Whether you need a hearty breakfast because you’ve been partying with the best of them in Killarney, or you’re preparing to hit the hills and cover some ground in the county’s national parks, there are plenty of reasons to make the most of your early morning chow when you’re visiting Kerry, in Ireland
‘s rugged and popular south-west.
You could go traditional Full Irish (it’s available pretty much everywhere, but we’ve picked out a couple of the best below), or be a little more inventive in your morning meals. Here are our top spots:
Yummy Cafe Market
Cafe, Irish, $$$
A real authentic taste of Kerry, Yummy Cafe Market is an inventive daytime café that prides itself on using loads of local ingredients and putting them together as creatively as possible. That means handmade flatbreads based on creative flours, but also things like porridge, bagels, French toast, Full Irish and plenty of egg options. They describe their vibe as ‘upcycled’ and ‘Pinteresty’ – essentially interesting and photogenic, then. Most importantly, whatever you order, it’ll be good.
Clonmara Bed & Breakfast
Hotel Restaurant, Irish, $$$
A top-class hotel breakfast is an Irish institution that runs deep enough to warrant parody, and while you might have to stay in Clonmara to get hold of one here, there’s plenty of motivation to drop by and dig into this spot near gorgeous Dingle. The family-run bed and breakfast overlooks the sea, and serves up chunky Full Irish offerings containing everything from blood sausage to locally produced bacon. The perfect prep for a day of paddle boarding, canoeing, hiking or simply sitting in one of Kerry’s wonderful pubs.
Mick and Jimmy's
Restaurant, Irish, North American, Mediterranean, $$$
An interesting blend of a place when it comes to breakfast (Mick and Jimmy’s is great through the day), this Kenmare spot manages to match traditional Irish food with some American and Mediterranean flavours. Their Full Irish Breakfast is a popular local staple, while the huevos rancheros, pancakes and the county’s best coffee will set you right for exploring Kerry’s rugged heartlands. The menus change constantly, with inventive additions, but the Dingle crab breakfast is something to go out of your way for.
The Caragh Restaurant
A nice spot in tourist-loving Killarney where you get lots for your money, including that must-try Full Irish Breakfast. Their heaped hangover-quenching option features all the usuals, from blood sausage to baked beans and a chunky local sausage. This is basic food done well and in generously abundant quantities (if you’re fresh from a hike, go for the mixed grill), and while it probably won’t be the highlight of your holiday, it does give a taste of what the more everyday Irish cuisine is like. The building’s beautiful, too.
Kate Kearney's Cottage
Pub, Irish, $$$
It might be a real tourist trap, but sometimes the obvious solutions are the best ones. Kate Kearney’s Cottage outside Killarney is a famous launching spot for some of the more ambitious hikes in Kerry, and beautifully located with hill views and rugged old buildings. It also feels like it’s changed little over the years, and the hefty breakfast inside the thatched buildings halfway up the picturesque Gap of Dunloe is a great intro to rural Kerry. Think simple pub grub with great coffee and an atmosphere.
Sammy's Bar, Restaurant and Café
Cafe, Irish, Seafood, $$$
Essentially a surf shack turned very impressive restaurant, Sammy’s on gorgeous Inch Beach is a great glance into another side of Kerry: the growing surf culture. The high-end restaurant is evenings only, so the spot to head for breakfast is the café, where you’ll find the simple and substantial, taking in the heft of ‘Brunch at the Breach’ (essentially a scenic Full Irish) and simple offerings like sandwiches, coffee and omelets. The main draw, though, is the view, naturally: a long, narrow beach beloved of walkers, divers, surfers and kayakers.