In search of the best restaurants in Ballina? Our Ballina restaurants guide will make your belly happy!
The largest town in Mayo, Ballina is a fine spot for food-loving folks. Especially those who’ve spent the day tackling some of the best things to do in Ballina.
The River Moy which runs through Ballina is a fabulous salmon fishery and the Ridge Pool in the town centre attracts many salmon anglers.
In the guide below, you’ll discover 13 of the best restaurants Ballina has to offer, from Asian and traditional Irish to burgers, pizzas and much more.
Our favourite restaurants in Ballina
The first section of this guide tackles what we think are the best restaurants in Ballina, from the brilliant Crockets Quay Bistro to some often-missed gems.
Whether its locally sourced seafood or authentic Italian pasta, this lively town punches well above its weight in the food stakes.
1. Crockets Quay Bistro
Crockets Quay is our favourite of the many Ballina restaurants in this guide and you’ll find it finely situated on the banks of the River Moy.
On the restaurant’s varied menu, expect to find everything from pub grub to fine dining cuisine. Try the steak sandwich which is cooked to perfection or go for the salmon with baby potatoes and roasted veggies and you won’t be disappointed.
In addition to tasty foods, this locally and nationally renowned restaurant hosts live music performances on the weekends.
If you’re in search of restaurants in Ballina to mark a special occasion, you can’t go wrong with an evening at Crokets Quay.
2. Junction Restaurant
Welcome to the Junction Restaurant! Located in the city centre, this fabulous family-run eatery and takeaway offers a wide selection of homemade dishes and excellent value for your hard-earned cash.
The restaurant’s signature traditional Irish homemade Boxty is delicious, as is the homemade Toblerone cheesecake.
If you’re in need of a hearty feed, you should try their chicken curry or the cod and chips!
3. The Cot and Cobble
There is no shortage of amazing pubs in Ballina and the Cot and Cobble is one of our favourites (especially on a winters day when there’s a few free seats by the fire!).
Thanks to its 2 big screens, this traditional pub is one of the best places to visit for live sport. Not to be missed is the ample bar food menu that includes delicious and reasonably priced traditional starters, main courses, and desserts.
The pub also boasts a dance floor with regular DJ and live music performances. If you’re looking for casual places to eat in Ballina with a group, Cot and Cobble is a great shout!
4. Luskin’s Bistro (one of our favourite Ballina restaurants)
The salmon capital of Ireland is where you will find the one and only, Luskin’s Bistro. Che Gerard Luskin used to work in restaurants in New York before deciding to move back to Ireland.
In 2016, he opened one of the more popular restaurants in Ballina with his wife, Stephanie. The restaurant can accommodate up to 40 guests and offers a wide range of meat, fish, pasta, and vegetarian dishes.
Order the salmon starter which is marinated in beetroot and poitin and, for mains, we recommend either the steak the lamb dishes.
Places to eat in Ballina with excellent reviews
As you’ve probably gathered at this stage, there’s an almost endless number of great places to eat in Ballina on offer.
If you’re still not sold on any of the previous choices, the section below is packed with some more highly-reviewed Ballina restaurants.
1. The Poacher
This intimate restaurant has flawless reviews. I mean, out of nearly 50 reviews on Tripadvisor, 99% of them are excellent (at the time of typing).
Located in the centre of Market Square in Ballina, the restaurant offers an extensive menu with favourites such as slow-roasted beef, mussels, beef rib cannelloni, cod, and venison.
For dessert, make sure to try their raspberry mousse and mango sorbet. The award-winning Chef Yvonne Kathrein and her team are in charge of preparing these mouthwatering food delicacies.
2. Jalan Jalan Ballina
This Asian street food restaurant has venues in Sligo, Galway and, recently, they decided to open a new branch in Ballina.
The big prawns with black bean sauce and fine noodles are delicious and the crispy sweet chilli chicken & rice is also worth a shot.
If you’re in search of Asian restaurants in Ballina that’ll make your belly happy, book in for a feed at Jalan Jalan.
3. The Ice House Restaurant
The Ice House is one of our favourite hotels in Ballina, and it boasts a lovely restaurant with stunning architectural design and delicious food.
Try their continental breakfast which is divine and reasonably priced. If you’re visiting fro lunch or dinner, go for the pork and steak, each of which are extremely tasty.
Make sure to leave some space for dessert and order the signature chocolate, almond, and orange cake. This is one of a few restaurants in Ballina with a lovely outdoor area that’s perfect for a warm evening.
4. Love Lee’s
Those looking to enjoy some authentic Chinese cuisine while visiting Ballina should carve out some time for a visit to Love Lee’s.
On the menu, you will find everything from duck pancakes and prawn cocktail to spicy chicken, sweet and sour chicken Hong Kong style and much more.
All of the desserts and handmade and spring rolls are delicious. You can have a sit-down meal or order takeout at this fabulous Chinese restaurant.
Cafes and other great casual restaurants in Ballina
If the Ballina restaurants mentioned above didn’t tickle your fancy and you’d prefer something a little more casual, you’re in luck.
This town is home to several brilliant cafes that serve up dishes that’ll make you tastebuds happy!
1. The Merry Monk
If you are looking for a unique and healthy dining experience while staying in Ballina, check out the Merry Monk. This eatery has its own vegetable farm from where they source fresh veggies and salads.
The lamb is also sourced locally from their farm which is located in Lacken. Some of the signature dishes include the homemade burger the freshly filleted cod baked in cream with tomato and onion.
2. Dillon’s Bar & Restaurant
We love Dillons Bar & Restaurant because of its picturesque courtyard that comes alive during the summer.
Favourites here include seafood chowder, smoked salmon, deep-fried brie, and crabmeat. For the mains, we recommend going for homemade beef burgers or the tempura batter fish and chips!
On the desserts list, you will find cheesecake, berry crumble, crepes and plenty more.
3. The Post House
The Post House is a lovely coffee shop in Ballina that is known to serve some of the best seafood chowder in this corner of Ireland. Their brown bread is also fantastic, as well as the buttermilk pancakes with bacon.
Recent reviews online also mention the homemade leek and potato soup and the chicken wrap. The cakes here (the carrot cake, in particular) are excellent.
What great Ballina restaurants have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some great Ballina restaurants from the guide above.
If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let us know in the comments section below and we’ll check it out.
Or, if you’re looking for places to visit during your time in Ballina, check out our guide to the best things to do in Ballina.
FAQs about the best Ballina restaurants
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from the best places to eat in Ballina for a fancy feed to where to grab something hearty in the town.
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 Ballina?
I’d argue that the best restaurants Ballina has to offer are Junction Restaurant and the brilliant Crockets Quay Bistro.
What are the best restaurants Ballina has to offer for a fancy meal?
If you’re looking for places to eat in Ballina that are less on the casual side, the Ice House Restaurant is a great option.
What are the best Ballina restaurants for lunch?
If you’re looking for restaurants in Ballina for a hearty lunch, you can’t go wrong with Dillon’s, Rouse’s and the Merry Monk.