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Galway - Eat, Drink, and Be Merry - Restaurants ... Finally!

Now we can talk about the Restaurants of Galway …. My second favorite thing about Galway.... after the Pubs

There are a lot of good to excellent restaurants in Galway, and even more so considering its size (80K people). I attribute this to the tourist trade, both international and domestic. Many rural Irishmen come to Galway for the “big city”, and of course Galway is known around the world and is an International tourist destination. I also attribute this to the large university population, 15-20% of the population. Finally, Galway is the Cultural and Government center for the West of Ireland. As in North America, this tends to increase the restaurant population and quality.

The following is the list of my favorites. This is not anywhere close to a complete list. If you see an interesting restaurant with a menu that appeals to your tastes, check out the posted menu and go for it, or check it out on Trip Advisor. I have done this a few times and have been pleasantly surprised. The worst I’ve had is a mediocre meal.

Péarla na Mara

This is my Galway favorite. The fish is great. The lamb is great. The beef is excellent and cooked medium-rare when you ask for it. The wine selection is limited but great. The service is impeccable. The décor is edgy but comfortable. The dish preparation and presentation is creative while still being comfortable. I would call it Irish food with a mediterranean flare. It is conveniently located near downtown Galway across the river from the Spanish Arch. Péarla na Mara is a great place to eat ... Did I mention that I think this restaurant is great! ;-) Additionally it is very convenient to music at the Crane Bar or Monroe’s. Expect to pay €15-25 for an entrée.

Péarla na Mara

The Skeff Bar and Kitchen

The Skeff is conveniently locate on Eyre Square and is co-located with the Skeffington Arms Hotel. This is my “go to” place for pub food. Think fish and chips, bangers and mash, hamburger, etc., but they usually have a dish or two with a twist if you want to experiment. The beer selection to complement your food is fantastic. They also have outside seating if you are blessed with a warm and sunny day. This is also a good place for breakfast.

The Skeff

McSwiggan's

I’ve eaten here several times on my own, and as part of a large work event dinner. The meals have always been very good. Lamb, Fish, and Chicken are all good. I was amazed that the food was hot and fresh, even for the very large dinner parties. The street entrance is muted and does not hint at the huge capacity. McSwiggan’s is conveniently located near the Town Hall Theatre, and a 5-minute walk from Eyre Square. If you want an upscale dinner preceded by a mixed cocktail, then this is your place. You can expect to pay €15-25 for an entrée.

Brassiere on the Corner

This is an upscale restaurant. It is very good, but a little pricey. I would describe the dish style as Irish with a Continental flare. The boards are my favorite and can include cheese, meat, seafood, and vegetables. The steaks look really good. They have a great wine & beer selection and mixed cocktails are available. Probably need a reservation. Expect to pay€20+ for an entrée, a little less for the boards.

Sheridan’s Wine Bar

This is a great place to “hang” for a little conversation, or maybe to catch up on your travel journal. I’ve had long philosophical conversations with people I don’t even know, and I’ve sat with a glass of wine and read a book. On the weekends, be prepared to share a table, and meet some new friends. Saint Nicholas cathedral is just out the window, and below is the Saturday market area. It is a good view for just sitting and contemplating. In summary, this is a very informal wine bar with some excellent cheese and craic.

The wine bar is located above Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, and yes you need to go up the narrow stairs that don’t look quite correct. The food is primarily cheese and meet boards with bread and crackers and sometimes soup. The by-the-glass wine selection is very good. If you don’t like what’s available, then you can pick one from the shelves and have it for a nominal corkage fee.

Vina Mara