The Best Restaurants in Galway

Set on the rugged west coast of Ireland, Galway is a major destination on the Emerald Isle. Some visitors flock to this laidback university town for the famed horse races, while others stop for live music and pub culture. More and more, however, visitors are coming to Galway for its fantastically diverse food scene.

Whether you are craving Japanese, are looking for vegetarian-friendly cuisine, or want to treat yourself to a tasting menu at an award-winning restaurant, there is something to suit every taste in Galway.

01 of 08

For Gourmet Dining: Loam

flowers and food on modern blue plate

Courtesy of Julia Dunin 

Address
Geata Na Cathrach, Fairgreen Rd, Galway, Ireland
Phone
+353 91 569 727

Chef Enda McEvoy has been awarded the title of Best Chef in Ireland, and one meal at his Michelin-starred restaurant is enough to see why. McEvoy believes in only using ingredients from the west of Ireland (think pickled roses and wild garlic seeds). Because the dishes depend on what can be sourced on any given day, the menu changes constantly. Book a table to slowly savor the seven- or nine-course tasting menu with a bottle from Loam's impressive wine cellar.

02 of 08

For Sushi: Wa Café

sushi on a black platter

Courtesy of Wa Café

Address
13 New Dock St, The Docks, Galway, Ireland

Fish does not always have to be fried and served with chips in Ireland. Wa Café is a wonderful restaurant that uses local products to craft Japanese dishes using traditional techniques. Try the Achill Island Smoked Mackerel rolls, made with tamari (Japanese soy sauce) and wrapped in seaweed. For another local twist on sushi, order the roll maki with teriyaki chicken and leeks. Nigiri and maki change daily based on the best available seafood.

03 of 08

For Burgers: The Dáil

exterior of pink irish pub with flowers

Courtesy of The Dáil Bar

Address
42 Middle St, Galway, H91 R8W3, Ireland
Phone
+353 91 563 777

Looking for excellent food in a friendly bar setting? Head to the Dáil Bar. Start with the chili calamari rings or goat cheese spring rolls before moving onto the main event: the grill. You can get roast chicken or grilled strip steak—but the burgers are really some of the best in Galway. Can't decide what to get? Consider the Connemara prime steakhouse burger, which comes with local beef, bacon, and cheddar.

04 of 08

For Breakfast: Gourmet Tart Co.

Baked goods on a cake stand inside a shop

Courtesy of Gourmet Tart Co.

Address
Jameson Court, opposite, Salthill, Co. Galway, Ireland
Phone
+353 91 861 667

With six different locations, the Gourmet Tart Company is a Galway staple for sweets and takeout. However, it is the 70-seat café in Salthill that serves the most delectable breakfast. The full Irish—complete with rashers, Irish sausages, eggs, pudding, and fried potatoes—is legendary. If you don't eat meat, the vegetarian breakfast is also fantastic. Order this meal, and you'll get Portobello mushrooms, a grilled tomato, potatoes, avocado, and expertly poached eggs.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

For Fish: O’Grady’s on the Pier

rustic restaurant with ocean outside

Courtesy of O'Grady's on the Pier

Address
Seapoint, Barna, Co. Galway, Ireland
Phone
+353 91 592 223

The drive to the seaside area of Barna is well worth the trip to enjoy fresh seafood at O’Grady’s on the Pier. The country-style dining has a warm, rustic charm, while the terrace offers some of the best views of Galway Bay. Start with the local Castletownbere Bay crab claws or fresh steamed mussels with chorizo, paprika, and leeks. The main courses change depending on the catch of the day, but whatever you get, you're sure to enjoy some of the best seafood in Ireland.

06 of 08

For Brunch: Kai

Cream topped cakes in a row

Courtesy of Kai

Address
22 Sea Rd, Galway, H91 DX47, Ireland
Phone
+353 91 526 003

Aim for Sea Road in Galway’s West End for the best brunch in town. Trendy Kai is the go-to spot on Sunday mornings because of their incredible spread and welcoming atmosphere. Almost everything served here is organic and locally produced. The pancakes are unforgettable, but don’t miss the crab salad if it is on the menu.

07 of 08

For Vegetarian Food: The Lighthouse Cafe

People sit outside a small cafe in Ireland

Courtesy of The Lighthouse

Address
8 Abbeygate Street Upper, Galway, H91 V9D3, Ireland
Phone
+353 91 568 706

The airy Lighthouse is Galway’s leading vegetarian café. Stop by early in the day for fresh scones and organic coffee, specialty tea, homemade chai, or Irish kefir. For lunch, the café offers a range of plant-based daily specials, most of which are vegan. The dosa plate is a great option for a bit of international flavor, whereas the seasonal sandwiches are so satisfying you won’t think twice about missing any meat. The café stays open later on Sunday when brunch is served from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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For Pizza: Da Roberta’s

inside casual pizza restaurant

Courtesy of Da Roberta's 

Address
161 Upper Salthill Road, Galway, Ireland
Phone
+353 91 585 808

Head out to the Salthill area of Galway for a taste of Italy in Ireland. The cozy restaurant has all the Italian classics, plus a great selection of wine and beer from the bel paese. The real reason to book a table, however, is for the wood-fired pizza. Try the Caesar Grillo, served with tomato sauce, mozzarella, bacon, chicken, arugula, and Caesar salad dressing. There are lots of veggie-friendly options like the Quattro Formaggio calzone, stuffed with mozzarella, feta, parmesan, and goat cheese. 

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The Complete Foodie Guide to Galway