The world’s longest defined coastal touring route is lined with soaring cliffs, charismatic towns oozing traditional charm, glorious mountain peaks, golden sand beaches and spellbinding scenic views for miles – but that’s not all. As well as being a paradise for nature enthusiast, this road-trip of a lifetime doesn’t force you to sacrifice your weekly brunch excursions. With plenty of places to find your poached eggs and avocado along the sea road, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here our guide to the best brunch restaurants in the west of Ireland.
In the heart of Galway’s west end, Dela restaurant attracts hours long queues come rain or shine. Growing as much of their own produce as the seasons allow, the eatery has its own farm located in Moycullen, delivering ‘plot to plate’ vegetables in a matter of minutes. Serving brunch every day, the café is loved by both locals and tourists for its artisan food and earthy, cosy atmosphere. Treat yourself to some buttermilk pancakes or their specialty brunch burrito and take what you can’t finish for the road in a Dela Brunch Box. Boasting a sustainable ethos and friendly atmosphere you won’t be sorry you pulled over for a meal at Galway’s premiere brunch restaurant.
Specialising in fresh, locally sourced seafood, The Harbour Restaurant in the centre of Donegal Town is a popular spot favoured for its local charm. Set against the backdrop of the Bluestack Mountains, this restaurant on the edge of the Wild Atlantic Way is located in a building that was once a traditional family home and still features the original hand cut stone walls restoring the character of the place. With its nautical themed interiors and plush furnishings, the space is inviting and perfect to sink into after a long morning of driving for an omelette or slice of French toast.
For a small independent eatery, this Sligo restaurant has made quite the impact on the town’s residents who queue up daily for a taste of Knox. Settle into a rustic atmosphere, eco-friendly furniture and locally sourced, honest, fresh food. Conscious of re-using and recycling, the owners have created an organic based interior, assembling table-tops from scaffolding boards and wallpaper from disused pallets. A tapas place by night and blissful brunch spot during the day, try the breakfast bap or Knox Spanish brekky and sip on a cup of Knox House Blend coffee, roasted nearby. A place oozing heart and soul, this Sligo local is definitely one of the best places to eat brunch in the west of Ireland.
Inspired by the Middle-East, the urban brunch spot is making waves in the surfer’s paradise of Lahinch. The family-run café is set against the quaint back-drop of the Lahinch town and is one of the few places on the west coast to serve Roasted Brown Coffee. Follow the trend and stop by for a plate of their Insta-famous eggs on a bed of greens. Go all out, order a matcha latte and spend a few hours wandering through the seaside village. The artisan café will not disappoint and you’ll be planning your next visit before you’ve even taken your last bite.
For a real authentic taste of Kerry head to the trendy daytime Yummy Café Market. Located in the cool Tess Quarter in the heart of Tralee, the photogenic spot prides itself on using primarily local ingredients to manifest creative dishes not found anywhere else. Describing their vibe as upcycled and Instagram worthy, the place is decked out in edgy interiors with lightbulbs in glass jars and exposed brick walls. Gobble down French toast, a plethora of egg options, bagels and porridge and take a coffee away with you in one of their decomposable yellow cups. A chic oasis in the middle of the town, this alternative take on traditional brunch will keep you guessing and has plenty of veggie and vegan options for the non-meat eaters among us.
Indulge in all your favourites at the quirky Cork hideaway in the centre of town. Open seven days a week, the brunch spot/bar is a modern mismatch of vintage chic with pieces of local art, old board games and other oddities hanging from every nook and cranny. Take a seat at the bar on one of the unicycle stools and opt for their unique breakfast pizza topped with bacon, sausage, pudding, mushrooms, mozzarella and a fried egg. Head back to the bar later for one of their infamous cocktails before hitting the dancefloor.
Found in the visitors centre of Ballycroy National Park, a meal at Ginger & Wild Café will fill you up before a long day of hiking in the Nephin Beg mountain range. Have your breakfast/lunch overlooking spectacular views across the majestic nearby hills and Achill island in the distance. The family run café serves up beautifully presented homemade food in a light, airy setting. The relaxed atmosphere coupled with contemporary art clad walls and large glass windows provide the perfect cosy surroundings.
Heading west soon? Use the hashtag #ryanairstories to tag us in your photos of the best places to eat brunch in the west of Ireland – you might even be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed.
Flights to Knock
- Lucy Norris