The Best Places to Eat in Killarney, Ireland
I recently returned to miserable rainy London after spending a wonderful 9 days in southern Ireland - Mainly around Killarney. I really didn't want to come home - The air was so clean! I took so many photos I haven't had a chance to edit them all yet, and there are too many to post here really anyway, but I wanted to share something so I thought tell you about all the amazing food I ate. First of all, I can't talk about food in Ireland without mentioning Guinness.
I don't drink it normally - I'm more of a wine or gin girl - but it really does taste better in Ireland. I was on driving duty most days, so I stuck to just one half-pint at lunch, but some evenings I had a few more :)
Onto the food...
On our first night we went to The Failte, which was nice and traditional. I had a Guinness stew and the boyfriend had a venison steak.
It was a lovely restaurant and there was live music downstairs too, so we sat and had a Guinness or two afterwards whilst we watched a singer.
For the first four nights we stayed at the Randles Hotel, which did a really good (if expensive) breakfast.
This was the sea trout, which tasted like it was freshly caught that morning from the nearby lake.
They had some lovely little pastries too, which were a little birthday treat for me on our last night there.
Muckross House is one of the top things to do in Killarney, along with the traditional farms where you can see lots of chickens, piglets and donkeys. There is a nice little restaurant in the grounds which does loads of hot food, sandwiches and some of the biggest slices of cake I have ever seen.
This cheesecake was incredible.
I had ravioli as well. Although not particularly fancy or traditionally Irish, it was top quality and delicious and definitely kept us going on our long, hot day of farm wandering. They have tables outside in the gardens too (as suggested by the name) but we couldn't get one because people were hogging them, boo :(
One evening seemed to be incredibly busy everywhere, and we hunted for a table at any remotely decent place for hours. Fortunately we ended up at The Laurels pub, where we sat and played cards for a bit while we waited for a table to become free. It didn't take long and once we had a table, I ordered a huge pot of mussels in coconut sauce.
They were so good! Better than mussels I've had in Belgo in London (most likely because they are fresher) and I couldn't finish them all, there were so many.
One morning we avoided the expensive hotel breakfast and went to a nearby coffee shop called Lir Cafe for a very healthy breakfast of chocolate cookies and lattes.
It was pretty popular, and very cheap compared to London coffee prices.
One afternoon we decided to drive somewhere random to see what we could find. We looked on our map for a place with a nice name and a pub, and off we went. We ended up in a weird little village where all the houses looked brand new. The pub was completely empty, but we were hungry so we stayed. I can't remember what the place was called but I doubt it has a website anyway!
I had salmon tortellini, which was deliciously creamy.
This place almost certainly won't be on any top 10 lists, but I loved it, so there.
One day I was tasked with driving 65km to Dingle, with the promise of fresh seaside fish and chips and a glimpse of a dolphin.
I got both!
There are tons of takeaway fish places which all sell fresh fish from the bay, and I don't think there's much difference between them. We actually got ours from a strange half-fish-half-curry restaurant, but I'm sure it was as good as any of the others would have been.
I also had some gin and tonic ice cream and raspberry sorbet from Murphy's, which is also available in Killarney town centre, although it's fairly pricy.
Half way through the holiday, my birthday happened. In addition to breakfast pastries, I got taken out for an incredible meal at The Bricin. This restaurant is full of beautiful paintings and cool old advertisement posters.
I had steak with mushroom sauce, followed by chocolate cake.
It was amazing, definitely the best meal I had on the whole holiday, and both the owner and our waitress were incredibly friendly.
One place the boyfriend was eager to go to was a pub called Molly Darcy's, which he had been to ten years ago and said it was amazing. Unfortunately it had changed hands since then and is now called Jarvey's Rest, but the food was still great.
We actually went twice - the first time we both had fish and chips.
The second time I had pork belly, which came with a huge sausage which was a bit overkill, although I'm not complaining.
The staff are really lovely too. To be honest, I didn't meet anyone in Ireland who wasn't lovely, except perhaps the barmaid in the bar at Kerry airport who was a tad grumpy. Don't know why. Maybe she had to fly Ryanair to work every day.
Throughout the week we'd seen this seafood restaurant called Quinlan's Fish Shop constantly packed with queues out the door and had thus avoided it (I hate queuing for food). On our last full day though, we decided to try it, since it was bound to be good.
I had deep fried prawns and they were probably the juiciest prawns I've ever had. It was definitely worth the wait, but they do takeaway as well which is quicker.
Finally, our parting meal was eaten at the Danny Mann pub, which is a pretty standard pub but decent all the same. I had lasagne, which was properly home-made in cute individual little dishes.
We actually ate here twice, and I had lasagne both times. I wanted to try something different, but it was so good and I had such a cheese craving I knew I would have regretted it.
That's all the food I took photos of, and we didn't really have one bad meal in the whole 9 days we were there (apart from maybe the Wetherspoons-type place we went one night where I had a mediocre curry, but it was still better than some London pub food I've had in the past).
I think, overall, the seafood in Killarney is to die for and any non-chain pub you find will provide a decent meal. If you like wholesome, homemade food, then Killarney will not disappoint.
If you know of any other good places to eat in Killarney then leave a comment and let me know :)