freshly squeezed orange juice included – happy faces all around.

The Fumbally – Dublin 8

It’s true that using good ingredients can make simple things spectacular. That’s the mentality at The Fumbally, using organic whole milk from The Village Dairy and coffee roasted by 3fe and The Coffee Collective.

The breakfast menu changes according to seasonality and is very much designed by the staff themselves. Buying local and organic wherever possible, they also experiment in fermenting and making all of their own drinks.

They even make their own sunflower milk for those looking for a dairy-free alternative. The Fumbally is open from 8.00am Tuesday to Friday so head on down for a stellar cup of coffee.

Happy Out – Bull Island

Need an escape from the bustle of the city? Head out to Bull Island for gorgeous views and coffee to match. As the only café on Bull Island, Happy Out isn’t hard to miss, but if you do, just look out for an old shipping container that has been lovingly restored.

Happy Out is the passion project of uncle and nephew team, Karl McCullagh and Brian Hanratty.

Open from 9.00am, snack on gooey cheese toasties and fresh coffee while you chill out in the sea breeze in this deadly laid-back escape.

Fuel Café – Clontarf

We loved the coffee here on our recent review. A small but perfectly formed coffee shop in Clontarf, Fuel serves up tasty wholesome meals designed to keep you fit and healthy.

But don’t worry, there’s also some sweet treats available too albeit with a healthy twist – I love the vegan and dairy-free Fudge Slice!

When you’re really feeling the mid-day slump, try Fuel’s bulletproof coffee – this will definitely put a pep in your step. Open from 8.00am Monday to Friday and 9.00am on weekends, you can grab a coffee to go, stroll along the seafront and take in the views of Dublin City and the iconic Poolbeg towers.

Two Boys Brew – Phibsborough

Open from 7.30am on weekdays, Two Boys Brew know that some people, myself included, need our coffee strong and early! It can be hard to find a café that does great coffee and equally good food but at TBB they have it down to a fine art.

A favourite TBB breakfast of mine is the Coconut Granola with Roast Pineapple, Pomegranate and Sweet Mirco Basil.

It’s not an uncommon sight to see a queue out the door full of dedicated brunch-goers and trust me, it’s worth the wait – read our review here.

Coffee Works – Lucan

Run by father and son Tristan and Graeme Camper, Coffee Works café is serving up some of the best coffee in West Dublin. Open weekdays from 7.30am, there is no shortage of freshly roasted coffee, using beans from micro-roasters such as Baobab, PS Coffee Roasters and Dull Circle Roasters.

Enjoy your deliciously roasted coffee beans with baked treats from Arun Bakery and The Cupcake Bloke.

Fia Café – Dublin 6

Open from 8.00am, Fia is a great little spot if you’re looking for a simple meal with great coffee. Choose from overnight oats, granola and eggs or melting Gubbeen cheese toasties.

Using as much local Irish produce as possible, you’ll see familiar names such as McCarthy’s Black Pudding, Toonsbridge Halloumi and Gubbeen Meats.

On weekends, Fia serves a tempting brunch menu also. You can read our review on Fia here.

Five Points – Harold’s Cross

This joint venture between Adam Sheridan and 3fe is open Monday to Friday from 7.30am, perfect for you early birds who crave good coffee.

Executive chef Hilary O’Hagan Brennan has created a fantastic menu that is far more exciting than you would expect to find in a coffee shop. Feast on dishes like Smoked Bacon Rarebit with beautiful pickled vegetables.

On weekends, Five Points open at 9.00am so you can have a lie in before you stumble on down and perhaps buy a bag of 3fe coffee beans that line the walls inside. Read our review on Five Points here.

Shaggy Dog Coffee – Sandyford

Who doesn’t love enjoying a leisurely stroll with a piping hot cup of coffee? Shaggy Dog Coffee provides exactly that. It is a mobile speciality coffee truck overlooking Dublin city from Cruagh Woods.

This former ambulance has been transformed into a caffeine heaven that can drive off to supply coffee lovers with their daily fix. While it might not technically be on the school route as Shaggy Dogs moves around during the week, it’s an ideal pit stop for the weekends when you’re dropping the little ones off to their weekend activities.

For those days when you need a good strong coffee and a revitalising walk, Shaggy Dog has got you covered. Get back to nature and enjoy the picturesque views of the woodlands as you stroll with your preferred coffee in hand.

Andersons – Drumcondra

With two locations you can choose between, Andersons has a Food Hall & Café in Glasnevin and a creperie in Drumcondra. Enjoy savoury galettes made with organic buckwheat flour.

The menu features culinary delights such as Goat’s Cheese and Grilled Peppers or the Breakfast Galette that will certainly set you up for the day.

If you still have an appetite after your delicious galette, enjoy a sweet crepe of Roasted Pears, Pecan Nuts, Mascarpone, Salted Caramel and Fresh Cream.

McMahon’s – Glasnevin

Located on Botanic Avenue, McMahon’s is in an unbeatable position. Just a stone’s throw away from the picturesque Botanical Gardens, you can order your coffee and wander around the beautiful gardens.

If you’re feeling peckish, try one of their freshly made salads – the superfood salad is ideal when you need a pick me up, or enjoy homemade soups and sandwiches.

To satisfy your sweet tooth, try one of McMahon’s baked pastries, cookies or cakes and take a seat in the pretty café and watch the world go by.

Bear Market Coffee – Blackrock

The interior of Bear Market Coffee is filled with hand build furniture and timber tables, giving it a relaxed contemporary feel. The cool interiors have their magic sprinkled on them by the former architecture students turned coffee shop owners.

Serving up speciality coffee in three locations (you can get your Bear Market fix on Pembroke Street and the IFSC too) you can grab a rich cortada, a freshly baked pastry and enjoy a little me time.

You may even bump into a few famous faces while you’re there as Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds popped in for a pick-me-up while in Dublin recently.

Salt, Avoca – Monkstown

The Salt Café is open weekdays from 9.00am offering homemade breakfasts of organic eggs, granola with berry compote and hearty porridge made with almond milk and pecan nuts.

Avoca Monkstown features exclusively food so you know you’re in for a culinary treat with many tasty options under one roof.

Sip and nibble away in this peaceful café away from the hectic city and enjoy some essential me time.


Sinéad is a Culinary Arts graduate from DIT. She is a passionate cook with a love of fine dining and modern Irish cuisine. A gin lover, Sinéad loves seeking out cosy new pubs and sampling a variety of craft beers.

If she’s not dining out, Sinéad loves travelling the world exploring new cultures and cuisines. Working with TheTaste allows Sinéad to fully immerse herself in the Irish food industry.

Sinead Smyth Sinead Smyth

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