The Good Food Ireland Collection Feature in 2018 Michelin Guide
We’ve always known our Good Food Ireland accredited pubs are some of the best places in Ireland to get a great food experience. The cosy ambience, warm welcome and crackle of the fire in the hearth provide the backdrop to a superlative meal in our famous hostelries.
This year’s Michelin Guide for 2018 reflects public leaning towards a more casual dining experience and huge fondness for good pub grub. Michelin’s latest listing, announced last week, names no less than 30 Irish pubs for a good meal. Of those, seven are currently Good Food Ireland members. Next time you’re out and about and fancy a pint with a plate of something wonderful, check these out.
Balloo House, Killinchy, Co. Down
Balloo House has long been known for superb food and a wonderful olde worlde charm in its surroundings. The building dates back 400 years. The Pub Classics Menu served from 12noon to 6.30pm in the downstairs bar might include a hearty dish of Chicken and Chorizo Meatballs with Pappardelle Pasta or Balloo House Fish Goujons, with mushy peas and triple cooked chips. Balloo House is located close to Strangford Lough so seafood specials can change daily.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Poacher’s Inn, Bandon, Co. Cork
Poachers Inn, Bandon, West Cork, is a place where friendly hospitality and great fish and seafood come together, in one happy place. Poachers is known and loved by locals and visited often by many newcomers who have heard about its reputation. Barry McLaughlin serves up a menu devoted to fresh fish and seafood from the West Cork coast on the Wild Atlantic Way, alongside dishes featuring local meats from this rich agricultural and farming area.
Great for all occasions, from a special party to a lovely lunch or supper a deux. If you’re alone or don’t fancy sitting at a table, grab a stool at the bar and perch for a pint and your choice from the menu. Very convivial!
Cronin’s Pub, Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Sean and Thecla Cronin introduced pub grub to this traditional pub in Crosshaven thirty years ago. Dutch born Thecla married Sean, second generation Cronin to work in the pub, and brought her love of food and cooking to Cronin’s at Crosshaven. From there, Sean and Thecla’s son, Denis has now taken over the reigns in the kitchen as Head Chef, whilst his graphic designer sister, Joleen, has brought new life to the pub in the form of art exhibitions and events.
A dynamic duo indeed. We can see exactly why Michelin would choose to laud this pub. It’s got three generations of history, almost half a century of experience in customer service and a wealth of Irish charm and craic behind it, plus a stunning waterside location. Seafood comes from local suppliers in Cork and the best meats come from fellow Good Food Ireland butcher Tom Durcan.
Hartes of Kildare, Kildare Town, Co. Kildare
This place has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. Hartes of Kildare is a dynamic restaurant and cosy bar which serves a beautiful gastro pub menu under the kitchen stewardship of Executive Chef Barry Liscombe. Take a seat in the restaurant or grab a chair in the little bar next door. From either venue you can sample the delights of the menu. Accompany your choices with a wine from the list, or a full range of bar drinks including the craft beers made especially for Harte’s by co-owners Paul Lenihan and Ronan Kinsella.
The Tavern Bar & Restaurant, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
The Tavern Bar and Restaurant sits at the foot of Ireland’s most famous mountain. Croagh Patrick is just a short stroll up the road, a place where many a pilgrim has climbed the slopes to find spirutal awakening at the top. Those who want to worship at the altar of good food know exactly where to come after a hike up the mountain! Myles O’Brien’s cooking utilises the best of Mayo produce, with meats and puddings from Sean Kelly of Kelly’s of Newport and fresh fish and seafood from the Mayo coast. A Michelin marvel in Mayo!
Hargadon’s, Sligo Town, Co. Sligo
Back in the mid 1800’s, when Hargadon’s first opened, it was a well-loved, local hostelry with a truly unique quality. Despite the prevalence of music bars and the myriad traditional musicians in the country, Hargadons remained a ‘quiet’ bar, dedicated to its position as a genuine sanctuary. Despite that policy being relaxed in the last years, Hargadon’s is still one of those rare finds of a pub which remains free of television, and devoted to traditional pastimes of conversation and story telling. Add good food to that mix.
We can bet the Michelin inspectors were wowed not just by the great food, but by the surroundings at Hargadon’s. The cosy snug lounge is where locals sit at the bar for a pint and a chat. To the rear, intimate booths are perfect for dining with friends and having a chat amongst yourselves. Food includes superb Sligo specialities like fresh Atlantic Oysters, Killary Harbour crab, local lamb and beef.
Larkin’s Pub, Garrykennedy, Co. Tipperary
We bet the Michelin people were jolly glad they drove to Garrykennedy, to visit this picturesque little pub on the banks of Lough Derg. The village location is as typical and idyllic an Irish scene as any you'll see. Larkin's, owned by Cormac and Maura Boyle, is over 300 years old. Just the sort of country pub for which Ireland is famous. Its traditional thatched roof, old white-washed walls and little red painted cottage sash windows sum up a time gone by.
Three centuries of hospitality reside in these walls. The oldest part of the pub is just inside the front door, a cosy snug with a few tables, open fireplace and original flagstone floor. The main bar is home to traditional Irish music and dance on several evenings each week. Larkin’s food is legendary. Choose from daily specials like a good old fashioned plate of Bacon and Cabbage, to the best seafood and local Tipperary produce like Inch House Black Pudding during the day. In the evenings, the Larkins Steak Burger is famous, topped with local raw milk Derg Farmhouse cheese. Or go for an eclectic south Indian curry, Seafood Pie or Roast Duck, among other mains which often appear.
Congratulations also go to the following Good Food Ireland restaurants who also received Michelin Plates in the Michelin Guide 2018. A Michelin Plate signifies great cooking, careful preparation and all the elements in place to make a simply great meal. Read our reviews of each restaurant on the links below.