Bricin means ‘small trout’ in Gaelic, and is also the name of a charming stone bridge on Dinis Peninsula in Killarney National Park. Bricin is also a tastefully restored two century old restaurant on Killarney’s high street, owned by brothers Johnny and Paddy McGuire, with natural stone walls, the warmth of antique timber, and the magic of stained glass. Signature dishes in this renowned ‘Celtic Deco’ hangout include Killarney Boxty, a twist on the traditional Irish potato pancake with a choice of chicken, lamb or ratatouille fillings, and of course fish dishes.
Bricin, 26 High Street, Killarney, Ireland, +353 64 663 4902
Treyvaud’s family-run restaurant on the High Street in the heart of Killarney, specialises in international cuisine. Brother’s Paul and Mark were trained as children by their world class chef father Michel, and today Paul is fast becoming Ireland’s answer to Jamie Oliver, with his own youtube channel ‘Cooking with Treyvaud’, and his own book to boot. Using only the finest and freshest ingredients, Treyvaud’s offers a cornucopia of dishes like pan-fried medallions of venison, succulent kenmare bay scallops, organic Kerry beef and other reliable classics. Friendly service and excellent food.
Treyvaud’s, High Street, Killarney, Co. Kerry, +353 64 6633062
Lobster Gaby anyone? That’s a lobster shelled, simmered in a cream-and-cognac sauce, and served back in its shell, a specially delicious invention by Gaby’s Belgian owner-chef. Naturally food like this doesn’t come cheap. Take your pick from seafood platter (seven or eight kinds of fish in a cream-and-wine sauce), fish dishes, a selection of fillet and sirloin steaks, or herb-scented rack of lamb. Gaby’s rustic décor is charming, with a little bar beside an open fire, and ornate wooden stick-back chairs to match a huge wooden dresser. Outside, there’s a small garden for lounging and enjoying your apperitif in summertime.
Gaby’s Seafood, 27 High St., Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland, +353 64/663–2519
The Lake Room Restaurant
If unadulterated luxury is what you’re going for and money is no object, why not dine in The Lake Room Restaurant in Killarney’s sumptuous five star hotel, Aghadoe Heights? The views, overlooking the lakes of Killarney, are spectacular. The food, may not be the main draw here, but is nonetheless award winning, and the service is delightful. You will be treated like Kingdom royalty. Then you can adjourn for a drink in the Terrace Bar, or check out Aghadoe’s famous Spa.
Aghadoe Heights, Lakes of Killarney, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland, + 353 64 6631766 fax: +353 64 6631345
La Rambla Bistro
Catch the Kerry tapas buzz at La Rambla Bistro in Old Market Lane, just off Killarney’s High Street. The ambience is distinctly Catalan, with tapas dishes like tocino a la parrilla (crispy pork belly), deep-fried manchego (ewe’s cheese) with tomato salsa, and mains such as mejillones a la catalana (mussels with spicy sausage and garlic), all as authentic as they come. Lots of Spanish wines by the glass, great sangria, and they also serve up a mean pizza. Meanwhile, on the walls, it’s all Picasso meets Miro meets Antoni Gaudi. Nice and cosy. A little bit of Spain, Killarney-style.
La Rambla Bistro, Old Market Lane, Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland, +353 64 663 9813
The Smoke House
The Smoke House’s Kerry lamb burger is County-renowned, cooked like all their signature dishes in a Josper, that is a Spanish super-hot charcoal oven, the first of its kind on the Emerald Isle. The Josper’s intense heat and charcoal produce perfectly-charred rare steaks; tender and smoky fish and tender bright orange mussels. Or would you rather Kerry Mountain lamb, T-Bone steaks or Kerry Surf’n’Turf (Valentia Island lobster and fillet steak)? Or head here at the beginning of the day to start elegantly with champagne breakfast, ’breakfast in a jar’ or a traditional full Irish. The Smoke House All Day menu features grilled mussels, chicken wings in lavender honey and of course those keynote burgers.
If you want to get down with discerning residents of ‘The Kingdom’, as Kerry is known in Ireland, here is an insider tip for your Killarney sojourn, try the fish and chips at Quinlan’s Fish on the High Street. The Quinlans welcome requests to have your super fresh fish pan fried in olive oil, and salad is at the ready instead of chips should you so desire. The world is your oyster, or maybe your lobster here, where alongside Quinlans’ posh fish and chips you’ll also find an impressive array native of lobster, salmon, crab, scallops, prawns, hake, lemon sole, plaice, haddock, wild mussels and ray to choose from.
Quinlan’s Seafood Bar, 77 High Street Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland, +353 64 6620666.
Wholesome Fayre Deli and Cafe
Wholesome Fayre Deli and Café on East Avenue Road is the brainchild of three chefs who have come together to set up a fabulous food emporium for Killarney. A Deli, Café, Brasserie and Cookery School all in one, the culinary arts rule supreme here as these foodies express their passion for creating exceptional dishes with fresh Irish ingredients, using a classic style of cooking with a contemporary twist. As well as the eat-in dining experience at the brasserie enabling you to watch the chefs at work in an open kitchen, Wholesome Fayre Deli and Café offers fresh gourmet meats, salads, dressings and sandwiches to take away.
Should you take a short excursion from Killarney metropolis to the breathtaking Gap of Dunloe (and you should), pop in to see Denis Pio Moriarty and his wife Ailish at their long established family run business Moriarty’s. Not only will you discover an array of authentic local handcrafts, but a gastronomic feast awaits too, with fish being sourced from suppliers a 20 minute drive away, cheeses and other artisan foods from West Cork and Kerry makers, and legendary fresh Kerry lamb, from pretty much just outside the door.
Moriarty’s, The Gap of Dunloe, County Kerry, Ireland +353 64 664 4144
Cill Rialaig Art Centre
Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat on remote Bolus Head, South West Kerry, may be ‘The Best Kept Secret in the Arts World’ but it also hides another ‘best kept secret’ in Ballinskelligs’ Art Cafe at the Cill Rialaig Art Centre. Here South African chef Johan van der Merwe sources ‘magic’ ingredients from local farmers, markets, small gardens and good local food producers along with foraging on the seashore to create a superb flavoursome experience. Four course weekend table d’hôte suppers are served banquet style in the beautifully appointed stone and thatch circular centre with cocktails and canapés on arrival for €35. Daily à la carte lunch menu 12-4pm. Booking is essential for Weekend Supper Clubs,