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Ireland’s best restaurants: 14 new places to eat great food

Part of the Irish Times guide to 100 of the best places to eat in Ireland 2022

Dillon’s Corner

68 Bridge Street, Skibbereen, Co Cork, P81 PR20; 028-23316,

Anyone who is familiar with Trullo and Padella in London will be beating a path to Skibbereen, where Ruairí Melvin Dunne has returned from London and opened a neighbourhood restaurant with his partner, Dawn Price-Latorre. On a rainy Wednesday, just days after they opened in October, a lunch of cacio e pepe pici, beautifully scorched pizza, a porchetta sourdough sandwich and a glass of natural wine felt very special indeed. Dinner is planned from Thursday to Saturday during the summer. Corinna Hardgrave


93 High Street, Holywood, Co Down, BT18 9AQ; 048-95788143,

Don’t even think about paying a visit to Frae’s Instagram page if hungry, sad or feeling generally culinarily deprived—it will only make things worse. Images of dry-aged-beef tartare with a fermented potato crisp balanced on top, wafer-thin lardo draped and melting over grilled Romanesco, crab rarebit with Worcestershire sauce: it’s easy to see why Shaun Timlin’s menu of sharing plates and natural wines has Holywood abuzz. Lisa Cope

Killruddery Grain Store

Killruddery, Southern Cross, Bray, Co Wicklow; 01-2863405,

Not many restaurants have a walled garden to pluck fruits and vegetables from, greenhouses laden with tomatoes, and lamb and pork from their own estate, but Killruddery’s Grain Store isn’t most restaurants. Niall O’Sullivan (one of the country’s foremost foragers and previously head chef at Bang) took the reins of the kitchen last year and has transformed it from an events space to a destination restaurant, with a menu as interesting as the produce he sources. May the long, crispy rectangles of spectacular deep-fried pressed potatoes with Béarnaise never, ever leave the menu. LC

Library Street

101 Setanta Place, Dublin 2; 01-617099,

Kevin Burke was head chef at the Michelin-starred Ninth, in London, before the small matter of a global pandemic lured him home. After working with Allta he saw an opportunity when they left Setanta Place, and, some crispy-chicken-wing development, a rejig of furniture and a huge floral installation later, his first solo restaurant opened at the end of last year to nothing short of mania. The downstairs private dining room is one of the best in the city, and the only problem with Library Street is securing a table. LC


Margadh RHA

Royal Hibernian Academy, 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2; 085-2744859,

It’s entirely fitting that the food and wine on offer at Margadh RHA is every bit as sharp and curated as Royal Hibernian Academy gallery itself. Settle in with a glass of grower champagne or sherry and put the smart money on the keenly priced €38 tasting menu, which hits all the right notes, including Calabrian anchovies stretched on thin toasts with lemon aioli and al-dente chicken and Morteau tortellini with wild garlic. Joanne Cronin

Nomo Ramen

4 Harcourt Hall, Charlotte Way, Dublin 2;

Kevin Hughes trained as a chef in China before going into IT, then grew a dream of opening Dublin’s best ramen shop while visiting others around the world. In 2022 the dream became real, and after finding a space, arranging shipments of David Chang’s favourite US-made noodles, and tweaking and testing his recipes, they opened to so much commotion that they had to close the restaurant to prep more food. The menu is simple, with four starters and a choice between the “OG” ramen with chashu pork and chicken broth, or a vegan version, and they’ve already amassed a devoted following. LC


26 Fenian Street, Dublin 2;

On Sundays and Mondays at Note you could do a roll-call of famous faces from the hospitality industry, coming to drink grower champagne, natural Burgundy and magnums of Beaujolais in the recently opened but immediately notorious wine bar. Chef-owner Essa Fakry’s restaurant menu is based on Parisian bistros’, with dishes such as chicken-liver choux buns and nettle tagliatelle with pecorino and egg yolk. These are going to be some of the most sought-after seats this summer. LC

Orwell Road

6 Orwell Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6;

In one of the most talked about openings, the Bereen brothers, of Coppinger Row and Charlottes Quay, and the former Mister S chef Dan Hannigan have put Orwell Road on the map for more reasons than the Russian embassy up the road. The mackerel tartlet and Andarl pork croquettes have caused quite the stir in this quiet neighbourhood, and diners who are happy with the decibel and density levels in this compact, smart room are working their way through the small plates, mains and desserts on this cleverly compiled menu. CH


An Tulach, Baile na hAbhann, Co Galway; 085-7566963,

Don’t for a minute think that this pretty cafe, with its thatched roof and red door, is a tourist trap: it is a truly accessible modern space where Diarmuid Ó Mathúna makes full use of the top local producers in the smart, simple dishes chalked up on the menu board. Fresh salad leaves are grown across the road at An Garraí Glas, goat’s cheese and crab come from the Aran Islands, and the meat is from McGeough’s. CH

Saltwater Grocery

97 Terenure Road East, Dublin 6; 01-4907900,

Take dry-aged Clare Island salmon, top with soy jelly and yuzu koshi, then place it in your mouth and wait for the simultaneously salty, sweet and umami hit. And this is just one dish of many from the evening tasting menu. Niall Sabongi and Karl Whelan’s Saltwater operates as a fishmonger and grocer during the day, transforming at night to deliver crisp wines and sharp seafood from a postage-stamp kitchen and pavement hibachi grill. JC

Table Wine

50 Pleasants Street, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 8;

There’s a New York neighbourhood vibe to this compact wine bar, where people waiting for their table to be vacated grab a bottle and have it outside, because of course it never rains in this cool corner of Dublin. A great wine list is the least you’d expect from the duo behind Loose Canon—and the food menu, with Kelly’s oysters, soy-pickled shiitakes and a decadent triple-decker Lambay crab toastie—is equally good. CH

The Bishop’s Buttery

Cashel Palace Hotel, Cashel, Co Tipperary; 062-62002,

Downstairs in the vaulted, stone-flagged basement of this luxury hotel is where you’ll find Ireland’s newest fine-dining restaurant. Under the leadership of Stephen Hayes, director of culinary, and head chef Darragh O’Flaherty, the menu is a showcase for Tipperary producers. Classic cooking and modern style combine in dishes such as seared scallops with lardo, agnolotti made with local Shepard’s Store cheese, and Tipperary-whiskey baba. JC

The Fermentary

Main Street, Borris, Co Carlow;

Unsurprisingly, fermentation is the name of the game at the Fermentary, with kombucha, miso and sourdough always bubbling away. But baker Séamus Jordan’s croissants, Danishes and bear claws draw the weekend crowds as much as the rest. Grab a kombucha on tap for the road, and a miso noodle salad for later, and rejoice in the flavours of fermentation. LC

The Sea Hare

Alcock & Brown Hotel, Clifden, Co Galway;

Cleggan’s loss is Clifden’s gain as Sinéad Coyle and Philippa Duff have scampered across the coast to a new home for their wonderful Sea Hare restaurant, which has just opened in time for the summer season. The ethos is the same, with a mix of vegetarian and vegan dishes, and sharing plates with fish and meat dishes in the evening. Check the website for bookings for the renowned long-table dinners. CH

Follow a link below to read the other sections of this guide

Corinna Hardgrave’s introduction
Thirteen top tables by the sea
Seven top outdoor dining spots
Eighteen top places to eat on a special occasion
Twenty places dishing up great local produce
Eight great places for vegetarian and vegan food
Ten places with wonderful wine lists
Ten great places to eat — and stay over afterwards