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Mar 5, 2008 10:15 AM


Hey! This is super early but I am so excited that I'm planning now...I will be in Dublin, Galway and places around Galway (Doolin, Aran Islands) this summer on vacation!!! :) Where should I eat? What should I order? What is something I should not leave Ireland without trying? I know Ireland is not known for its food but I'm sure there is something I should experience. I'll be on a backpacker's budget so nothing too expensive...well, maybe one splurge. Thank you so much! I wish I could go tomorrow! I just can't wait!

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  1. If you're gonna spulrge on one meal, the Park House hotel in Galway City has a great restaurant. But it will cost you.

    1. Not mad about Park house but each to his own I suppose! Can't really think of any evening meal places in Galway off the top of my head but for great salads and sandwiches Delight on Abbeygate Street is great (pick a warm day cos there is no room to eat here so you might as well bring it with you and eat it up in Eyre Square) There are actually a few nice little cafe/bistro type places on that same street too. If you go down Quay Street (really easy to find) there are lots of restaurants there but one of the nicest long lunch places i've been to is above O'Neachtains Pub, however I can't remember the name of it (due to much time spent downstairs obviously:) For a splurge.......I would wait till you get here and then maybe save it for a good seafood place out in Connemara - I won't give you a name cos I havent been out there in a couple of years and I could be waaaay wrong at this stage. Good luck and enjoy! Oh and don't leave Galway without going to Sheridans Cheesemongers(smelly but fabulous) and having one of the stuffed crepes from the stall outside....Yum!

      1 Reply
      1. re: ELDee

        Ard Bia is upstairs from Neachtains (Naughtons in English):

        Decent grub was there last time I was Galway for dinner one night, good grub in a rustic boutique type setting. And I think the lunch menu in Neachtains is from Ard Bia.

        However, many of the places on the same section of the street (Quay Street) are touristy and seem a bit overpriced for the grub they offer. Galway City is a nice town, well worth spending a least a day or two there.

      2. McDermott's in Doolin has great pub food at a reasonable price and good craic in the evenings. O'Connors was a little pricier but you can get a good chowder and a pint there.

        BTW, Ireland has AWESOME food! We saved a ton of money by picking stuff up in the local bakeries, produce and deli or butcher shops for our lunches and snacks. Local produce and cheeses, fresh breads, local made deli meats, it was awesome! You can get good smoked salmon almost anywhere but Lisdoonvarna near Doolin is famous for it.

        We stayed at B&B's so we had breakfasts included. If you're staying at hostels, find out where the nearest bakery is and chow down on the stuff they have fresh out of the oven and still warm in the morning. Lots of them also offer tea and coffee. That and some local fruit and cheese make a great budget breakfast. And if you've got some smoked salmon leftover, even better!

        Evenings we hit pubs for dinner. Out of 3 weeks worth of traveling we had only one dinner that was a disappointment. The portions were generally large enough for two of us to share with maybe an addition of a bowl of soup or an extra salad. Be aware that if you order something like chicken salad what you'll get is not diced chicken in mayo but beautiful slices of chicken breast laid on a bed of greens and accompanied by sliced fresh veggies!

        Also, pack along about a half dozen plastic grocery bags. You'll need them for grocery shopping because the stores don't automatically load stuff in bags like they do here. You bring your own. I stuffed scads of bags in the cell phone pocket attached to my back pack. Also pick up a cheap paring knife once you land, it'll come in handy. We had a medium size soft sided cooler with gel packs for ice that worked great carrying our food. It folded flat in our checked luggage to get there, carried our food nicely while there and served as a carry-on coming home for the stuff I bought. The places we stayed we very nice about throwing the gel packs in their freezers overnight for us.

        You are going to love your trip! Doolin is still my favorite place to be and after that comes Dingle or maybe Connemara...or the Burren... But everywhere is beautiful!

        6 Replies
        1. re: morwen

          "chicken salad what you'll get is not diced chicken in mayo but beautiful slices of chicken breast laid on a bed of greens"

          Excuse me, please - but where would chicken salad be diced chicken in mayo and not pieces of chicken on salad?

            1. re: rrems


              As a slight tangent, in that case, what would you ask for in the US, if you wanted a European style chicken salad, rather than chopped chicken in mayo? Would such a dish be on a menu called something else?


              1. re: Harters

                It would usually be described as a salad with grilled chicken, or chicken caesar salad, or some other indication that it was a green salad with chicken included.

                (However you won't find a lot of restaurants offering the chicken with mayo type salad unless it's a diner or maybe a deli type place. But it is what first springs to my mind when I hear "chicken salad.")

                Anyway, yes, food in Ireland is much improved over its reputation. Lots of wonderful seafood, especially in Galway. I've had my share of bad meals there too, but have learned what things are usually a bad choice.

                1. re: irishnyc

                  Thank you for the explanation. I knew I'd had "salad with chicken" in previous visits to the States. Had never occured to me that it wouldnt be called "chicken salad" :-)

                  Returning to the OP's question, you need to eat locally caught seafood and locally grown beef. Ireland has many good cheesemakers - look out for products at farmers & country markets. The markets are likely to provide the makings of good cheap picnic lunches as you move around:

          1. re: morwen

            great tip about the bags, morwen -- thanks!

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Park House is a good choice, try it at lunch time, better value than evening. Ireland's food has come a very long way in the last 15 years, some of the best restaurants in Europe can be found in Ireland, so maybe do a little more research when it comes to dining before you travel.