We visited Gus O'Conners after we left the Cliffs of Moher. It was a great place to stop before we headed out on the Burren. We found the place to be friendly and met up with some Dutch tourists who were very interested about America.
The atmosphere was nice and stars of traditional Irish folk music were well represented on the walls. I also noticed many American license plates and shoulder patched from American police departments.
I also saw a Boston Red Sox poster in between two pictures on Co. Clare football championship photos, however this is only fitting since the Red Sox are world champions. The menu is varied with dishes like Irish stew cooked in Guiness to smoked Salmon. There are also favorites like hamburgers on the menu.
Favorite Dish: I had the Seafood chowder served with brown bread. It was nice and creamy with big chunks of seafood. I washed it down with a Carlsberg and I was ready to head out on the Burren
This rather stylish Italian place was quite a surprise, located as it is in a fairly rural part of the country. As the hunger pangs grew stronger we felt we were lucky to pop into this restaurant, which serves decently priced vegetarian Italian dishes.
The restaurant is is located in a small old market hall, with an Italian style interior transported from, well, Italy apparently. The restaurant appeared popular with tourists and locals alike as I noticed a few people were obviously taking their lunch break from the office in there.
Courteous and helpful service. The staff automatically provide a jug of iced water for free, which seems to be becoming popular in Irish restaurants these days.
Favorite Dish: Large-sized ravioli in a spicy tomato sauce was a hit with one of our number, while the pizzas had a lovely authentic tasting sauce and were a good size - the Quattro Formaggi went down especially well. Mains for around 10 euro.
A bit off the beaten path and located in the small village of Tuamgraney, Teach Ui Bhriain is a lovely stone faced pub and restaurant where you get creatively prepared local foods. The restaurant is in a separate room from the pub, so you can actually enjoy a peaceful dinner here, though it is by no means stuffy. The same menu is available in the pub.
The dining room is very warm and comfortable, with private booths available. The room is abundant in woodwork and burgundy colors and is decorated with art that evokes the local history. The service is very good, with pleasant staff and the food is prepared by an award winning chef. If you're going to eat in the dinning room, take your time and save room for desert.
The pub side is a great place to relax and enjoy a pint. Continuing with the abundance of woodwork it is decorated with some unusual artifacts that seem to have been collected over a number of years.
Favorite Dish: I've had a variety of dishes here, from steak to pasta to curry, and everything has been fantastically prepared. I had one of the most memorable steaks here, served with a black pepper glaze. Irish beef may be the best in the world (though for some reason, you can't get a decent burger). The pasta dish and chicken curry were also very good.
Of course, the best part is desert. Order the sticky toffee pudding and you will go home a happy person.
I had read before this trip that the best seafood chowder to be had in Ireland was at Monk's Pub in Ballyvaughan. With that recommendation and the name of the town how could we not go there. Not only was the chowder all it was supposed to be; we also enjoyed it in front of a real peat fire with our friend Pat and washed it down with you know what.
Favorite Dish: Just had the great seafood chowder and some wonderful Irish bread, but it was outstanding. Go for dinner in the evenings and you will likely be treated to some great music as well.
Small pub with good music, good food and a nice friendly atmosphere. Order food at the bar and find a table in the back next to the fire!
Favorite Dish: Our guide recommended we try the Irish Stew claiming it was the best she has ever tasted - I certainly wasn't disappointed! I had my huge plateful polished off in minutes and seconds wouldn't have gone amiss!
UPDATE: CLOSED. Now is a Supermacs (don't eat there).
This is an excellent Indian restaurant right in Scariff. For dinner, it can be a romantic relaxing evening with it's deep colors and low lighting. They also do take-out if you're not p for the dining experience. The staff is very pleasant. Don't be in a rush, because things move a little slow (welcome to Ireland).
Favorite Dish: I can't remember specific dishes, but I've tried several and haven't been disappointed. You can also get fish and chips here, in case you have a fussy eater in your midst.
UPDATE 3-3-09: On my last visit here I was very disappointed with the service. The room was very cold and heat was provided by a single electric floor heater. We were the only people there, yet it took much too long for drinks to arrive and the waitress forgot part of our order. While the food is still good, I will only recommend this place for take out, which seems to be what most locals do.
"Sicilian Restaurant" is a nice family run place that serves well prepared Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. The food is very good and the atmosphere is friendly and lively. It can get pretty busy, which is a testament to it's quality. Probably your best option for Italian in Ennis!
Favorite Dish: They offer some nice variations from the traditional menus you tend to find in Italian restaurants outside of Italy, especially with their pastas. I had a red sauce that had that peppery spiciness that reminded me of Sicily.
The food is gorgeous and the decoration is interesting. I would recommend the chowder soup (seafood soup, quite thick but sooo nice..hmm!!! I'm getting hungry now haha :-) )
If you like old Irish pubs and stonewalls, don't hesitate to call over. It's very cosy.
Brogan's is a very well known pub in the center of Ennis. It's a really great meeting place and the food is good. It's very nice inside, with much woodwork and several entrances. The way it's laid out, you can enjoy a nice meal in comfort, or head down back for a more pub-ish atmosphere. They often have music so ask the staff. They are also really good about telling you where can find music, if the don't have any going on.
I once saw Tommy Peoples, the great fiddler, and his daughter perform there!
The bus tour stopped in Doolin so that we could get some nourishment, Gus O'Connor's Pub is obviously used to having large bus loads descend upon it as the system of ordering at the bar and the rapid delivery was quite efficient.
Favorite Dish: I ordered fish and chips (14.95€) and a soda, the meal was slightly over 17€, certainly not a deal but they pretty much have a captive audience since Doolin isn't a large town and there probably aren't a lot of other choices. The food was fine, just a bit expensive for a pub lunch.
I didn't get a chance to buy any snacks here because I was too busy taking pictures.
January - February: 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
March - April: 9.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.
May & September: 8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
June - August 8.30 a.m. - 8.30p.m.
(Please note that the gift shop and food outlets within the centre will only serve until 8pm.)
October: 9.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.
November - December: 9.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
Favorite Dish: Press release: County Clare, IRELAND, 25th January 2007 – ‘The Long Dock’ restaurant group was today officially unveiled as the operator of the restaurant at the EUR31.45M ‘Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience’ in County Clare. The critically acclaimed Clare-based operator will commence business at the world famous tourism landmark when the new visitor centre is officially opened by An Taoiseach, Mr. Bertie Ahern, T.D., on February 8th next.
The restaurant will seat up to 120 people on the first floor of the new visitor centre building and will have stunning views from the panoramic windows. The views take in the south aspect of the Cliffs towards Hags Head and the broad expanse of Liscannor Bay. The menu will include local produce, home cooked fare and the best of Irish dishes.
We were directed here by a pub owner who said it was the best seafood around. We had to drag one of our group, kicking and screaming, because he had his heart set on Monk's even though we had heard from several reliable sources that Monks had gone downhill. Anyhoo, here we went to Linannes Lobster Bar in New Quay, with it's bright picture windows looking out onto a scenic inlet. We were happy to find the place very busy on this Sunday afternoon, a testament to it's good food. Afterwards, you can take the Flaggy Shore Walk, which starts right out the front door (tip to follow :)
Favorite Dish: This place is all about seafood. We started with Seafood chowder and a plate of mussels, which really could have been enough for lunch. The chowders was full of chunks of fish and shellfish and was delicious. Undaunted, I proceed to the main course of sauteed scallops while others had the absurd seafood platter that was full of prawns, crab, smoked salmon, and more.
Also, they serve a really good pint here!
P.S. I've been warned not to order their pasta dishes, as they over cook it. I did not test this information.
This lovely restaurant in Scarriff serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a pleasent airy dining room. The waiter (manager?) was very nice and had some fun with us. The room has plenty of natural light and light colored woodwork with a slightly trendy flair. I was very happy with our dining experience here.
Favorite Dish: We went there for breakfast and ordered the "Morning Glory" which is their "light" version of the Irish breakfast (you will be satisfied!). Of course, they serve the full fledged Irish breakfast among other brunch-like healthy items. They even accommodated my friend who had a hankering for a steak and fries at 10am!
Flappers restaurant in Tulla, Co. Clare has very nice atmosphere and can be a good environment for a romantic dinner. While the dining room was elegant with white tablecoths and flickering candles, i have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the meal, especially at the price.
I started with potato and leek soup and others in our party of five had the seafood chowder. The potato and leek was okay, but nothing remarkable, and the seafood chowder failed to impress the others. I had a sirloin steak that was again, okay, but not up to the level of the price, lacking tenderness.
Overall, I feel the dinner was not up to the level of the ambiance or the price.
I suppose no trip to the Burren is complete without a stop in a Monk's Pub in Ballyvaughan. As you you might expect from a pub located on a coastal road, Monk's is known for it's seafood. It is pleasant inside and certainly family friendly. There is also a beer garden for those nice days. Of course it is a busy place, due to it's prime location.
Favorite Dish: If you like shellfish (which I don't, but my affianced does), try the seafood platter. I had a sirloin steak, and as I mention elsewhere on these Ireland pages, Irish beef is excellent.
UPDATE 3-3-09: Many of my local friends have told me that the quality of Monk's food has gone downhill. I have noticed this myself. Even a local pub owner directed us away from Monks, telling us it wasn't very good anymore. Instead we went to Linnane's Lobster Bar in New Quay, which was absolutely great.
This is the fantatsic restaurant at the Ballinalacken Hotel, also dueled as our wedding reception...more
North of Tully, Renvyle, Connemara, Ireland
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
Bunratty Village, Bunratty, County Clare, Ireland
Good for: Business