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7 Best Restaurants in Killarney (Based On Many Visits)

7 Best Restaurants in Killarney (Based On Many Visits)

I visit Killarney 8+ times a year. As a result, there’s a handful of restaurants in Killarney that I go back to over-and-over as I know they’ll be 10/10 every time.

Places like Porterhouse, The Mad Monk and Khao that, regardless of how many times I nip into them, the food never fails to delight.

In this guide, you’ll find what think are the best restaurants in Killarney Town, based on many, many visits over the years – enjoy!

My go-to restaurants in Killarney Town

So, I want to start by saying that this guide is in no particular order – I tend to rotate each of the Killarney restaurants below on each visit to the town.

The only thing each has in common is that they dish up outstanding food that ranges from fine-dining to hearty pub grub.

1. Porterhouse Restaurant

The Porterhouse

Photos via The Porterhouse on FB

There’s an awful lot to like about the family-run Porterhouse on Plunkett St. If you’re after a tasty dinner in Killarney, this is hearty Irish grub at its best.

One of the things I love about this place is that it has a real cosy feel to it. In fact, it feels more like a traditional pub in that there’s loads table tucked away in nooks and crannies along with plenty of comfy booths to sit in.

For starters, expect the likes of crumbed brie, creamy seafood chowder and homemade soup with bloomer bread.

For mains, you’ve a tough task ahead of you – on my most recent visit, I went for the baked Cajun salmon with herb roasted baby potatoes and it was the business.

On previous visits, the tomahawk for two has gone done well. There’s also plenty of fish, veggie and light options, too! This is, in my opinion, one of the best places to eat in Killarney.

2. Cronins Restaurant

Cronins Restaurant

Photos via Cronins on FB

Cronins on College Street have been dishing up great food in Killarney since Johnny and Noreen Cronin opened their doors in 1957.

Slightly more formal but none-the-less-welcoming than the last of our Killarney restaurants, Cronins excel when it comes to both service and presentation.

The menu at Cronins dazzles with an impressive mix of starter that showcases local produce via dishes like their oak smoked salmon, Skellig Prawn Salad and hearty Kerry chowder.

For mains, there’s everything from the the Prime 10oz Hereford Sirloin Steak (served with sauté onions and mushrooms) to the Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini wrapped in tender pasta and topped with Parmesan.

Whenever I’m here – particularly when it’s raining – I’ll take the 1-minute jog to nearby Jimmy Brien’s after eating – arguably one of the best pubs in Killarney!

3. The Mad Monk by Quinlans

The Mad Monk

Photos via The Mad Monk

There’s no shortage of great seafood restaurants in Killarney, but few in my eyes contend with the Mad Monk.

The Mad Monk boasts a slick interior, great ambience and plenty of seating for groups and couples alike.

Starter-wise, the Dingle Bay Wild Squid with sweet chilli jam and the seared Aran Islands scallops with cauliflower puree and crispy Parma ham both pack a punch.

For mains, the pick of the bunch are the panko breaded Irish prawn scampi and the deep water prawn tagliatelle.

If you fancy something a bit more casual, one of the best restaurants in Killarney for fish and chips is Quinlan’s Seafood Bar on nearby High Street.

4. The Tan Yard

The Tan Yard

Photos via The Tan Yard on FB

Although many of my visits to Killarney tend to be solo, if I’m in the town with a friend, the Tan Yard is hard-to-bate!

There’s a little bit of a Boho feel to this place, with shabby-chic lights and ferns dotted around, and it has a quiet confidence that only comes from a team boasting plenty of skill and experience.

The starter menu here will appeal to the adventurous, with the likes of Gubbeen chorizo and Manchego cheese croquettes, pan-seared Kilmore Quay scallops and beetroot risotto featuring.

For mains, there’s an extensive selection of Irish Hereford prime cuts along with everything from beef brisket linguini and cauliflower steak to pheasant and more.

If you’re looking for great places to eat in Killarney to mark a special occasion, the Tan Yard won’t disappoint.

5. Khao Asian Street Food

Khao Asian Street Food

Photos via Khao on FB

Next up is one of the best restaurants in Killarney for Asian cuisine. I’m talking, of course, about the brilliant Khao on High Street.

Inside is dimly lit and the decor is unassuming, with a palette of neutral colours, dark timber tables and chairs, and minimalist adornments.

As the name implies, Khao’s menu centres around street food, and by God they do it well. The menu is packed with everything from chargrilled duck and pad Thais to stir-frys, fish curries and plenty more.

If you’re looking for great-value food in Killarney at lunch time, they do excellent specials (around €12 for the special when I was there last!).

6. Treyvaud’s Restaurant


Photos via Paul Treyvaud on FB

If you’re looking for Killarney restaurants that makes fine dining look easy, carve out some time to visit Treyvaud’s on High Street.

You’ll find a lunch, dinner and Sunday lunch menu on offer here, each of which boasts something that’ll tickle most tastebuds.

If you fancy trying a bit of traditional Irish food, give the Irish potato pancake with Kenmare smoked salmon a bash for starters.

For mains, you’ve your work cut out for you – the grilled fillet of fresh halibut is simple and delicious, while the wild forest mushroom risotto is a flavour-packed veggie option.

7. Murphy Brownes

Murphy Brownes

Photos via Murphy Brownes on FB

You’ll find Murphy Brownes in a commanding location on High Street, a stone’s throw from many of Killarney’s top pubs.

Visitors here can expect efficient staff, a friendly atmosphere and a menu packed with classic dishes cooked and presented perfectly.

The menu at Brownes is reassuringly small (always a good sign!) with starters like wings, duck spring rolls and an Atlantic seafood chowder.

For mains, expect plenty of hearty options, like burgers, beer-battered fish and chips, beef lasagne and vegan burgers.

If you’ve room for desert, the chocolate caramel brownie will likely tip you over the edge.

8. Bricín Restaurant and Boxty House


Photos via Bricin on FB

Bricin is regarded by many as one of the best places to eat in Killarney when it comes to authentic Irish cooking!

It’s a cosy affair, with traditional wooden panelling, cheerfully coloured walls, and pictures of bygone days for you to admire while you wait.

It’s well worth considering the house speciality, the Bricín Boxty – an Irish potato pancake cooked on a griddle that comes with chicken fillet, ratatouille or Irish lamb.

On the menu, there’s also everything from succulent Irish scallops and a smorgasbord of seafood to a rack of Kerry lamb, pork apricot and lots more.

Where to walk off your food in Killarney

best things to do in Killarney Ireland

What’s a guide to the best restaurants in Killarney without some recommendations for how to walk it off?!

Luckily, there are a clatter of walks in Killarney that start close to the town, like Cardiac Hill and Torc Mountain.

Or, if you fancy doing some of the touristy things to do in Killarney, visit Torc Waterfall, the Gap of Dunloe and Muckross Abbey first and then hop on the Ring of Kerry and explore the Iveragh Peninsula!

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Tuesday 1st of August 2023

Do you think we need to book a place, or can we just chance it on the evening and find something decent?

Keith O'Hara

Tuesday 1st of August 2023

Hey Alana - we were in Killarney in April and chanced not booking. It was a Friday evening and we went to Monk's. I'd say we only just managed to get a spot. You might be fine, but there's no harm booking just to be safe.

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