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. Moran's Oyster Cottage

    $$$$ | Seafood

    This small thatched cottage is just upstream from where the Dunkellin River flows into Dunbulcaun Bay, the epicenter of Ireland's fresh oyster...Read More

  • 2. The Pullman Restaurant

    $$$$ | Irish

    Stationed on the grounds of Glenlo Abbey Hotel, overlooking Lough Corrib in the outskirts of Galway, is Ireland's most unique restaurant: two...Read More

  • 3. Goosers

    $ | Irish

    One of the most famous landmarks in town, complete with thatched roof, turf fire, and stone flooring, this classic Irish pub is a cozy a retreat...Read More

  • 4. O'Looney's Waves Restaurant

    $ | Irish

    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...Read More

  • 5. The Pier Head

    $$ | Irish

    Once the village pub, the Pier Head is still a bar, but it sells more food than pints these days. The location is idyllic, at the top (head...Read More

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