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Donegal Town, County Donegal, Ireland

Donegal Town Food Guide

The best restaurants, butchers, bakers and local food champions are all celebrated in this handy guide.

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Overview: Donegal Town been described as a 'Kinsale' of the north for dining by no less a figure than Paulo Tulli and we are delighted to share its many notable food heroes with the Donegal Town Food Guide. This guide is one of the sixteen or so guides available on the 'Donegal Town App', all available for free in one click of that bundled guide - simply click on the link to the Donegal Town Guides to get access to all the guides, which must be downloaded individually.

navigatour® Guided Walk Apps brings this food guide to you in conjunction with fellow Donegal Town man, Zack Gallagher, a.k.a. The Irish Food Guide. With his local insight and well-trained palate, The Irish Food Guide is perfectly placed to tell you about the variety of foods on offer in this historic town.

For each establishment, we tell you the food types, the price range, their specialities, full contact details and of any nice tourist-friendly touches like where free WiFi is on offer or which have Early Bird menus etc.

An asterisk mark(*) denotes an establishment that has won awards/accolades for its food &/or hospitality (e.g McKenna's Guides, Georgina Campbell, RAI etc). We've included Trip Advisor's rating of the 16 best restaurants in 'town', but bear in mind some places mentioned on that list were not in town! Of the places below, the Village Tavern was #2, Castlemurray was #4 and Aroma #10 on Trip Advisor in 2013.

Not on this food guide map, but nearby to Donegal Town, are some more local food heroes that we also recommend: -

Ard na Breatha Guesthouse & Restaurant*: 074 9722288 - http://www.ardnabreatha.com TA#14

Aroma Cafe* in the Craft Village: 074 9723222 - http://donegalcraftvillage.com/aroma.html TA#10

Castlemurray House Hotel* in St. John's Point: 074 9737022-http://www.castlemurray.com/ TA#4

The Village Tavern* in Mountcharles: 074 9735622 -
http://villagetavern.ie TA#2

Also look out for Leghowney Country market on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 11am at the Community Hall. See the Leghowney Loop Scenic Walk for more details.

Please note that inclusion in this particular guide was not dependent on the payment of a gratuity by the various establishments. The information on offer is impartial and is based on an honest assessment of a place's strengths. The real judge is of course you. Please feel free to email us at info@navigatour.ie with any feedback or queries you may have.

Thanks and happy eating,

Zack and John

August 2011 (Last updated August 2014)


Tips: All listed on this guide are within two minutes walking distance of the Diamond, although we'd recommend you also sample our other local suggestions in the Overview by car.

The highly regarded Castlemurray House is perfectly placed for a drive to the Slieve League cliffs beyond Killybegs.

Aroma Cafe is an award-winning place for lunch after a visit to the nearby Donegal Craft Village. Ard na Breatha is a recent Georgina Campbell Guesthouse of the Year winner.

The Village Tavern in Mountcharles has been included in McKenna's Top 100 Places to Eat in Ireland for 2013 and is the epicentre of the picturesque village.

As with everywhere in Donegal, an umbrella is never a bad idea - the weather could well have changed by the time you come back out after your meal! Look out for our sister guides in town - the Donegal Town Heritage Guide and the Donegal Town Bank Walk. The former being a perfect daytime activity around the town, the latter being a lovely pre dinner stroll.

The guide is offered subject to acceptance of the Licence Agreement, which is linked on the right hand column of this page. If you are downloading, we recommend the use of the EveryTrail PRO app, which allows for offline map usage of the guide.

Points of Interest

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Tourist Office

Assuming that you'll be visiting the Tourist Office in Donegal, we start this Food Guide in earnest from outside the office.

Have a look at the map and see with ease what each of the eateries in town has to offer. The tourist office also provides a free map of the town - make sure you have this to hand. Besides restaurants and cafes, we've included two craft butchers, a bakery, a farmer's market and a health food shop in this guide.

The town has something for everyone, but good wholesome Irish cooking can be found with ease. Those seeking some of Donegal's famous fish will find it at a number of places with The Harbour and Red Hugh's being best known for fresh fish dishes. You can buy fresh fish in SuperValu or indeed by Killybegs harbour some miles away, but better still, you can go fishing on Donegal Bay Charters Fishing Trips - contact Paul Ricketts on 086 6096035 for more details.

A number of the places listed close earlier in the evenings - the butchers of course, but also The Blueberry, Weaver's Loft, Krusty Kitchen, Toni's Bistro, Simple Simon and O'Hehir's bakery.
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Donegal Food Festival Venue

The 6th "Taste of Donegal" food festival takes place from the 22rd to the 24th of August in the Quays area.

The purpose of the festival is to salute local produce and showcase just how good both the food and the hospitality of the area is. There are food demonstrations by some noted chefs, fine wine tasting, beer tasting and of course entertainment over the course of the three days. Admission is e2 per day per adult and is free for children with a reasonable amount to pay at each stall for some of the fayre.

2014's three day event was bigger and better than ever with more space, more exhibitors and even more visitors such as yourself. Everyone enjoyed the food, drink and atmosphere of this popular event, so there's great excitement for the 6th festival this August.

For more details on the 2014 festival, go to http://www.atasteofdonegal.com
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The Harbour Restaurant*

Food type: The menu offers a range of freshly cooked local produce, from seafood, steaks, coeliac and vegetarian dishes. Good Mexican dishes, while their renowned home-baked pizzas always please.

Price range: e7-25+
Speciality: Irish steaks & seafood.

The Harbour Restaurant is popular among local residents and visitors. The restaurant is chef-owned by Jo Roarty and Debbie O'Reilly and has been in operation since January 2002. The ground floor restaurant provides 40 seats and the upper deck restaurant offers seating for 70 people. Debbie and her team of accomplished chefs exhibit a flair for incorporating local fresh ingredients and the freshest Donegal bay seafood, to provide top-quality dishes. Service here is efficient, friendly and helpful, ably lead by the charming maître d'hôtel, Jo.

Special offer:
Early bird menu: Monday-Friday 5-7pm.

Accolades:
Winner Best Seafood Competition 2009, Paulo Tulli
Winner Best Casual Dining in Co. Donegal, 2012, RAI
Trip Advisor rating: #8 in town

Contact details:
Quay street, Donegal Town
Tel: 074 97 21702
info@theharbour.ie
www.theharbour.ie

Free WiFi
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Dom's Pier One

Food type: Traditional & international favourites.

Price range: e6-25+
Speciality: Traditional roast lunches with all the trimmings.

Dom's Pier One sits on the edge of the quay overlooking Donegal bay. The food is traditional Irish in style & presentation using locally sourced products where possible. A popular place for larger celebration parties.

The Breslin family have been involved in the hospitality business in Donegal Town for three generations with the eponymous Dom still very much on the go; a true legend in Irish hospitality. Dom's Pier One has multi-level areas that can cater for different sized parties & family areas.

Their daily specials menu is seasonal and offers new dishes each day.

Trip Advisor rating: #23rd in town.

Contact details:
Dom's Pier One, Quay Street, Donegal Town
0749722719
info@domspier1.ie
www.domspier1.ie

Free WiFi
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Central Hotel: Just William's & White's on the Diamond

Food type: 1) 'Just Williams' - carvery, 2) 'Whites on the Diamond' - fine dining.

Speciality: Carvery - good roasts. White's - seafood.

Price range: e7-20+

'Just Williams' - open Monday to Saturday for breakfast and lunch. Affordable cuisine -Light bites from e7.50. 'A fine dining experience in the heart of Donegal town served in a relaxed and cosy setting. dHead Chef Martin McGarrigle transports you to a world of culinary delights. Open 5.30 - 9.30 Thursday to Sunday.

The hotel also does Afternoon Tea for e10. The Central Hotel has also been serving the family wedding business in the south of the county for 160 years and is famous for it's well-organised receptions.

White's Trip Advisor rating: #12 in town.

Contact details:
Tel 074 97 21027
www.centralhoteldonegal.com
info@centralhoteldonegal.com

Free WiFi
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The Abbey Hotel & Market House Restaurant

Food type: Modern Irish & international food.

Price range: e7-25+

Speciality:
Friday night is Steak Night Steak with all the trimmings and glass of wine e19.95
Saturday Night : 2 people dine for e50 which includes a bottle of House wine.

The Abbey Hotel is centrally located and caters for many of the tour coaches that come to Donegal town every day! Renowned for its global cuisine using fresh local produce, the Abbey is synonymous with food & drink in the county!

The Eas Dun bar serves light all-day lunches. The Market House restaurant opens every day and serves modern Irish & international cuisine. For those seeking to dance off the food, the Abbey disco known these days a 'Sky' has been dancing the weekends away for over 40 years!

Trip Advisor rating: #11 in town.

Contact details:
info@abbeyhoteldonegal.com
074 9721014
http://www.abbeyhoteldonegal.com

Free WiFi
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La Bella Donna Italian Restaurant

Food type: Italian dining in northwest Ireland.

Price range: e7-25+

Speciality: Pasta dishes.

You can choose from an extensive selection of pasta, pizza, salads, steaks, veal, chicken and seafood. They carry a unique selection of wines that are imported directly by the owners. Handy if planning to head next door to The Reel Inn for some live trad music 7 nights a week.

Trip Advisor rating: #15 in town.

Contact details: Bridge Street, Donegal Town.
074 97 25790
reception@labelladonnarestaurant.com
www.labelladonnarestaurant.com

Free WiFi
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Pearl's Place

Pearl's Place on the Killybegs Road is a brief stroll from the Diamond. This new restaurant is attracting positive word of mouth to date from its Trip Advisor reviews: 'Great attention to detail, and super friendly waitstaff. Would definitely go again' wrote one whilst others rave about the pork belly starter and the original touches from Head Chef Chris Mc Menamin.

Writing on the homepage, Chris states 'I am a young, dedicated and enthusiastic chef who is passionate about cooking rustic food with flavour & flair and as the Head Chef of Pearl’s Place I look forward to demonstrating my skills to all our customers'.

Good value in the form of an Early Bird menu from 5 to 7 covers those on a budget. There's also a Sunday Lunch menu which is very popular when lunch is from 1pm until 4pm.


Trip Advisor rating: #3 in town. Only open since June - impressive.

074-9721200 1pm to 9pm, Monday to Sunday.
http://www.pearlsplace.ie


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Olde Castle Bar & Red Hugh Restaurant*

Food type: Traditional Irish dishes with a modern twist.

Price range: e6-25+

Speciality: Local seafood & steaks.

This family-run pub & restaurant is extremely popular with both locals & visitors alike. You can eat downstairs in the bar or upstairs in the restaurant if you want a more formal dining experience. There is a genuine olde world feel to this place that tourists do tend to like - plenty of nooks and crannies from which to plot adventures around the county.

John the chef, has his own contacts for fresh crab & lobster meat that he keeps unique to the Olde Castle Bar. 'Hearty' and 'homemade' are the keywords to the food here. Think of a proper Irish stew after a day's walking or a tasty seafood platter. Downstairs, look out for the Red Hugh Ale, sort of unique to this bar and a lot better than the 'usual suspects' on offer. Also known as Galway Hooker elsewhere!

Trip Advisor rating: #7 in town.
Recommended in Georgina Campbell's 'Ireland Guide'.
Bridgestone Guide Approved.

Contact details:
Tirconnell Street, Donegal Town.
074 9721262
info@oldecastlebar.com
www.oldecastlebar.com

Free WiFi to customers with password.
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The Blueberry Tea Room*

Food type: Homemade wholesome, well cooked food with lots of flavour & great desserts and pies.

Price range: e5-20

Speciality: Blueberry pie. Let fly on the cream and blame us.

The Blueberry Tearooms is one of those places that opened one day and never looked back. This restaurant/coffee shop has been wooing both locals and visitors alike for over 20 years with their tasty treats, lunches & pies. There's an informal chatty air about the place and if you're in Greta Garbo mode, try and bag the best hidden nook down the back for total privacy (bar everyone else peeking to see if it is taken of course).

Central, cosy tearooms and cafe. Special board menus daily. Closes at 7pm. Seats 60; open 9am-7pm, Mon-Sat; set Lunch e11; air conditioning.
Children welcome (high chair, childrens menu). Closed on Sunday. No credit cards.

Trip Advisor rating: #6 in town.
Recommended in Georgina Campbell guide
McKenna Guide Approved.

Contact details: The Diamond, Donegal Town.
074 972 2933

Internet cafe upstairs.
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Weaver's Loft

Food type: Lunchtime favourites - paninis, bagels, sandwiches.

Price range: e5-15+
Speciality: Fresh cakes and scones.

A great little spot to relax for a quiet cuppa tea or freshly brewed coffee in between the mandatory shopping in Donegal's most famous store. The Weavers Loft has been serving light lunches and snacks for over 40 years and offers good views of The Diamond. Closes at 5pm. It has been recently renovated and what was once a sleepy affair is now a lot more substantial as a culinary offering.

Contact details: Magee of Donegal Store, The Diamond, Donegal Town.
074 9722660
http://www.mageeireland.com/


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Manhattan steakhouse

Food type: New York-style steak house.

Price range: e5-20+
Speciality: Irish steaks, beef burgers, sizzling steak & chicken dishes.

The Manhattan Steakhouse is a taste of New York in Donegal Town! They specialise in Irish Hereford beef for all their steaks and beef burgers. Popular with old and young alike, the Steakhouse (only open less than a year) is steadily gaining popularity as a place to meet your friends for a night out.

They have a good selection of prime meats and some fish dishes. During the daytime, the coffee shop runs with a selection of cakes, pies & scones. They also serve a large Cocktail range.

Early bird specials of 10% off from 5pm-6pm and party group menus.

Trip Advisor rating: #9 in town.

Contact details: Manhattan Steakhouse, Main street, Donegal Town.
Tel 074 97 40111

Free WiFi
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Eddie Walsh butchers

Food type: Local butcher.

Price range: e2-10+
Speciality: Aubrac beef cattle reared and killed in family abattoir.

This family-run butchers specialise in Aubrac beef which is renowned for its flavour, tenderness and quality. They are gold medal winners since 2003 for their sausages at the national sausage championships. The service is of a very high standard with a knowledgeable, friendly staff in place to help you. There are a lot of nice touches about this place - look out for the chicken parcels, the minced beef with cheese and the marinaded chops that are simply delicious. However, the striploin Aubrac steak is the ultimate treat here - well worth the few extra shillings for the end result.

Contact details: Main street, Donegal Town.
Tel 074 97 22595
info@eddiewalshbutchers.com
www.eddiewalshbutchers.com

Now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eddie-Walsh-Sons-Craft-Butchers/134084639941066
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Toni's Bistro

Food type: Grills, toasties & lite bite lunches.

Price range: e5-15+

Speciality: Great coffee. French toast with maple syrup.

Toni's is a busy cafe/bistro that covers all tastes. They do a good selections of coffees and you can sit outside the back and watch the town go by. Their seafood salads are quite large - so don't over order! Toni's also have an Ice Cream Bar at the rear of the deli.

Situated directly beside the town's main car park.

Contact details:
Main Street, Donegal Town.
Tel: 074 9725682
finbarrock@hotmail.com
http://www.tonisbistro.com

Free Wifi
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Chandpur Indian Restaurant

Food type: Traditional Indian food from several regions of the subcontinent.

Price range: e7-15+

Speciality: Excellent for larger party groups.

The only Indian restaurant in the south of the county, Chadpur has established itself as a well-run family restaurant delivering typical Indian hospitality and a good selection of their traditional dishes. Excellent take-away service. Rave reviews from Trip Advisor where it has the top spot for Donegal eateries.

Trip Advisor rating: #1/16 in town.

Contact details:
Main street car park, Donegal Town.
Tel:074 9725453


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Le Fournil

Le Fournil
Food type: Freshly baked artisan boulangerie and patisserie.

Price range: e1-15+

Speciality: breads, pastries, oils and olives.

Le Fournil produces high quality products at an affordable price. Their specialty bread is freshly baked in Franck’s bakery in Donegal Town. Franck works constantly to achieve a high quality product for both his retail and business customers.

2014 UPDATE: Le Fournil's excellent fayre can now be found at Simple Simon on the Diamond.

Contact details:
Le Fournil,
Main Street Car Park, Donegal Town.
074 97 25677
Email: info@lefournil.ie
Web: www.lefournil.ie
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Krusty Kitchen

Food type: Traditional & international dishes.

Price range: e5-15+

Speciality: All day breakfast.

Linda Neary has been running her Krusty Kitchen for close on 10 years and has a good reputation for solid no nonsense food that will have you leaving replete. A friendly atmosphere, a convenient location for parking and a helpful staff all make the Krusty Kitchen a good day time choice.

Trip Advisor rating: #16 in town.

Contact details:
Main street car park, Donegal Town.
074 9722610

Free WiFi.
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M. McGettigan & Co. Butchers*

Food type: Award-winning family butchers.

Price range: e5-10+

Speciality: An array of sausages that have won the family numerous national awards.

Besides Irish lamb and beef, McGettigans have been selling prize-winning sausages for a generation- flavoured with chilli, chocolate and orange, curry, banana and mango and a nifty rhubarb and ginger variety, to mention just a few. Among their more unusual varieties is a beef sausage flavoured with orange, chocolate and Hennessy brandy!

Contact details:
The Diamond, Donegal Town.
Tel:074 9721068

Bridgestone Guide Approved.
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O'Hehir's bakery and cafe

Food type: Traditional Irish breads & cakes, light lunches.

Price range: e2.50-10+

Speciality: Traditional soda breads.

O'Herilys, a Sligo family of bakers, run this bakery shop and deli counter. Their style of food is old fashioned but consistent in these modern days. A handy spot in the centre of town for a quick cuppa.

Contact details:
The Diamond, Donegal Town.
Tel:07497 21644
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Simple Simons Natural Foods*

Food type: Whole/Healthfood and delicatessen.

Price range: e2-10+

Speciality: Fairtrade coffee and tea.

Simple Simon's offer an extensive range of natural foods and provisions, herbal remedies and supplements, ecologically sound bodycare and hygiene products, special dietary requirements for those with gluten, dairy and other food intolerances. Their deli counter offers freshly baked breads and fillings, take-away soups, dahls, world foods, continental salads, Irish cheeses and charcuterie.

Contact details:
The Diamond, Donegal Town.
Tel: 0749723690

WiFi: ask staff for password.
Internet cafe also on site.

Bridgestone Guide Approved.
Shopping
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Donegal Farmers and Craft Market

The Diamond means 'market place' and markets have been held here in some shape or form since the early 1600s, be they fairs or markets. .

The Donegal Farmers and Craft market occurs on the third Saturday of each month from 10am to 2pm in the car park and offers a wide range of locally produced artisan produce as well as some fine tweed garments. November 2013: Please note that the market has moved to the Ashtree Garden centre for the time being.

Contact: Jim McLoughlin - 087 973 0539
Pictures in this guide taken by: Emmet McCauley, navigatourist

Donegal Town Food Guide Map


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