- Jillian Ellis
Galway is a harbor town on the west coast of Ireland. Recognized as Ireland’s cultural heart, Galway is known for its many festivals, events and vibrant lifestyle. Here are the best places to eat while you’re in town.
A cute cafe with antique wooden furniture and bottles lining the walls, Ard Bia creates traditional Irish foods with a touch of inspiration from around the world. Their focus is to provide community experiences and aesthetic stimulation as well as fresh food in a fun environment. Their brunch menu contains sweet treats such as buttermilk pancakes with orange, lemon and poppy seed, vanilla marscapone and runny honey, and stuffed French toast with poached pear, soft cheese and cinnamon orchard syrup. They also serve two full fried breakfasts: the veggie Hippy Fry (poached eggs, mushroom, spinach, roast tomatoes, potato cake with spiced tomato relish and toast) and the epic Full Fry (Colleran’s smoked streaky bacon, oaty black pudding, sausages, poached eggs and roast tomato with spiced tomato relish and toast).
Spanish Arch, Long Walk, Galway +353 91561114
Beginning in 2001 as a small French-style bakery, the Gourmet Tart has won the Bridgestone best in Ireland award every year since 2004, and has been on Georgina Campbell’s recommended list since 2010. Service is fast and friendly, and all products are hand-crafted to perfection. Examples from their breakfast menu are almond and chocolate croissant and toasted English muffins with rashers, poached eggs and tomato chutney.
Apartment 5, Jameson Court, Quincentennial Dr +353 91588384
Lohan’s Bar and Restaurant
Galway is a city which likes to sleep in, and most breakfast cafes don’t open until 11am or 12pm. Family-run Lohan’s opens early in comparison at 9am. The atmosphere is very relaxed and comfortable, with light wooden furniture and wooden paneling on the walls. Combining old-fashioned traditional cooking styles with world-inspired modern twists, Lohan’s provides great value for money in a jovial and welcoming environment. Portion sizes are just right and the full Irish breakfast is highly recommended.
232 Upper Salthill Road, Galway +353 91522696
Kai Café + Restaurant
With wooden chairs and a bare stone wall interior, Kai Café has a rustic and homely feel. Their focus is on organic European food served in a bright and comfortable setting. Items from their lunch menu include Ardsallagh goat’s cheese salad with tomato, blood orange, toasted seeds and brown bread and West Coast crab salad with poppyseed, cucumbers, avocado mayo, potato and cheddar scone. Food is beautifully presented in incredibly pleasant surroundings.
20 Sea Rd, Galway +353 91526003
Known for serving wonderful sweet snacks and sandwiches to go with afternoon tea, Claire’s Tearooms also sells well-planned and beautifully crafted breakfast meals such as homemade pancakes with summer berry compote, fruit scones and many other treats. For brunch, refreshing meals such as crab and avocado salad, barbecue bean burgers served with salad or homemade soups are available. The atmosphere is very peaceful and calm, and service is quick and attentive.
The Old Stone House, Clarinbridge, Galway +353 9177660
Cupan Tae is a traditional Irish tea shop specializing in quality home baking. Using only local Galway produce, Cupan Tae provides 30 different flavors of loose leaf tea which are served in high-quality china. Their menu changes almost weekly to reflect seasonal changes, but they always have lots of vegetarian options. Their breakfast menu includes originals like “before-noon tea” – homemade granola, natural yoghurt and honey with fresh strawberries, freshly baked scone with whipped cream and homemade jam, alongside their own loose leaf breakfast tea.
8 Quay Ln, Galway +353 91895000
An Tobar Nua
Overlooking the canal, An Tobar Nua is an Irish-American coffee shop. They are very active in the community, regularly hosting events such as a children’s summer camp or “the great American road trip” during August (when sample dishes from across America were available to be sampled in the shop). An Tobar Nua employees come from various Christian denominations, making the cafe a great place for biblical discussion. All coffee served is Puro Coffee, a Fair Trade organization which is dedicated to protecting South American rainforests. The menu has a fantastic variety and there is a bookshop in the cafe – great for reading during breakfast.
25/27 Lower Dominick Street, Galway +353 91562175
Brasserie on the Corner
Aiming for top-notch quality, the Brasserie on the Corner has an extensive and deeply thought-out lunch menu with a mixture of classics like a smoked chicken open sandwich and a superfood salad, as well as original dishes such as steamed Renvyle mussels or blue cheese salad with poached pears. The menu refreshingly has Irish translations of the English. Brasserie on the Corner has won multiple awards, including the Mackenna’s Guide award for best in Ireland in 2014 and the Yes Chef award in 2015.
25 Eglinton St, Galway +353 91530333
A Mexican restaurant in the center of Galway, Home Plate’s interior is bright and colorful. The full breakfast includes two sausages, three bacon rashers, beans, black and white pudding, fried potato slices, baked beans, egg and toast which is served with tea or coffee and is fantastic value for money. The service is friendly and fast, and there are many vegetarian options on the menu. Home Plate is very popular with students in Galway due to the inexpensiveness, especially as students get a discount.
13 Mary Street, Galway +353 91561475
The Quay Street Kitchen
Artistically decorated with a quirky modern interior, The Quay Street Kitchen is a fantastic place to visit any time of the day. Their menus contain lots of vegetarian and celiac-friendly options which are clearly marked. Located on the main shopping street in Galway in an old-style grey stone building, this restaurant provides an accessible and relaxed atmosphere for an upmarket and comfortable breakfast or brunch.
Unit B The Halls, Quay Street, Galway +353 91865680