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10 of the best in Food/Drink experiences in 2013

1.  Cava Bodega, Middle Street, Galway

Galway people are thrilled with the reopening of this popular Tapas restaurant.  It is now situated on Middle Street in the City and has fast become a favourite of many.  Visit for quality tapas y vino in a gorgeous setting at reasonable prices.  

2.  Kai Cafe & Restaurant, Sea Road, Galway

This is a gorgeous restaurant located on Sea Road, Galway.  It is run by Chef Jess Murphy and her husband David. Visit this restaurant for beautifully cooked local and seasonal produce presented with flair and also admire the lovely quirky dining room.

3.  Builin Blasta Cafe, An Ceardlann, Spiddal, Co. Galway

This is a really lovely cafe located in the Craft Centre complex in Spiddal.  It is owned and run by Chef J-Me Peaker (ex Ivy London) and is a real gem.  Visit for gorgeous breads, cakes, salads and pizza slices and take home some of their homemade jams and chutneys.

4.  Le Petit Rouge, Dominic St, Galway

This is an authentic french wine bar, serving exclusively french wines located on Dominic Street, Galway.  The wine list is extensive with a very good selection by the glass at attractive prices.  There is also a limited food menu but the cheese and meat boards are not to be missed.

5.  Fairways Bar & Orchard Restaurant, Kilruane, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

Formerly known as Lucky Bags, this is a wonderfully atmospheric pub and restaurant located on the main road between Nenagh and Cloughjordan.   Visit for lunch or dinner 7 days a week.  Well known for their fresh fish dishes, they also make all their own breads, desserts, pastas, butters and ice creams inhouse.

6.  Sheridan’s Wine Bar, Churchyard Street, Galway

This winebar still seems like a well kept Galway secret.  Tucked away on quiet Churchyard Street (unless it’s Saturday when it buzzes with market stalls), the winebar is located upstairs of Sheridan’s Cheeseshop.  The winebar is also a wineshop where you can shop to take home or settle down and have a few glasses of exceptional wines and perhaps sample a board of their quality cheeses and meats.

7.  No 5. Fenn’s Quay Restaurant, Sheares St, Cork

No 5. Fenn’s Quay is owned and run by Chef Kate Lawlor who places an emphasis on sourcing quality seasonal ingredients from local suppliers.  Visit for Breakfast, Lunch or dinner – or even Brunch on weekends.  Following a year in which it achieved many strong reviews, this restaurant is one to watch for in 2014.

8.  Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co. Cork

Ballymaloe House needs no introduction.  This gorgeous Country House is run by the Allen Family.  Visit to get away from it all and enjoy relaxed dinners made using ingredients homegrown on their farm.  Don’t forget to visit the gardens and shop and bring home some of their quality produce.

9.  Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co. Waterford

This is a Small Luxury Hotel (5 Star) located in the gorgeous village of Ardmore with fantastic views.  Even if you can’t afford to try their tasting menus at the Michelin starred restaurant (worth saving for!!), then make sure you have lunch with a view in the bar or enjoy a glass of wine or a coffee whilst looking out at the bay.

10.  Arthur Mayne’s (Pharmacy) Wine Bar, Pembroke Street, Cork

This may be one of my favourite places….ever!!  It’s a winebar set in a Pharmacy (not a working one!).  Enjoy wine by the bottle or the glass or get yourself a “Prescription Card” and sample wines from their enomatic wine system.  They also serve food and their platters of breads, cheeses and meats are very good.

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