There’s no end to the number of great restaurants in Galway.
The ‘City of Tribes’ has always been a great place to grab a pint along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way (there’s an endless number of brilliant pubs in Galway).
But as well as the drinks, the music, the art and the coastal landscape, Galway’s lively and respected gastronomy scene is now a prominent part of the city’s vibrancy.
In the guide below, you’ll get discover 11 of the best places to eat in Galway, with everything from fine dining to burger joints included.
The best restaurants in Galway
- Kai Restaurant
- Wa Café
- The Dough Bros
- Ard Bia at Nimmos
- The Quay Street Kitchen
- Zappi’s Restaurant
- Handsome Burger
- Brasserie on the Corner
Section 1: Our favourite Galway restaurants
Now, just a couple of quick points before we hop into the guide below: the first, is that there’s no real order to the way in which the places below appear.
The second is that you’ll find a mix of swanky spots and cheap and cheerful places to eat in Galway below. Right – let’s dive in!
1. Dela (the best restaurant in Galway in our opinion!)
If you fancy dining in one of the best restaurants in Galway, get yourself down to Deal (just make sure you get there early, as there’s been a queue the last 4 times we’ve visited!).
Cosy Dela on Dominick Street Lower is a hit with the brunch crowd and for good reason. Using the finest organic local produce and always immaculately prepared, Dela’s artisan cuisine will keep you coming back for more.
And with a brunch menu ranging from a classic eggs benedict to more unique dishes like their vegan mezze platter, Dela is a superb place to start your day in Galway.
Traveller tip: Dela is also home to one of the best places for brunch in Galway. There’s a breakfast burger with black pudding that’ll have you coming back for seconds.
Head chef and owner Enda McEvoy’s philosophy is all about showcasing the best ingredients the West of Ireland has to offer and putting his own spin on it.
Pretty simple, really. Loam, his Michelin-starred restaurant (one of two in the city) on Fairgreen Road, is where the magic happens and displays the culinary talent that resides Galway right now.
Traveller tip: Feeling peckish? Order the 9-course tasting menu to savour the Loam experience to the max.
3. Kai Restaurant
Named after the Maori word for food, Kai is all about local produce and what’s in season. New Zealand-born chef and co-owner Jess Murphy was awarded a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide in 2017.
This only heightened the profile of this rustic little spot out on Sea Road. With an ever-changing menu, you’re bound to be surprised by what Kai’s creative minds come up with next. There aren’t many places you can order a Clare Crab & Irish Fine Beans for lunch.
Related read: Check out our guide to 39 of the best things to do in Galway (hikes, walks, scenic drives and plenty more).
Section 2: More great places to eat in Galway with top-notch reviews
The second section of our guide to the best restaurants in Galway is packed with places to eat in Galway that have amassed impressive reviews online, at the time of writing.
1. Wa Café
If you’re in search of restaurants in Galway that serve up a fine bit of sushi, look no further than the highly reviewed Wa Café .
After initially selling sushi at Galway Market in 2002, Yoshimi Hayakawa opened Wa Café in 2008 and her Japanese restaurant has since become a Galway staple.
Mixing her sushi skills with locally sourced Irish fish, Wa Café’s intricate creations are well worth a visit. It’s vegan-friendly too so there’s plenty of veggie ways of enjoying Hayakawa’s handiwork.
And if you’re not in the mood for sushi, they also do wonderful ramen, yakisoba noodles and miso soup – Hayakawa’s hometown speciality.
2. The Dough Bros (one of our favourite places to eat in Galway)
Every city needs a great pizza joint and Dough Bros’ wood-fired offerings are Galway’s answer.
Beginning life as a small street food truck back in 2013, they now occupy part of the elegant stone Cathedral Building on Middle Street.
Modestly decorated inside with white butcher tiles, the star of the show is the monstrous black wood-fired oven. Check out their unique Hail Caesar pizza featuring local chicken from Co Galway, smoked pancetta, croutons and house caesar dressing.
Traveller tip: Dough Bros is one of the best restaurants in Galway if you’re in search of something tasty after a day of exploring – grab a pizza and knock if back with one of the tasty beers on offer.
3. Ard Bia at Nimmos
Meaning ‘high food’ in Irish, Ard Bia’s name sets a gaudy standard for itself but it more than lives up to those expectations.
Set in a striking historic building (allegedly a former 17th-century customs house) near the Spanish Arch on the River Corrib, Ard Bia at Nimmo’s serves hearty, quality food that takes inspiration from around the world.
Enjoy a mouth-watering Morgan’s rib-eye steak or one of their fresh seafood dishes while taking in beautiful views across Claddagh Bay.
4. The Quay Street Kitchen
If you’re wondering where to eat in Galway where you’re guaranteed a knock-you-sideways steak, this next place will tickle your fancy.
Deep in the heart of colourful Quay Street is the Quay Street Kitchen. Once you’ve made your way through the arms and legs of the many visitors to this famous street, you’ll find an eclectic little spot that serves a wide range of great Irish food.
And for a restaurant that offers a fine variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes (beer-battered organic tofu, for a start), it’s the exquisite lamb shank where the Quay Street Kitchen really excels.
5. Zappi’s Restaurant (one of the best restaurants in Galway if you fancy Italian)
Crafting authentic Italian cuisine using local Irish ingredients, Zappi’s on Eglinton Street offers a comprehensive selection of pizzas and pastas to choose from.
Modestly decorated on the inside, Zappi’s keeps the focus on the food and sticks to simple Italian cooking.
With nothing on the menu above €17, this a restaurant that’s big on quality but low on price. For an extra kick, check out their fiery Ferrari pizza with its rather intimidating topping list of pepperoni, chorizo, fresh chilli and jalapenos.
6. Handsome Burger
Voted the ‘best burgers in Ireland’ in 2019, Handsome Burger has come a long way in a short period of time from its humble beginnings as a pop-up stall in 2017.
Now with their own restaurant on Dominick Street Lower (next door to brunch kings Dela), these famous burgers look set to stick around for a while.
Making the most of the West of Ireland’s magnificent beef and local produce, all the burgers are hand-rolled and the chips hand-cut. What’s not to like?
From the maritime décor to the fresh seafood, Hooked on Henry Street keeps it nautical. This cosy, unpretentious restaurant in Galway’s Westend opened in 2014 and gets its fish supplied fresh every morning from Ali’s Fish Market.
With an extensive menu covering everything from traditional fish and chips to steamed mussels and fish tacos, it seems appropriate to order a Galway Hooker pale ale to wash everything down.
And if you didn’t think they were dedicated enough to the maritime theme, the bathrooms even have sinks in the shape of oysters.
8. Brasserie on the Corner
Like many of the best restaurants in Galway, Brasserie on the Corner has made it their mission to source the finest local ingredients.
And with the West of Ireland’s vast resources of superior produce to choose from, they’ve got everything they need to hit you with some premium ‘farm to fork’ cuisine.
The plush, low-lit interior is cosy and the menu is reassuringly small (they even list all of their local suppliers), with a clear focus on doing a few things extremely well, such as their top-priced Duo of Irish Lamb.
And boasting an impressive wine list alongside seemingly every Irish whiskey in existence, you’ll never go thirsty here either.
What great restaurants in Galway have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant restaurants in Galway in the guide above.
If you’ve eaten out in the city recently and you have a Galway restaurant that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments section below!
Note: We purposely haven’t included any Salthill restaurants in this guide. You find them in our guide to the best places to eat in Salthill.
FAQs about the top restaurants in Galway
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from the best restaurants Galway has to offer to where to grab tasty, cheap eats.
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 restaurants in Galway?
In our opinion, the best places to eat in Galway are Zappi’s, Kai Restaurant, Loam and Dela but, as you’ll see above, there’s some stiff competition.
What are the best places to eat in Galway for a fancy evening meal?
Again, in our opinion, Ard Bia at Nimmos and Quay Street Kitchen are two great options if you fancy splashing out a little.
What are the top casual restaurants in Galway?
Although you can’t beat a Supermac’s, we’re fond of Dough Bros and Handsome Burger – two spots that’ll make your belly very happy!