So now that you have decided to visit Galway and booked your accommodation, you need to figure out where to eat whilst you are here. Galway has so many great and varied restaurants, it can be difficult to know where to start.
There are many “Fine Dining” restaurants in the city. There is one Michelin Starred restaurant – Aniar. (See separate post on this site). This is a small restaurant so if you plan to visit, you will most certainly need to book in advance, particularly if you wish to visit on a weekend night. The restaurant now has a new Head Chef – welcome Ultan Cooke! www.aniarrestaurant.ie
If you like Fish, then you really must visit O’Grady’s on the Pier in Barna (again, see separate post on this site). The restaurant is easily accessible from the city centre by car or taxi and is well worth the trip. It really is one of the best restaurants in the Galway area and its setting on the beach at Barna is truly magical. www.ogradysonthepier.com
If you can’t make it out to Barna, then you should try Michael O’Grady’s other restaurant Kirwan’s Lane situated in the City Centre. The restaurant has recently been refurbished and The Seafood Bar @ Kirwans really easy a beautiful place to enjoy a casual lunch, a romantic dinner or a special celebration. Whilst the menu has a focus on fresh fish, there is also a good selection of dishes from the grill, including Pork Belly, Chicken, Duckling and steaks. www.kirwanslane.com
Another restaurant well worth a visit is Artisan, located right in the heart of Quay Street, overhead Tigh Neachtains pub. There is a lovely atmosphere in this small restuarant and from many tables you get a really good view of the hustle and bustle of Quay Street/High Street. The a la carte menu is well balanced with many fish and meat favourites featuring and the execution of the dishes is excellent. www.artisangalway.com
Kai Cafe & Restaurant is located on Sea Road, Galway – just a short walk from Galway’s “West End” but no more than a 10 minute walk in total from the centre of the City. The setting of this restaurant is utterly beautiful and you are bound to enjoy Jess Murphy’s wonderful dishes. www.kaicaferestaurant.com
Another favourite of mine is Oscars Bistro. This restaurant is located on Dominick Street Lower and again is only a short walk from the city centre. The restaurant specialises in seafood but really caters for all tastes. The menu is continually changing depending on the season and to cater for daily market catches. The restaurant itself is rather quirky and the food presentation is fantastic. Enjoy! www.oscarsbistro.ie
Something more casual?
If you are looking for something a little more casual, then you really have to visit Il Vicolo Cafe (see also separate post on this site). This small italian cafe and wine bar may very well be my favourite spot to visit in Galway. The dishes are superbly cooked and presented and the atmosphere is second to none. The passion the staff have for the restaurant is clear in everything they do. It really is a joy to be in Il Vicolo. Their website is not up and running yet, but you can find them on facebook or give them a call on +353 91 535922.
If you fancy so really top quality pub grub, then Eat at Massimo Gastro Pub is for you. Massimo is located on William Street West, close to Dominick street in Galway and again is only a short walking distance from the city centre. Menu staples include Steaks, Burgers, Pizzas, Chicken, Sandwiches, Salads and platters made to share. www.eatgastropub.com
Rouge Restaurant is a French Restaurant located in the ever popular Dominick Street area of Galway city centre (see also separate post on this site). This restaurant is so popular it is advised to book in advance. There is a set menu and for E15 you get a starter selection and your choice of main course – either fish of the day, a steak or the vegetarian dish of day. You also get your choice of potato or vegetable with that. The quality of the food is great and the atmosphere is wonderful. And why not also try Le Petit Rouge Wine Bar across the road! www.rougegalway.com
If you dont need a full meal but wine, cheese and meats are your thing, then check out the wine bar at Sheridans. This Cheesemongers is located on Churchyard street in the city centre with an overhead wine bar. www.sheridanscheesemongers.com
If you are just looking for coffee, tea and maybe cakes or a sandwich, then Galway also has much to offer. Check out Goya’s on Kirwan’s Lane, Providence Market Kitchen on St Augustine Street, Revive on Eyre Street and on High St/Cross S, Cupan Tae at Spanish Arch, Arabica to mention but a few. Or if you really want to splash out, why not have coffee at The G Hotel!
If you are staying in Salthill, it also has much to offer in terms of restaurants. Check out The Galleon, Gourmet Tart, Da Robertos or Black Cat. Also there are many cafes including Arabica and Coco’s.
In Barna, in addition to the aforementioned O’Grady’s on the Pier you can enjoy the delights of Donnellys, Mulberrys or The Twelve Hotel all of which serve really good quality food. Or pop into The Coffee House in Barna for coffee and a cake or maybe a soup and a sandwich or a salad. If pizza is your thing, then Pizza Dozzina at The Twelve Hotel really do serve the best pizzas in the west.
If you are self catering and fancy rustling up something special then check out McCambridges on Shop Street for some special ingredients and excellent wines. Morton’s of Galway in Salthill is also excellent for meats, cheeses, salads, breads, cakes etc. Their pesto is to die for. You can also pick up some wonderful cakes, breads and tarts at Gourmet Tart in Salthill.
Postscript: I was very sorry to hear of the recent closure of Il Vicolo. This is a great loss to the Galway food scene but I hope it comes back in a new guise soon. Watch this space!