Whether you're a consummate carnivore or a dedicated vegan, you'll find something in the foodie delights in Ireland's Hidden Heartlands. Here are our top 11 foodie experiences to try on your next visit.
Gleeson’s Townhouse, County Roscommon
“Handmade, homemade and every plate prepared with passion” is what husband and wife team, Eamonn and Mary Gleeson promise at Gleeson's Townhouse and restaurant. Their 19th century house has recently been restored and is the backdrop to some seriously good homemade delicacies. The emphasis on the menu is organic and the townhouse is open from breakfast through to evening.
Drumanilra Farm Kitchen, County Roscommon
Liam and Justina Gavin of Drumanilra Farm left the UK in 2012 to farm in Boyle, County Roscommon. They now run an award-winning day-time restaurant, The Drumanilra Farm Kitchen, in Boyle with every dish containing ingredients from their organic mixed farm just ten minutes' drive away. All the Dexter beef, pork, lamb and salad leaves are produced on the farm.
MacNean House Restaurant and Cookery School, County Cavan
If you enjoy the finer things in life then you won’t want to miss the award-winning chef Neven Maguire's MacNean House, Restaurant and Cookery School in Blacklion, Cavan. As one of Ireland's most-loved chefs, his renowned restaurant in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands books up fast. If you’re lucky enough to get a reservation, you’ll be treated to one of Ireland’s greatest fine dining experiences.
Cottage Restaurant, County Leitrim
Just five minutes outside Carrick-on-Shannon is the quaint village of Jamestown and the friendly, traditional Cottage Restaurant. Sham Hanifa fuses wholesome Irish flavours with his Malaysian roots to create beautifully presented fusion meals. The restaurant’s garden is filled with plum trees and polytunnels providing the restaurant with some of their high quality, local ingredients.
Oarsman Pub, County Leitrim
Even though The Oarsman in Carrick-on-Shannon has won Irish Gastro Pub of the Year it still remains a real hidden gem. The quality and flavours of the food make you wonder whether it’s a pub in a restaurant or a restaurant in a pub. The owners, brothers Conor and Ronan Maher, have created a great dining destination which is a must-visit for lunch or dinner.
Thyme, County Westmeath
The incredible Thyme, on the banks of the River Shannon in the heart of historic Athlone, has built a reputation for crafting exciting, modern Irish cuisine. Owner and chef John Coffey and his wife Tara set out to showcase the talent and passion of the Midland’s fabulous producers. The ever-changing menu gives a great snapshot of the diversity and quality of the local food artisans.
Les Petites Tartres, County Roscommon
You can’t miss Les Petites Tartres in Athleague, as its purple façade sets the tone for a welcoming meal in lovely surroundings. The tasty homemade desserts are worth the trip alone and their organic, fair trade coffee is the perfect way to top off your visit to Roscommon.
Wilde Irish Chocolates, County Clare
If you love chocolate you simply have to visit Wilde Irish Chocolates in Tuamgraney, County Clare, where over 80 chocolates are handmade in the small artisan factory. There's an open plan production area where you can see the chocolates being made and packed by the talented workers. After learning about the process you can taste what's in production and even make suggestions for new, tasty flavours.
Rogue and Co, County Roscommon
Rogue and Co is modern café on the Roscommon town’s Main Street with dark charcoal walls and plush armchairs; the perfect place to wrap your hands around a steaming cup of coffee. Stay for lunch and try their mouthwatering sandwiches and salads as well as an extensive wine selection.
Dead Centre Brewing, Athlone, County Westmeath
Learn about the exciting world of Irish craft beer on the banks of the majestic River Shannon in Athlone. Dead Centre Brewing runs hands-on craft beer-tasting session as well as interactive brewery tours of their on-site brewery. Stone-baked pizzas, freshly made on-site, and craft beer is an unbeatable combo.
Old Barracks Coffee Roastery, County Tipperary
Old Barracks Coffee Roastery is an over-18s coffee bar that runs tours of the roastery and classes on how to make the perfect Irish coffee and Baileys lattes. The owners import high-quality, ethically sourced beans directly from speciality coffee-grade farms across the world and roast them here in Birdhill, County Tipperary.
With so many great places to eat and drink don’t be surprised to find yourself ordering seconds.