The Best Restaurants in Ireland where to eat like locals when traveling

Best Restaurants in Ireland

The Best Restaurants in Ireland where to eat like a local when traveling to Ireland.

Every year, the Restaurants Association of Ireland awards the best places in Ireland when it comes to food and drink: it’s one of the many national awards, but it is somehow interesting also from a visitors’ perspective. In fact, when you travel you wanna eat well and if you’re traveling to Ireland it’s fair not to eat just mashed potatoes but instead to explore what it really is Irish food.

We’re used t think that Modern Irish cuisine is all about potatoes, Guinness, and stew; today, Ireland is shaping its future to become the next big European food destination thanks to a new awareness in regards to food, a new economic boom and a new generation of bold chefs.

Everyone is reclaiming their food and heritage and that’s why Ireland, thanks to its position, the availability of amazing products both from the land and the sea, and an intrinsic pride is becoming a gastronomical paradise, to be discovered in full during a trip to the Island.

The following list doesn’t include Michelin Star Restaurants and of course there’s more than just awarded places where you can eat in Ireland; but this is a good starting point and we’ll allow you to understand what the real Irish food is about these days.

Remember that if you’re planning a trip to Ireland and you need more information on customized tours but also on things to do, where to eat and drink and more, you can always write me an email or follow me on Instagram and Facebook and do not be afraid to ask for more information or a customized consultation! If you want to have photographic tips on what and where to go to take good pictures get in contact with Giuseppe, based in Dublin as well.

The Best Restaurants in Ireland 2018

If you’re traveling to Ireland, these are the best restaurants according to the Restaurants Association of Ireland: you may know that Ireland is divided into 4 provinces, Connacht, Leinster, Munster, and Ulster, plus Dublin, the Capital city. That’s why the list of winners is divided by province as well. Dublin is Leinster’s chief city, Belfast is Ulster’s chief city, Cork is Munster’s chief city and Galway is Connacht’s chief city. I’ve added the link to the overall winner for each category but if you type the name of the place onto Google you’ll get the exact location (and the website) of each of them; I’ve also added a few comments here and there, just to give you more insights.

Best Restaurant

National

Dublin – Etto
Connaught – Cian’s on Bridge Street
Leinster – TwoCooks Restaurant & Wine Bar
Munster – Mews Restaurant
Ulster – The Muddlers Club

All-Ireland

Etto (Dublin): I love this place. Good food, good vibes. Booking necessary.

Best Gastro Pub

National

Dublin – The Legal Eagle
Connaught – Cronin’s Sheebeen (the food is great, the drinks are even better)
Leinster – Lennon’s Gastro Pub
Munster – Moorings
Ulster – The Brewer’s House

All-Ireland

The Legal Eagle (Dublin): the place itself is worth a stop. The food is incredibly amazing.

Pub of the Year

National

Dublin – Walsh’s Stoneybatter
Connaught – Flynn’s Bar
Leinster – Morrissey
Munster – Murphy’s Bar Brandon
Ulster – Tomneys Bar

All-Ireland

Walsh’s Stoneybatter (Dublin): no fuss, no mess. Just a local amazing place.

Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant

National

Dublin – The Marker Hotel
Connaught – Wilde’s at The Lodge
Leinster – Ballyfin Demesne
Munster –Park Hotel Kenmare
Ulster – Newforge House

All-Ireland

Park Hotel Kenmare (Kenmare, Co. Kerry): quintessential luxury but affordable. Great location, amazing food.

Best Newcomer

National

Dublin – Michael’s Mount Merrion
Connaught – Hooked
Leinster – Barrows Keep
Munster – Dooks Fine Foods Fethard
Ulster – Clenaghans 

All-Ireland

Clenaghans (Craigavon, Co.Armagh)

Best Cafe

National

Dublin – Honey Truffle (cozy and nice, what you need when you want have a long chat with someone)
Connaught – Pudding Row
Leinster – Strandfield Café
Munster – Maison Gourmet
Ulster – The Jolly Sandwich Bar

All-Ireland

Pudding Row (Easkey, Co. Sligo)

Best Wine Experience winners

National

Dublin –Piglet Wine Bar
Connaught – Aniar Restaurant and Boutique Cookery School (Awarded multiple times, it must mean something!)
Leinster – La Touche Wines 4 U
Munster – The Black Pig
Ulster – Ox Cave (amazing food, really representing the change in Irish food)

All-Ireland

Piglet Wine Bar (Dublin): great selection of wines, bit expensive but worth.

Best World Cuisine winners

National

Dublin – Nightmarket
Connaught – MoMA Restaurant
Leinster – Pink Salt Indian Restaurant
Munster – Palmento
Ulster – Tuk Tuk Asian Bistro

All-Ireland

Nightmarket (Dublin): if you love Thai, book now!

Best Kids Size Me winners

National

Dublin – Michael’s Mount Merrion
Connaught – Gather Restaurant
Leinster – Platform Pizza Bar
Munster – GROW HQ Café and Food Education Centre
Ulster – Amici

All-Ireland

Michaels Mount Merrion (Dublin): the portions are huge, the atmosphere is super!

Best Casual Dining winners

National

Dublin – Hey Donna
Connaught – Gather Restaurant
Leinster – Truffles Restaurant & Wine Bar
Munster – Pilgrim’s
Ulster – Shu Restaurant Belfast

All-Ireland

Pilgrim’s (Rosscarbery, co Cork): a little gem, hopefully it will stay like that for a long time.

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine

National

Dublin – Craft Restaurant
Connaught – Tartare Café + Wine Bar
Leinster – Kernel Bar & Kitchen
Munster – Sage Restaurant
Ulster – 28 Darling St

All-Ireland

Craft Restaurant (Dublin): traditional Irish food filled with creativity and passion.

Best ‘Free From’

National

Dublin – I Monelli (100% Italian, they also serve the Fassona meat from Piedmont, Italy)
Connaught –Sweet Beat Café
Leinster – Zucchini’s Restaurant
Munster – Nutrilicious Food Co
Ulster – The Dirty Duck

All-Ireland

Sweet Beat Café  (Sligo)