The Irish Balance Guide To…Food in Galway (Part 1)

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By now, many of you will know that I’ve lived in Dublin for most of my life, but recently moved to Galway city (in the West of Ireland) to start a new career path. Most of you also know that I’m a serious foodie, and love trying new places to eat when I’m in a new city or country. Since moving to Galway a few weeks ago, I’ve been able to try a few new cafes and restaurants in the city, and you guys have been asked for a guide on the blog. By now you’ll have seen the ‘Part 1’ of my Galway guides (link to that here), in which I shared my favourite spots for coffee and to chill out. This ‘Part 2’ is all about the food – so let’s get into it!

Kai

kai

Kai is the most recent restaurant I’ve been to, and it’s the one I was most excited for (Ard Bia is a close second!). I brought my sister and mom here recently on their visit to Galway. I had heard amazing things from so many friends about how incredible the food was, and holy moly they were right. We visited for brunch on a Sunday, and queued for about 10 minutes to get a table, which we were expecting (people arrive half an hour before opening time at Kai!). I had a butter beans and poached eggs on sourdough dish with mozzarella – it sounds a little funky, and it was, but in the best way possible. The menu is written up on a board everyday and that’s what you choose from – it was so creative, and made you want to try everything on it! Kai also have an amazing range of cakes and baked goods too if you fancy trying those! Honestly, it was the best meal I’ve had since moving to Galway (plus really friendly staff) and I’m already planning my trip back to try the dinner menu!

Ard Bia

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This was my first brunch when I moved to Galway, and I’ve been back since. Ard Bia’s reputation precedes it, and I can see why. The restaurant is just under and beyond the famous Spanish Arch in Galway, and is a two-floor old stone building that’s like a little cottage inside. Similarly to Kai, people queue up 10-15 minutes before opening time to get a table! But also like Kai, it’s worth it. As you can see in the photos below I had a gorgeous homemade baked beans on toast dish on my first visit, and a delicious smoked salmon salad dish the second time around. The coffee is great, the staff are lovely and I’ll definitely be back to try the evening menu too!

Dela

dela

Dela is a restaurant almost everyone will recommend to you when you tell them you’re visiting Galway. The interior is absolutely gorgeous, and its also worth arriving a few minutes early if you’re planning to visit for brunch! My friend and I had brunch there not long after our move to Galway, and we loved it. I’ve heard the evening menu is delicious too – another one for my list!

The Kitchen

Located in the Galway museum building (opposite Ard Bia!), The Kitchen is one of my favourite cafes in Galway. Its one of the first places I ate in in Galway on a visit years ago, and I loved it, right down to the cute teapots! It’s a nice spot to refuel over brunch or lunch – the menu is quite varied so you should find something for everyone.

37 West

37west

My work gals and I brought ourselves here for a quick lunch out a few weeks ago, and we were absolutely delighted with ourselves when our food arrived. 37 West is actually quite close to my new apartment! I had a Falafel Salad which you can see below, and honestly the falafels were one of the best I’ve had – trust me, I’ve tried a lot of falafel! 37 West, like Kai, had a range of incredible-looking baked goods – so a handy place to visit if you’re in the mood for something sweet, savoury or both!

Handsome Burger

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The Handsome Burgers were this year (2019) voted the best burger in Ireland – that is some achievement! My housemate and I made our way here for a Friday night dinner out a couple of weeks ago, and although I’m not a major meat-eater (I enjoy it, but don’t miss it if I don’t have it), I have to say Handsome Burger lived up to the hype. I was told the ‘Loaded Fries’ were a must-try so of course we gave those a go! I had the classic Handsome Burger and enjoyed every bite. With Bruce Springsteen playing in the background, it was an experience I’m delighted to have had!

Quay Street Kitchen

I haven’t actually made it back to this spot since moving to Galway, but I’ve been at least twice on previous visits to Galway so I have to include it here! The Quay Street Kitchen is a great place to head for a tasty evening meal right in the heart of Galway. The menu is a mixed of vegetarian, seafood and other dishes, and if the weather is nice, sitting outside is a good shout too! It’s pretty popular especially on the weekend, so be prepared to have a little wait if you go – have a drink or two at Neachtain’s pub up the road in the meantime!

TGO Falafel

TGO

TGO (the Gourmet Offensive) is a small little café you’d almost miss walking past if you weren’t looking for it. I had heard it was worth a visit to try the falafel, so I popped in to grab a lunch to go on my way home from town one weekend. TGO have a range of really funky salads (all of their food is vegetarian), and a menu you can choose from too (including building your own salad). Plus, they had tahini – my day was made! It’s a nice spot to visit for a quick colourful lunch on the go as you make your way around the city – if its sunny out, you could grab it to go for a picnic on Eyre Square!

Other places on my list that I haven’t made it to yet – but will! – are:

  • Temple Café
  • Rouge
  • The Lighthouse Café
  • Aniar
  • Tartare
  • Doughbros Pizza
  • Loam (this place is VERY fancy, so I’ll be saving it for a pay day and a serious occasion!)

And that’s a wrap gang! Keep an eye out for a ‘Part 3’ of my Galway Guides once I’ve tried more places on my list – and of course, let me know if you have favourites yourself, and if you try any of mine!

Ciara 😊 x

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