My journey in a vibrant west Irish city.
Starting with oysters and finishing with pancakes, Ireland’s wild Atlantic gives the exciting city of Galway a vibrant food scene.
My journey from Cork took me up the west coast. A road I’d driven before, 10 years ago, this time skirting around Limerick city and making a direct route to Morans.
A spot recommended to me by a friend is world famous for its fresh oysters. Anyone who knows me really well will know my opinion on slurping down raw oysters. A mediocre food experience followed by severe food poisoning. Enough said. However, I wanted to check it out and to my great joy they served grilled oysters. Now you’re talking. They were sublime, every mouthful as delicious as the next, moping up the juices from the shells with brown soda bread.
Now, I may have experimented with a few mind altering substances in my youth and its for this very reason that I can compare food experiences to this for me. A feeling that you are alive to experience this moment. These oysters were that good.
Filled with joy, I carried on my drive to Galway city and checked into my room, a wonderful location with a lovely Spanish host. This day will be a good one I thought.
The sun was shining so I decided to take a run along the beach towards Salthill. A seaside town attached to the city. Ireland’s a bit like that.
I took a shower, and it really took, a term a friend of mine here has taught me. I was hungry again and fancied a snack so decided to explore the city. I started by taking a walk into the Latin quarter. The main part is a like a mini temple bar. Live music in every bar playing a mix of traditional Irish music and oasis covers to drunk tourists, stags and hens. Like I did in Dublin I carried on by. Far too much excitement for little old me to take.
Ive developed a love of apple tart so when I saw a pie shop I was quietly confident and not disappointed. The Pie Maker is dark and quiet and gave me the feeling of what a great American diner would feel like. (https://www.instagram.com/thepiemakergalway/) This day was going well.
After a rest and probably a nap I headed back out to get a beer and some dinner. Ballyvolane had earlier that week hosted the gastro gays (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk4rAa_lUM9/) so i decided to follow there recommendation and go to ‘The Dough Bros’, a modern kind of pizza restaurant hugely common in the UK but rare in Ireland.
I really fell for its simplicity. You point at a pizza, you agree to drink there pale ale and you sit down. Still I’m feeling high.
From here I took a walk, it was a beautiful evening and the sun was setting. It was here that my vulnerabilities hit me. I’m alone. Why am I doing this alone? I decided to go for a beer and see if I could find some company. Easy right, in Ireland, not for me. I sat in a busy pub full of conversation and happiness and felt like I was in a different reality. I felt like no one could see me and if they did they averted their heads to avoid me. I finished my Guinness and went to bed.
For breakfast the next morning I decided to visit McCambridges (https://www.instagram.com/mccambridgesgalway/). An institution in Galway. A food hall downstairs and a cafe/restaurant upstairs. I was really hungry so opted for a full Irish breakfast. Something I’ve only had a few times, this was the best. Great ingredients.
After taking the city in for the afternoon I decided to stop into a pub and read my book over a quiet pint. The ‘West end’ of the city had really shown itself to be my favourite. Less tourists, still the same energy. I picked a nice pub called the salt house owned by the galway bay brewery and it drew me in… (https://www.instagram.com/salthousebar/)
With every intention of picking a beer and sitting down at a quiet table I approached the bar. Immediately I found myself in conversation about the beers and ended up taking a seat at the bar. A few hours later, I was a little worse for ware but felt alive, simply because perhaps i’m not invisable.
Now I had plans to visit Kai on the reccomendations of Justin and Jenny Green but it didnt quite happen. I believe Galway Hooker was my dinner that evening. Sometimes the evening just takes you away.
The next morning I woke up somewhat groggy and hungry and I went across the way to Ard Bia (https://www.instagram.com/ardbianimmos/) which is a buzzing cafe next to the Spanish arch which is kind of the central tourist spot in Galway city.
Beautiful fluffy pancakes and a pot of Barrys tea. Now anyone not familiar to Irish tea drinking wont know that Barrys tea is the conforting tea which I compare to PG tips back in the UK. Feeling fragile, its all I want, whether for times of over consumption or times of emotional vulnerability it has done me well.
Before I left for Ballyvolane I did get time to visit Kai for some lunch. A very sophisticated restaurant I would highly recommend to all.
A very open place, I liked it. Second only to Belfast so far, but that’s for another day.
Thanks for getting this far.