County Clare, Galway, and the Aran Islands Restaurants

Because the West provinces have a brief high season—from mid-June to early September—and a quiet off-season, it doesn't have as broad a choice of small, owner-operated restaurants as do other parts of Ireland. Often the best place to eat is a local hotel. But some places landmark the region, including Moran's Oyster Cottage in Kilcolgan near Galway City, where the fare is simple, served in traditional pub surroundings, but sea-leaping fresh. At the other extreme are more dazzling experiences, like when you splurge to dine in style like the superb formal restaurant at Dromoland Castle. For truly adventurous contemporary Irish cooking, head to happening Galway; the town center is so compact you can meander around and read the menus on display outside before making your choice.

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  • 1. The Town Hall Bistro

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    Slate flooring, rich timber fixtures, a large bay window, and whitewashed walls hark back to an earlier time of midmorning scones and cakes with afternoon...Read More

  • 2. Café Linnalla

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    Set in a peninsula on Galway Bay's Flaggy Shore, the enterprising Brid Fahy opened this farm-to-wafer parlor experience back in 2006. Made with milk from...Read More

  • 3. Cupán Tae

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    For anyone seeking an authentic tea-drinking experience, à la the Irish grandma who serves tea as an art form, the Cupán Tae ("the cup of...Read More

  • 4. Hazel Mountain Cafe

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    This surprising find in a cottage on the northern ridge of the Burren is not only a refreshing place for a soup-and-sandwich break, it's also...Read More

  • 5. Teach an Tae

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    Michael and Alissa Donoghue do not have to travel far to get the ingredients for their little cottage café that overlooks the pier. Their flock...Read More

  • 6. Vaughan’s on the Prom

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    Travelers come here to get up close and personal with the surf from behind a bowl of steaming Atlantic seafood chowder. Floor-to-ceiling windows capture the...Read More

  • 7. Food Heaven

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    Commanding a prime location in the town's market, Food Heaven is one of the best places to eat breakfast in Ennis, with standouts including a...Read More

  • 8. The Pie Maker

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    This quirky little slice of Galway harbors some of the city's best sweet and savory treats behind its maroon, ivy-clad facade, and a visit is...Read More

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