A Taste of Galway

Georgina Campbell offers a culinary tour of Galway, highlighting some hidden gems, the county’s kitchen heroes and the local foods that have put Galway on the foodie map

This stunning county epitomises Ireland for many visitors and its rugged landscape and cold, clean Atlantic waters produce some exceptional foods. Fish and seafood abound and reverentially respected specialities include some of the best smoked salmon you’ll eat anywhere and of course the seasonal native oyster, ostrea edulis, also known as European flat oysters or simply Galway oysters. Then there is seaweed, which not only has a long history of usefulness to coastal communities but, along with other foraged foods, is now playing a starring role on many a carefully crafted restaurant plate.

On the land, the iconic food of the area is Connemara Hill Lamb, a seasonal product and one of only a handful of Irish foods to have European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status.

Galway seems to be constantly in celebration and its vibrant food culture is thriving, thanks to some very committed movers and shakers, evident through initiatives such as the Galway Food Festival (17–21 April 2014), Connemara Mussel Festival (2–4 May 2014), Oyster Festivals (Clarenbridge and Galway, both September), and Bake Fest Galway (4–5 Oct 2014).

Hidden Gems

Corrib Tea Rooms & Guest Accommodation
Woodquay, Galway city 
(www.corribhouse.com) Victoria and David Bohan’s handsome Georgian house is one of Galway’s most special daytime dining destinations and most of the stylish guestrooms have river views.

Corrib Househall

Corrib Tea Rooms & Guest Accommodation

The Heron’s Rest B&B
The Longwalk, Spanish Arch, Galway city
(www.theheronsrest.com) Sorcha Molloy’s delightful B&B enjoys the best location in Galway city – close to Spanish Arch, yet quietly situated with sea and river views. Delicious things for breakfast, afternoon tea and gourmet picnic baskets available on request.

Breakfast at  the Herons Rest, Long Walk Galway. Pix Ronan Lang/Feature File

The Heron’s Rest B&B




The Huntsman Inn
College Road, Galway city
(www.huntsmaninn.com) Hardly hidden (it’s near the roundabout just below The G Hotel) but Stephen Francis’s neat, floriferous pub/ restaurant/B&B is well worth considering for quality, value and carefully cooked local fare (plus craft beers).

Huntsman Inn

The Huntsman Inn





Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, Co Galway