Unique Restaurants Ireland - 5 Off The Beaten Path Places To Visit - The Gloss Magazine

5 Of The Best ‘Off The Beaten Path’ Restaurants To Seek Out Over Summer

Wanderlust or just lost? If you find yourself off the beaten path over the summer months, fingers crossed you might find yourself in the vicinity of one of these local gems …

Arundel’s by the Pier, Ahakista, Co Cork

If you happen to make it as far as the Sheep’s Head Peninsula, Arundel’s on the Pier in Ahakista is the perfect pit stop for lunch. A summery plate of Castletownbere crab, lightly dressed with mayonnaise, citrus, chili and coriander and served on brown bread is the epitome of Irish summer food – nabbing a bench out front will make it taste all the sweeter. The mussels with ‘nduja and the fish sandwich are also good choices, and a scoop of ice cream is a simple yet effective way to round off a summery lunch. A word of warning, make sure to check food service times as some days Arundel’s operates on a drinks only basis. www.arundelsbythepier.com 

Little Acorn Café, Baltinglass, Co Wicklow

Anyone that has ever eaten Maggie Roche’s banana bread (or sausage rolls) will be aware that this is one talented chef. Whether visiting for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, it’s unlikely you will be disappointed with any of the dishes she dreams up at Little Acorn. Chef specials include heart-warming dishes like tempura chilli stuffed with beef mince and diced potatoes with sour cream, pico de gallo and red pepper sauce. Not to mention the small plate of confit duck leg croquettes with pickles and spiced chutney. This is the kind of food you would come back for over and over again. Open seven days a week with dinner served Friday and Saturday evenings. www.instagram.com/littleacorncafe 

Island Cottage, Heir Island, Skibbereen, Co Cork

A rustic cookery school and restaurant, John Desmond and Ellmary Fenton have been running Island Cottage since 1989. And while boating to lunch feels more Corfu than Cork, there is something so romantic about taking a boat to a remote island for lunch. The coastal West Cork location only adds to the drama. An adults only, no choice menu, set lunch costs just €25 (plus optional wine and ferry fare from Cunnamore Pier) meaning a trip to Heir Island is certainly on my summer bucket list. Lunch is served from mid-June to mid-September. www.islandcottage.com 

O’Dowd’s Seafood Bar, Roundstone, Connemara, Co Galway

Perhaps a little less under-the-radar, but no less special, overlooking the picturesque harbour in lovely Roundstone, O’Dowd’s is traditional pub with an unassuming exterior that you could easily pass without giving it a backward glance – but we’d advise that you make a point of stopping. Especially if an old school Irish bar with a menu to match tickles your fancy. The menu provenance is excellent with locally sourced meat and fish, with fruit, vegetables and herbs from the family’s own kitchen garden. Dishes are slightly retro with an 80s, old-school vibe but the chowder is excellent, the oysters and crab are fresh and the mussels plump, plus, there are some good local beers and ciders on the menu, along with a wine list. The pan fried fish of the day is usually a great choice. www.odowdsseafoodbar.com 

Camus Farm Field Kitchen, Cork

A farm to table restaurant serving organic, home-grown produce, a visit to Camus Farm is worth the Google maps frustration. A banquet of seasonal produce on a farm in West Cork, dinner at Camus Farm Field Kitchen is a casual affair with picnic benches aplenty to enjoy the dishes on offer. The ‘summer feasts’ menu features dishes such as braised artichokes with asparagus, broad bean and peas with homemade cavatelli, wild garlic and almond pesto showcasing the very best of local Irish summer produce. www.fieldkitchen.ie 


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