The 10 Best Breakfast And Brunch Spots In County Donegal, Ireland

Jillian Ellis

Donegal’s rugged and romantic coastline and rich past makes it a fantastic place to visit. Here are the best places to eat breakfast and brunch in this beautiful Irish coastal spot.

1. The Harbour Restaurant

Restaurant, European

The view from the Wild Atlantic Way
© Greg Clarke/Flickr
Located in the heart of Donegal Town, on the edge of the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way and at the foot of the Bluestack Mountains, The Harbour Restaurant specializes in fresh, locally sourced seafood. Having received the McKennas Guide’s “Best in Ireland 2015” Award, this is a popular and much loved place to dine. The building that now houses the restaurant was once a traditional family home. It still has the original stone walls which were hand-cut and so hold a lot of character to this day.

2. Aroma Coffee Shop & Mini Bakery

Bakery, Cafe, Irish, European

Crafts stores surround a calming and relaxing square where various artistically designed products can be found and purchased. This adds to the warm and friendly atmosphere in Aroma Coffee Shop & Mini Bakery to create something a little different. The menu is not your typical tourist menu, with delicious homemade lunches such as chicken Caesar salad or steak sandwich and soups. The cafe also makes homemade Moroccan orange cake which is very highly acclaimed. It opens at 9.30am for breakfast.

3. An Stad

Cafe, European

An Stad entrance
© Kenneth Allen/ geograph
Open every day from 9.30am, An Stad makes homemade pancakes and crepes as well as healthy breakfast meals to help you start the day feeling great. The cafe is colorful and fresh – a perfect bright, quirky change from regular restaurants. For brunch there are healthy salads, soups (such as potato and celeriac), homemade potato cakes, baked avocado and lots of other great things to choose from.

4. Moonshine Coffee Shop

Cafe, European, Irish

The Moonshine Coffee Shop opens at 10am weekdays and 11am on weekends. The coffee shop has its own original blend of coffee, and there is always a great selection to choose from. The atmosphere in the restaurant is perfect in every aspect – it is friendly and jovial, but private and comfortable. Visitors can talk to the chef, and so ask any questions or express any comments they may have.

5. The Kitchen

Cafe, European

The Kitchens exterior
© Kenneth Allen/ geograph
Originally opened as a bagel bar, The Kitchen’s owners Pat and Amanda had a dream of developing their bar into a cafe. That dream has presented itself in the form of The Kitchen. All foods are made fresh to order and there is a weekend brunch menu with dishes like eggs Benedict or eggs black (with black pudding instead of ham). The breakfasts are good value and generously portioned with a large breakfast containing two sausages, two bacon, two black pudding, two eggs and beans (includes tea or coffee and toast or fried potatoes). This cafe is also perfectly situated for people shopping in The Courtyard shopping center, so you can fuel up before your shopping spree.

6. Castlemurray House Restaurant

Hotel Restaurant, Dessert, Fast Food

Overlooking McSwyne’s Bay, where the ruins of McSwyne’s castle can be seen enduring endless waves from the Wild Atlantic Way, lies Castlemurray House Hotel. The beautiful landscape at St. John’s Point forms a relaxing and serene atmosphere, making it a spot not to be missed when dining in their in-house restaurant. The restaurant has a self-serve buffet table, but visitors can also order food to be cooked upon ordering. Breakfast choices are Killybegs smoked salmon and free range scrambled eggs; omelette with mozzarella cheese, vine tomato and mushroom; and multiple others. This includes the catch of the day. Breakfast is served from 8.30am until 10am.

7. Olde Castle Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, Seafood, Irish

The Olde Castle Bar
© Suzanne Mischyshyn/ geograph
A traditional Irish bar frequented by the locals, the Olde Castle Bar has won multiple awards and been described as “Donegal’s leading seafood restaurant”. It is a member of the prestigious B.I.M Good Seafood Circle for their high-quality seafood dishes. Situated in the sublime beauty of the countryside surrounding Donegal, the old building that the bar is set in has a rich character. It leaves visitors with a sense of an old-time, traditional Irish experience.

8. The Poppyseed Bakery

Bakery, Cafe, Indian, Italian, French, Thai, Irish, Soup, Vegan, Gluten-free

Open from 11am on weekdays, The Poppyseed Bakery serves food from around the world, from Italian and French to Indian and Thai. The staff is very friendly and efficient. The interior is regally decorated with cream-yellow walls, mahogany flooring and furniture, and there are interesting art prints and paintings on the walls. The breakfast menu consists of generous and fresh foods such as homemade wheaten bread, and on the lunch menu there are refreshing treats like the sun-dried tomato and goat cheese quiche.

9. Oscar’s Café Bar & Restaurant

Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, European

Located in the center of Buncrana next to shops, bars and everything else Buncrana has to offer, Oscar’s Café Bar & Restaurant opens at 11am to fill your bellies with a hearty breakfast. The interior decor is regal and comfortable, with velvet-covered chairs of various colors. There as well as perfectly matched mahogany tables with light cream seats. This is the perfect place to go for a morning coffee or for brunch. Oscar’s Café Bar and Restaurant is very good value for money and there is a good range of foods.

10. The Gaslight Inn


Clarcam & Blue Stack Mountains
© louise price/WikiCommons
Upon the cliffs overlooking Donegal Bay, The Blue Stack Mountains and Rossnowlagh beach, The Gaslight Inn is the perfect restaurant to go for breakfast or brunch before a day on the beach or exploring the local beauty. Breakfast is served from 11am, and visitors can choose between a full Irish fry, various soups and sandwiches.

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