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Dining with a View in County Clare


Dining with a View in County Clare

This stunning county in the western section of Ireland is the perfect blend of mountains and coastlines. With cities like Ennis, Limerick, and Galway, you will find many attractions including ancient fortresses, castles, and churches as well as sandy beaches, large wilderness areas, and islands with vast green spaces.

The county was established in 1565 although it was settled by Danish kings in the 9th century. County Clare boasts a population of about 120,000 and has 68 different cities, towns, and villages. The food here is Irish overall with dishes like Irish stew, soda bread, colcannon, and boxty. 

Being so close to the sea, you will also find a lot of seafood like salmon, oysters, mussels, and pollock. Many of the restaurants in County Clare have stunning views. However, you do not want to bring your luggage with you while you dine. Leave them at one of the County Clare suitcase storage locations before hitting the town. 

  • Wild Honey Inn

Why not start with the best? The Wild Honey Inn is the only restaurant in County Clare with a Michelin Star, and it also has a stellar view of the ocean as well as the mountains. Located in the Burren National Park in the 19th century Inn, the food at this pleasant pub is outstanding in every way. 

The pub boasts of having a dining space with rooms, but you do not have to book a room to eat there. The meat, seafood, and produce are all local, so it is always fresh. The favorites include Lough Neagh Smoked Eel with fennel and apple, Duck and Foie Gras Terrine, Lobster and Crab Presse, and Wild Turbot with asparagus and colcannon.

  • O’Grady’s On the Pier

Where else can you get the best view of the ocean but on the pier? O’Grady’s is an oyster and seafood bar with many awards for its food, service, and view. You will be right on Galway Bay where you can spot boats, ships, and even a seal or two playing in the surf. 

This charming pub has five menus including a weekend brunch, dessert, and a kid’s menu. Some of the items you may find on the dinner menu include O’Grady’s seafood chowder, oysters in dill and cucumber, prawn salad with avocado salsa, and seared scallops with cauliflower and apples. 

a group of people walking on a city street

  • Neo

On Dock Street with views of the River Corrib, the Port, and the Atlantic Ocean, Neo is where Asian food meets Irish tastes. If you can take your eyes off the views, you can start with spring rolls, Asian wings, prawns, or chicken satay skewers marinated in coconut. 

They also have all sorts of noodle dishes such as Pad Thai with roasted peanuts, Japanese Udon Noodles with shitake mushrooms, and Neo’s Vermicelli Noodles with prawn, rice noodles, and veggies. Their wok dishes are outstanding with Coconut Sweet Chilli, Thai Sweet and Sour, Khao Pad with fried rice, and Cashew Chicken with Neo’s Asian veggies.

  • Flaherty’s at Inis Oirr Hotel

You can probably get the best view of the ocean from an island so why not enjoy one of the excellent eateries on Inisheer. The menu is simple but delicious and every meal is served with salad and brown bread or boxty. They even have pizza with eight different toppings. 

Every day, they have a special, but their typical menu includes seafood, steaks, and chicken. Some of the local favorites include smoked salmon salad, crab claws in creamy garlic sauce, sirloin steak with sauteed onions and mushrooms, and pan-fried fillet with creamy white wine sauce. Dessert includes rhubarb crumble, apple pie, and “Death by Chocolate.”

a body of water

  • The Strand Kilkee

One of the most popular beaches in Clare County, The Strand, located in Kilkee Bay boasts some of the best steaks, burgers, and seafood. The view is endless as you can see for miles along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The bistro is casual and cozy with friendly staff as well as regular locals who eat there. 

Their gourmet burger is made with prime Irish minced beef and 20% Irish pork for a flavor like you cannot get anywhere else. Served with onion rings, hand cut chips, and tomato relish with or without cheese and bacon. The fish & chips are breaded in panko and served with mushy peas. 

  • Monks Ballyvaughan 

Located right on the pier with views that can’t be beat, Monks Ballyvaughan is a dining experience like no other. Whether you want the prawn curry with turmeric infused rice and chickpeas or a fish burger with lemon aioli and pickled fennel, you will not be disappointed here. 

Their beef and Guinness stew is full of thick chunks of beef, root vegetables, and creamy mash and the lamb rump with carrot and star anise puree is amazing. Their cod with chorizo and black garlic aioli and smoked salmon linguine is also on the favorites list. They even have a kid’s menu in case you brought the little ones. 

No matter what you choose to eat, it is hard to find any restaurant in County Clare without a gorgeous view. Between meals, be sure to visit some of the local attractions like the Black Head Lighthouse, Dough Castle, and Aillwee Cave. Coole Park Nature Reserve and the Burren Animal Rescue are fun to explore as well.