As the the main ferry port serving the eastern side of Roaring Water Bay and the cluster of islands known as Carbery’s Hundred Isles, the West Cork village of Baltimore
is among the foremost places in Ireland to go for quality seafood. Here are six of the best restaurants in Baltimore.
Restaurant, Irish, Vegetarian, Vegan
Opened by three friends with a dream in 2015, Mews is as much an experience as a restaurant – and it has Irish foodies raving. Housed inside an old, stone coach house, this seasonal venture has been specifically designed to encourage diners to slow down, settle in and engage both with their surroundings and their food. Guests are requested to not use their phones throughout the meal. Unmistakably fresh ingredients take centre stage here – all locally caught, foraged and prepared.
Diners are encouraged to slow down, settle in and engage at Mews | Courtesy of Mews
Cafe, Restaurant, Israeli, $$$
Glebe Gardens span five acres of public coastal gardens, where the four Perry sisters (Tessa, Keziah, JoJo and Mia) use produce (grown in the surrounding grounds by their parents) in the fabulous on-site café and restaurant. Featured on the McKennas’ Guide 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland list for the past four years running – and winner of The Irish Times Best Café/Tea Shop 2015 – Glebe Gardens has a deservedly stellar reputation. The perfectly judged dinner menu includes small plates – think mussels steamed in a Rosscarbery bacon and cider broth – as well as larger dishes such as pan-fried plaice fillets served with sweet cicely butter.
Produce from the coastal gardens are served in Glebe Gardens restaurant | Courtesy of Glebe Gardens
Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, Seafood, $$$
One of Baltimore village’s oldest, Bushes Bar and accommodation is a true maritime pub, with a ship’s helm as part of the décor – visiting sailors and fishermen can even pop in to use the showers. Situated just down from Baltimore Castle (also known as Dún na Séad Castle), Bushes Bar overlooks the harbour, with plenty of outdoor seating available. On the menu are all the pub grub classics, such as soups and toasted sandwiches, as well as a high proportion of seafood options – try the open crab salad or smoked mackerel sandwich.
A selection of toasted sandwiches are on the menu at Bushes Bar | © shira gal/Flickr
Rolf’s Country House
A former farmhouse set within five acres of land just outside Baltimore, Rolf’s Country House has been converted into a comfortable guesthouse, pretty holiday cottages and a unique restaurant. A sample dinner menu incorporates a traditional Cork dish of spiced beef, steamed Bantry Bay mussels, flambéed king scallops and more – all made with a majority of locally grown and organic ingredients. Desserts and breads are homemade, and the restaurant also serves lunch during the summer months.
Rolf’s Country House | Courtesy of West Cork Garden Trail
La Jolie Brise At The Waterfront Hotel
Restaurant, Seafood, Pub Grub
The Waterfront Hotel offers two restaurant options: The Lookout and La Jolie Brise, both with spectacular sea views. The Lookout is the more formal of the two, finely furnished and featuring a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows to take advantage of the superb waterfront location. Again, seafood is predominant here, but there are also meat dishes to sample. Meanwhile, La Jolie Brise is more of a low-key, family-friendly establishment serving pizza, steaks and a diverse range that will satisfy even the fussiest of eaters.
Sunset at The Lookout | Courtesy of The Waterfront Hotel
Casey’s of Baltimore Hotel
Hotel Restaurant, Irish, European, Seafood, Healthy
Situated on the water’s edge just a short walk from Baltimore Harbour, the restaurant at Casey’s of Baltimore Hotel is one of the most highly respected seafood joints in all of West Cork – and there are a lot. While catch of the day comes straight off the boat from local fishermen, the restaurant also grows its own vegetables and herbs, and serves Roaring Water Bay mussels from its own shellfish farm. Standout dishes includes tempura prawn tails and grilled black sole drizzled with lemon butter. Beer lovers may also be interested to know there’s an on-site microbrewery crafting the perfect pint.
Roaring Water Bay prawns | Courtesy of Casey’s of Baltimore