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Best Irish Restaurant Awards Announced for 2017

Posted on May 12, 2017 by Dawn Rainbolt

This week, the Restaurants Association of Ireland announced the All-Ireland Best Irish Restaurant Awards. Every year, people vote on their favourite restaurants in every county across Ireland.

Once each county has chosen a winner, restaurants compete on a regional level, and then a national level. See below this year’s winners of Best Irish Restaurant!

 See the full list of the All-Ireland Best Irish Restaurant Awards here.

Full Irish Breakfast - Wilderness Ireland - Best Irish Restaurant

Power through the day after eating a full Irish breakfast

Ireland isn’t often recognised for its superb cuisine – but it should be! Ireland has come a long way in recent times to find its footing alongside the world’s top gastronomy  destinations. So, every year, voters choose the very best Irish restaurant. 

When you come to Ireland, expect to eat a lot, and expect to eat well. From cosy pubs to steaming fish-n-chips, from creative modern cuisine to high-end gastronomy, Ireland is full of fine – and tasty! – eateries from north to south.

Ireland is also a top-quality producer of dairy products, meats such as beef and lamb, spirits such as whiskeys and vast choices of seafood. Many restaurant owners and chefs practice farm-to-table dishes, focussing on using local products. Some will even have their own kitchen gardens.

To see who won best restaurant, see below. For best chef, best pub, best hotel restaurant and more ‘bests,’ see the complete list here.

Best Irish Restaurant – Sponsored by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits and Cielo Wines

  • All-Ireland – Chapter One, Dublin city
    • The highest accolade, the All-Ireland Best Restaurant award goes to Chapter One, a high-end, Michelin-starred restaurant on the north side of Dublin. Located in part of what was the former home of George Jameson, the acclaimed Irish whiskey distiller, a meal at Chapter One means eating a unique, Irish dining space. Chapter One dishes are a mix of many landscapes and tastes in a successful attempt to create an Irish restaurant with an international standard.
  • Dublin – Chapter One, Dublin
    • See above.
  • Connaught – Kai Café & Restaurant, Co. Galway
    • The quirky, family-owned Kai Cafe, located in Galway city, is a classic farm-to-table eatery, sourcing fresh and local organic products to create their colourful, tasty dishes. The menus change daily based on what local products are available that particular day. Husband-and-wife team David and Jessica Murphy work together seamlessly, both in the kitchen and out, to create and serve menus with the best local ingredients.

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More About Eating & Travelling Your Way in Ireland

  1. Traditional Irish Food 
  2. What to Wear When Hiking in Ireland
  3. 5 Reasons to Hike in Ireland
  4. Guide to Foodie Haven Kinsale
  5. What to Pack for Your Irish Cycling Holiday
Cheese plate - wilderness Ireland - best Irish restaurant

Hard to go wrong when choosing cheeses!

  • Leinster – Sha-Roe Bistro, Co. Carlow
    • Located in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East, the Sha-Roe Bistro is housed in a renovated 18th-century house, with the original open fireplace and wood-burning stove in the courtyard. Owners Stephanie and Henry Stone create seasonal menus based on local cuisine – but with a modern twist, such as a goat’s cheese and wild garlic tart served with a carrot and peanut salad. See our Ancient East Self Drive here.
  • Munster – Wild Honey Inn, Co. Clare
    • Not too far from the world-renowned Burren National Park, the dishes created by Chef Aiden McGrath are based on the French food movement called bistronomy – described as up-scale bistro cooking – but with an Irish touch. Chef Aiden’s menus are inspired by the rugged, lunar landscapes of the Burren, using wild, raw, natural ingredients found in the region. The end result are refined yet rustic dishes echoing the ever-changing landscapes and seascapes of Ireland’s rich cuisine.
  • Ulster – MacNean House & Restaurant, Co. Cavan
    • Located less than half a mile from the Northern Ireland border, the MacNean House & Restaurant is a gastronomic treat. Chef Neven Maguire’s menu revolves around core dishes as well as other dishes that vary according to seasonal changes. Have a drink first in the chic lounge before migrating over to their elegant dining room for fine dining.
Dessert plate - Wilderness Ireland - best Irish restaurant

Delicate sweets that are as much art as they are edible.

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Alternatively, see our sample foodie-based itinerary, Cork & Kerry Gastro Tour to custom-build your tasty, Irish adventure!

About the author

Dawn Rainbolt

American by birth but European in spirit, Dawn has called the US, Costa Rica, Spain, England, Poland, France and now Ireland home over the years. While she has travelled to more than 30 countries, she has fallen in love with the rich Irish culture and sweeping landscapes of Ireland. Armed with a Masters Degree in Tourism Marketing and a love of writing and photography, she is Wilderness Ireland's Marketing Executive since 2017.

Read more articles by Dawn | View Dawn's Profile

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