Scones in Dublin: The Master List

April Bannister
March 19, 2020

This is going to be a radical change in tone from the rest of my blog posts, but it's a list I developed and planned all semester, and I've come to the conclusion that I simply can't let it go to waste. I composed the first draft the night before I left Dublin — that is, I stayed up until 2 a.m. the night before sixteen hours of traveling and after multiple days of pure chaos and devastation — and for obvious reasons, I considered editing it before posting it here. However, I think the list is most authentic in its original form, as sleep-deprived (and possibly delirious) as I may have been. As such, without further ado:

Over the past two months, I have eaten twelve scones in eleven different locations in Dublin, Ireland. This is absolutely what I deserved. My only regret is not eating more scones.

Deciding how to rank each scone has not been a painless process. My heart breaks for each lower-ranking scone; the truth is I have never met a scone I didn’t like, and I wish the list could reflect this.

No scone has lost the battle. But one must win.

And so.


I want to say this choice was more difficult, but honestly, the butter clenched this victory as soon as I laid eyes on it. It was the most creative and beautiful presentation of all the locations, not only in terms of the butter, but the scone itself: the raspberries were well-incorporated throughout and the pastry was the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The scone was also warm, which makes a massive difference. We will see this in further rankings as well.

Also, Bretzel served me this scone while I read Irish fiction and listened to the rain outside and sat in an ornate wooden half-booth complete with hand-stitched red throw pillows, and they really, truly had the audacity to play Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” amidst such an utterly contradictory aesthetic setting.

Instant winner. No competition.


Okay, yes, this surprises me as well. Caffe Nero was a natural underdog — it’s a chain, which I don’t usually gravitate toward, and I ate this scone at the end of a long day in Belfast and immediately prior to a long train ride home. (Full disclosure: Yes, this scone was eaten in Belfast and not Dublin, but it’s included because Caffe Nero also has many locations in Dublin. Leave me alone. I make the rules.)

However, two things brought Caffe Nero’s scone to such a high status:

1) The sugar on top. I am always, always an advocate for extra sugar. Frankly, I’m horrified more scones don’t include extra sugar.

2) The mini jar of jam. Nothing more needs to be said.


The OG. The scone that started it all. The most near and dear to my heart.

I could have eaten this scone without even touching the jam or butter. It was impeccably made, a true beauty, a work of art.

Krust doesn’t have the special skills to compete higher, but it takes a humble third. Truthfully, it wouldn’t want a higher position. It’s happy to make the podium and beyond thrilled to congratulate everyone else.

Krust is the scone you want on your team.


Covered in powdered sugar, large enough to slice three ways for an incredible three whole layers of jam and butter (as opposed to the usual two), warm … not much more I could ask for.

This scone is also 10000% a trauma scone, which probably made it taste 10000% better. What can I say, I’m a biased reviewer. This was not a controlled study. I’m over it.

KC Peaches, thank you for your service.


Okay, fine, it’s in Co. Dublin rather than Dublin City. Again, leave me alone.

This scone was simple and delicious. No frills needed. I can think of no better word than pure, unadulterated contentment.


Okay, I know it looks burnt, but I swear to God it wasn’t. This was probably the most well-warmed scone of all that I tried. I wish every cafe warmed their scones to the level of success as Goose on the Loose. Additionally, the fruit in the scone was excellent and the tiny mug of jam beyond adorable.

This is a solid middle-of-the-pack scone. No complaints whatsoever.



I could taste the butter in this scone with every single bite — like, not the butter in the packet, the butter in the actual damn scone. This is not a complaint.

The jam let me down. I expected more. Otherwise, this list could have turned out quite a bit differently.

Such tumultuous times we live in.


Exactly the same as the other Starbucks scone, except this one didn’t have raisins.

I’m a big fan of raisins.



I really, really wanted to rank this scone higher. It made a valiant effort, especially since it was one of the first scones I tried warmed up.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about this entire experience just wasn’t right. I mean, it wasn’t wrong, but it just wasn’t working for me. 

Essentially, the vibes were off.

Again, though, a valiant effort.


I debated late into the night about whether or not to rank Lock 6 below Baked, and I regret to say this is how it turned out. Lock 6 had better vibes but a worse scone, and I just can’t justify anything else. This is not to say Lock 6 had a bad scone. I don’t believe such a thing exists. This scone was delicious and I would eat it again in a heartbeat.

Every scone is a winner, but, like … they can’t all be winners.



In a word, unremarkable. I don’t remember a single problem with this scone, but I also don’t remember a single thing about this scone at all. It was excellent in the moment, but it’s simply not memorable. It also suffers the hindrance in ranking of having been cut before I took the photo (... I say as if I’m not the only who cut it), so the added visual of a nicely-browned top isn’t there to help bring details back to memory.

Oh, well. We move on.



Of all the pain in the world, this definitely hurts the most.

Storyboard offered one of the best presentations, and arguably the most unique. I have never before seen sorbet-like jam served in a shot-glass-like jar. I had such high hopes. There was so much potential here.

But the jam wasn’t sweet.

And neither was the scone.

I’ll say it again: I am looking for more sugar, not less. Never less.

It’s heartbreaking. It’s a tough job to do, but someone’s gotta do it. Storyboard ranks last. I’m still crying about it.



I’m still crying about everything.

I would eat nothing but Storyboard scones for the rest of my life if it meant I could stay in Ireland.

Goodbye, scones. Goodbye, Dublin.

I will be back one day.

April Bannister

<p>I am a second-year student from Saint Paul, Minnesota, studying English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa. I enjoy writing across all genres, especially within the focus of mental health, and I hope that my words can inspire education and awareness on the subject. Outside of school, I can often be found rock climbing, running, and spending time with my dog.</p>

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