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The best restaurants to visit in Clare right now

While seafood takes pride of place in many of these restaurants, they also know a thing or two about good food in great locations

Homestead Cottage

Luogh North, Doolin, Co Clare, 085 8613103,

The newcomer from Robbie McCauley, the former head chef of Gregans Castle, is the hot ticket in Clare this summer. A serious level of precision is not at all surprising, yet in his new restaurant, the approach is more relaxed than the studied formality of his previous diningroom. The menu features fresh produce grown in the chef’s one-acre vegetable plot. Corinna Hardgrave

Linnane’s Lobster Bar

New Quay, The Burren; 065-7078120,

A word of warning: be sure to book before heading over to Linnane’s waterfront seafood bar, where freshly caught lobsters are offloaded from local fishing boats in front of an enviable terrace. A new lava-rock grill in the kitchen means the menu has switched up a bit, with grilled lobster, tiger prawns, fish, steak and grilled seafood platters for sharing. CH


Toomullin, Roadford, Doolin; 065-7047990,

Set in the beautiful Clare countryside, looking towards the iconic Cliffs of Moher, Oar Restaurant and Rooms offers rustic fine dining and a regularly changing menu based on the best local produce. Guests return time and time again for the warm hospitality from owner Kieran O’Halloran, enjoying chef Cezary Sodel’s hearty yet refined food in the elegant diningroom. Joanne Cronin

The Dining Room at Gregans Castle

Ballyvaughan; 065-7077005,

There are far worse things in life than returning to the charming, turf-scented Gregans Castle after a day spent exploring the atmospheric Burren. Following a relaxing drink, find your way to the elegant and calm diningroom for a feast of modern Irish cooking. Start with local Flaggy Shore oysters followed by Fanore lamb and enjoy the view as the sun sets in the west. Read our review here. JC


Pot Duggans

Pot Duggans, New Road, Ennistymon; 065-7071480,

By the river or in the courtyard? It makes little difference: outdoor dining here is on a level that makes you feel like you’re at a festival. Pints and food with big punchy flavours chime with the buzz of great sounds. Read more here. CH

Vaughan’s Anchor Inn

Main Street, Liscannor; 065-7081548,

A classic menu with lobster bisque, foie gras, fish, lobster and steaks, and an impressive wine list with more than 200 bottles has kept this old-school pub restaurant on the destination list for more than 40 years. The cooking is always assured and the produce top quality. For a more casual spot, check out Vaughan’s on the Prom in Lahinch. Read more here. CH

Wild at the Cave Cafe


While the famous great stalactite is the main attraction at Clare’s Doolin Cave, the adjoining Wild at the Cave cafe is perfect for a break after underground explorations. Owners Ryan Fitzpatrick and Aoife McMullan started their Wild Catering Company in the depths of lockdown, delivering healthy and tasty options such as open crab sandwich, St Tola goat’s cheese salad or a classic ham and cheese toastie. JC

Wild Honey Inn

Kincora Road, Lisdoonvarna, 065-707 4300,

Ireland’s only pub with a Michelin star and it also has lovely bedrooms so you can make an overnight stay of it. The Michelin guide has this to say about Aidan McGrath’s cooking at Wild Honey Inn: “Dishes have a classical French base and showcase the county’s produce in carefully prepared combinations which are beautifully balanced and packed with bold flavours.” Read more here.

Russell’s Bar and Eatery at Fiddle + Bow

Fiddle + Bow Hotel, Teergonean, Doolin V95 XR0K; 065-6700200,

Serious crimes have been committed in the name of seafood chowder, but in my book there’s one cardinal rule: no salmon. It is one of the many things Viv Kelly gets right at this totally laid-back restaurant in the supercool Fiddle + Bow boutique hotel. Fish and hand-cut chips and the bouillabaisse also get the vote. CH