Sitting at the gateway to the Ring of Kerry, Killarney is one of the most visited towns in southwest Ireland.
Whether you are stopping en route to one of the country's most beautiful drives, or you're planning to stay and discover the natural wonders surrounding the little town, there are some fantastic restaurants to enjoy during your time here.
From pizza to contemporary local cuisine, here are the top places to eat in Killarney, Ireland.
Located right on High Street in the center of Killarney, Gaby’s is known for its excellent fish and seafood menu. With a welcoming, rustic dining room, this refined restaurant turns out amazing classic dishes, so be prepared to splurge on lobster for two or savor turbot in a traditional beurre blanc sauce. For the best deal, try the seasonal set menus, which are priced around 40 euros for three courses.
Locally-owned Bricín has been one of the most beloved restaurants in Killarney for more than 20 years. Brimming with folk crafts and floral prints, the restaurant and handicraft shop looks a bit like it was decorated by an Irish grandmother, in the best possible way. This cozy locale also happens to have one of the best menus in town; you can find roasts and curries here, but the specialty boxty is a must. The local dish is a kind of potato pancake with savory fillings that are perfect for gray, Irish days.
Serving up the very best local meat and produce—as well as the freshest seafood from Kenmare Bay—Treyvaud’s is Killarney’s go-to spot for modern Irish dining. The menu is built around updated local classics, with plenty of secret touches to keep you wanting more. Lunch is centered around gourmet sandwiches, while the expanded dinner menu has everything from roast guinea fowl to prime Irish beef and Guinness stew. If you’re hooked after just one meal, you can tune into chef Paul Treyvaud’s YouTube channel to learn how to recreate his favorite dishes at home.
No trip to Killarney is complete without a traditional pub meal, and the best can be found at The Laurels. The homestyle meals range from shepherd’s pie to honey baked ham—but best of all is the traditional roast on weekends. This laid-back pub has been run by the O’Leary family for nearly 100 years and has great pints to go with any plate.
The Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder is one of the best gastro pubs in Killarney. This grown-up bar and restaurant has an enviable whiskey menu and creative food pairings to match your drink of choice. The roast chicken and wild mushroom pie is the ultimate comfort food, while the steamed mussels with spicy Italian ‘Nduja sausage is an unexpected twist on a local dish.
Best for Coffee and Cakes: Noelle’s
Head down Old Market Lane for coffee and cake at Noelle’s. The funky coffeehouse opened in Killarney in 2014, and its fun atmosphere is as good as the baked goods behind the counter. Stop in for a cappuccino and slice of homemade pie—or stay for lunch, order a flatbread (with plenty of cheese, of course), and listen to the vinyl records spinning in the corner. On sunny days, the little courtyard is a great spot for coffee.
The trendy Ross Hotel is one of Killarney’s hot spots for guests and locals alike. The hotel's Cellar Restaurant has a delicious menu—but its modern décor is often what wins people over first. Sit under the curving steel and glass staircase while you dine on seared scallops and a confit of duck, sourced from nearby Cork. Grab a nightcap in the appropriately named Pink Lounge, which has 60 gins from around the world—all ready to be served under the colorful chandeliers.
Killarney excels at typical Irish charm—and the local recipes that go along with it—but sometimes you need a break from pub food and stew. Enter Khao Asian Street Food, which offers a fresh Thai menu full of bright flavors, as well as other beloved dishes from Asia. The bustling restaurant usually requires reservations, but you can also call ahead to order Pad Thai or Pho to go.
For a taste of Italy in Ireland, head to Killarney’s Piccolo pizzeria. The little pizza place may not have a lot of space (hence its name, which means "small" in Italian), but it makes up for the shortage of chairs with some big flavors. You can stop in for a slice or an entire pizza, or you can get your pie to-go. For a veggie-heavy option, try the Ortolana pizza with grilled eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms, or dig into a smoked chicken pizza for a hit of barbecue goodness.
If you want to stop for food along the way to the pretty Gap of Dunloe, then direct your GPS towards Beaufort Bar. Owned by the same family for four generations, this gray stone bar offers up warm Irish hospitality and some of the best chowder in the area. The hearty seafood soup will fuel you for a day on the Ring of Kerry, but the homemade burgers and rack of Kerry lamb are excellent options as well.
Craving an Irish sirloin while in Killarney? Lord Kenmare's dishes out some of the best steaks in town, which are served with crispy onions and a creamy pepper sauce. This restaurant might have traditional look, but it is anything but stuffy. If you are hungry for multiple courses, the set menu is an excellent bang for your buck (40 euros for dinner).