Gaby's, Killarney; Bricin, Killarney; Chart House, Dingle; O'Flaherty's, Dingle
Valentia scallops, Dingle Bay prawns, Kerry mussels and lobster, Kerry mountain lamb, and boxty (potato pancakes with various meat and vegetable fillings). These are just a few of local Kerry specialties.
Bricin, 26 High St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-4902). Named after a local bridge, this restaurant in housed in one of the town's oldest buildings (1830's) and sits over a book/craft shop. The menu features traditional boxty dishes as well as Irish stew and other local dishes. Open for dinner only. Closed Sunday and Nov.-March. Web site: www.bricin.com
Chapter 40, 40 New St., Killarney (tel. 064-667-1833). It’s all about flavor and fresh local ingredients (all meat and dairy products are 100% Irish), presented with an attentive and can-do attitude, at this stylish and award-winning restaurant. In-season seafood, meats, vegetables and fruits are artfully presented, including a unique tasting plate or tapas board to start, with sauces that compliment each dish – every choice shows a lot of creativity and flair from the kitchen. Go early and avail of the value menus for a great deal. Open for dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Web site: www.chapter40.ie
The Chart House, Mail Road, Dingle (tel. 066-915-2255), is a delightful restaurant at the east entrance to Dingle Town beside the harbour. Proprietor Jim McCarthy, who has built up a reputation throughout Ireland, blends innovative modern Irish cooking and friendly attentive service. The menu features local fresh seafood plus steaks, and specialty dishes such as roast breast of duck with savory cabbage, pan-fried escalope of pork with vanilla risotto, roast shallots, grapes, and wild mushroom sauce, or local Annascaul grilled black pudding with baked apples and bacon. Dinner only. Open nightly except Wed.-Thurs. in winter. Web site: www.thecharthousedingle.com
Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant, 5 John St., Dingle (tel. 066-915-2674), is back in business, after a change of ownership and a period of closure. It is not quite the star dining experience it was 25 years ago when it was operated by the original Doyles, but it is good with a young and eager wait staff. We gave it a try, and were very pleased with the seafood chowder and fresh local scallops. Although pricey, they couldn’t be faulted. The menu also offers black sole on the bone, baked monkfish, grilled lobster, traditional West Kerry fish pie, crab and prawn dumplings, and some meat dishes. Closed: Monday.
D’Arcy’s Oyster Bar & Grill, Main St., Kenmare (tel. 064-664-1589). Housed in an old bank building, this long-established restaurant has a new dimension, focusing on seafood and shellfish and organic and seasonal produce. Fresh oysters and lobsters are available daily from the tank. The oyster bar is open noon to 10:30 p.m. and the grill room from 6 p.m. till 9:30 p.m., times vary off-season. Web site: www.darcys.ie
Fenton’s, Green St., Dingle (tel. 066-915-2172). With a cozy country-cottage atmosphere, this award-winning restaurant has open fireplaces, sugan chairs, polished wood floors and local art on the walls. Owned by Patricia Fenton, who comes from a farming family, the menu featured locally sourced ingredients. Main courses include the roast rack of spring lamb (reared on the Fenton farm) with herb crust and port wine jus; and black lobster farmed locally. The “early bird” value menu often features unique choices such as oysters on the half shell or mushroom soup with Irish whiskey as starters. Web site: www.dinglerestaurants.com/fentons.html
Gaby's, 27 High St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-2519), is a nautically-themed restaurant specializing in Kerry seafood including shellfish platters or lobsters from the tank. Dinner only. Closed Sunday and Christmas/New Year's and mid-Feb. to mid-March. Web site: www.gabysireland.com
The Global Village, Main St., Dingle (tel. 066-915-2325). As its name implies, this shopfront restaurant is known for international cuisine. Chef/owner Martin Bealin has mastered recipes from his cooking work in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Channel Islands, and Central America and now Dingle. Early bird menu offers great value. Web site: www.globalvillagedingle.com
Kate Kearney’s Cottage, Gap of Dunloe, Beaufort, Killarney (tel. 064-664-4146). Named after a local 19th century lass who was known for her beauty and for distilling illegal spirits, ths authentic cottage carries on a long tradition of hospitality. It sits at the entrance to the famous Gap of Dunloe and is decorated with authentic memorabilia. The menu offers traditional Irish favorites (Kerry lamb, wild salmon), accompanied by traditional music and dancing for a fun-filled evening. Open for lunch on Sunday and dinner every night except Tuesday. Web site: www.katekearneyscottage.com
Lime Tree, Shelbourne Rd., Kenmare (tel. 064-664-2225). Housed in a former schoolhouse dating back to 1821, this restaurant presents "new Irish" cuisine ranging from barbecued bread and warm salads to seafood en papilotte or oak-planked Kenmare salmon. Open for dinner only daily; closed Nov.-March. Web site: www.limetreerestaurant.com
Murphys Ice Cream, Strand Road (tel. 066-915-2644), is a one-stop source for delicious ice cream desserts and snacks. Proprietors Sean and Kieran Murphy, who hail from the US, use fresh Kerry cream/milk, Irish free-range egg yolks, fresh fruits, pure chocolate, homemade caramel, Irish whiskey, and more – to churn out designer ice cream in many flavors and colors. A second shop is located at 37 Main St., Killarney. It’s the gelato of Ireland! Web site: www.murphysicecream.ie
Old Smokehouse, Lr. Main St., Dingle (tel. 066-915-1061). Located in the heart of town in an old stone building beside a stream, this country kitchen offers made-to-order sandwiches and salads, with seating both indoors and on an outdoor patio at lunchtime, and full dinners in the evening including seafood platters, roast lamb and steaks. Hours vary with the season.
Out of the Blue, Waterside, Dingle (tel. 066-915-0811) is a small and rustic restaurant and deli facing the marina. The menu focuses solely on fresh fish and shellfish, caught locally each day. If you crave fresh salmon, sole, trout, mackerel, prawns, lobster, crab and other seafood, it doesn't get any better than this. Hours vary with the season. Web site: www.outoftheblue.ie
Packie's, Henry St., Kenmare (tel. 064-664-1508). This shopfront bistro is known for its creative menu using Kenmare ingredients including produce from its own garden. Irish stew and braised beef in Guinness are house specials. Dinner only. Closed Sunday and Monday and mid-Nov. to mid-March. Web site: www.kenmarerestaurants.com/packies
Prego, 18 Henry St., Kenmare (tel. 064-664-2350), is a local favorite for Italian food, especially a wide variety of pizzas and homemade pastas, as well as crusty baguettes, salads, soups & daily specials. Seating is available indoors and in an outdoor courtyard. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Rozzers Restaurant, Killeen House, Aghadoe, Killarney, Co. Kerry, tel. 064-663-1711. For a very special dinner, travel 4 miles outside of town to this award-winning country house restaurant, set in one of Killarney’s most scenic areas. The menu presents the freshest of local ingredients, from oysters and lobster to beef and vegetarian dishes, all cooked to perfection and presented so creatively on the plate that you’ll want to take a picture of every course. If this were not enough, host Michael Rosney (right) and his wife Geraldine provide a warm welcome and attentive service throughout the meal. For anyone seeking the “real Ireland,” this restaurant epitomizes “hospitable old world Killarney” at its best. Reserve in advance, so you won't be disappointed. Closed: mid-Oct.-mid-April. Web site: www.killeenhousehotel.com
Stone House Restaurant, Fahan, Ventry, Dingle Peninsula (tel. 066-915-9970). Sitting on a hillside overlooking Dunbeg Fort, this stone-faced building is a welcome oasis on the Slea Head Drive. It has an old-world ambiance, like entering a country cottage, but the menu is up-to-date with excellent fresh salads, seafood and home-baked treats. Open for lunch and dinner; closed Tuesday and January-February. Web site: www.stonehouseventry.com
Tír na Rí, Green St., Dingle (tel. 066-915-0803). For a change of pace, try this upstairs restaurant overlooking the local church. In spite of its Irish name, the cuisine is Oriental featuring classic Chinese and Cantonese dishes as well as curries. Open every day for dinner and weekdays for lunch.
Treyvaud's, 62 High St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-3062). Although the name over the door is Swiss, this highly acclaimed restaurant is 100% Irish, run by the Treyvaud brothers (Paul and Mark), both Irish-born of Swiss ancestry. They aim to present modern Irish and international cuisine, using the finest local ingredients, such as Kerry lamb, fresh seabass, wild salmon and prime Irish beef, as well as exotic treats – ostrich fillet, Barbary duck and kangaroo fillet. Lunch is simpler, with a menu of salads, sandwiches, omelets, and Irish beef in Guinness pie. Open for lunch and dinner, except Mondays. Web site: www.treyvaudsrestaurant.com
An Cafe Liteartha, Dykegate St., Dingle (tel. 066-915-1380). As its Irish name implies, this place is a combination bookstore and cafe. The menu features freshly baked goods, salads, and seafood, and traditional dishes such as Irish stew.
Fionan's Kitchen, Valentia Island (tel. 066-947-6306). Housed at the Skellig Heritage Centre, this cafe serves homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches in a bright and modern setting with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the harbor.
Jam, Old Market Lane, off Main St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-1441). A favorite for coffee, tea or a snack with the locals, this restaurant features freshly baked breads and pastries, as well as homemade soups. Also located on Henry St., Kenmare, and Ballyseedy, Tralee. Web site: www.jam.ie
Mac’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlour, 6 Main St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-5213), for Irish ice cream, plus an international array of tortillas, baguettes, pizza, pastas, and even Irish stew. Web site: www.macsofmainstreet.com
Novo Centro Gourmet Italian Delicatessen, Main St., Dingle (tel. 066-915-0663). A sister enterprise to the restaurant of the same name, this small shopfront deli features homemade dishessalads and imported cheeses, plus excellent pizza by the slice. It's a good place to go for a snack or picnic fare.
Pancake Cottage & Tea Rooms, Strawberry Field, R568, Sneem, Co. Kerry (tel. 064-668-2977), is a unique café on the Ring of Kerry between Sneem/Kenmare and Molls Gap. The menu offers good old fashioned pancakes (regular and gluten-free) with a dozen different toppings, both sweet or savory, as well as homemade soups, scones, and specialty apple pie. Open year-round, daily, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Web site: www.pancakecottage.com
Sammy’s Café, Inch Beach, Dingle Peninsula (tel. 066-915-8118) – a pub/café/shop overlooking Dingle’s most famous beach, with indoor and an outdoor terrace seating. It’s a delightful place to stop for a snack with sea breezes. Web site: www.inchbeach.com
Scéal Eile, 73 High St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-5066), serves gourmet coffees and homemade treats in a country kitchen atmosphere enhanced by framed posters of Irish writers.
The Thatch, Strandsend, Cahirciveen, (tel. 066-947-2316). Enjoy freshly made soups and salads and home-baking at this thatched-roof cottage, set on its own grounds on the Ring of Kerry road.
Truffle Pig, Henry St., Kenmare (tel. 064-668-9624). Craving a gourmet snack or planning a picnic in a scenic spot? Step into this deli and make your selection of gourmet salads, meats, cheeses, breads, pies, and other treats.
Ashes Bar, Main St., Dingle (tel. 066-915-0989), established in 1849, has a quiet “old Dingle” atmosphere plus a popular seafood bar.
The Bridge Bar, Main St., Portmagee, Co. Kerry (tel. 066-947-7108) – set beside the harbor, this award-winning pub is a hub of village life. In the evenings, locals gather for sessions of traditional Irish music and set dances with audience participation and dance lessons, particularly on Tuesday (June to August only) and Friday and Sunday. Web site: www.moorings.ie/Traditional-Irish-Pub-BridgeBar.aspx
Buckley’s, 2 College St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-1037), décor of quintessential Kerry football/sports memorabilia, plus traditional music on weekends. Web site: www.arbutuskillarney.com/bar.html
Danny Mann, New St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-1640), known for nightly traditional music.
Dunloe Lodge, Plunkett St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-3503), sessions of traditional music on weekends.
The Laurels, Main St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-1149), is in the heart of town, with an old world decor - tiled floors, beamed ceilings, lots of alcoves and dimly lit corners, and live music and Irish dancing in the summer months. Web site: www.thelaurelspub.com
Murphy’s Bar, College St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-1294) – a Killarney favorite since 1955, this pub displays information about the Murphy surname, originally known as O'Murchadha from the 6th century and later anglicised to O'Murchoe. The current owner Sean Murphy is a grandson of the famous cyclist Pat Murphy, whose prize trophy, “The Macgillicuddy Cup,” won in 1899, is proudly displayed in the bar. Over the years, this pub has won several awards and has built up a strong following for its traditional music sessions on summer nights. Web site: www.murphysofkillarney.com
O’Connor’s Traditional Bar, 7 High St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-1115), traditional music and more.
O'Flaherty's, Strand Street, Dingle (tel. 066-915-1461) is a vintage
Oyster Tavern, Spa, Tralee (tel. 066-713-6102). Head to this rustic pub for a drink or snack overlooking Tralee Bay, with seating both indoors and outdoors.
Pat Spillane's Bar, Templenoe, Kenmare, Co. Kerry (tel. 064-664-1103) – a pub on the outskirts of Kenmare that is named after and owned by a champion Kerry football player. Although he has only run the pub since the 1980’s, his mother was in charge before him. His trophy case is on display in the bar. On many nights, locals and visitors alike gather for spontaneous sessions of Irish traditional music. Web site: www.templenoe.net/patspillane/pat_spillanes_bar/index.html
P. F. McCarthys, 14 Main St., Kenmare (tel. 064-664-1516). Dating back to 1913, this atmospheric pub is furnished with local memorabilia. But it is best known for great pub food at lunch and dinner time, especially homemade soups and seafood dishes. There is seating outdoors as well for warm days. Web site: www.pfmccarthy.com
Scariff Inn, Caherdaniel (tel. 066-947-5132). For stunning picture-window views of the Ring of Kerry seascapes, stop into this pub and enjoy a drink or snack overlooking the Atlantic.
South Pole Inn, Main St., Annascaul (tel. 066-915-7388). Formerly owned by Tom Crean who was famed for his Antarctic explorations, this pub is full of memorabilia from Tom’s travels. It’s a handy stop between Tralee and Dingle and bar food is served all day.
Tatler Jack, Plunkett St., Killarney (tel. 064-663-2361), for folk, traditional and contemporary music. Web site: www.tatlerjack.com
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