Best-of Guides Ireland

The Best Restaurants Along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

5 Restaurants
Covering 2,500km and passing through nine different counties, Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way is one of the longest coastal routes in the world. Starting up in the north at the Inishowen Peninsula, then winding its way down the west coast to Kinsale in the south, it offers some truly stunning scenery. There's so much to see that a full trip can take 1-2 weeks, but you can divide it up and visit in three stages: the Northern Headlands & the Surf Coast; the Bay Coast & the Cliff Coast; and the Southern Peninsulas & the Haven Coast. And what more does a hungry traveller need other than some top quality cuisine to complement the wonderful views? Listed below are the Michelin Star restaurants you can experience along the way.
Updated on 26 March 2024
53 Lower Dominick Street, H91 V4DP Galway
$$$$ · Modern Cuisine

Galway – a vibrant and cosmopolitan city on the west coast – is known, amongst other things, for its oysters and the many festivals it hosts throughout the year. Chef JP McMahon is certainly a torchbearer when it comes to championing the produce of the area and his cooking perfectly showcases superb local ingredients from both land and sea. Best described as understated, his blend of traditional and modern techniques delivers harmonious flavours and great balance.

Main Street, P17 NX44 Kinsale
$$$$ · Modern Cuisine

Kinsale – either the start or end of the Wild Atlantic Way, depending on which way you choose to travel – is a vibrant town centred around a harbour filled with yachts and fishing boats, and Bastion sits comfortably amongst the brightly painted shops and restaurants on the narrow main street. Paul McDonald and his wife, Helen, have worked tirelessly over the years, forging ahead to create the restaurant you see before you today. While Paul is Scottish by birth, his cooking looks firmly to Ireland for its influences and inspiration. Locally caught seafood is a particular highlight from the confident kitchen team, who deliver complexity and depth in both flavour and texture.

Staball Hill, P81 X681 Ballydehob
$$$$ · Modern Cuisine

The charming coastal village of Ballydehob in West Cork has attracted a wealth of creative types over the years, from artists and writers to musicians and performers. On any visit, be sure to find time to take the road down to Mizen Head – the most southerly point of Ireland – and its famous lighthouse. Born and raised in the area, Rob Krawczyk spent time travelling before returning home to transform a somewhat down-at-heel village pub into Chestnut, an intimate restaurant with a smart yet unfussy look. Here, Rob blends techniques from his Polish heritage – curing, smoking and pickling – with ingredients from some of the most notable artisan producers in Ireland. Capturing the true flavours of the produce, his dishes are perfectly balanced, with well-judged textural contrasts and an appealing natural purity.

Customs House, P81 K291 Baltimore
$$$$ · Turkish

At the southern end of Ireland is Baltimore, which is centred around a busy harbour, overlooking the Irish Sea; during the summer months, you can watch the ferries leaving daily for the nearby islands of Sherkin and Cape Clear. Turkish-born Ahmet Dede might have chosen to make this corner of west Ireland his home, but he also keeps his heritage alive in the kitchen, and his personality shines through in every dish; his unique version of modern Turkish cooking shows refinement, detail and balance – particularly when it comes to spicing. The sheer joy from those dining here is more than evident; the room is always filled with smiling faces and a contented buzz, which is helped along by Co-Owner Maria, who leads the service.

Homestead Cottage
Luogh North, V95 KH30 Doolin
$$$ · Modern Cuisine

It takes a brave soul to open a restaurant in a location as remote as this, but Robbie and Sophie McCauley have created a destination so charming, and with such brilliant cooking, that it was always destined to succeed. The County Clare coast is the setting for their 200-year-old cottage, which boasts rustic décor and a terrace round the side that's perfect for catching a glimpse of the terrific sunset. Robbie's cooking is seasonal through and through, so expect plenty of game in the winter and an abundance of locally landed seafood in the summer; their own garden also provides some of the produce. These ingredients are fashioned into intelligent, understated dishes that show finely judged balance throughout.