Before my trip to Ireland the only thing I had read about their food was that they have delicious seafood being that Ireland is surrounded by water, but especially good in Galway because it’s on the coast. And I read that they have great dairy!
So the first thing I asked for was a great seafood recommendation, and Natalie took me to Kingshead. Admittedly she had only ever been there at night for the music and beer, but she had heard that they have great food as well.
To start I ordered the seafood chowder before the main course because it was kind of cold out coming from summer in North Carolina, but also I love seafood chowder. Kingshead’s chowder did not disappoint! It had lots of different kinds of fish with a cream base for the soup seasoned with a lot of dill, which I usually don’t care for that much, but it went really went with this chowder.
For the main course I wanted seafood obviously, and I love crab, so I ordered their crab claws. I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t what came out. I thought I was going to have to use some sort of contraption to get the meat out of the crab claws. When they came out all the work was done for me, and only the long claw was still attached while the rest was meat. This made the meal that much more enjoyable because I wasn’t wrestling to get the meat out of the shell.
The only bummer was that they didn’t have anything that I could take away my leftover chowder in.
Merchant’s Cafe ended up being where we spent almost every morning during our week in Galway. This cafe is located at the bottom of a hotel right in Eyre Square near the bus and train station. Iced coffee is what I usually drink for my daily caffeine fix, but when I go to a new cafe I love trying their chai because it’s different everywhere. Also they don’t have iced coffee like we do in the States they make it with espresso and cold water, which is an americano. If you don’t like really sweet drinks you could ask for a dirty chai, which has espresso and is the perfect mix between sweet, spicy, and coffee. It’s delicious!
Additionally Merchant’s cafe serves amazing food as well. One of the mornings we were there they had this lemon poppy seed cake in the pastry case. I had to try it because I love lemon flavored anything, and it was a perfect cure for my sweet tooth in the morning. Served with a cup of whipped cream on the side to eat with each bite. Mmmm so good!
Something else I love trying when I go to different breakfast places is their eggs benedict. At Merchant’s Cafe they had the option between ham and smoked salmon, and I asked if they could give me one of each. It was served with some greens and fried potatoes. Delicious if you’re craving something savory for breakfast.
The weather was chilly, so once we got inside I wanted something warm, and I decided to order the porridge. I’ve never had porridge it’s a lot like oatmeal but it has a smoother texture, and I feel like it was less flavorful as well. Adding all the berries, bananas, and honey made it a delicious breakfast on a cold day.
Lastly their bowl-a-granola was sooo good!! I’m not a granola fan, but this was delicious, and I definitely recommend it. It’s a layer of yogurt, granola, more yogurt, and berries on top served with honey. Once you mix it all up each bite with a little bit of everything is so delicious!
Xi’an Street Food
One of the nights for dinner we were craving Asian food. When I asked the waitress what her choice between the pad thai and another noodle dish I was thinking about, she didn’t even let me finish my question before she answered, “pad thai, always.” This convinced me. It was in fact delicious and the shrimp were cooked perfectly. Natalie ordered the sweet and sour chicken, and for the rest of the week she wanted to go back, but we had more places to try.
The Front Door
We sat down to dinner at The Front Door after our day at the Cliffs of Moher, and I decided to order a Guinness because you have to. When in Ireland, am I right?
I loved trying the seafood dishes everywhere we went, so I decided to try The Front Door’s fisherman’s pie. Shepherd’s pie is one of my favorites, so I had to try it with fish. Of course it was delicious! I’ll eat anything with cheese and potatoes, but the fish and lemon was a great twist to this classic dish.
Wondering around we found this little cafe where we sat for a bit to enjoy some coffees and pastries. We tried one of their brownies and a lemon cake that were both delicious and served with whipped cream. The cafe has a nice calm vibe for writing, reading, or just relaxing and catching up with a friend.
Murphy’s Ice Cream
Ireland is known for their dairy. When the cows have access to all the grass they could ever want it makes for the best milk. Turn that into ice cream, and it’s some of the smoothest stuff you have ever tried. They have a bunch of sundaes to choose from with toppings and drizzles, or you can order one or two scoops. When we visited they had a whiskey flavored ice cream that was so yummy, and of course I had to try their version of cookies and cream. I’m kind of picky when it comes to ice cream the dairy they start with has to be really good, or you can tell it’s not quality ice cream, but this is top notch Irish ice cream. A perfect snack while you walk down Shop Street.
All in all I was pleasantly surprised by some of the great food we found in Ireland! I definitely want to visit Galway again, so if you have any suggestions for more great places to try when I go back, please comment below!