Many people mention food in Ireland and wrinkle their noses. I would venture to guess they haven’t traveled there in over a decade or were just not looking at the right places. Galway, Ireland is like home to us, and it’s also one of my favorite dining cities, as small as it is. It has an incredible Saturday market, great cheese and wine shop, fishmongers, and more, all capitalizing on Galway’s coastal location. The food in Galway is usually exceptional, especially if you know where to look. Below are just a handful of places we stopped on our recent Galway travels.
High Café – After an afternoon of tipples and chatting on St. Patrick’s Day, we went with a bunch of family to High Café. It was a chilly day and a long one, with an early morning start at Ballynahinch Castle, the Galway St. Patrick’s Day parade, and time spent at Jury’s, and the exceptional comfort food at High Café was a perfect way to end the night. High Café features a huge menu with lots of different salads, pastas, pizzas, and appetizers.
Trying to get some veggies into my diet, I had a salad topped with goat cheese stuffed smoked salmon and one of High Café’s garlic bread-like pizzas topped with shrimp.
In between bites of this, I had some of my husband’s pasta with cream sauce and ham. The food at High Café is filling, delicious, fun to share, and a great value. I’d recommend popping your head in on a rainy Galway night for some cozy cuisine.
Spanish Arch Hotel – The Spanish Arch Hotel is a great place for music, but I also love it for a slightly upscale pub lunch. Their Prawn and Smoked Salmon Marie Rose Salad is one of my favorites in Galway. Paired with a pint and some brown bread, this makes a nice light lunch.
Hotel Meyrick – This is your spot for lunch or tea, sometimes with music. On our last day in Galway, we met with some more family and friends for lashings of tea and soup and glasses of wine and to listen to the most delightful piano music. The Meyrick is absolutely gorgeous, a great luxury hotel option in the center of Galway. I’m dying to check out their Gaslight Brasserie.
Gemelle’s – Just looking at the exterior probably tells you that Gemelle’s is a charming, romantic spot. Their short wine list offers some fun options, and the restaurant’s world cuisine offers something for everyone.
Galway is the best place for wandering at night, even in the rain. Ducking into a pub or wine bar or café is always easy; there are so many lining its beautiful streets!
Cava Bodega – We actually couldn’t get into Cava on our last Galway visit; it was that crowded. Cava is said to have the best tapas in Ireland, and their incredible reviews just keep coming. If you’re in Galway, make a reservation at Cava for sure.
Jalapeno’s Tex Mex – I know it’s a little odd to go for Southwestern US cuisine in Ireland, but the food here is oh-so-good. They do Tex Mex right, paired with some spectacular wines of the world. I couldn’t resist slabs of ribs and corn and slaw, all washed down with a spicy Tempranillo. Service was warm and friendly; this is a place you’ll want to linger over a big meal.
Above are just a few of the Galway restaurants we love. I missed my birthday dinner at Aniar due to a broken Aer Lingus plane, but I know, even without eating there, that I love it. Aniar will be my first dinner stop on our next Galway trip.