Ireland's tastiest food experience for 2018 - as chosen by you!
Reader Travel Awards 2018
Ireland’s food scene is hotter than ever. But what’s your favourite homegrown food experience for 2018?
Ireland’s tastiest food experience
Winner: The Tannery, Dungarvan
After over 20 years in business, Paul and Máire Flynn’s Tannery Restaurant continues to evolve, innovate and serve up mouth-watering takes on Irish food.
“You always get a fab meal and a warm welcome” at this Dungarvan destination, you told us. The Tannery offers “great food”; the tapas is “so tasty”.
“I can still taste the crème brûlée”.
Despite his high profile, our judges believe Paul Flynn is one of Ireland’s most underrated chefs (read Katy McGuinness's interview with Paul and Máire here).
- Read the full results of our 2018 Reader Travel Awards here.
Flynn's Tannery cookbook, An Adventure in Irish Food, was one of the earliest to influence the modern Irish foodie revolution, he and Máire have worked tirelessly to create a blueprint for creative Irish cooking in a relatively small town, and their dynamism and outspokenness have been pivotal in driving the tourism success of West Waterford and the county as a whole.
Here’s to the next 20 years!
Details: 058 45420; tannery.ie.
6 of the best Irish foodie experiences
1. MacNean House, Blacklion, Co Cavan
“It has got to be Neven Maguire’s restaurant. The experience from start to finish is something to experience at least once in your lifetime and the food is to die for…” nevenmaguire.com
2. The Cliff House, Ardmore, Co Waterford
“I got a food stitch but couldn’t leave any of it behind… It was very expensive, but this was by far the best food experience I ever had. The food was a work of art...” cliffhousehotel.ie
3 Fab Food Trails
“With so much factory-farm produce on our supermarket shelves, it’s so good to taste real food again… The guides are informed, well trained, funny and know their business. Each time I go on a trail I say: ‘I never knew this place was here.’” fabfoodtrails.ie
4 Chapter One, Dublin
“A fine dining experience worth paying for. The restaurant itself is elegant and intimate, the staff are welcoming and never intrusive, but the real highlight is the top class food. Delicately presented, mouth-watering... an experience never forgotten.” chapteronerestaurant.com
5 Kai Café + Restaurant, Galway
“Food is honest, prepared with love and an emphasis on the season and local sourcing. There’s always an unexpected twist on your favourites that makes me stretch the boundaries and be more adventurous. And their desserts are to die for…” kaicaferestaurant.com
6. Aldridge Lodge, Duncannon, Co Wexford
“Ireland’s tastiest by a mile… fresh, local ingredients used to make superb modern Irish dishes.” aldridgelodge.com
Travel Trends 2018
Casual food is king
Forget white gloves and starchy tableclothes. Casual eateries and markets dominated your choices for Ireland’s tastiest food experience.
“Eating mackerel an hour after catch,” one of you suggested.
Others tipped their top burgers, fish ’n’ chips, chowders, food trucks, pizzas, gastro-pubs and Irish food tours. Clearly, we are comfortable with casual, and food businesses are reflecting that.
But you also struck a note of caution.
“Sometimes ‘cheap and cheerful’ can be a false economy,” you told us. “At worst it can be ‘cheap and tearful’.”
Quality is crucial too.