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  • McKenna's Guide Award 2023

    Grá The Coffee Bar
    Grá steals your heart. You might settle yourself into Susan McMillan's comfortable café on an average day just to have something simple: maybe a good cheese toastie and a good cup of 3fe coffee. But after no more than a sip or two of your coffee, after no more than a bite or two of your cheese toastie, you quickly realise that Grá has found the way to your heart. Because what you are eating and enjoying is a definition of what great food is about: a subtle form of perfected simplicity; painstaking care and attention to detail; quiet fastidiousness and ambition; a relationship offering Grá for the craft and Grá for the customer. A simple coffee and a cheese toastie just made everything in your world so much better. Suddenly, it's a beautiful day.
    When you look under the lid of what Susan and the team have done, you can see why Grá is so efficient at making your life better: the cheese mix brings together three cheeses; there is honey mustard sauce with the ham; all snuggled between excellent buttered sourdough bread, which is toasted to perfection. A classic of the genre. No wonder we're smitten.

    -McKenna Guides 2023

  • McKenna's Guide Award 2022

    Grá the Coffee Bar
    It's the quiet pursuit of both excellence and aesthetics, right across every little thing they do, that impresses everyone who comes to Grá.
    Susan and the team choose everything they do and everything they work with with the utmost care, from the stripy yellow and white colours of the cafe's awning, to their splendid affogatos, made with bourbon vanilla ice cream and a double shot of 3fe espresso. In a speedy eighteen months, they have become elemental in County Kildare's food culture, and have also become players in the local art and music scene thanks to regular exhibitions and regular musical gigs, along with their defining role in the coffee culture. Everything about Grá is meticulously curated, which makes the entire space feel like a gallery - spacious, uncluttered, clean, relaxing, delighting. It's no easy thing to have such a fastidious eye when creating and working a space, and indeed the Irish are notoriously poor at understanding how to create the right feeling of feng shui in a building. But Grá gives the lie to that generalisation, for it is quietly, yet triumphantly gorgeous, welcoming and pleasing, from the crema on your flat white to the toasted almonds on your morning croissant. Such care - such grá! - truly gladdens the heart.

    McKenna's Guides 2022

  • McKenna's Guide Award 2021

    Grá The Coffee Bar
    They have all the good gear in Grá. Their core coffee range comes from 3fe, the outstanding Dublin brew masters, who roast the Momentum house brew. They have reached out to the brilliant Two Cooks, of Sallins, who supply their artful sandwiches, wraps and salad bowls. They have crossed the country to County Clare, to Hazel Mountain in The Burren, to source the bean-to-bar chocolate for their sublime luxury hot chocolate. Local dairy heroes, The Village Dairy, arrive with fresh organic milk to make a flat white to savour slowly, enjoyed along with the peachy pastries from Tartine Bakery.
    This precise and expert curation extends to every detail of Grá, making for a defining modern destination, an aesthetic oasis blessed with graceful herb planters, witty signage, comfy chairs, and a gallery space hosting local artists. Simply sublime.

    -McKenna Guides 2023