53 Lower Dominick Street, Galway Tel: (091) 535 947 aniarrestaurant.ie
Chef-patron JP McMahon’s approach to cooking is rooted in the West of Ireland, but draws on suppliers from the length and breadth of the country to create a winning, nuanced take on modern Irish cuisine. A wonderful Tasting Menu journeys through flavours that draw on local produce: hazelnut, pear, tarragon, mackerel, yogurt and cucumber spring to mind but, with food foraging an essential part of the process, truly almost anything that’s good from the fields and the wilds can be served up in some marvellous combination. Located in the city’s fashionable West End, they deservedly have a Michelin star and also own the equally excellent Cava Bodega and Tartare Café & Wine Bar.
Best Dish: Menu Changes Daily
ARD BIA AT NIMMOS
Spanish Arch, Long Walk, Galway Tel: (091) 561 114 ardbia.com
Located next to the city’s most historic landmark, Ard Bia likes to mix the traditional with the contemporary, as evidenced by their Harissa Steamed Mussels with Gubeen Chorizo, Orange & Coriander. An Irish cheese board comprising of Crozier Blue, Durrus and St. Tola always sends us home happy.
Best Dish: Ard Bia Fish Pie – € 12
Market Square, Tuam Tel: (093) 607 00 brownestuam.ie
Moving back to Tuam in 2016, husband and wife Stevie Lane and Amanda Fahey have turned their local pub into a veritable foodie Mecca, with people travelling from all over the west to enjoy their precise cooking. The fare is contemporary Irish with the Galway Goat’s, Apple & Beetroot and the Braised Duck with Jerusalem Artichoke & Prune starters worth the price of admission alone. Your waistline mightn’t thank you, but the Beef Dripping Hand Cut Chips are a decadent delight.
Best Dish: Beef Cheek with Celeriac & Onion – € 22
THE CHILI SHACK
19 Abbeygate Street Upper, Galway. Tel: (083) 810 8892 thechilishack.ie
Having started life as a food truck that fed the hungry masses at festivals, The Chili Shack is now doing its spicy Tex-Mex thing in the heart of Galway. You can get your chili in a bowl, with nachos or rice, and slathered on their crispy skinny fries. They also rustle up a mean burger – the Smoked Bacon & Cheese combo is especially tasty – and go for the culinary jugular with their XXX Hot Wings. There’s a second outlet in Dublin’s funky Stoneybatter neighbourhood.
Best Dish: Chunky Irish Beef Chilli with Basmati Rice – € 8
51 Lower Dominick Street, Galway Tel: (091) 449 252 dela.ie
Aniar’s next-door neighbour has its own farm in Moycullen, which for much of the year
ANIAR: The world is JP McMahon’s oyster