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Where to eat

12 of the best early bird menus to enjoy this January

Some of our favourites from around the country.

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It might seem like payday is still ages away, but we're here to help you make it to the end of the month.

When it's cold and miserable outside, it sometimes seems that the only way to get through the day is to treat yourself. For us, that treat usually involves heading to one of our favourite restaurants for some comfort food, but as we approach the end of the month, our wallets start to scream at us to stop spending so much. 

Thankfully, there are some amazing early bird menus available at restaurants around the country that won't make your eyes water when you see the prices. Here are some of our top picks to help you dine out without breaking the bank.

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Market Lane, Cork

Available Monday-Thursday 5-7pm, Sunday 1-7pm

For just €26.90, you can enjoy three courses of Market Lane's delicious food, plus tea and coffee. We love the variety available on this menu, meaning that there really is something available for everyone, with vegan and vegetarian menus, as well as a range of options with locally sourced proteins like chicken, fish and pork.

Seafood bouillabaisse. Photo from @marketlanecork on Instagram.
Seafood bouillabaisse. Photo from @marketlanecork on Instagram.

Greenes, Cork

Available Sunday-Thursday 5.30-6.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 5.30-6pm

This one falls a little towards the more expensive end of the scale, but it's definitely worth it if you have the funds. Fine-dining restaurant Greenes in Cork offers three courses for €37.50 and you're guaranteed a range of locally sourced, seasonal delights. The menu changes regularly, but regardless of what's available, we can guarantee that you'll be impressed. 

READ MORE: A food lover's guide to the best wine destinations

Triple chocolate mousse. Image from @greenescork on Instagram.
Triple chocolate mousse. Image from @greenescork on Instagram.

Oscar's Seafood Bistro, Galway

Available Monday-Friday 5.30-6.15pm

Oscar's Seafood Bistro in Galway serves up a great locally sourced, seafood-based menu for just €19.50 for two courses. There aren't many early bird menus on which you'll find Galway rock oysters, so it's exciting to see that you can get them at Oscar's. Head here for a simple, but delicious meal. 

Mussels from @oscarsseafood on Instagram.
Mussels from @oscarsseafood on Instagram.

Bodega, Waterford

Available Monday-Friday 5-6.45pm

Bodega in Waterford offers something for everyone on all of its menus, but especially on the early bird. Priced at just €23 for two courses or €28 for three, this menu is jam-packed with Irish ingredients like St Tola goats cheese, Seagull Bakery bread and Knockanore smoked cheese.

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Beef ragu with pappardelle from @bodegawaterford on Instagram
Beef ragu with pappardelle from @bodegawaterford on Instagram

Momo, Waterford

Available Tuesday-Saturday 5-6.30pm, all-day Sunday

Momo in Waterford is a real local favourite and when you see the menu, you'll understand why. There are so many vegan and vegetarian options available, as well as locally sourced ingredients. We especially love how many different styles of cuisine are represented on the menu, including Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Irish and many more.  

Sea bass with tiger prawns, chorizo and arancini from @momowaterford on Instagram.
Sea bass with tiger prawns, chorizo and arancini from @momowaterford on Instagram.

The Yard, Wexford

Available Monday-Wednesday 5.30-8pm, Thursday-Saturday 5.30-7pm

In need of a serious feed? Then you need to head to The Yard in Wexford where you can enjoy total comfort food for a seriously reasonable price. You can get two courses for €25 or three courses for €29, but if you go for dessert, make sure to add a shot of matching dessert wine for just €2.50.

Herb-crusted lamb with carrot and blackberry from @theyardwexford on Instagram.
Herb-crusted lamb with carrot and blackberry from @theyardwexford on Instagram.

The Duck at Marlfield House, Wexford

Available Sunday-Friday 5-6.30pm

The whole menu at The Duck is delicious, but the dessert offerings are what usually pull us in. With everything available from brownies and tarts to chocolate marquise and affogato, you'll be absolutely spoiled for choice for just €26 for two courses or €33 for three. 

READ MORE: What to eat in Cork city 

Berry panna cotta from @marlfieldhouse. Photo by @clarissaloke on Instagram.
Berry panna cotta from @marlfieldhouse. Photo by @clarissaloke on Instagram.

Anocht Restaurant, Kilkenny

Available all night Thursday, Friday 6-7pm, Saturday 6-6.30pm and Bank Holiday Sundays 6-7pm

Dinner doesn't come in much more scenic locations than this; Anocht is located in the Kilkenny Design Centre overlooking Kilkenny Castle. The early bird menu here is fuelled by local artisan produce like Highbank Orchards and Second Nature Oils, which is priced at just €24.50 for two courses or €29.50 for three courses.

Chickpea Hummus€8.50 with mint, pomegranate, poppadom and radish from @anochtrestaurant on Instagram.
Chickpea Hummus€8.50 with mint, pomegranate, poppadom and radish from @anochtrestaurant on Instagram.

Campagne, Kilkenny

Available Wednesday and Thursday 6-9pm, Friday 5.30-9pm, Saturday 5-6pm

Again, this menu veers towards the more expensive end of the scale, but it's not often than you can enjoy Michelin-starred dining for just €38. The menu changes very regularly, so you never know what is in store when you visit Campagne, but it's bound to be delicious. 

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Saddle of suckling pig, ragout of the belly, choucroute and celeriac from @campagnekilkenny on Instagram.
Saddle of suckling pig, ragout of the belly, choucroute and celeriac from @campagnekilkenny on Instagram.

Global Village, Kerry

Available daily from 5.30-6.45pm

Global Village in Dingle offers one of the most interesting early bird menus in the country, with dishes like Kerry lamb plate, Dingle crab and Ardsallagh goats cheese mouse all available for just €28 for two courses or €32 for three. 

Crab claw from Global Village in Dingle. Photo by @flavour.ie on Instagram.
Crab claw from Global Village in Dingle. Photo by @flavour.ie on Instagram.

Pink Salt, Bray

Available Sunday-Thursday 5-7pm, Friday and Saturday 5-6.30pm

Pink Salt in Bray offers some seriously flavourful and well-crafted Indian cooking at extremely reasonable prices. The early bird menu at this restaurant rings in at just €22.95 for two courses, with each main course served with rice, naan and potato. The chicken Chettinad is one of the tastiest dishes on the menu, so do yourself a favour and try it out when you visit. 

Kashmiri lamb chops from @pinksaltbray on Instagram.
Kashmiri lamb chops from @pinksaltbray on Instagram.

Thyme, Athlone

Available all night Sunday-Thursday, until 6pm on Friday, Saturday and Bank Holiday Sundays

Thyme in Athlone is a great spot to pop into if you're looking for a flavourful meal while in the midlands. The early bird is extremely reasonably priced, coming in at just €29 for two courses or €35 for three courses. This restaurant was awarded a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide in 2019 and once you try out the food, you'll understand why. 

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Rare beef from @thymeathlone on Instagram
Rare beef from @thymeathlone on Instagram