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13 of the best seafood restaurants in Ireland
From Cork to Louth, discover the unique flavours of Ireland's top seafood restaurants. / @ootbdingle
Aoife CarrigyAoife Carrigy is a freelance writer and editor specialising in food, drink and travel. She is the wine and drinks columnist for the Irish Independent Weekend Magazine and co-author of “Cornucopia: The Green Cookbook.”
As an island nation surrounded by cold clear waters, Ireland’s fishing and seafood culture is world-class. From fine-dining destinations to fried fish and chip joints, there are seafood restaurants and eateries for every budget and mood, including those who source locally with sustainability in mind.

From pristine oysters, fat sweet mussels and meaty lobsters to organic salmon kept lean in fast-running Atlantic currents and all sorts of flat, white or oily fish that call these waters home, discover where to feast on the best Irish seafood.

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1Sage, Co Mayo

In dishes like grilled Sweaty Betty (a deep sea fish also known as Greater Forkbeard) with lobster bisque and citrus almonds, or Kate’s Killary Fjord mussels steamed with coconut, pineapple and chorizo, chef-proprietor Shteryo Yurukov brings cosmopolitan flair to local produce and a few surprises to his beloved Sage in Westport town.

2O’Dowd’s Seafood Bar and Restaurant, Co Galway

Roundstone is a picture-perfect Connemara seaside village complete with fishing harbour and dreamy beaches, and O’Dowd’s poster boy fourth-generation bar. Pull up a stool beside the turf fire to a steaming bowl of seafood chowder or to wash down their Fisherman’s Platter with a creamy stout or something crisp and cold. Heaven, wild Atlantic-style.

3Oscars Seafood Bistro, Co Galway

Galway city’s gastro scene has transformed in two decades but what remains unchanged is the skilled creativity and commitment to sustainable seafood that award-winning cookbook writer and chef-proprietor Michael O’Meara brings to Oscars Seafood Bistro. Think oatmeal-crusted smoked fishcakes with citrus-tarragon yoghurt, scallops with samphire and pepper dulse, and local treats like thornback ray and red gurnard. 

4Linnane’s Lobster Bar, Co Clare

Fans of Seamus Heaney’s poetry can walk the Flaggy Shore captured so in "Postscript" before watching the tide flow as they feast on wild clams, Burren-smoked mackerel and salmon, hyper-local lobster and oysters (Flaggy Shore ‘dainties’) in Linnane’s, a 300-year-old pub at the heart of the local New Quay community. 

A dish of fried fish

Photo credit: @kate_odriscoll_food_beers_life

Savour the food and the history of Linnane's Lobster Bar.
5Fishy Fishy, Co Cork

Fishy Fishy is a jewel in the glittering crown of the harbour town of Kinsale, Ireland’s mecca for seafood lovers. Chef-owner Martin Shanahan brings personality and passion to his airy seafood restaurant. On a fine day, dine al fresco under mature trees on their signature seafood soup, perhaps, or line-caught hake with orzo. Or keep it casual in their Blue Room wine bar with small plates, wines and cocktails.

A plate of fried fish

Photo credit: @_send_fudes

Discover Fishy Fishy in the heart of Ireland's seafood mecca.
6Out of the Blue, Co Kerry

While Dingle is home to some of Ireland’s best locally caught fish and chips, it’s hard to beat the daily changing blackboard menu at Out of the Blue where the promise is ‘nothing deep fried, everything fresh or alive!’ Expect classics like lobster bisque with croutons and aioli alongside under-sung heroes like pollock in a potato crust with cream of chives.

A plate of fish served with vegetables and garnishes.

Photo credit: @ootbdingle

Taste the freshness on offer at Out of the Blue.
7Goldie, Co Cork

At one of Cork city’s hottest casual restaurants, head chef Aishling Moore brings a gill-to-fin approach to Goldie’s ever-changing catch direct daily from local day boats. Her magpie approach to international culinary techniques translates into dishes like cod tail schnitzel with soy-cured egg yolk, celeriac and gherkin remoulade, or treacle and peppercorn-cured pollock bacon with ale mustard from their own micro brewery.

Oysters served on a dish of seashells.

Photo credit: @goldierestaurant

Experience the fusion of international culinary techniques and sumptuous fish at Goldie.
8Beach House, Co Waterford

A handsome Victorian townhouse in the seaside resort of Tramore is the atmospheric setting for Beach House. Owners Peter Hogan and Jumoke Akintola Hogan devise a daily changing seafood lunch menu where simplicity and imagination are king and queen in dishes like whipped cod's roe with crab and crudités or red mullet with blood orange and fennel.   

9La Côte Seafood Restaurant, Co Wexford

At La Côte Seafood Restaurant in the heart of Wexford town, Michelin-trained chef-owner Paul Hynes excels in layering flavour and texture, taking a very modern Irish approach to local sourcing and global seasoning. Expect dishes like monkfish with squid ink bulghur, fennel kimchi, tapioca and seaweed crisp sitting happily alongside classics like pan-roast Kilmore hake with bouillabaisse, rouille and wilted baby gem. Scenic views of the Slaney Estuary and harbour area seal the deal.

Fried fish served on clam shells

Photo credit: @lacotepaulhynes

Enjoy delicious dishes and spectacular views at La Côte Seafood Restaurant.
10Wild & Native, Co Wexford

‘Inspired by nature, consumed by flavour’ is the motto at Rosslare Strand’s Wild & Native Seafood Restaurant, owned and run by couple Fergal and Jodie Dempsey. You’ll find Fergal in the kitchen, devising a daily menu, and Jodie on the floor, dreaming up great wine pairings. That menu springs from whatever the local fishing boats can bring in, from blanket sole to the freshest hake, though you can often expect whole lobsters and crab claws on offer.

11The Glyde Inn, Co Louth

Irish Food Pub of the Year 2018, The Glyde Inn in Annagassan remains a gem of a beachside pub and restaurant. Insiders know not to miss the Annagassan razor clams in garlic and white wine reduction and to get your hands messy with Annagassan crab claws and Clogherhead prawns, washed down with their own Viking beer. Magic. 

A plate of seafood linguine.

Photo credit: @theglydeinnannagassan

Enjoy the salty beach breeze and an incredible seafood dish at The Glyde Inn.
12Anderson’s Boathouse Restaurant & Killybegs Seafood Shack, Co Donegal

With cobblestone courtyard dining and confident, creative seafood cookery (including a seafood chowder named Ireland’s best two years running), Anderson’s Boathouse Restaurant is justifiably busy. If you haven’t booked, don’t despair: the same couple run the pier-side Killybegs Seafood Shack. Freshly cooked fish and chips and Cajan-spiced calamari never tasted better than eaten overlooking one of Ireland’s key fishing harbours.

13The Oarsman Pub, Co Leitrim

The Oarsman Pub is an institution: not just of Carrick-on-Shannon but of the hidden heartlands that the mighty Shannon river flows through. Named Irish Gastro Pub of the Year and run by two brothers with seven generations of hospitality in their blood, it’s a keenly-priced, characterful choice for top-notch pub food served with talent and pride: think Donegal mussels with MacIvors cider cream sauce, barley and homemade sourdough. 

People eating in The Oarsman Pub in County Leitrim
Devour delicious Donegal mussels at The Oarsman Pub.
Ireland’s finest fish

Prefer your fish battered and fried? Check out of guide to the best fish and chip shops in the country. Or dive into Visit Dublin’s guide to the best seafood restaurants in Dublin.

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