Limerick’s Café Culture

  • Limerick's Cafe Culture
Photo: The Buttery – Tarmo Tulit

Limerick has a vast array of unique and independent coffee shops and restaurant serving up more than your average cuppa. Our café scene has a constant supply of places that offer an experience to suit all tastes.

Café culture has taken over in Ireland in the past decade or so. Being once a nation of Barry’s and Lyons tea drinkers, the demand for coffee and other hot beverages has expanded along with our horizons.

Coffee for many of us is an experience, one that sets us up for the day, fits our mood and allows us to savour a moment. To meet the demand, local café owners have expanded their expertise to not only include a huge range and selection of hot drinks, but also focusing on the cafe experience as a whole.

Limerick people love nothing more than a cosy little place for meetings, catching up on work or just chatting with a friend. The rules are simple; good coffee made well that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and some delicious goodies to treat yourself to at the same time.

Yes, we have the big coffee chains, and they serve their purpose. But the real jewels in Limerick’s coffee crown are the array of independents, who are doing things their way. In both Limerick city and county we have some really gorgeous cafés – some new and fresh on the scene and others which have truly withstood the test of time.

Here is just a sample of the best cafés Limerick has to offer…

Bean a Ti

Bean a Tí Café and Bakery has stood, pride of place on Little Catherine Street since 1966 and since then has cemented itself as a staple in Limerick City’s café culture. It provides gorgeous, homemade baked goods that are baked on site and can be smelled a street away, drawing the footfall that makes the place buzz with energy.

They recently underwent a facelift, renovating the bakery but still keeping all the homely charm that it had all along. The bakery provides the perfect accompaniment to any cup of tea or coffee from cakes to pastries to biscuits, of course all homemade.

Bean a Ti is just one of many native Limerick cafés and it is so important that we support them wholeheartedly so that spots like this can stay for another 50 years if not more.

The Stormy Teacup

The Stormy Teacup is another well-loved, Limerick owned café that is relatively new to the city. Opening its doors in 2013, this hole-in-the-wall café is one of the cosiest spots for a quiet coffee in Limerick. The café was opened under new ownership in 2015 by Adam Reeves and since then, has really taken off, including late openings on weekends to serve as an intimate gig venue or for poetry reading nights.

They also have some of the best hot chocolate around and have a huge selection of herbal teas to work through. The Stormy Teacup really is a spot that is absolutely testament to the hard work and determination that goes into running an independent café and absolutely deserves all of the support that it can get from the people of Limerick.

The Old Fire Station

The Old Fire Station just recently opened their doors and have already garnered plenty of praise and support from the Limerick community.

They are offering dairy-free and plant-based options on their beverage list and food menus, but emphasise that they cater for all, just with an increased focus on vegan and plant-based diets. If you’re looking for some a little different from the usual café lunch selection, give this place a try.

Olio and Farina

Olio & Farina Restaurant provides a little Italian decadence, serving quality coffee you would expect from that part of the world, with outside seating to get a taste of the piazza life when the sun comes out to play. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and also cater happily for children and families.

The Sage Café

The tables fill up fast at lunchtime at The Sage Café on quirky Catherine Street, as it is the ideal place to sit outside and do a spot of people watching. Sage is famed in Limerick for its skilled baristas and coffee that is hard to beat, with healthy meal choices and wholesome homemade Irish fare to keep you going through a working or shopping afternoon.

Hook & Ladder

Hook & Ladder has led the charge in offering something a little extra with your coffee experience, allowing you to not just admire the décor and stylish home wares that make up the interior, but also to purchase them along with your coffee. There are three branches, one in the city centre, one in Corbally and one in Castletroy.

The branch on Sarsfield Street is host to Stanzas poetry evenings and many other community group events and is a real hub in the heart of the city.

The Buttery

The Buttery on Bedford Row sets itself apart with a rare ability to cater equally for daytime and evening clientele. Attention to detail is everywhere, from the quality coffee and range of teas available, to the décor and mood-enhancing live music in the evenings that perfectly compliment the venue’s modern, lively vibe.

Adare Old Creamery

Outside of the urban centre, there’s some old world village charm in Adare Old Creamery. Miss Crumpets’ Tea Room offers traditional afternoon tea in a cosy and homely setting, with warm and attentive service, delicious cakes and lace and floral china that wouldn’t be out of place in your grandparents’ house.

Chez le Fab

Chez le Fab on Arthur’s Quay is also deserving of a mention for bringing something truly unique to the city. The café and wine bar is a vintage, artistic, community conscious eclectic space that plays host to everything from dog behaviour lessons to burlesque and cabaret evenings.

We could name check many, many more wonderful Limerick cafés, but we only have limited space here, and sometimes the best experience is in the discovery. There’s a cosy café waiting around practically every corner, so take a walk and see what you can find for yourself!

Please see here for our full list of places to eat and drink in Limerick.

Article by: Ali Molloy & Kayleigh Ziolo The Limerick Magazine

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