In search of the best restaurants in Waterford? Our Waterford restaurants guide will make your belly happy!
Dining in Waterford City, Ireland’s oldest, is a real treat if you know where to go. From fine dining to casual, tasty eats, there’s a bit of something to tickle every tastebud, here.
From fancy feeds at the incredible Everett’s to a burger that packs a punch from Grady’s Yard, theres an endless number of great places to eat in Waterford.
In the guide below, you’ll discover the best Waterford restaurants on offer, with a little bit of something to tickle every fancy.
Our favourite restaurants in Waterford
The first section of our guide to the best restaurants in Waterford tackles our favourite places to eat in Waterford.
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. McLeary’s Restaurant
McLeary’s Restaurant offers quality dining in a sleek casual setting with gleaming wood floors and unfussy table settings. Located on Parade Quay, it has stunning views of the river to enhance the experience. Opt for the alfresco experience on the terrace if the weather’s good.
The a la carte menu has a host of tasty seafood starters followed by tempting steak, seafood, duck and curry choices. The Seafood Pie oozes with cream sauce beneath layers of salmon, cod and smoked haddock. The Sirloin Steak comes with chips and pepper sauce – add a tempura shrimp for the ultimate surf and turf!
2. Momo Restaurant
The award-winning Momo Restaurant in Waterford is a top choice for fresh ingredients and healthy cuisine. One of the best restaurants in Ireland, according to the revered McKennas’ Guide it turns humble foods into sensational meals.
You must try the Dungarvan Ale Brined Chicken Supreme with Sausage Stuffing and the mouthwatering Catalan fish stew. Romantic lighting and background music make evening dining a romantic affair.
For afternoon eats, the Lunch Menu includes pasta, fish and chips and a tasty €10 Lunch-in-a-Hurry option including homemade soup, a gourmet sandwich and salad bar.
Related read: Check out our guide to the best pubs in Waterford (old-school pubs that have stood the test of time)
Opened in 2000, Emiliano’s has carved a niche for itself as a traditional Italian Restaurant that serves honest dishes created with passion and flair by a team of experienced chefs.
Located on Waterford High Street, it has a homely family-friendly ambience and is open from Thursday to Sunday from noon to 9pm.
Expect the tastiest handmade pizzas, cooked to perfection which are just a small part of the huge menu offerings. From Antipasti Della Casa to Tagliatelle, Black Angus Sirloin Steaks, Emiliano’s has something for every taste – and great service too!
4. The Old Couch Café
Founded by an up-and-coming couple of chefs, the Old Couch Café reflects their professional chef training. Their hard work and talents have earned the restaurant a place in the Best in Ireland McKennas’ Guide 2021.
Menus are inspired by the couple’s cultural roots with Irish, Polish and Croatian influences. Drop in for afternoon tea or book a table for dinner and you’ll always get more than you expected.
Whether you choose a 3 or 4-course dinner option, you’ll get tasty homemade soup to start and petit fours and coffee to finish, all included. And dessert lovers will appreciate the pre-dessert too!
5. The Parlour Vintage Tea Rooms
The Parlour promises Tea Rooms with a twist, and that’s just what this Art Deco-inspired café has to offer. Located in the historic Port of Waterford building right by the water, there are several experiences.
Coffee addicts will find their niche in the Chamber of Coffee which takes artisan coffee-making to a whole new level. For olde worlde glamour and service, the Vintage Tea rooms are a delight.
From historic photos to the gramophone music, it’s a unique place for afternoon tea. Want something stronger? The prohibition-era Tipple Room’s the place to linger and chat with your favourite glass of wine or beer.
6. The Olive Cafe John Roberts Square
The top-rated Olive Cafe on John Roberts Square is the place for curries lovers and those in search of a good breakfast or lunch. Brimming with atmosphere and a hub for local life, this popular cafe is open 9-5pm daily and closed on Sunday.
In a fiercely competitive market, they pride themselves on serving divine coffee, delicious pastries and the best home-made food.
From wraps with salad to pancakes with syrup, dishes are beautifully presented with suitable sides to complement your meal. The chunky chips are pretty good too!
Other great places to eat in Waterford
As you’ve probably gathered at this stage, there’s an almost endless number of great places to eat in Waterford on offer.
If you’re still not sold on any of the previous choices, the section below is packed with some more highly-reviewed Waterford restaurants.
1. Peppers Restaurant
Situated in the heart of Waterford City on Merchants Quay, Peppers Restaurant is one of the more popular Waterford restaurants.
It focuses on what it does best – authentic Indian cuisine. Locally sourced quality ingredients and flavoured with freshly blended dry-roasted spices that are ground fresh each day to maximise flavour.
With such attention to detail, it’s not surprising this is considered the best curry house in town. Open from 5pm for the Early Bird Menu it has a range of Signature main courses to work your way through.
Bodega Restaurant and Wine Bar is an attractive joint on John Street serving casual cuisine from brunch to dinner. For takeaways and entertaining, the Bodega Bites Box is packed with tasty morsels including pork rillettes, olives, tapenade, cheese chutneys and potato salad.
If you’re eating-in the a la carte menu is even better. Get your lips around Crispy Pork Belly with Black Pudding Mash and Apple Puree or treat yourself to their Whole Lobster with Kelp Butter, Rocket Salad and Fries.
There’s also Tagliatelle, steaks and fish mains with tasty Rhubarb Tart for dessert. If you’re looking for places to eat in Waterford this weekend, you can’t go wrong here.
3. La Fontana
La Fontana is an authentic rustic restaurant with a great Italian menu in the heart of the Viking Triangle on The Quay. Pick your favourite pizza or choose a generous antipasti dish to share.
Tempura Prawns with spicy batter, mussels in white wine and Caprese Insalata are a nice change from the more traditional platter of cured meats, cheese and grilled veggies.
For the main course, indulge in Ravioli de Carne Tagliatelle or perhaps their Spaghetti Marinara filled with local mussels, monkfish, pawns and squid in a cherry tomato sauce.
If you’re after a delicious Italian meal, there are few restaurants in Waterford that can go head-to-head with La Fontana.
4. Everett’s Restaurant
Everett’s Restaurant promises exceptional dining in the heart of the city. It’s off to a good start with gorgeous historic surroundings within the 15th century John Collyn House on Waterford High Street.
However, this high-end restaurant is thoroughly modern when it comes to the menu. It is frequently listed in the Irish Times Top 100 Great Places to Eat and honoured to be a Michelin Plate in 2020 and 2021.
If you’re looking for Waterford restaurants to mark a special occasion, look no further than Everett’s.
Sheehan’s Steak and Seafood is a cosy and welcoming restaurant with an informal Bistro Menu from 12.30 to 4pm and a full-blown a la carte menu for dinner. Steaks are a house speciality with pork and fish dishes offering a supporting role.
Drop in for a spot of lunch – warming soup of the day with Guinness Bread or a perfectly done Eggplosion Burger and fries perhaps?
It’s worth leaving room for the Mixed Berry Meringue Roulade with Strawberry Ice Cream or the Warm Toffee Sponge and Caramel Sauce for sugar addicts.
6. Grady’s Yard
Although Grady’s Yard is more about liquid refreshment than food, there’s a light menu to accompany the full line-up of cask ales in the atmospheric Tap room.
Located in the historic area of John’s Bridge in Waterford, Grady’s Yard is a stone’s throw from the Double Tower and ruins of the old city walls.
There’s music spinning on the turntable and it’s arguably one of the best causal Waterford restaurants for a night out with a group.
7. Sabai Thai And Vietnamese Restaurant
We can’t finish without giving a mention to the Sabai Thai and Vietnamese Restaurant at Derrynane House in the Mall. Open daily except Mondays, this traditional Restaurant is renowned for its authentic Asian cuisine.
Owned by Waterford natives Catherine and Seamus Heffernan, the kitchen staff include head chef Nukum who brings his vast culinary expertise to Waterford.
There’s a full bar to complement the menu which emphasizes dishes made from scratch using local produce whenever possible.
What tasty Waterford restaurants have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some other great restaurants in Waterford from the guide above.
If you have any favourite Waterford restaurants that you’d like to recommend, drop a comment into the comments section below.
FAQs about the best restaurants in Waterford
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what are the best restaurants in Waterford for a fancy feed to which Waterford 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 Waterford?
The best restaurants in Waterford are, in my opinion, Emiliano’s, Momo’s and McLeary’s. Although, as you can see above, there’s plenty of great choices.
What Waterford restaurants are good for a fancy meal?
When it comes to marking a special occasion, few Waterford restaurants go toe-to-toe with the incredible Everett’s Restaurant.
What are the best restaurants in Waterford for something casual and tasty?
If you’re looking for great, no-fuss places to eat in Waterford, The Old Couch Café, The Olive Cafe and Grady’s Yard are worth a look.
Gillian Birch is a travel writer and published author. She has travelled the world and uses her personal journals and memories to write about her many travel experiences, particularly those that involved adventures in Ireland.