Two days after moving to Dublin, Ireland, I met Katie, who would become one of my best friends for the three months I spent abroad. During those three months, we made it our mission to try out a different tea shop every week, and we quickly dubbed these weekly meet-ups “Tea Times” where we would share stories from our different schools, classes, and friends, all while enjoying a cup (or, as is custom in most tea shops, a full pot) of tea. And what’s a cup of tea without a classic scone to go with it? After twelve tea shops, many pots of tea, and a dozen scones later, here are some of our favorite spots to have a lovely afternoon tea.
Queen of Tarts
There is no way to make a list of Dublin’s best tea shops without including this little gem, located five minutes from the CEA center and right next to Temple Bar. As the name implies, they are famous for their tarts and cakes, but you can’t go wrong with their tea either. They use cute mismatched china, and if you’re lucky, you can sit upstairs and overlook the entire shop and the giant display of cakes, tarts, and muffins. One of my favorite items is the Queen’s Delight, which includes an entire pot of tea per person and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, accompanied by a massive fruit scone and their homemade clotted cream and jam. YUM! Out of all the scones we tried, these were by far the largest and one of our favorites, and this little shop quickly became my go-to café for lunch, tea, and dessert.
This spunky little café is found a little further outside the city and is called Dublin’s best-kept secret for a reason. The shop itself is pretty small, but outside is a super cute, private sitting area that made it feel like we were chatting on a backyard patio. This shop had some more unique tea flavors, and after trying a lemon thyme one, it became my favorite cup of tea I had the entire semester! It’s a great place to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and is still only a short walk from the city center.
If you google "best scones in Dublin," chances are this shop will come up at the top. Although their tea selection is a little more limited to the classics, they make up for it in the amazing selection of unique scones and muffins. I had a vanilla pear scone with homemade jam and a cup of fruit tea, and it was delicious! With the variety of flavors and the perfectly baked, crispy-on-top scones, this tied in our scorebook for number one along with Queen of Tarts, and neither of us could decide which one we liked better. Since it is close to Temple Bar, it can be quite crowded, but it’s worth the busyness to stop by and grab a cup of tea and a pastry before heading to work or school.
Lastly, I have to include this cute little coffee and tea shop, partly because it’s right across the street from CEA and the international business school I attended. I stopped by here maybe too often, but the quiet downstairs area, friendly staff, and giant pots of tea made it hard to resist. Oh, and the cronuts. These amazing little pastries are basically donuts made out croissant dough, and they are to die for. The selection of tea here is also a little more limited, but I loved the fact that I could get an entire pot of tea and then just keep filling up my mug, and it made four cups! This was also great for long conversations or study times where I could have hot tea the entire time. Pair this with a Nutella M&M cronut, and it’s the perfect combo. I spent countless hours here, and it quickly became one of my go-to spots.
Brianna Bence studied abroad with CEA during the Spring 2019 semester and is currently a student at Cedarville University.