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F I L T E R - Review by John McKenna

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Dubliners get fractious when people from Cork commiserate with them about living in the so-called “capital” city, when the true capital of Ireland – as everyone knows – is actually wrapped in and around the over-flowing banks of the River Lee.

Feeling patronised, Dubliners tend to retort that they have so much more on their doorstep than Cork. To which Cork people reply: never mind the quantity, feel the quality, boy.

And to prove their point, they might just refer you to F I L T E R, on George's Quay. Filter is run by Eoin, and it is the coffee shop from heaven, via Cork, which is, of course, heaven. Cork is heaven because it has shops like F I L T E R.

F I L T E R is funky, unclichéd, and offers killer coffee, served in multifarious styles depending on how you feel. It doesn't exude that barista bravado that contaminates some places. Instead, it's laid back, it's tiny (“a delightful and funky little nook”, Joe McNamee calls it), it has mega carrot cake from Diva Bakery and nice croissants to go with your coffee. Everything is apposite, here for a purpose, clear-eyed, unself-conscious. “I'm in love with Filter”, says Caroline Hennessy. “Eoin makes the best macchiato that I've ever had”.

Worth the trip down from Dublin, then?

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