Food that Galway is Famous For

When you’re in Galway, you will find plenty of amazing places to eat, I am always spoilt for choice when I visit the city. But there are a few things that Galway does particularly well. In fact, there is some food in Galway that I would travel across the country to eat.

Galway is traditionally famous for shellfish dishes like oysters, the Galway oyster festival has taken place annually since the 1950s. There are many restaurants that offer other seafood, like fish and chips. More recent famous restaurants in Galway include Dough Bros, which serves wood fired pizza.

Some of the best food in Ireland can be found in Galway. Every year thousands of people visit the city to see its countless festivals, with the food-related ones being particularly popular. As Galway is a coastal city, the excellent seafood is obviously fresh. But that is not the only cuisine the city is famous for…

Find out what food Galway is famous for and why

Food in Galway

When you walk around the city center of Galway, you will see countless restaurants, far more than you will be able to visit in just one trip. There will be something to accommodate pretty much any taste. But the city is particularly famous for its seafood.

Whenever I give tours to people, I often meet travelers who are returning to Ireland, having been here a decade or more before. One thing that almost all returning visitors to Ireland mention is the improvement in the quality of the cuisine.

Historically, Ireland was not the best destination if you wanted to have great food. This is no longer the case. The same “foodie revolution” that has taken place in the rest of the world has firmly established itself here.

Galway is one of the biggest cities in Ireland and the main city for the Province of Connaught. As such, many chefs venture to Galway from all over Ireland to ply their craft. With Galway being on the Atlantic coast, the seafood is particularly good here.

Read on for more information on some of my favorite places to eat in Galway…

If you want to experience Galway as a day-trip, that is also an option. I talk about the best ways to get to Galway in this article, linked hereOpens in a new tab..


Galway was established as a port city in the 13th Century. You can still see evidence of the city’s routes as you walk through the pedestrianized streets near the old port and the Spanish Arch.

Even today, you will still often see the traditional “Galway Hooker” fishing vessels with their distinctive red sails offshore. Galway has always had a tradition of having great seafood. The ports of this city have supplied countless Irish homes with fresh seafood for centuries.


The Galway Oyster Festival takes has taken place annually in the city since 1954. People from all over the world come to Galway to both take part and to experience some fresh and high quality shellfish. There are various tickets available to this event, some of them are free.

You can find out more about the Oyster Festival on their website, linked here.Opens in a new tab.

Galway is famous for its oysters

The oysters that you will find in Galway will often be sourced locally and are one of the most sustainable types of seafood in Ireland. Oysters will usually be on the menu in most restaurants and gastropubs in the city. So if you want to try some, you should have plenty of opportunities.

They usually cost €1-2 per oyster on most menus. In a dedicated seafood restaurant, you might be able to buy by the oyster, but in most establishments, you might only have the option to buy a certain amount.

Fish and Chips

Shellfish is not for everyone. Oysters in particular can be quite intimidating for most people, even though they shouldn’t be! If you want to enjoy some of the other great seafood on offer in Galway, there are plenty of options for you.

You’re going to find great fish and chips in Galway

One meal that almost everyone wants to try when they come to Ireland is fish and chips. You will find this sold in most establishments around the country. Traditionally however, this is a fast food meal in Ireland. The most common place to find it is actually in takeaways.

Possibly the most famous fish and chip shop (or “Chipper”) in Galway is McDonagh’s. Here you will find plenty of different options of fish to be battered and deep-fried, served with chips and/ or onion rings. In most places, the only option is cod.

Contemporary Cuisine

The economy of Ireland has really started to improve in the last 30 years or so. This means that for the first time in about 300 years, the Irish people actually have money to spend on things like dining out. With this huge change, plenty of new places have opened up, offering a huge range of different food.

The Dough Bros

One of the most famous new restaurants in Galway is the Dough BrosOpens in a new tab.. Located well within walking distance of the main shopping streets, this establishment has won numerous awards in the years since its opened.

In 2022, it has the distinction of being the number 1 pizzeria in Ireland, number 16 in Europe and number 37 globally. This incredibly popular wood fired pizza is prepared to the highest of standards and is one of the more affordable options for a night out in Galway.

If you want to eat here however, make sure to arrive early. The lines to get in can be a little long, so make sure that you’re not waiting out in the rain for your pizza!

Ard Bia

Ard Bia is one of the most famous restaurants in Galway and it is located right next to the river Corrib. It offers a fine dining experience with both lunch and dinner menus.

This award-winning restaurant is also very popular however. So if you do want to come here, make sure to book in advance. I have personally not been able to eat here on a number of occasions because I forgot to book a table and they only take bookings for dinner.

If you want to book a table and see the menu, you can find their website linked here.Opens in a new tab.


Jack Redmond has been a tour guide in Ireland for the past decade. Having received a national guiding qualification, he has brought thousands of travelers all over the island of Ireland.

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