In search of the best restaurants in Kinsale? Our Kinsale restaurants guide will make your belly happy!
Kinsale is famously known as the gourmet capital of Ireland. And, as you’ll discover shortly, it’s a reputation that’s be well-earned!
It truly is a great place to find everything from Irish classics, to world class dishes from across the globe, and most importantly, amazingly fresh seafood.
In the guide below, you’ll discover the best Kinsale restaurants on offer, with a little bit of something to tickle every fancy.
Our favourite restaurants in Kinsale
The first section of our guide to the best restaurants in Kinsale tackles our favourite places to eat in Kinsale.
These are pubs and restaurants that we (one of the Irish Road Trip team) have munched away in at some point over the years. Dive on in!
1. Bruno’s Italian Eatery
First up is one of the better-known Kinsale restaurants (both due to its very quirky exterior and the fine food they dish-up!).
I know what you’re going to say — why go to Kinsale to eat Italian grub? Well, when you’ve grown up on a diet of Irish stew, sometimes you yearn for something a little different!
Bruno’s is a standout choice in that it uses local, Cork and Irish ingredients, alongside authentic Italian ones, to recreate a range of Italian classics.
The wood-fired pizzas are the main draw, but there’s an ever-changing menu of pasta and salad dishes as well. The menu adjusts with the season, using the freshest produce possible.
A fantastic selection of artisanal Italian wines pairs perfectly with the amazing food, making dinner at Bruno’s a safe bet every time we visit Kinsale.
2. The Black Pig
The Black Pig Wine Bar is one of the fancier places to eat in Kinsale. They specialize in fresh, locally caught seafood, with much of the produce supplied directly from the boat.
And it’s not just the seafood that is fresh and locally sourced. Everything from veg to meat is mostly sourced in Cork, changing with the seasons to ensure the highest quality.
The restaurant offers cosy indoor seating, with mood lighting, a relaxed atmosphere, and a top team ensuring your visit is comfortable and enjoyable.
There’s also a beautiful outdoor courtyard, making this one of the best restaurants in Kinsale to enjoy a light lunch in the sun.
Related Kinsale guide: 13 Great Things To Do In Kinsale At Any Time Of The Year (Hikes, Walks, Beaches And More)
3. The Bulman Bar & Toddies
The Bulman Bar is one of my favourite pubs in Kinsale, but there’s far more on offer than a great pint. Toddies Restaurant, like the bar, is full of character, with traditional charm meeting contemporary comfort.
Just 10 meters from the ocean, seafood is the main attraction, and a team of award-winning chefs whip up an incredible menu that changes pretty much day by day depending on what’s been reeled in.
Freshly caught lobster, oysters, prawns, fish and more are regular features on the menu, but there’s also Irish pies and a wealth of other traditional Irish dishes.
If you love sushi, they’ve also been known to create some amazing Irish sushi menus in the past, so keep an eye out!
4. Man Friday
Man Friday is another great choice, and with 4 different dining areas, they offer something for every occasion.
A warm welcome and great service is guaranteed, pairing excellently with the amazing menus that range from their light lunch menu, to the amazing a la carte, to the Sunday lunch menu.
Sourcing the freshest local produce, they offer a delectable range of seafood and fish, as well as juicy steaks, burgers, lamb, and pork dishes.
A huge wine list ensures you’ll find the right tipple to suit your meal, while the top-notch coffee goes down a treat, either at lunch or after dinner. Outside, the sun terrace is a beautiful and relaxing place to enjoy a drink while you watch the sun sink into the sea.
This is also one of my favourite places to eat in Kinsale for Sunday lunch – there’s a 3 Courses set menu for around €31 that packs a punch!
Bastion is the only Michelin Starred restaurant in Kinsale, and is a fantastic place to spoil yourself and a loved one.
Inside, the decor is restrained but tasteful, with candlelight creating a wonderful atmosphere. Run by chef Paul and his wife Helen, who takes care of front of house, it’s a small and cosy venue.
The talented couple offer up a delectable, ever-changing 8-course tasting menu, highlighting — but not restricted to — fresh, local seafood.
There’s also a vegetarian version, and you can opt for the wine pairing menu as well. The modern dishes look as good as they taste, and the menu takes you on an amazing culinary tour.
If you’re in search of Kinsale restaurants for a special occasion, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Bastion!
Related read: Check out our guide to the best beaches near Kinsale (several of which are under 30 minutes away)
The best restaurants in Kinsale for seafood
As a historic fishing village, there’s certainly no shortage of seafood restaurants in Kinsale where you can grab a fresh bite to eat.
Below, you’ll find everything from the High Tide to the excellent Fishy Fishy! Dive on in (terrible pub unfortunately intended…).
1. High Tide
High Tide is a great place to enjoy some of the delights of the ocean. The family run, chef owned restaurant has a strong focus on seafood, though meat lovers can enjoy a hefty 10oz ribeye steak, and vegetarians are also catered for.
They create daily specials depending on what has been caught that day, as well as their seasonal a la carte menu, which features delights such as Thai-style monkfish curry.
The restaurant itself is cosy and welcoming, with friendly staff and excellent service. Plus, the prices are really generous, especially with such a central location. It’s well worth stopping by — the home baked, brown soda bread alone makes it a top choice!
Related Kinsale guide: 12 Of The Best Pubs In Kinsale For Post-Adventure Pints This Summer.
2. Max’s Seafood
Max’s is one of the three restaurants in Kinsale to be awarded the Michelin Plate. It’s run by owner Anne-Marie, who manages the front of house, and her husband, head chef Olivier.
French-born Olivier adds a French twist to his dishes that rely on locally sourced, all Irish ingredients. In fact, few restaurants can boast to source their ingredients as locally as Max’s, with foraged mushrooms, self-caught razor clams, and many other ingredients being collected just feet from the restaurant.
The daily specials change with the season, making the most of the best seafood available, and besides seafood you can enjoy a number of meat and vegetarian dishes. The indoor dining area is sleek and modern, while the garden patio offers amazing tranquility.
If you’re in search of Kinsale restaurants that’ll tantalize your tastebuds from beginning to end, Max’s is a great shout!
3. Fishy Fishy
Fishy Fishy is one of the best-known seafood restaurants in Kinsale, and is located right on the harbour. Head chef owner Martin Shanahan is one of Ireland’s leading seafood chefs, with several TV series and books to his name, and a long career, culminating in Fishy Fishy.
The award-winning, Michelin Plate restaurant serves up some of the best seafood in Kinsale. The daily specials vary depending on the catch of day, with Martin working closely with the fishermen, all of whom he knows by name.
Spread over 2 levels, the restaurant was previously an art gallery, and art still adorns the walls, along with a plethora of fishy memorabilia.
This is another of several places to eat in Kinsale that boasts an outdoor eating area – just make sure to book in advance.
Other Great Kinsale Restaurants With Excellent Reviews
As you’ve probably gathered at this stage, there’s an almost endless number of great places to eat in Kinsale on offer.
If you’re still not sold on any of the previous choices, the section below is packed with some more highly-reviewed Kinsale restaurants.
1. CRU Winebar & Bistro
CRU is worth a visit for the playlist alone — if you’re a fan of Bowie, The Beatles, The Stones, Lou Reed, The Smiths, Elbow, etc., you’ll be right at home!
Amazing playlist aside, CRU offers a relaxed and approachable dining experience, with an awesome menu and equally awesome wine list — most of which are available by the glass.
Casual and informal, it’s easy to feel at home at CRU, but the incredible food will remind you that you’re eating out at one of Kinsale’s best.
Locally sourced, fresh produce is a key feature, including seafood, meat dishes, and vegan options. Head chef Emma adds in some Asian touches here and there, creating fantastic fusions, while daily specials and seasonal menus ensure satisfaction every visit.
This is, in our opinion, one of the best restaurants in Kinsale for a feed before nipping in and out of some of the town’s many pubs.
2. Mother Hubbards (one of the best value restaurants in Kinsale)
Had one too many pints in The Spaniard last night? Then head to Mother Hubbard’s cafe! Renowned in Kinsale and adored by locals and visitors alike, it offers no nonsense cafe-style dining, including what many locals agree is the best breakfast in Cork.
The charming interior makes you feel like you’re visiting gran, with old crockery on the walls, a huge mantelpiece over the stone fireplace, and various knick-knacks dotted about the place.
Open for breakfast and lunch, they offer traditional Irish fare, using quality local ingredients.
The prices are fantastic, and with an informal atmosphere, it provides an excellent alternative to the many more expensive cafes and restaurants in Kinsale, especially if you’re on a budget.
3. Food U
Food U is another fantastic, informal place to grab a delicious bite to eat. They serve up a great selection of breakfast bites, including fresh fruit and berries with yoghurt, porridge, fry ups, and bagels.
The small cafe/deli also offers a variety of platters, with lots of fresh seafood, as well as Cork meats and cheeses.
Located on the harbour, there are great views over the water, with a lovely outdoor seating area being the perfect place for a coffee and a sandwich in the sun.
Inside is pretty small, with around 15 seats, but it’s cosy, affordable, and has an amazingly friendly atmosphere.
If you’re on the lookout for places to eat in Kinsale that are perfect for a post-walk feed, Food U is a great shout.
4. Nine Market Street
Small and cosy, Nine Market Street emphasizes simple food prepared to a high standard. Owned and run by head chef Leona, it’s a fantastic little restaurant, with space for around 25 guests at a time.
Almost everything is made in-house, using the freshest, local ingredients. Serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there’s never a bad time to drop by for a tasty treat.
The coffee is also really good, and goes great with the homemade scones! The daily specials make use of seasonal ingredients and freshly caught seafood, offering something new with every visit.
Quirky and charming, it’s warm and welcoming, with an excellent team that’ll make your visit a happy one.
5. O’Herlihys Kinsale | OHK Cafe
Originally established as a pub in 1864, OHK has been run by the same family ever since. Nowadays, it operates as a cafe, and cultural and creative hot spot, run by sisters Sarah and Carol.
Using specially selected artisanal produce from Cork, they serve delicious meals for breakfast and lunch, as well as tempting cakes and baked goods that go well with their amazing coffee.
What tasty Kinsale restaurants have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some other great restaurants in Kinsale from the guide above.
If you have a favourite Kinsale restaurant that you’d like to recommend, drop a comment into the comments section below.
FAQs about the best restaurants in Kinsale
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what are the best restaurants in Kinsale for a fancy feed to which Kinsale restaurants are nice and chilled.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best places to eat in Kinsale?
Bruno’s Italian Eatery. The Black Pig. Man Friday. The Bulman Bar & Toddies. Bastion
What Kinsale restaurants are good for a fancy meal?
Bastion and Max’s Seafood Kinsale.
What are the best restaurants in Kinsale for something casual and tasty?
The Bulman, Food U and O’Herlihys Kinsale OHK Cafe.