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My Ireland

Looking for inspiration? Planning a trip? Or just want to scroll yourself happy? We'll show you an Ireland that's tailor-made for you.

  • #Landscapes
  • #CultureandHeritage
  • #OutdoorActivities
  • #Landmarks
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    ihhfood-hero-v3 ihhfood-hero-v3

    Where to eat in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

    It doesn’t matter where your travels take you around Ireland’s Hidden heartlands: when you get peckish, we’ve got a recommendation that’s sure to hit the spot!

    • #FoodandDrink
    • #IrelandsHiddenHeartlands
    • #WhereToEat
    • #FoodandDrink
    • #IrelandsHiddenHeartlands
    • #WhereToEat
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    The nine counties at the heart of Ireland are blessed with the best of nature’s bounty, from succulent beef to rich dairy treats and homegrown fruit and veg. Wherever you’re coming from: come hungry!

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    MacNean House, County Cavan

    County Cavan

    1. MacNean House, County Cavan

    MacNean House has consistently won awards for its food, wines, service, so when you’re in Cavan, you should definitely stop by for a bite to eat. Run by celebrity chef, Neven Maguire and wife, Amelda since 2001, you can expect fresh, seasonal produce paired with delicious wines chosen by the in-house sommelier. And, if you can’t get enough of MacNean House, you can even stay the night!

    2. Tillie’s Tea Rooms, Ballinagh, County Cavan

    This quaint little gem is a bit of a “blink and you’ll miss it” find. Tucked away in the small town of Ballinagh, Tillie’s is beloved by locals for its delicious cakes – including dairy-free and gluten-free options – and freshly made sandwiches. Hearty, humble and high quality, Tillie's is one place where you definitely won’t be disappointed with your order.

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    Under the Oak, County Clare

    County Clare

    3. Ponte Vecchio, Killaloe, County Clare

    Café, wine bar, bookshop, pizzeria, and Italian deli: Ponte Vecchio has it all! Regulars rave about this quirky venue’s crispy pizza bases, knowledgeable staff and buzzing atmosphere. Styled more like a living room than anything else, the welcoming ambiance, book-lined shelves, quality food and excellent coffee will keep you coming back for seconds. Oh, and did we mention the cannoli?

    4. Under the Oak, Mountshannon, County Clare

    Just a couple of hundred metres from Lough Derg, this small, seasonal café is one of County Clare’s best-kept secrets. Dedicated to environmentally friendly practices and championing traditional recipes and local produce, Under the Oak offers a taste of real Ireland. The premises is also dog-friendly, so the whole family can enjoy this beautiful setting!

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    Slow Roast Sandwiches and Coffee, County Galway

    County Galway

    5. Slow Roast Sandwiches and Coffee, Lough Rea, County Galway

    Slow Roast does exactly what it says on the tin: exceptional coffee and mouth-watering toasties, designed to be grabbed and eaten on the go. But these are no ordinary sandwiches: the young couple behind this bright yellow café mix their own house special cheese blend and slow-roast their ham for eight hours at a time. Yum!

    6. Lignum, Bullaun, County Galway

    One of the most exciting restaurants in Ireland, Lignum is led by the seasons, with its menu changing so constantly that you won’t even find a copy of it on their website. Chef Danny Africano cooks everything over an open flame in the kitchen’s wood-burning oven and is renowned for his adventurous, experimental menu. Save this one for a real treat.

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    Harkin's Café, County Leitrim

    County Leitrim

    7. Crumbs Sandwich Bar, Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim

    This lovely lunchtime eatery is a busy local favourite. With in-house and takeaway service available, Crumbs can keep you well fed whether you’re seeking a sit-down meal, or picking up some salads to kayak down to your picnic spot! Their varied menu includes hot and cold sandwiches and wraps, as well as hearty baked potatoes, warming soups and tasty sweet treats.

    8. Harkin’s Café, Dromod, County Leitrim

    This cheerful, relaxed, family-run café is loved for its home bakes and community-focused vibe. With vegetarian and gluten-free options aplenty, you’re bound to find something to tickle your tastebuds. Open until 10pm every night of the week, Harkin’s is a great place to wind up the night with a mug of tea and a snack.

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    Trail Grinders, County Longford

    County Longford

    9. Trail Grinders, Derrycassin Woods, County Longford

    Sometimes, it’s the simple things that really do the job—and the gang at Trail Grinders have perfected the art of simplicity in their no-fuss café. This colourful converted horsebox serves high-quality Cloud Picker Irish-roasted coffee, along with locally handmade baked treats, to weekend visitors at Derrycassin Woods. Grab a flat white and go for a wander!

    10. VM Restaurant, Viewmount Country House, County Longford

    The multi-award-winning VM Restaurant is somewhat of a jewel in County Longford’s crown. Featured in the Michelin Guide and commended for its modern, sophisticated food, the VM boasts beautiful surroundings that make it a favourite amongst locals. Set in the old stables of Viewmount House, diners can relax against a backdrop of exposed stone walls, contemporary paintings and flickering candlelight.

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    Blue Apron, County Offaly

    County Offaly

    11. The Blue Apron, Tullamore, County Offaly

    Praised by the Michelin Guide for its engaging, enthusiastic staff and generous, flavoursome food, The Blue Apron is widely recognised as one of the best restaurants in Ireland's Hidden Heartlands. A great selection of vegetarian dishes, along with a stellar dessert menu (white chocolate and roast hazelnut cheesecake, anyone?) make this a must-visit.

    12. The Foxy Bean, Tullamore, County Offaly

    Coffee, breakfast, lunch, dessert: The Foxy Bean has mastered them all. Consistently praised for their chatty, approachable staff and creative sweet treats, The Foxy Bean is ideal for brunch with the gang. Try the full Irish breakfast – regulars say you can taste the quality in every bite!

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    The Waterfront, County Roscommon

    County Roscommon

    13. The Purple Onion Kitchen, Tarmonbarry, County Roscommon

    A mix of art gallery, restaurant, bar and pantry, The Purple Onion is truly unique. The gorgeous old stone exterior presents a cheery first impression; while the art and produce inside are a carefully curated selection of the local talent that owners Paul and Pauline support. You might call in for lunch and come away with a painting – it’s all part of the charm!

    14. The Waterfront Restaurant, Cootehall, County Roscommon

    The clue is in the name with this one! Sitting right on the River Boyle, The Waterfront boasts views that make every meal here taste even better. It's open from Wednesday to Sunday each week and diners can enjoy elegant, expertly cooked food, all while gazing out over the reeds and rushes to the swans gliding along the water.

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    Larkins, County Tipperary

    County Tipperary

    15. Andy’s Gastropub, Nenagh, County Tipperary

    Relaxed and welcoming, Andy’s is locally owned, locally run, and dedicated to supporting local suppliers. For gastro pub food, this place can’t be beaten, with everything from Clonakilty Black Pudding bonbons to chilli beef nachos. And if you really enjoyed your dinner, you can always spend the night and grab breakfast here the next morning as well – the business doubles as a B&B!

    16. Larkin’s Music Pub, Portroe, County Tipperary

    On the shores of historic Lough Derg, Larkin’s is an easy spot to fall in love with. With its whitewashed walls and beautiful thatched roof, this restaurant evokes a memory of old Ireland. And if the mouth-watering smells of Irish steak and succulent seafood aren’t enough to tempt you in, the twice-weekly traditional music sessions certainly will!

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    Thyme, County Westmeath

    County Westmeath

    17. Thyme, Athlone, County Westmeath

    Offering an eclectic mix of Irish and traditional dishes, all expertly crafted with the finest locally sourced ingredients, Thyme wears its Michelin Bib Gourmand proudly. It's one of Westmeath’s finest restaurants, so make sure to make a booking here for any special occasion as you travel through the heartlands. Our advice? Try the free-range pork belly. It won’t disappoint!

    18. Wineport Lodge, Athlone, County Westmeath

    In business now for nearly 30 years, Wineport Lodge is famed for its delicious, rustic food, and beautiful setting on the shores of Lough Ree (also known for its legendary lake monster!). With lunch, dinner and afternoon tea menus to choose from, dining here is a safe bet no matter the occasion. It was even awarded a ‘Taste of the Waterways’ award in 2020, in recognition of its fine food and friendly staff.