Our Galway Girl

Archive - all the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.
  • Sabrina Conneely

Whilst we have been having some time off, our Galway Girl, Sabrina Conneely, has been busy, Here are a quartet of Galway hotspots to whet your appetite for a trip to Ireland's wildest and most summery city. Take it away Sabrina...

First up was Holywell. A friend and I went in here for lunch. Like before, nice setting, friendly staff and lovely outdoor eating area which people had opted for on the sunny day. We shared a Salad Caprese for starter and a we both had Tagliatelle alla Mafiosa. My friend had the gluten-free pasta as she is a coeliac. She was very impressed as it is one of the only places in Galway that serves it. Waiters also mentioned that the chef would have no problem if you brought in your own gluten-free pizza base. Cheap and cheerful...great place to go with a gang! On our way out I asked the lady at the counter how business was since they went vegetarian and she said slow to start off but lots of new customers.

Anton's Cafe
Situated on Fr. Griffin Rd, a little out from city centre but this does not affect business. I've seen people double park to get in here! My friend and I had two open brown bread sandwiches, one with chicken and one with tuna, served with a lovely fresh green salad. You can check out his menu on www.antonscafe.com. This place reminds me of Ard Bia. Small eating area, art exhibited on walls, not the most comfortable but perfect for a tasty lunch. You can tell by sitting there that the customers are regulars as they chat to one another from across the tables. He has an Italian Pastry Chef who bakes brown bread and an array of desserts daily, which you can buy to take home with you. The guy that runs this place used to do catering etc but had to stop as Anton's got so busy and this is obvious with the trade that's passing through on a daily basis. Job well done!

Kettle of Fish
A tiny chipper with a seating area. Very clean, lovely staff. My sister and I ate here...one scampi and chips, one calamari and chips with a few side orders. This was really tasty, we were short of licking our plates. Not very busy but I think with a little word of mouth this place will be flying it. They had a special Todays catch, monkfish, chips and tartar sauce at €16. Organic salmon, chips at €9.95. Silver Hake at €9.95.
They have an array of fish from cod, haddock, smoked haddock, plaice, lemon sole, etc. They also serve chicken, burgers, sausages, etc. Their most popular order is the battered mars bars, yuck! If your looking for fresh fish and chips with a good dash of vinegar this is the place to go!

Went here with a friend one evening. Both of us were really excited as we had never experienced tapas. Lovely setting inside....a mixture of textures, e.g. one side blue stone wall and the rest painted in light brown and blues...energetic and laid-back feeling to it. Funky Spanish music playing. Even though the room wasn't full the atmosphere was electric..so much so that we decided to stay for a second bottle of Spanish Rioja wine!
Staff were on the ball, they knew their stuff....any question you had on a dish they had all the information. I told them to bring an array of tapas to us and they delivered. An example of some of the dishes were marinated olives, cubed roast potatoes with spicy aioli, prawns and garlic, muscles in manzanilla sherry, catalan tomato bread with manchego cheese, roast pork belly with apple confit. All these dishes were mouth-watering. My favourite was the salted cod cakes with lemon (they salt their own cod here). Their most popular dish is their pig trotters. All fish from Dune Seafoods, Collerans Meats and Spanish cheese and meats from Sheridans. They also sell some Spanish edible products and in the corner they have a library containing Spanish cookbooks that people can browse through. Loved this place, will definately return. The owners seem to know what they're doing, they run a tight ship and if they keep this up they have one hell of a place.

And whilst In Galway, don't forget Upstairs at Sheridans, and the new Bar8 on the Quays