Nancy’s Barn, Ballyliffin
Mention chowder around these parts and one place comes to people’s minds: Nancy’s Barn. And with the title of World’s Best Seafood Chowder 2017, it’s little wonder folks come from far and wide to taste it!
By far the best chowder any of the four of us had ever had. Hats off for an exquisite cuisine and a friendly service that made us feel so welcome!
This 19th century restaurant is situated in the heart of Ballyliffin and is renowned for its scrumptious food, friendly staff and warm welcome. After a good feed, take in the views at nearby Pollen Beach or test your skills at Ballyliffin Golf Course – venue of the Irish Open 2018.
Kealy’s Seafood Bar, Greencastle
Kealy’s Seafood Bar is right at the harbour in the fishing town of Greencastle, so you’ll find glisteningly fresh fish taking star billing on its menu. Grilled plaice, lemon sole, John Dory and poached hake with saffron sauce anyone?
From the windows of the restaurant on Greencastle’s busy harbour, you can actually watch the fishing boats come in with your dinner.
As a family-run establishment, the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, with the Kealy family using seafood and shellfish hauled in from the fishing boats. Like the tides, the menu changes as seasons come and go, with dishes accompanied by locally grown and sourced produce.
The Singing Pub, Clontallagh
Inside this quaint, traditional thatched cottage is a place called The Singing Pub (Síbín Ceoil) and it’s bursting with character. Visitors are greeted by glowing open fires and cosy seating areas where rousing music sessions often start up at a moment’s notice.
With great steaks and the freshest of seafood, you could happily spend, well, the rest of your days there.
The food is humble yet hearty, where a seafood platter comes decked with mussels, scallops, crab claws and prawns. And what better to wash it all down than with a creamy pint of Guinness? You certainly won’t go hungry when you dine here!
The Lemon Tree Restaurant, Letterkenny
For contemporary Irish cooking with a French twist, head to the The Lemon Tree Restaurant in Letterkenny – a place that showcases Donegal county not just for its stunning scenery, but for its unparalleled produce.
This restaurant could happily sit in any major city. But it’s here in pretty Letterkenny, where the beauty of the Donegal region provides a wonderful backdrop to great food.
Lighthouse Tavern, Fanad Head
Good pints and seriously friendly locals! A wonderful local singer, Ann Biddie, happened to be in the pub and obliged us with a few songs.
Don’t let its humble exteriors fool you – inside you’ll discover a host of friendly locals and classic pub grub that’ll fuel you on your journey.
Harvey’s Point, Lough Eske
If you’re in search of a luxurious dining experience, book a table at Harvey’s Point – voted best hotel restaurant at the Irish Restaurant Awards. Its elegant setting opens onto a picturesque view of Lough Eske that’ll take your breath away.
The four-course dinner menu, offering the likes of sesame-crusted scallops and Hereford sirloin, is superb value.
The delectable tasting menu comes recommended and includes exquisite dishes such as loin of lamb with brown shrimp, fennel, cucumber and capers. Or for a more laid-back vibe, dig into the Sunday Carvery option at Harvey’s Bar and Terrace.
Kitty Kelly’s, Killybegs
On your travels to the epic Slieve League sea cliffs, stop by Kitty Kelly’s Restaurant. Housed in a 200-year-old former farmhouse, you’ll discover a host of delicious meals on the menu, including seafood tagliatelle, Osso buco and traditional Irish stew.
The innovative dishes elevate this tiny eatery far beyond an old-school boozer, and the beers on tap are enough of a lure alone.
Whether you stop by for a drink at the downstairs bar or enjoy a meal amid the floral décor of the restaurant, this local foodie hotspot will fill you with fond memories and a very satisfied stomach!
Caffe Banba, Ballyhillion
With the whistling wind whirling around you and the crash of the Atlantic Ocean ringing in your ears, the charming three-wheeled coffee wagon, known as Caffe Banba, is a welcome sight to those exploring the elemental Malin Head.
Every customer is served with a massive smile and given a very warm Donegal welcome.
From April to September, this family-run business goes to where you are to warm you up with barista-style coffee or rich hot chocolate, not to mention a delicious selection of freshly baked goods.