Your Guide to the 8 Best Cafes In Galway, Ireland

Orange Barista Bus, Galway

Last updated on March 19th, 2024 at 01:20 pm

One thing I love doing when I travel is finding the best cafes in the area. I love the coziness of local cafes where I can relax with a good book or even get some work or trip planning done. While I’m not a coffee drinker, I’ve literally never had a cup of coffee in my 36 years of life; I love matcha lattes and tea. Combine my love for a good cafe with my love of Galway, and I am one happy solo traveler. These cafes in Galway are my favorite places to escape the bustle of the city or waste away a rainy morning with a pot of tea and a good book. If they offer WiFi, I even take the opportunity to catch up on a bit of work! Make sure to add these Galway cafes to your itinerary. 

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Cafes in Galway: The Secret Garden Tea Shop

The Secret Garden Tea Shop is located on a street filled with unique shops, pubs, and restaurants in the West End of Galway. Their counter is filled with various loose-leaf herbal teas and vegan sweet treats. They also have some light vegetarian dishes if you’re interested. A sign told me that there was no WiFi in this cafe, but that did not deter me when the next item on the sign offered a Matcha Latte. There are several cozy places to sit, including large armchairs and pillows on a platform surrounding a table. I ordered my matcha and settled into a cozy chair at the back of the cafe.

A group of college-aged kids smoked hookah while two girlfriends chatted on the pillows. Another guest opened up a laptop to work, I presumed, which I found strange as there wasn’t any WiFi. Then I realized not having WiFi access could make a more productive workday. One could write or edit photos without the distraction of emails or social media while enjoying a mid-afternoon treat. I opted to read a book on my Kindle while enjoying quite possibly the best matcha latte I’ve had in Europe – and I’ve tried quite a few.

The Secret Garden is also open late, until 11:00 pm. So, if you need some caffeine before heading to The Crane or Monroe’s (two of the best pubs in Galway), this is an excellent spot to caffeinate.

Address: 4 William Street West, Galway, Ireland

The Secret Garden Galway - one of the best cafes in Galway

Cafes in Galway: The Little Lane Coffee Company

Located just off of the cobblestone, pedestrian Shop Street is The Little Lane Coffee Company. A chalkboard sign offering a coffee and a pastry for $4.95 drew me to this cafe on a sunny October afternoon in Galway.

I was welcomed by a friendly owner who apologized that most of her baked goods had been sold for the day but suggested I try the chocolate cookie. She works with two local bakers who deliver fresh baked goods throughout the week, and this specific chocolate cookie had won an award at the Dingle Food Festival the weekend prior.

I paired the chocolate cookie with a Chai latte and sat at one of the tables in the outdoor seating area for a bit of people-watching. The owner didn’t mind letting me connect to the WiFi while I relaxed there, and even in front of the cafe, the signal was strong!

Perfectly spiced chai, sweet and salty chocolate cookies, strong WiFi, and a welcoming owner made for a lovely afternoon treat at The Little Lane Coffee Company.

Address: 10 Abbeygate Street Upper, Galway, Ireland

Chai and Chocolate cookie from The Little Lane Coffee Company in Galway Ireland
Chai and Chocolate cookie from The Little Lane Coffee Company

Cafes in Galway: Coffeewerk + Press

Coffeewerk + Press is in the heart of Galway City. This cafe doesn’t just make delicious drinks; it’s also a print shop with a Scandinavian design aesthetic.

I was drawn into this shop on a rainy day on my way to the Galway Museum. They have a great menu of specialty coffee, but I opted for their winter hot chocolate. This coffee shop has three floors; the first floor is where you order your drink, but there is nowhere to sit.

The second floor has a cute window seat and wrap-around bench seating with bookshelves filled with unique coffee table books. I spent about two hours sitting on the bench, looking out the window as the rain fell in the Latin Quarter and reading through their coffee table books.

The print shop is located on the third floor.

Spending a few hours in this coffee shop is one of my favorite things to do in Galway on a rainy day.

Address: 4 Quay Street, Galway, Ireland

coffeewerk+press a great cafe in Galway

Cafes in Galway: Barista Bus

On one of my runs along Salthill Promenade, I spotted an orange van parked across the road from the Blackrock diving tower with a sign that said “Tea, Coffee, Hot chocolate!” This sign decidedly ended my run as I had to see what other goodies were on the menu at The Barista Bus.

Tom sets up his mobile coffee shop on wheels daily here, offering coffee, a wide selection of teas, and treats! As it’s just a van, there isn’t anywhere to sit or WiFi, but take your coffee or tea with you as you walk along Galway Bay, or sit on a bench and enjoy a sunny day!

Update: Since my last visit, there has been a bit of trouble with the Barista Bus being allowed to park near Blackrock Diving Tower. As such, their location may has. Follow their Instagram account for updates.

Address: Nile Lodge, Lower Salthill

Orange Barista Bus, Galway. A Galway coffee shop on wheels

Cafes in Galway: The Jungle Cafe

The Jungle Cafe came to my rescue once I finally pulled myself together after a hard night in the Galway pubs.

I strolled in around 2:00 pm, trying to order breakfast, which they stopped serving at noon. But the waitress was friendly enough to ask the chef anyway, possibly sensing my dismay in my hangover disarray.

I quickly recovered and ordered a mixed berry smoothie and the fig and prosciutto sandwich, which cost a fair price of €13, and took my seat at a table outside.

Most of the seating is outside, with oversized comfortable chairs towards the back surrounded by large green plants; you’d almost think you were in the jungle if the weather was just a tad warmer.

My food quickly arrived, and I was shocked at how large my sandwich was, with fresh chunks of figs, plenty of prosciutto, and melty cheese on a toasted bun. And the mixed berry smoothie was exactly what I needed to get rid of the last bits of my hangover.

This is one of Galway’s best places to eat, especially if you’re on a budget.

The Jungle Cafe is excellently located in the heart of the city near Eyre Square and the bus station, so it’s the perfect spot if you’re coming or going and need a quick bite or, of course, to bring you back to life after, an epic Galway night.

Address: 29 Forster Street, Galway, Ireland

Jungle Cafe, Galway, Ireland. A great place for lunch in Galway.

Cafes in Galway: Kali Coffee Bar

On my last trip to Galway, I was heading for a morning walk along Salthill Prom. I’d just arrived from the States the day prior, which I’d spent listening to live music in O’Connor’s Pub. As I pulled myself from my bunk bed in the Nest Galway hostel (my favorite place to stay in Galway), I needed a caffeine fix along with that fresh sea air from Salthill Prom. 

I stopped at Kali Coffee Bar and was immediately greeted by friendly staff and an inviting ambiance. They’re known for making great flat whites; they even offer an espresso-tasting menu. I also opted for a chai tea and one of their morning buns, which was also delicious. 

If you’re in the Salthill neighborhood, this is a great place to stop for great coffee and lovelier people.

Address: 133 Upper Salthill Rd

Kali Coffee Bar in Galway, Ireland

Cafes in Galway: Ard Bia at Nimmos

One of my favorite places to eat breakfast in Galway is Ard Bia at Nimmos. This small cafe in an iconic location offers a simple menu of delicious food beyond the Spanish Arch on the Long Walk. The cozy interior creates a relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy some of the best food in Galway. They also have unique gifts that are perfect for the foodie in your life. 

The staff is warm and welcoming as well. They’re happy to answer any questions about the menu and provide expert recommendations. 

​Ard Bia also has a dinner service, which I have yet to experience, but it’s on the list!

Address: Ard Bia at Nimmos, Spanish Arch, Long Walk

Ard Bia at Nimmos breakfast in Galway, Ireland

Cafes in Galway: Kai Cafe + Restaurant

This list would not be complete without mentioning Kai Cafe. Kai Cafe is one of the best restaurants in Galway and a popular dinner spot if you can secure a reservation. It’s the perfect place in Galway for a late lunch and afternoon cup of tea.

Their food menu changes daily, serving only what is in season from local producers.

I first visited Kai Cafe for lunch on my very first solo trip and had a lovely salad and pot of tea. I recently returned and stopped in again, but only a mid-afternoon dessert and tea.

Each time, I was thoroughly pleased with the quality of the food and the great atmosphere they cultivated.

It’s definitely a spot that is not to be missed in Galway!

Address: 22 Sea Road, Galway, Ireland

Pastry Counter at Kai Cafe one of the best cafes in Galway
Pastry Counter at Kai Cafe

During my most recent trip, I did my best to visit as many Galway cafes as possible! Some that I visited did not make the list due to poor service and quality of food. What I like the most about the cafes that made the cut is they are unique establishments and not part of a chain, which makes them feel a bit cozier. I hope you can visit a few of these cafes during your time in Galway. If I missed any cafes, please let me know so I can visit the next time I’m there!

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