Galway’s Best Bars, Restaurants, and Cafés: A Local’s Guide

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If you’re planning your first trip to Galway, you are in for a treat. Galway is a vibrant, exciting city with something for everyone. There is history and culture on every corner alongside great shopping, dining, and a world-famous pub scene. With so many dining, drinking and coffee options in Galway, how do you know where to start? The best way to get to know a new place is to ask a local. Everyone has a different opinion on the best pub/restaurant/café in Galway and no one is wrong! Here’s our pick of the best of Galway.

Best Bars in Galway

With hundreds of places to drink in Galway, there’s no way you could visit everywhere on your vacation in Galway. There are a few we recommend for first-timers that capture the spirit of Galway including:

You’ll find An Púcán a short distance from our Hotel in Galway City on Forster Street. Their beer garden is legendary, especially on warmer days. It’s a traditional pub featuring all-day dining and a healthy whiskey list.

Tigh Neachtain is always on the list of favourite bars from both locals and tourists. Sit outside on a sunny day and watch the colourful array of people swarm through the Latin Quarter. Inside, the live traditional music is second to none in the evening.

Taaffes is another of the old Galway pubs that has been open for an impressive 150+ years in a 400-year-old building. It gets quite busy on the weekend and has a younger crowd, but it’s popular with most demographics during day trading hours.

The Crane Bar is one of the best bars in Galway for traditional Irish music and they serve a brilliant pint of Guinness. The Crane Upstairs sessions are legendary, but seating (and standing!) space is limited so get there early if you want to guarantee a perch.

Best Restaurants in Galway

Galway has a long-established reputation as the culinary capital of the West of Ireland. From delicious woodfired pizza to gourmet seafood, you’ll always find a little of what you fancy in Galway. Here are some of our favourites:

Aniar Restaurant has the enviable accolade of being Galway’s only Michelin-starred restaurant having upheld its star since 2012. The menu is focused on local earthy ingredients and natural influences and there are some truly luxurious and decadent dishes to choose from

Situated on Dominick Street in the West End where you’ll find the best of Galway’s pubs for both live music and a quiet pint, Oscars Seafood Bistro is everything we love about the city. Their magnificent food, excellent service and warm welcome fill visitors with a sense of belonging and the care they put into their dishes is evident.

A short stroll from Imperial Hotel Galway is Zappi’s Restaurant. Zappi’s is an authentically Italian-style restaurant serving the most delicious Italian dishes along with an extensive wine list. It’s ideal for solo, group and couples. Reserve your table with our team at Imperial Hotel Eyre Square.

Best Cafes in Galway

Whether you need a caffeinated pick-me-up after a heavy night or want to grab a last lunch in Galway before you get on the train, Galway has lots of lovely cafes.

Jungle Café is one of the more unique spots and a break from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. They have a great selection of breakfast items, ranging from hearty to healthy, and their gourmet sandwiches are divine. They also have great coffee and smoothies all served in a tropical atmosphere.

Coffeewerk + Press is consistently mentioned as a spot to grab one of the best coffees in Galway and we agree. It’s a small cosy coffee shop with an artsy vibe and a focus on sourcing quality fair-trade beans.

French Inspired Java Café is your place to go if you prefer a sweet breakfast. With homemade savoury and sweet croissants and brioche, it will take you miles away to suave cafes in the heart of Paris. Their high-quality food and coffee ensure it’s consistently busy, particularly at the weekend.


Start planning a trip to Ireland’s Ancient East by booking superior accommodation in our Eyre Square Hotel. Consistently ranked among the most convenient and great value hotels in Galway City, Imperial Hotel are always open for bookings. Our team can give great local recommendations for great places to eat too.

Robyn Hurley

Robyn Hurley

Robyn Hurley is a keen traveller with a big heart for animals. She writes about her journeys and loves sharing tips on where to go. Galway is one of her favorite spots to visit and write about. She also loves meeting new animal friends on her trips. Her stories will help you plan an unforgettable trip.

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