Voting is open for the 2023 Irish Restaurant Awards, an annual nationwide initiative now in its 14th year, run by the Restaurants Association of Ireland. Members of the public can nominate their favourites in 21 categories, including best restaurant, best chef, best gastropub and best newcomer. Nominations are being accepted online at www.irishtimes.com/sponsored/restaurant-awards-ireland and will remain open until noon on January 26th.
Those who vote will be entered into a drawn to win a break at one of two Ireland’s Blue Book properties. There are two-night bed and breakfast short breaks for two people, with dinner on one night, at Ballymaloe House in Co Cork and the Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge, in Co Limerick, to be won.
Winners in each county and provincial winners will be revealed at a series of regional events in March, before the national winners are announced at a gala dinner that will be attended by in the region of 1,000 industry representatives at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin in May.
In 2022, when the the awards were revived after a two-year break due to Covid 19, the best restaurant title went to Chapter One in Dublin, with Ahmet Dede of Restaurant Dede in Baltimore named best chef.
As well as the public vote, the assessment process includes regional and national judging panels and mystery guest inspections.
The complete list of categories in which public votes can be cast is as follows:
Best casual dining
Pub of the ear
Best hotel and guesthouse restaurant
Best gastro pub
Best customer service
Best wine experience
Best sustainable practices
Innovator of the year
Best world cuisine
Local Food Hero
Best emerging Irish cuisine
Best restaurant manager
Best cocktail experience
Best learning and development
Best private dining and club restaurant
Best cookery school