Seven Epic Eats Along the Wild Atlantic Way

Seven Epic Eats Along the Wild Atlantic Way


In the most westerly region of the most westerly point of Europe, adventurers will find Ireland’s magnificent Wild Atlantic Way. Stretching more than 2,500 kilometres from the calm coastal waters of Kinsale in County Cork to the stark splendour of Donegal’s Northern Headlands, travellers will discover lingering drives through quiet, pastel-painted villages; rural stomps through remote wilderness; charm and revelry in culture-rich towns and cities; and above all, some of the best food in the entire country.

From simple plates of delicious local grub to an evening spent dining in sheer luxury, foodies and travel lovers alike are in luck when exploring the Wild Atlantic Way. These seven epic eateries cater for varying budgets and are a must-visit during your next trip to this extraordinary part of the world. Let’s dig in…


The Haven Coast

Black Pig

It may be tucked away from the centre of town but on any given night the Black Pig feels like the centre of culinary action in Kinsale. The atmospheric room is orchestrated with aplomb, and the feeling of being expertly looked after is one of the reasons why the ‘Pig is such a success, and many people’s first choice in Kinsale. Start with Crosshaven oysters, then get stuck into pitch-perfect risotto with Gubbeen chorizo and peas. The wine service couldn’t be better, so put yourself in their expert hands and the evening will fly by in a procession of great discoveries.

66 Lwr O’Connell St, Kinsale, Co Cork


Southern Peninsulas

Quinlan’s Seafood Bar

Quinlan’s is both a takeaway and a sit-down restaurant, but the excellence of their fish cooking is best enjoyed by grabbing a table upstairs and taking your time. Enjoy Portmagee crab claws with garlic butter, or tempura of Atlantic prawns, or wild haddock with tartare sauce. With fish from their own small fleet, and expert attention to detail when it comes to important matters such as the quality of the chips, they know how to hit the spot.

30 Main St, Kenmare, Co Kerry


Southern Peninsulas

Skelligs Chocolate

This funky chocolate metropolis has grown and grown over the years, and today it’s one of the most bustling, fun places to visit on the WAW, and a place that kids will remember forever. It’s a great, big open-plan space right at St Finian’s Bay, where you get to taste a free sample of the chocolate, enjoy one of the several styles of hot chocolate drinks in their busy café, and then buy some bags of sweetness to take away to stoke the rest of your travels.

The Glen, Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry


The Cliff Coast

Julia’s Lobster Truck

Julia Llewellyn runs one of the finest food trucks in the country. Her lobster rolls have no peer, because here is a cook who gets the interplay between ingredients and bread just so, making for soulful eating. The only problem is, after one lobster roll, you crave another. And it’s the same story with her mussels and clams, and her superb fries. A pint of porter from Daly’s bar, and a Julia’s lobster roll, and sure all is right with the world.

Daly’s Bar, Bellharbour, Co Clare


The Bay Coast

Cava Bodega

JP McMahon’s Cava Bodega is probably the most popular restaurant in Galway. McMahon and his team love the culinary delights of Iberian food – pig’s head fritters; chicken hearts with chorizo – and the surprise is that these dishes are just as popular as patatas bravas, or salt cod with romesco, or lomo ham. The atmosphere in the basement dining room is always up to 90 as everyone tears into tasty Spanish tapas and the excellent wines and sherries from Spain, and the dizzying mood is driven on by punky and vivacious service. Major fun.

1 Middle St, Galway


The Surf Coast

Kate’s Kitchen

The best of everything is what they promise at Kate’s Kitchen, and that’s what you get. Start with some breakfast porridge and a cup of Fixx Coffee, then enjoy a cracking chicken and mushroom pie, or hotpot with red lentil dhal, followed by a swift tour of the counter and the shelves to bring home everything you need. Kate’s Kitchen is bounteous and beautiful.

3 Castle St, Sligo


Northern Headlands

Nancy’s Bar

‘Nancy’s is one of those pubs that just captures the imagination’, wrote The Irish Times. Too right. No fewer than seven generations of the Mc Hugh family have manned the bar in this Donegal icon, one of the county’s most legendary pubs, serving tasty food and puling great pints. It’s a must-visit on the WAW, simple as that.

Front St, Ardara


Find hundreds of epic eats, restaurant recommendations, and places to stay the night in Wild Atlantic Way: Where to Eat & Stay by John & Sally McKenna. This unique paperback guide provides price guidelines for both meals and accommodation and is available to buy online and at all good bookshops.