Imagine hiking for miles and miles, due west until your feet meet the sea, and there where the mountains embrace the waves, sits a little blue café; a coffee oasis at the edge of the world.
At the extremity of Europe’s outstretching hand, in the most westerly town of Ireland, there, too, is good coffee.
Before I further introduce this charming cafe, I have a some travelling advice for whomever wishes to venture around Ireland: for first-time travelers in search of a good time, staying in Dublin would be your safest bet, maybe even visiting Cork or Galway if you’re feeling extra adventurous. But for the seasoned traveler, take a bold step past the big cities and continue west, towards the prettiest peninsula in the world. Here, hidden behind the mountains, is where you will find a little harbour-front town, Ireland’s best-kept secret: Dingle. Once there, you will finally understand why people around the world gush about Ireland’s exquisite beaut, and I don’t just mean the people.
Like any best-kept secret, everyone eventually learns about it and henceforth, Dingle has become captive to the comings and goings of tourists, and has inevitably adopted two seasons of tourism: bustling summers & ghost town winters. During the bustling summer of 2017, Steven & Amy decided to completely throw themselves into the deep end. While most first-time entrepreneurs tend to dip a pinky toe in the business pool before jumping in, this young Irish duo thought, “It’s now or never!” And so, lies their chic little café: My Boy Blue, nestled among the centuries-old pubs and brightly painted shops of Dingle.
Quality of Service:
Once inside the café, there’s no denying that #TeamMyBoyBlue is top notch. Warmth radiates from the front of house while energy permeates the back of house. Amy’s smile draws you into the cafe and lights up the entire room, and Steven’s expertly poured, rosetta-topped cappuccinos warm your soul and brightens your day. Meanwhile in the kitchen, mischief is managed by co-chefs Jack and Dave. Mischief comes in the form of I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E. finger-lickin’ American-inspired food, of course, with a tip of the hat to Irish cuisine. After visiting plenty of third-wave cafes over the past year, I was at the point where seeing [yet another] avocado toast on the menu would have brought me to tears. Nonetheless, the menu of My Boy Blue brought me to tears… of absolute relief, reassuring me that café food can indeed be inventive and exciting. It goes without saying, these four make up an unforgettable team.
Quality of Product:
To give you an idea of what My Boy Blue has to offer your belly, several locals that I chatted with refer to this café as: “The place with the best pancakes ever,” and MBB’s Instagram seems to backup this ode to flapjacks. I could kick myself because I didn’t get a chance to try these best pancakes ever, however, their cranberry brie grilled cheese and their potato leek soup were divine. Both entrées were paired with fresh artisanal bread from a scratch bakery a few doors down: Bácús Bakery. Created with inspiration from whichever locally-sourced products are in season, their menu has something for everyone, including incredible cauliflower tacos for vegetarians and delectable baked goods for gluten-free diets. There are also succulent lamb burgers, spicy huevos rancheros, and scrumptious chocolate brownies for the unrestricted appetite.
Enough about baked goods, let’s chat about baked beans! My Boy Blue gets their hand-roasted coffee beans from Dublin-based stand-alone café & roastery: 3fe. At the time of my visit, their espresso was 3fe’s Momentum Blend: a smooth, chocolaty recipe of 50% Nicaragua Finca El Encanto and 50% Honduras Finca Cerro Azul pulled on a Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II V.
Not only is My Boy Blue all about supporting local businesses, they also care about the environment. Alongside take-home sacs of 3fe beans, AeroPresses and Chemexes, this café has stocked up on Keep Cups: a reusable espresso cup. As an added incentive, every time you bring in your Keep Cup, MBB donates 20% of the cup’s purchase price to Friends of the Earth Ireland: the world’s largest network of environmental activists whom enable countless initiatives that campaign for environmental justice and sustainability.
Quality of Atmosphere:
Unlike [my boy] Blue from the film, Old School (a favourite of owner, Steven), My Boy Blue is brand-spanking-new. Every corner of the café is in tip-top shape; the blue walls are scuff-free and the blue dishes are scratch-free. Steven et al. has turned this previous computer shop into a bright blue oasis. Hey, colour psychologist say that blue is the colour of tranquility and needless to say, MBB is the perfect place to find tranquility during your stay on the Dingle Peninsula.
So for all the travelers who take that bold step past Dublin and Galway, and find themselves on the prettiest peninsula in the world, sit back, relax, and soak in the warmth and energy of My Boy Blue. Oh and don’t forget to try the best pancakes ever! I most certainly must return to see if they really are as good as they’re famed to be.
As always, thank you for reading and joining me on this #internationalcoffeejourney
It’s now or never!