32 Irish pubs named in Michelin’s ‘Eating Out in Pubs’ Guide for 2017

Larkin's, Poacher's Inn and The Old Spot have each retained their place in the Michelin 'Eating Out in Pubs' guide.

Thirty-two pubs across the north and south of Ireland have retained their places in Michelin’s latest ‘Eating Out in Pubs’ guide, but no new Irish entries have featured on 2017’s list.

Of the 32 pubs featured in the guide, 25 are in the Republic of Ireland, while seven pubs in Northern Ireland have held onto their spots on the prestigious list.

County Down continues to lead the way in terms of the country’s best pub grub, with six establishments, including Pheasant in Annahild and the Poacher’s Pocket in Comber, holding their spots in the guide for 2017.

Cork continues to trump the capital in terms of pub gourmet, holding five listings in the guide, including Deasy’s in Clonakilty, Mary Ann’s in Castletownshend and Bandon’s Poacher’s Inn.

Lisdoonvarna’s Wild Honey Inn and Toddies at The Bulman in Kinsale have each received an ‘Inspectors’ Favourite’ accolade in the most recent guide.

Dublin’s The Old Spot and Kildare’s Harte’s, who entered the guide for the first time last year, have held onto the prestigious mention in the guide, which was published on Friday.

Guide editor Rebecca Burr said the quality of the fare in many pubs now rival that of restaurants: “We are increasingly witnessing how pubs can provide a platform for young chefs to start their own businesses, and how inventive these chefs can be, particularly when it comes to the sourcing of their ingredients.”


Billy Andy’s at Mounthill, near Larne

Restaurants Bill andy's.jpg



Morrissey’s (Doonbeg), Vaughan’s Anchor Inn (Liscannor), Wild Honey Inn (Lisdoonvarna) and Linnane’s Lobster Bar (New Quay)

Linnane’s in New Quay

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Mary Ann’s (Castletownshend), Poacher’s Inn (Bandon), Deasy’s (Clonakilty), Cronin’s (Crosshaven) and Toddies at The Bulman (Kinsale)

Poacher’s Inn in Bandon

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Pheasant (Annahilt), Poacher’s Pocket (Comber), Parson’s Nose and Plough Inn (both in Hillsborough) Pier 36 (Donaghadee) and Balloo House (Killinchy).

Pheasant’s in Annahilt Co. Down


Old Spot and Chop House (both in Ballsbridge)

The Old Spot




Moran’s Oyster Cottage (Kilcolgan) and O’Dowd’s (Roundstone)

Band Arcade Fire visit Moran’s in Kilcolgan





O’Neill’s Seafood Bar (Caherciveen)


Harte’s (Kildare), Ballymore Inn (Ballymore Eustace) and Fallon’s (Kilcullen)

The Ballymore Inn in Kildare


Oarsman (Carrick-on-Shannon)

The Oarsman in Carrick-on-Shannon



Fitzpatricks (Jenkinstown)


The Tavern (Murrisk) and Sheebeen (Westport)


Hargadons (Sligo Town)


Larkins (Garrykennedy)

Larkins in Garrykennedy Tipperary

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Lobster Pot (Carne)

The Lobster Pot (Carne)

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Byrne & Woods (Roundwood).



By Public Transit From Dublin…

Hikes, Vistas and Seafood, All for a Song

For its vertical limestone cliffs and unspoiled sea views, Ireland’s dramatic western coastline may get top billing. But visitors to Dublin hoping to catch a glimpse of the rugged beauty of the Emerald Isle needn’t spend extra hours and expense traveling west. For little more than the cost of a pint, they can hop on Dublin Area Rapid Transit, or DART, the city’s electric rail network that winds roughly 30 miles along the eastern coastline, for convenient under-an-hour escapes. The following day trips — whose draws include staggeringly scenic sea cliffs that are destinations in their own right, a James Joyce museum and, no surprise, excellent seafood and beer — promise memorable, and frugal, additions to any Dublin vacation. (Factor in maximum prices for “the Dort,” the Dublin Bus, and the Luas light rail tram system — at 10 euros a day, $12.20 at $1.22 to the euro, or 40 euros a week — and travel costs become even cheaper.) And while wintertime daily highs average in the mid-40s, confining swimming to only the hardiest souls, with views like these, who needs a dip in the ocean?


About 30 minutes by DART from central Dublin (6 euros for a round-trip ticket, or 4.82 euros when purchased with a prepaid Leap card), the village of Sandycove has one pub, one bistro and little more than a handful of other storefronts. Its main lure is the sea, most notably at the Forty Foot, a (free) bathing spot set among a promontory of rocky outcroppings, with its “Gentlemens Bathing Place” metal sign still intact, though no longer enforced. It is popular year-round — especially on Christmas Day, when hundreds of swimmers line up along its stone steps to plunge into the icy waters in what has become an annual tradition.

On the chilly autumn afternoon I visited, I watched a steady stream of seasoned bathers peel off their jackets and sweaters to bathe in the frigid sea, among them Caineach Brady, a 67-year-old Dublin priest who said he swims two to three times a week at the Forty Foot through winter. “It’s absolutely wonderful, the sea against skin,” Father Brady said. I got my feet wet, but demurred at the thought of a full dip, and instead soaked in views of the sea and the sprightly swimmers.


Sandycove’s other main attraction, just beyond the Forty Foot, is the stone Martello tower where James Joyce had stayed for six fateful nights when he was 22, and provided the setting for the opening scene of “Ulysses.” After a six-month renovation, the James Joyce Tower and Museum (free admission) reopened in April. I pored over a small, captivating collection on the first floor that contained various first editions and other rare books that included a 1935 printing of “Ulysses” with illustrations by Henri Matisse, and a hodgepodge assortment of Joyce’s possessions: a guitar, a leather cabin trunk, a checkered tie he gave to Samuel Beckett, and his last cane.

James Joyce Tower

But it was when I left the first floor that things got more intimate. I climbed my way up an extremely narrow, winding set of very short stone steps — each was about half the length of my foot — and found myself in a re-creation of the “gloomy domed livingroom” Joyce had described in “Ulysses,” with an iron-framed single bed covered with a tattered blanket pushed up against one wall, and a hammock slung across a corner nearby. Up another set of tightly wound steps, and I was on the circular rooftop of the 40-foot tower, with superb views of the endless expanse of Dublin Bay.

“The snotgreen sea” was how the “Ulysses” character Buck Mulligan described it, but as I stood where he made his pronouncement, I couldn’t help but think that description was ungenerous. With waves crashing onto the sharp-edged gray rocks below, sea gulls squawking plaintively above and the heady smell of salt in the air, the turquoise-gray water before me felt meditative, mystical and potent.


Five stops south of Sandycove on the DART, and about 40 minutes from central Dublin (6.65 euros for a round-trip ticket, or 5.74 euros prepaid) lies the town of Bray, which in the mid-19th century had been one of the country’s largest seaside resorts. During a visit in late October, I found its beachfront — whose sandy stretch gives way to a wide swathe of gorgeously smooth, oval stone — calming and restorative, dotted with just the occasional kite flyer and dog walker, as well as another brave swimmer.

But I found real tranquillity when I ambled along the roughly four-mile Cliff Walk, a stunning coastline path hugging the side of the nearly 800-foot-high Bray Head that squashed my long-held belief that the more challenging a hike, the greater the payoff. The Cliff Walk has a gentle incline (less than 400 feet from bottom to top), picnic tables and benches generously scattered about for frequent rest breaks, and beautiful low stone walls and wire cliff railings in place for much of the path. In return, it affords views of strikingly scenic slate cliffs and Dublin Bay’s thousand shades of blue while winding past stretches of shoulder-height fern and patches of flowering yellow gorse. Out there, I found colors so sharp and vivid, it was as if they had been passed through a saturation filter.

The walk ends in the quaint town of Greystones, whose DART station marks the southern extent of the train line. I popped on a waiting train back to Bray (3.15 euros for a one-way ticket, or 2.41 euros prepaid) where I rested my legs and ordered a crisp flatbread loaded with shrimp, sweet red peppers and caramelized onion (9 euros) at the year-and-a-half-old Platform Pizza Bar, easily the most stylish — and eye-catching — restaurant in town, housed in what resembles a slate-gray shipping container across from Bray’s mile-long beachfront promenade.

Revitalized, I went off to explore the town’s beer scene, starting first at the Porterhouse Bray, the original brewpub that belongs to one of Ireland’s earliest and largest microbreweries, which now has pubs in Dublin, London and New York. I parked myself in front of a roaring fireplace and sampled its super smooth Plain Porter (4.50 euros) followed by its Oyster Stout (4.50 euros), a spicy, bitter beer that takes its name from the fresh oysters used during preparation. Both came dark, cold and with luxuriously creamy heads.

Harbour Bar

I whiled away the rest of the evening at the nearly 150-year-old Harbour Bar, voted the “best bar in the world” in 2010 by Lonely Planet. It was also a haunt of Peter O’Toole, who gave it a giant moosehead decades before taxidermy-lined drinking dens came into (and went out of) vogue. It’s now a warren of cozy rooms brimming with bric-a-brac large and small — framed nautical knots, an Underwood typewriter, a rowboat — serving an excellent selection of beers like the beautifully nuanced amber ale from Wicklow Wolf (5.30 euros), a brewery just a five-minute walk away.


About 30 minutes on the DART from central Dublin (6 euros for a round-trip ticket, or 4.82 euros prepaid), Howth has a distinctly different mood from Bray: there’s a sandy beach, but it’s not visible from the center of town, unlike the working harbor. And compared with Bray’s Cliff Walk, the Howth Head walk, whose shortest loop runs 3.7 miles around the Howth Peninsula that juts into the Irish Sea, feels less cosseted and more raw.

In late October, when I attempted the walk, I wavered between feeling exhilarated and nerve-racked when the path wound dizzyingly close to the edge of the steep sea cliffs with their precipitous drops and noticeable absence of safety railings. (The misting rain didn’t help either, nor did the abundant “Dangerous Cliffs” signs.)

But I continued on, and I’m glad I did. I passed fields of purple heather and brushed up against bright-green moss-covered stones. And when I approached the summit, I had to agree with H.G. Wells’s description in his 1918 novel “Joan and Peter” of the view from Howth Head as “one of the most beautiful views in the world.” Cliffs now seemed to drop gently into the sea, enveloped in cascading blankets of tawny-colored heathland before the white Baily Lighthouse, which stood at the peninsula’s tip. Shafts of light cut through the clouds, and across Dublin Bay, I made out the looming shapes of the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains.

Elated by the view, I headed back to town, where I angled for a seat at Crabby Jo’s, a popular restaurant attached to the Wrights of Howth fish market, more than a century old. As I warmed myself with a bowl of seafood chowder (5.95 euros), I became convinced all chowders would benefit from the addition of smoked haddock, whose rich, salty flavor permeated the creamy version at Crabby Jo’s. I also ordered the open crab sandwich, two lumps of fresh-tasting Kilmore Quay crab tossed with diced apple and celery on a bed of arugula and shallots on dense, crumbly brown bread (9.95 euros).

On a warmer trip, picnic options along the edge of the water abound, including piping-hot fried hake with chips from Beshoff Bros. (8.95 euros), and a messier alternative in whole smoked mackerel with a loaf of bread from Nicky’s Plaice (5 euros, fish priced by weight), a no-frills fish market near the end of the Western Pier. But I was just as happy to be enjoying a nourishing meal in a spot perfect for a wintry Dublin getaway.


Top Restaurants in Ireland announced

Top Restaurants in Ireland announced

at Irish Restaurant Awards 2014 in association with the Sunday Independent LIFE Magazine

Irish Restaurants Awards





Kilkenny Restaurant Campagne named Best Restaurant in Ireland


Neven Maguire of MacNean House and Restaurant crowned Best Chef in Ireland

Kilkenny Restaurant Campagne took home the prize of Best Restaurant in Ireland and Neven Maguire, Head Chef of MacNean House and Restaurant, was crowned Best Chef in Ireland at the Irish Restaurant Awards 2014 in association with the Sunday Independent LIFE Magazine, in The DoubleTree by Hilton, Monday June 9th. Over 900 restaurateurs and industry players turned out to attend Ireland’s biggest ever Restaurant awards where Regional and All-Ireland winners were announced in the following categories;

Best Restaurant in Ireland Sponsored by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits and Wakefield Wines
· Campagne
Best Chef in Ireland Sponsored by La Rousse Foods
· Neven Maguire of MacNean House & Restaurant
Best Hotel Restaurant in Ireland Sponsored by Pallas Foods
· The Lady Helen @ Mount Juliet
Best Casual Dining in Ireland Sponsored by Bunzl McLaughlin
Best Gastro Pub in Ireland Sponsored by Total Produce
· The Chop House
Best Wine Experience in Ireland Sponsored by Classic Drinks & Champagne Pannier
· Fallon & Byrne
Best Customer Service in Ireland Sponsored by TheDiningRoom.ie
· Renvyle House Hotel
Best Restaurant Manager in Ireland Supported by The Restaurants Association of Ireland
· Alain Kerloc’H of Ox
Best Kids Size Me in Ireland Sponsored by Heinz
· ely gastro bar
Best ‘Foodie Town’ in Ireland Sponsored by Admailer.ie
· Dingle / Daingean Uí Chuis
Best Café in Ireland Sponsored by Bewley’s
· Kelly’s Café
Best Cocktail Experience in Ireland Sponsored by Ketel One, Diageo Reserve
· Saba
Best Cookery School in Ireland Sponsored by Avonmore
· Ballymaloe Cookery School
Best Digital Marketing in Ireland Sponsored by Nomos Productions
· Canteen
Best Emerging Irish Cuisine in Ireland Sponsored by Odaios Foods
· The Global Village Restaurant
Best Newcomer in Ireland Sponsored by Dalcassian and Cielo
· Forest Avenue
Best Practice in Energy Management in Ireland Sponsored by Calor
· The Ocean Restaurant at The Maritime Hotel
Best Private Dining & Club Restaurant in Ireland Sponsored by San Pellegrino
· Restaurant Forty One at Residence
Best Restaurant Design in Ireland Supported by The Restaurants Association of Ireland
· Kay’s Kitchen, Jervis Shopping Centre
Best Seafood Experience in Ireland Sponsored by Burren Smokehouse
· O’Grady’s on the Pier
Sustainable Restaurant of the Year in Ireland Sponsored by Unilever
· West @ The Twelve
Best World Cuisine in Ireland Sponsored by Elavon
· China Sichaun
Best Value Dining in Ireland Sponsored by Tourism Ireland
· Fenton’s of Dingle

For a full list of winners, see below.

Pádraic Óg Gallagher, President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said;

“This year’s awards have been the biggest, brightest- and the best. They are the awards everyone wants to be associated with, and everyone wants to be a winner. As a testament to their success, we’ve seen a huge increase in nominations and votes since last year, with over 19,000 nominations for Ireland’s favourite restaurants, chefs, gastro pubs, hotel restaurants, restaurant managers and ‘foodie towns’ throughout the country. The Irish Restaurant Awards are all about celebrating those who have brought acclaim to the Irish food scene from abroad and who keep the restaurant industry thriving at home.

Ireland has so much to offer to the culinary tourist, and these Awards remind everyone of the quality and class of Irish restaurants and Chefs. The Irish restaurant scene is vital to the economy, employing 64,000 people and generating revenue in excess of €2 billion per year, it’s great to celebrate the work that all of our restaurateurs around the country do to keep this aspect of our culture alive and kicking.”

The Menu for the five-course Gala was created by five chefs who have previously won Best Chef titles at the Irish Restaurant Awards. This year’s sumptuous menu was devised by the following Chefs;

Opening Course- Ian Orr, Browns Restaurant & Champagne Lounge
Slow cooked Cavan Pork neck with Toffee Apple Purée & Poached Rhubarb
Kindly sponsored by Pallas Foods

Soup Course- Gary O’Hanlon, VM Restaurant, Viewmount House
Oven Roasted Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup
Donegal Chilli Rapeseed Oil, Coconut Milk
Kindly sponsored by Total Produce & Bretzel Bakery

Fish Course- Tom Flavin, Limerick Strand Hotel
Irish Trout, Smoked Salmon, Herring, Beetroot, Organic leaves
Kindly sponsored by Burren Smokehouse, Rene Cusack Limerick and Silver Darlings of the Sea Limerick

Main Course- Sunil Ghai, Ananda
48hrs Kildare Lamb Shank
with Cardamom, Saffron & Fennel and served with Baby Turnip, Pearl Potatoes & Caramelised Baby Fennel
Kindly sponsored by La Rousse Roods & Total Produce

Dessert Course- JP McMahon, Aniar
Elderflower, Yogurt, Cucumber, Cauliflower, Dill
Elderflower and Yogurt Mousse, Cucumber Granita, Dill Oil, Dried Cauliflower Crisp
Kindly sponsored by La Rousse Foods


The 2014 Irish Restaurant Awards are brought to you by The Restaurants Association of Ireland in association with the Sunday Independent LIFE Magazine. The awards are the largest and most coveted awards in the Irish Restaurant Industry.

The Awards recognise achievement and excellence in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry throughout the 32 counties of the Island of Ireland in 25 categories and celebrate all aspects of the Industry from Chefs and Restaurants, Cafes and Gastro Pubs, to Food Producers, Restaurant Managers and Cookery Schools.

Nominations for the Awards are made by readers of the Sunday Independent LIFE Magazine and members of the Restaurants Association of Ireland.

The nomination & awards selection process is also independently audited by Ernst & Young to ensure that best practices & standards have been adhered to throughout the process.

The 2014 Awards process ran from February 16th until 9th June 2014. It is a detailed and thorough process whereby nominated Restaurants face rigorous scrutiny from the Consumer, Regional Judges, a Mystery Guest Visitor and finally the National Awards Academy. The Irish Restaurant Awards are the only kind restaurant awards in the country that carry out mystery guest inspections.

County winners were announced at a number of Regional Awards during March and April and the All-Ireland Awards took place last night, Monday 9th June 2014 in the DoubleTree by Hilton, Dublin.

There are two phases of voting. Phase one comprises of the public nomination, which went online on http://www.independent.ie bringing in over 19,000 votes in the three weeks of the public voting, almost double the figure of the 2013 voting record.

There are 3 components to phase two of the process;
1. Mystery Guest Visit (55%) This component of the awards is conducted by Prism Consulting headed by Hugo Arnold, independent food writer and consultant. All County Winners receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of April and May.
2. National Awards Academy (35%) Our National Awards Academy is made up representatives from each of the regional judging panels and meet in May to Judge the County Winners.
3. Menu Judging (10%) All County winners and the Dublin Shortlist in each category are asked to submit a copy of their food menu and wine list for judging.

Best Restaurant Kindly Sponsored by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits and Wakefield Wines

v Connaught- An Port Mór, Mayo
v Dublin – Dax Restaurant
v Leinster – Campagne, Kilkenny
v Munster – 1826 Adare, Limerick
v Ulster – Ox, Antrim
v All-Ireland- Campagne, Kilkenny

Best Chef Kindly Sponsored by La Rousse Foods

v Connaught- Frankie Mallon of An Port Mór, Mayo
v Dublin – John Wyer of Forest Avenue
v Leinster – Billy Whitty of Aldridge Lodge, Wexford
v Munster – Kevin Aherne of Sage Restaurant, Cork
v Ulster – Neven Maguire of MacNean House and Restaurant, Cavan
v All-Ireland- Neven Maguire of MacNean House and Restaurant, Cavan

Best Hotel Restaurant Kindly Sponsored by Pallas Foods

v Connaught- The Restaurant at Belleek Castle, Mayo
v Dublin – The Cellar Restaurant at Merrion Hotel
v Leinster – The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet, Kilkenny
v Munster – The Dining Room at Gregan’s Castle Hotel, Clare
v Ulster – Newforge House, Armagh
v All-Ireland- The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet, Kilkenny

Best Casual Dining Kindly Sponsored by Bunzl McLaughlin

v Connaught- Shells Seaside Bakery & Café, Sligo
v Dublin – ETTO
v Leinster – Avenue Café & Restaurant, Kildare
v Munster – Nash 19, Cork
v Ulster – Hadskis, Antrim
v All-Ireland- ETTO, Dublin

Best Gastro Pub Kindly Sponsored by Total Produce

v Connaught- The Pins at The Twelve, Galway
v Dublin –The Chop House
v Leinster – The Fatted Calf, Westmeath
v Munster – The Derg Inn, Tipperary
v Ulster – The Brewer’s House, Tyrone
v All-Ireland- The Chop House, Dublin

Best Wine Experience Kindly Sponsored by Classic Drinks & Champagne Pannier

v Connaught- West at The Twelve, Galway
v Dublin –Fallon & Byrne
v Leinster – Sha-Roe Bistro, Carlow
v Munster – Killarney Wine Rooms at The Malton, Kerry
v Ulster – Ox, Antrim
v All-Ireland- Fallon & Byrne, Dublin

Best Customer Service Kindly Sponsored by TheDiningRoom.ie

v Connaught- Renvyle House Hotel, Galway
v Dublin –Chapter One
v Leinster – The Restaurant at Marlfield House, Wexford
v Munster – Earl of Thomond at Dromoland Castle Hotel, Clare
v Ulster – Vanilla Restaurant, Down
v All-Ireland- Renvyle House Hotel, Galway

Best Kids Size Me Kindly Sponsored by Heinz

v Dublin- ely gastro bar
v All-Ireland- ely gastro bar

Best Restaurant Manager Supported by The Restaurants Association of Ireland

v Dublin – Stéphane Robin of Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
v All-Ireland – Alain Kerloc’H of Ox

source: http://www.irishrestaurantawards.com/top-restaurants-in-ireland-announced-at-irish-restaurant-awards-2014/