The Top Irish Chefs and Restaurants in Ireland

AD. Ireland is a truly beautiful country and one that I have many plans to explore. If you are planning a visit to Ireland and you are anything like me one of the key things you will be thinking about is where to eat. I would love a taste of traditional Irish dishes as well as a enjoying some of the best rated restaurants in the area. I’ve been looking into which are some of the top chefs and best restaurants in Ireland and my tastebuds are watering. 

Stock image of a Kilkenny street with restaurants in Ireland from Canva Pro
There are lots of great restaurants in Ireland

Of course Ireland is a large place so if you are only there for a weekend or even a week you probably won’t want to travel round the country to visit all of these, but these suggestions might help you decide which part of Ireland to start to explore on your next holiday. I have selected some of the best sounding restaurants across Ireland to show case the best of Irish cooking and cuisine influenced from around the world.

Just a note when planning your trip these restaurants are mostly closed Sunday to Monday and  some are closed in the winter season when there are less tourists so plan your visit accordingly. To find more restaurants in Ireland serving traditional Irish food to new restaurants with cutting edge celebrity chef inspired menus check out Square Meal IE.

A Selection of Michelin Starred Restaurants in Ireland and What To Visit Nearby

Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen, Dublin 

18-19 Parnell Square, Dublin D01 T3V8

One of only 4 restaurants in Ireland with 2 Michelin stars. you can expect fine dining and the best use of ingredients. The amazing sounding menu is only for the adventurous who are prepared to try anything as there are limited options at each sitting. 

The Finnish chef Mickael Viljanen took over as Head Chef and co-owner in 2021 when Ross Lewis decided to step down from the kitchen, although he stays on as co-owner. The restaurant has had 1 Michelin star since 2007 and they received a second star last year in 2022.

A four course dinner will currently set you back 150€ or 180€ for the tasting menu (plus drinks). 

What to see while in Dublin

As the capital of Ireland and the largest city there is unsurprisingly a huge amount to see in Dublin. Some of the popular tourist experiences are:
A visit to the Guinness Storehouse where you can find out everything you might have ever wanted to know about Guinness. You end the tour at the small Gravity Bar on the 7th floor where you can enjoy a pint with a 360 degree view of Dublin (this was the best pint of Guinness I have ever had). The Old Jameson Distillery which ends in a whiskey (not whisky) tasting experience. If you are looking for something less alcohol related the check out Dublin Castle or enjoy a walk along the River Liffey. 

Ichigo Ichie, Cork City

5 Fenns Quay, Sheares Street, Cork City T12 RY7Y

Chef Takashi Miyazaki has 1 Michelin star at this Japanese fine cuisine restaurant. You can choose to eat at the chef’s counter (so you can see everything as it's prepared), in the seating area or in the stone garden. There is a set menu with prices ranging from 135€ to 145€ depending on where you sit.  

What to see while in Cork City

You can discover the history of Cork City Gaol and find out how 42 prisoners escaped one night in 1923. Try a beer from Franciscan Well Brewery which is on the site of a medieval Franciscan monastery and healing well. Or find out about what makes Irish butter so special at the Cork Butter Museum.

Chestnut, West Cork

Staball Hill, Ballydehob, P81 X681

Rob Krawczyk is chef at this small restaurant where the menu champions County Cork. It only seats 18 people in this former pub so expect to have to book well in advance. Open for Dinner March to December. Bookings open for 2 months booking at a time on Feb 1st (for March and April), April 1st, June 1st, August 1st and October 1st.

What to see while in the area

West Cork has plenty of beautiful coast line to explore with picturesque little ports and quiet beaches. If you are looking for something more active then there are plenty of options for water sports or you could climb a mountain. West Cork is a popular area for hikers.

Wild Honey Inn, County Clare

Kincora Road, Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, V95 P234

If you are looking for a more informal meal then take a look at Wild Honey Inn, Ireland's first Michelin starred pub. Despite the Michelin star it has a more laid back atmosphere then some of the other restaurants on this list. Aidan McGrath's menu is French bistro inspired, but using fresh local Irish produce.

As a seasonal business the pub is open from March to October. You can make a reservation to dine and stay online in advance, but if you are a non-resident you need to call 7 days or less from the required date for a booking. Prices for dinner not available online, however if you book a 2 night stay with breakfast and dinner each night prices start at about 790€.

What to see while in the area

County Clare is famous for The Cliffs of Moher and it's 8km of rugged coastline. Inland (and near Wild Honey Inn) is The Burren a vast area of limestone landscape that spreads out like a cracked pavement. Alternatively maybe visit one of the areas famous caves, Aillwee "Very Dark Caves" even featured in a Father Ted episode if you are old enough to remember that.


Geata na Cathrach, Fairgreen Road, Galway H91 W26K

Loam is a Michelin starred restaurant and wine bar in Galway city. Head Chef Enda McEvoy was voted “best chef in Ireland” in 2016. The restaurant has also earned a Michelin Green star for sustainability due to the sourcing of local produce and their “zero waste, nose to tail and leaf to root ethos”.

It is currently closed for the Winter season, but expected to reopen for Summer 2023. A 7 course tasting menu costs around 85€.

What to do in Galway City

Galway city is nestled between the Atlantic on one side and countryside on the other so a stay in the city allows you to explore town, coast and hills. In the city check out Galway City Museum to find out about Galway’s history, next to the Spanish Arch, the Cathedral and salt hill promenade. Maybe visit during one of their many festivals including the Film Festival in early July, Arts Festival in late July and the Oyster Festival in September. 

Campagne, Kilkenny

5 The Arches, Gas House Lane, Kilkenny, Ireland, R95 X092

Campagne serves French inspired food by Garrett Byrne who was Head Chef at Chapter One in Dublin before moving to his home city of Kilkenny to open his own restaurant which has had one Michelin star since 2014. Garrett's partner provides a relaxed, friendly service and you can see the chefs at work thanks to the open kitchen. 

The 3 course menu costs 75€

What to do in Kilkenny

You can visit the 12th century Kilkenny Castle, go on a guided tour of Smithwick's brewery (Ireland's oldest ale) or go on a walking tour down Kilkenny's medieval mile from St Canice's Catherdral to the castle.

The Oak Room, Limerick

Adare, V94 W8WR

The Oak Room is located in the dining room of an 1830s Manor House Hotel and the accompanying glass enclosed terrace. Chef Michael Tweedie produces understated cooking with great attention to detail showcasing the best food from producers across Ireland. It first received it's Michelin star in 2019. 

Things to do in Limerick

If you fancy a bit of history then visit King John’s Castle (one of Europe’s most complete Norman castles) or go back even further in time with a visit to the archeological site of Lough Gur where you can see replica neolithic houses at the Visitors Centre. Sports fans will enjoying watching Munster play at home at Thomond Park or maybe take a relaxing wander around the water gardens at Coolwater Garden.

*Information correct at time of publishing*

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