Finding a spot to sit, nibble, and enjoy the sunshine all at once is tricky, nowadays – and not just in Dublin. Ireland’s capital is not the only county that delivers consistently in cuisine, particularly when it comes to great restaurants with cosy outdoor terraces. Galway has its fair share of spectacular eateries, so whether you are a local planning your first night out post-lockdown or just planning to venture west for a break away – here are five places to book an outdoor meal in Galway this summer.
1. O’Grady’s on the Pier
Dreaming of seafood linguini enjoyed at a sheltered table overlooking the Atlantic? We thought that might be of interest. We are happy to report that the enduringly popular O’Grady’s on the Pier in the Galway suburb of Barna is now open for al fresco lunch and early dinner. The team had planned to open in early June once outdoor dining was permitted, but that stunning seaside location can also be subject to some harsh Atlantic winds so sadly (for those of us who visited in June) it was pushed back. The menu changes daily, depending on the catch, but you can be assured it will all be delicious.
2. Dela, Dominick Street, Galway
With limited (weather dependant) opening hours, Dela is back from this weekend in Galway’s West End. For now, the team at Dela have borrowed outdoor space in the form of the beer garden from Áras na nGael, the Irish language and culture centre and it could well turn out to be a perfect pairing. Dela will be open for brunch and dinner from 12 – 9 pm, Fridays and Saturdays. Booking is advised.
3. Rúibín, Dock Road, Galway
On Dock Road, Rúibín is open for indoor dining and you can expect a feast for all the senses. For lunch, there are homemade ‘everything bagels’ along with an array of salad bowls and fried potatoes with aioli. For dinner there is whipped salt cod on toast to start and dry pepper beef masala flatbread with matchsticks and pickled chillies. Lunch is served daily from 12 – 3 and dinner from 5 – 9pm.
4. Moran’s Oyster Cottage, Kilcolgan
It’s all about the seafood in Galway, and Moran’s is no exception. This thatched slice of paradise has been serving up the best of local seafood since the 1800’s, so suffice to say they know a thing or two about good fish. There are oysters of every description and a host of other seafood, both hot and cold to choose from. Open Tuesday – Sunday.
5. Trieste Café and Wine Bar, Middle Street
With awnings, windshields, heaters and blankets, this year, Trieste are certainly prepared for all that a Galway summer can entail. Located in the centre of Galway, think charcuterie boards, cheese galore, fruit, bread and wine. Lots of wine.
6. Kirwan’s Lane
Smack bang in the medieval centre of the city, Kirwan’s Lane has been in operation since 1996, when the entire lane was restored. An award-winning seafood bar and restaurant, Kirwan’s Lane will have outdoor seating on the lane for dinner from Monday to Saturday. From experience, I can highly recommend the sautéed gambas prawns with garlic, chilli, parsley butter and toasted sourdough which feels like a bargain at €8.95.
7. Il Vicolo, O’Brien’s Bridge
On the banks of the River Corrib, Il Vicolo is known for serving up some of the best Italian fare Galway has to offer and come June 10, the pasta-mad will be free to enjoy the menu once again. The ribeye steak tagliata with pan-fried potatoes, rocket and aged parmesan would go down a treat while perched on the edge of the river, cocktail in hand soaking up the idyllic river views.
8. 1520, Quay Street
A self-proclaimed ‘medieval-themed bar with a 21st-century kick’, 1520 is a solid choice. While the menu is casual, the brunch dishes are legendary, as are the cocktails. This is a great spot for a relaxed bite set against a buzzy atmosphere – perfect in the sunshine.
9. Tartare, 56 Lower Dominick Street
July reservations for indoor dining at Galway’s masterful seafood establishment, Tartare, are now open. Given its limited outdoor seating, but committed foodie following, Tartare have decided against taking June reservations but they do plan to open. You can expect delicacies such as Dooncastle oysters with trout roe and dillisk or Beechlawn potatoes with seaweed butter and sea herbs. Tartare also has an impressive wine list with a nice selection of beers, as well as Orpens cider, setting their customer up for a perfect summertime dinner.
10. The Sea Hare, Cleggan
Should you fancy escaping from Galway city, head to The Pier Bar in Cleggan where The Sea Hare awaits. It’s unsurprisingly all about the fish at The Sea Hare – oh, and their famous Tamarind Sauce. Nowhere in Galway will you find fresher fare, plucked straight from the ocean next to which it sits! Book in advance and pre-order your meal for certain dates in June – its offers include a whole Cleggan Bay lobster with garlic butter or lemon mayonnaise, homemade bread and a pint of Guinness or a glass of wine for €28 on a Saturday or a pot of Killary Fjord mussels with crusty homemade bread and a pint of Guinness or a glass of wine for €20 on a Sunday afternoon. I’ll take two please.