Let’s face it, like those lads on certain TV show are always spouting, winter is definitely coming and as we all know, Westeros hasn’t a look in compared to Ireland.
With that in mind, we think it’s time that we all put on a few extra pounds – for the warmth you see! Donegal proudly presents you with ten of its finest eateries to get you started. You wouldn’t want to be cold now?!
10. McCauley’s Cafe, Lifford
Perched on the Donegal-Tyrone border, the flashing neon sign that signals McCauley’s must be a very welcome sight to returning travellers who have unfortunately had to spend any time outside of Donegal.
When you step inside, the throwback 80s décor will make you feel safe – you’ll know you’re in good calorie-laden hands here! The vinegar is brown, the coleslaw is creamy and the chips are served with absolutely everything. Order the all-day breakfast and basket of toast to watch your worries and your jawline melt away.
9. The Happy Camper, Glenveagh, Creeslough
If you haven’t already heard of ‘The Happy Camper’ you must be living in the middle of nowhere which is, incidentally exactly where you’ll find this little gem. Nestled in the nooks of Donegal’s largest mountain, this wee green machine is a treasure trove of delicious pancake-shaped calories.
Whatever you order, it comes with cream and Nutella and if you don’t get enough, just ask the staff who will be only delighted to give you a second layer of chocolately goodness and that hit of sugar you’ll need to keep you going to the next establishment on our list.
8. The Lobster Pot, Burtonport
In this seafood paradise, you’re offered the chance to gain that highly sought after extra poundage while enjoying a spectacular coastal setting. The house speciality is excitingly entitled ‘The Titanic’ and consists of every type of fish currently known to man plus wheaten bread and butter. Really want to annihilate that bathroom scales? Wash it all down with a pint of Guinness for maximum girth increase.
7. The Four Lanterns, Letterkenny, Donegal Town & Buncrana
Yeah so we know you have one in Sligo but with four to choose from in Donegal, you’ll be hard to lift in no time! Bravely introducing Donegalers to fast food almost fifty-years ago, “the 4Lights” as it’s known locally, has been serving up fried chicken in Donegal long before that pesky colonel.
You won’t know what they do to make their chips so good but you’ll have a massive portion to ponder over it. Order a large snackbox meal with big4 dip and throw away your winter scarf – you have chins to keep you warm now.
6. Nancy’s Bar, Ardara
In the heart of the “Best Village to Live in Ireland”, you’ll find this beauty of a pub slash restaurant which will quieten even the loudest rumbling belly. You’ll think you’ve wandered into someone’s living room at first but ignore the awkwardness and keep moving.
Once you find a table you’ll realise that you’re in a pub all is right with the world. Renowned for their seafood, Nancy’s also manages to marry two of the most beautiful words in the English language together – ‘Guinness’ and ‘Cake’. Less a slice and more a slab, you’ll be rocking elasticated waistbands in no time.
5. Lizzie’s Diner, Dunfanaghy
Visiting Dunfanaghy is a bit like stepping inside the Tardis – small on the outside and big on the inside. Visit Lizzie’s Diner on its busy Main Street and you’ll be bigger on all sides.
The ribeye steak is a must for meat lovers though you’ll find they’re being modest when they call it a 10oz.
Steaks come with onions, tomatoes and a JCB of other things that you’ll definitely want to eat. You’ll leave feeling spectacularly heavier and only slightly concerned that you were only peckish to begin with.
4. Pat’s on the Square, Letterkenny
They have something called a “mini-pizza” on their menu but don’t let that put you off venturing into Pat’s Pizza Emporium.
Not satisfied with one Pat’s in the town Letterkenny keenly supports the upkeep of two – and in the face of a few unnamed American imports, that really is saying something.
We’ve chosen Pat’s on the Square as it is complemented beautifully with a licence to sell alcohol. The ‘Pole Star’ pizza with spicy beef, mushrooms, jalapenos and green peppers, is best ordered in full 15” to ensure that you are at long last one hundred percent ready for winter!
3. Burrito Loco, Letterkenny
Heading back to the flagship town, Burrito Loco is the Mexican restaurant Letterkenny never knew it needed – and now cannot live without. Hugely popular with those trying to slim down, if your mission is, on the other hand, to just get huge, Burrito Loco has you covered.
With tubs of cheese and sour cream that they’re not afraid to use, burritos become a thing of absolute beauty when created by the structural engineers this place hires as staff. The chicken is magical, the chorizo magnificent and the chilli masterful. Order the four tortilla mammoth burrito and see for yourself.
2. Mr Chippy, Letterkenny
If you love batter so much you love your batter battered, then this is the very place for you! Mr Chippie is a good old-fashioned fish ‘n’ chip shop that does to potatoes what Ernest Hemingway did to words.
A helpful card with pictures shows you the various ways which you can have your fish battered, one side, two sides, light or heavy – leaving you nothing to do but point thereby saving you vital calories that might make you lose a pound.
1. Stateside American Restaurant, Letterkenny
The clue is in the title with this US-inspired dining experience located in the heart of Donegal’s biggest town.
The menu is as impressive as its portion sizes which you can wash down with free soft drink refills.
For those who like their cheese with a side of cheese, you’ll order the Nacho Cheese Chicken which actually tastes even better than you’re imagining.
Feeling particularly skinny? Go for the Man V Food challenge: a triple burger with pulled pork, hot wings, side of fries and a milkshake – you’ll be loosening that belt in no time!