As we sat down to plan out our trip to Ireland we knew we wanted to get a chance to see the sight everyone thinks of in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher. We usually try our best to stay away, or not spend a lot of time at major tourist sights, so we were not sure how authentic of an experience we would get in Doolin. Heading into Doolin, the closet town to the Cliffs of Moher we thought we would be staying in a large tourist trap. But my goodness the food and drinks were sooo good. I am not sure if this was Ireland’s version of a tourist area but we were definitely loving our meals and drinks around town. Here are a few places that we recommend.
We ate a later dinner here after getting a sunset view of the Cliffs. The bar offers a decent selection of food to choose from. Anything from your classic Irish dishes to burgers, and ravioli. My husband was craving a burger and it was delicious! It came with slow cooked brisket, onion rings and monterey jack cheese. I went for the steamed mussels in a white wine, garlic and shallot sauce and was equally pleased with my choice. They were both a perfect choice after spending a rainy evening walking along the cliffs. If I came with a seafood loving friend I would get the special that they were offering, a platter to share full from mussels, calamari, fish cakes and more! One of our favorites part was reading the menu, all locally sourced! And I mean very locally sourced, as they named people and locations that were literally up of the road from the restaurant! Such as the beef came from Jack’s farm up the road, Henry brings the seafood in every morning from the docks, Susan’s provides the cheese. How more authentic can you get?
Doolin Beer is the local brewery that is actually housed in the pub above, Fitzpatrick’s! Hotel Doolin knew the town was in need of a craft beer, their idea was taken into action with the pub where they brew and serve the beers. We favored the Dolliner Red. At Fitzpackrick’s you can even try a three sample flight.
This pub was suggested to us from a few locals. I would suggest heading the McGann’s later at night. It seems to get a decent crowd from tourist visiting from other towns, but the tour buses will eventually clear out and we be a more pleasant of an experience than earlier in the evening. They have live music almost daily, and stay open until 12:30am. Which many places in Doolin close down fairly early.
Gus O’Conner’s Pub
Gus O’conner’s Pub sits more towards the coastal side of Doolin. This is probably the largest pub in Doolin, lots of lively music and dancing, lots of space for seating and great Irish beer options. As most pubs on the coast do they offered a great seafood selection with mussels, fish, chowder and more. I had my fair share of chowder throughout the trip so opted for the Guinness Stew, this was the first time I saw it on a menu as well. And I don’t regret it one bit. The steak and potatoes were perfectly cooked, just the right tenderness and the steak was juicy and not a tad overcooked. The stew had a creamy and rich flavor. I have tried to replicate this dish at home many times and haven’t been able to quit get it right. My husband ordered the steak sandwich, we kept on trading plates back and forth as we loved each dish. We ordered some brews to stay and enjoy the music. This was definitely one of my favorite evenings in Doolin. You can’t get more of an Irish pub experience than this, especially with this delicious of food!
The Doolin Chocolate Shop
Doolin Chocolate Shop is a perfect stop to make before heading onto the Cliffs of Moher walk. Not far from the shop starts the hike on the top of the cliffs to the visitor center. The owner was so sweet giving us samples and directions to the walk. We took fudge on our hike and it was the perfect mid hike snack to keep us going on the rain and wind.
I do not have any recommendations for restaurants serving breakfast or brunch. We always enjoy our homemade breakfast at our B & B in Doolin. We stayed at the Harbourview B and B in Doolin (Click here for $40 off your first stay with AirBnb). It was enough to fill us up through lunch and came with an amazing Irish country side view.