"Pub Crawl" in Ireland
My husband and I will be in Ireland for about 9 days in late April. We have no set travel agenda, but we're planning on spending most of our time meandering through southern and southwestern Ireland. Pubs and guest houses will be the focus of our trip, and off-the-beaten-path locations are not a problem. We're looking for places where the locals go for good food and drink, and for an enjoyable time; music would be a definite plus. What places should we definitely not miss? Thanks for your recommendations!
There's very good music in Killarney and recently there were several threads here about good places to eat in that town. (Just use the search box above with Killarney). You will also find good Irish music in Galway City - an area you definitely should explore. If you drive the Ring of Kerry (be adventurous and do the inner, more difficult drive), a lunch at the Avoca Weavers in Mull's Gap is a lovely stop.
My "list" is a work in progress, culled from recommendations that have been posted somewhat recently here on CH. I'll paste portions of my document list below.
Gaby's is recalled as a great seafood place - run by a Belgian family and been there for years.
Killarney, County Kerry Phone: 353 64 32519
We discovered Stonechat, a lovely place serving hearty local dishes. Nothing too fancy and great value. Just off the high street, in the centre of town.
Stonechat Cafe and Restaurant
8 Flemings Lane,
Phone: +353 (0)64-34295
Tonight's dinner was a delight. We went to the Mustard Seed in Ballingarry, south of Limerick and not too far from Killarney. It is a beautiful country house, the food is at a very high level and the service is friendly yet polished. I chose it because the better restaurants in Cork are closed on Sundays. It is a reasonable trip from Killarney.
The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge
Co. Limerick Ireland Phone: + 353 69 68508
We went to Mary Ann's in Castletownshend - because of your recommendation, Harters - and had a good lunch. We had good starters of mussels and (lovely) smoked salmon and the dippy waitress made our day - like all the staff, she was lovely and warm - as was the terrace we ate on. We would have liked to have eaten more of the menu, but were saving ourselves for Max's in Kinsale that night.
Max's - as previously reported, this place is excellent. Perfect foie gras with sultanas, pine nuts and spices - delicious and perfectly cooked. Great fish too. Cuisine Modern Irish Hours Mon and Wed-Sun 12:30-3pm and 6:30-10:30pm
Location Main St, Around the County Reservations Reservations recommended Phone 021/477-2443
Prices Fixed-price early-bird 3-course dinner E 24; dinner main courses E 18-E 30
Bars we liked included the Harbour Bar and the Spaniard. Met lots of lovely people and had a damn fine time.
I've also looked through Rick Steves' book on Ireland where he has numerous recommendations for pubs and restaurants.
You will probably pass through Clonakilty in South-West Cork. DeBarra's is an atmospheric music pub (http://www.debarra.ie); An Teach Beag is the O'Donovan Hotel's music venue (http://odonovanshotel.com) and O'Keefe's in the Emmett Hotel is a grand choice for lunch or dinner. Deasy's in Ring (just outside of town) is a decent fish restaurant (dinner only). I do not recommend An Sugan in Clon; it gets a lot of tourist press but the owner is insufferably rude.
Heading Westward, visit Nolan's Pub on the Square in Ross Carbery (http://www.rosscarbery.ie/listings.ph...). O'Briens Pub across from Nolan's is a friendly pub with evening music, but a little run-down ("relaxed" to some, "dingy" to others). The Abbey Bar nearby is okay, but I don't care for the fake-old-fashioned pub in the Celtic Ross Hotel.
Best of luck & slainte!