The culinary scene in Ireland is at its peak, with restaurants all over the country serving up the finest traditional dishes and more exotic cuisines such as Asian street style foods and Greek fare.
However, don’t overlook the midlands – there are fabulous restaurants to be found outside the big cities, a fact that anyone who has visited Offaly can agree to. Here we look at the Top 5 Restaurants for foodies in Co. Offaly.
5. Townsend House Tapas Restaurant
Townsend House is a popular guesthouse in Birr’s scenic heritage town, and the grand Georgian style building now boasts a high quality and authentic Tapas restaurant.
The restaurant is only open on Friday and Saturday evenings so if you are in the area at these times you should seize the opportunity to sample their Spanish style cuisine.
Highlights on the menu include homemade meatballs in a rich tomato and fennel sauce, lightly steamed mussels with garlic and chilli oils, and their patatas bravas, a Mediterranean dish which consists of potatoes diced and cooked in a spicy tomato sauce.
Dishes range from €3.25 to €9.00, so for the true Tapas experience we recommend ordering a selection of dishes with a group, all washed down with a few glasses of wine from the extensive wine menu. Enjoy!
Address: Townsend St, Townparks, Birr, Co. Offaly, Ireland
4. The Vine House Kitchen
The Vine House Kitchen is a hidden treasure in the small town of Bannagher. Specialising in homely foods cooked with finesse, service always comes with a smile in this warm and welcoming joint.
Expect dishes such as hot and spicy chicken curries, lasagnes bubbling with cheese, and their hearty burgers which are renowned all around town.
Portions are generous and very reasonably priced – we guarantee you will leave the restaurant with your hunger satiated and your wallet in a healthy position.
The Vine House Kitchen excels at breakfasts as well as dinners. Their pancakes are light and fluffy with both sweet and savoury options, and their full Irish is always cooked to the highest standards.
Their “Breakfast Burger” will certainly cure what ails you – think a steak burger topped with a fried egg and onion rings, enveloped in relish and cheese and encased in a toasted bun. As far as hangover cures go, this one is certainly up there!
Address: Crank Rd, Curraghavarna, Banagher, Co. Offaly, Ireland
3. The Blue Apron
The Blue Apron is one of the stand out establishments in Tullamore, a town which has made a name for itself in the foodie world in recent years.
The Blue Apron is a high class, fine-dining experience so makes the perfect venue for any special occasion.
Delectable dishes on offer include their honey and thyme glazed barbary duck breast with perfectly complimentary flavours of plum, cherry, cardamom and orange.
The Blue Apron provides an extensive veggie-friendly menu on request, with their offerings being a far cry from the average vegetable curry or stir-fry that is so often a vegetarian only restaurant option.
Our personal favourite has to be the sumptuous golden bulgar, feta and parsley cakes which are packed full of flavour.
The Blue Apron is a little expensive, but for a birthday, anniversary, or any occasion that calls for that little bit of glamour, a night at The Blue Apron should be the first port of call!
Address: Harbour St, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland
2. Spinners on Castle Street
A beautiful boutique restaurant located in Birr, Spinners is a family run venture which provides a constantly changing but always sumptuous menu to reflect the changing seasons and the produce on offer.
Spinners focuses on fresh and organic ingredients which is shown in their delicately-crafted and delicious meals. The venue itself is warm, welcoming and headed by friendly staff who encourage you to relax and make the most of your time in the restaurant.
As the days grow chillier we suggest a trip to Spinners, where their current Autumnal menu is a thing of beauty.
Focusing on rich, warm, comforting components and making the most of the abundance of veg on offer during this time of year, you will be left satisfied no matter what you order.
Their Mediterranean vegetable stew is a colour and taste sensation that is suitable for both vegetarians and coeliacs, while beef bourguignon with herb dumplings is comfort on a dish for those in the mood for something meatier.
Dishes are reasonably priced for the portions you receive and the attention to detail that goes into crafting each dish – a stellar choice all round.
Address: Castle St, Townparks, Birr, Co. Offaly, R42 XK20, Ireland
A good Italian restaurant is the key to happiness for many, so it is no wonder that Sirocco’s is one of the most well-reputed restaurants in Co. Offaly.
Sirocco’s offers patrons an authentic taste of Italy right here in the humble midlands, and has won first place on our list for its sheer tastiness and overall dining experience.
The award-winning restaurant is one of the Midland’s best Italian eateries, and once you have the pleasure of dining here you will understand the appeal.
The environment here is relaxed and homely, and diners will feel at ease as they chat over one of their amazing sharing starters such as the antipasto board – cured meats, fresh ciabatta, sunblushed tomatoes and more make for a perfect start to your evening.
Traditional Italian dishes are perfectly prepared, with pastas, garlic breads, and risottos to die for. Their handmade pizzas are the true star of the show in Sirocco’s.
All pizzas are hand-thrown and stone baked to a delicately crunchy consistency and adorned with only the finest ingredients.
For something a little bit different from your usual pepperoni or four-cheese offers then look no further than the “Gamberati”.
It is topped with spicy king prawns, crushed chilli, olives, capers, spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella, which combine to create a pizza of the highest class.
Open seven days a week, get down to Sirocco’s and experience the taste of Italy from the comfort of the Midlands.
Address: Patrick St, Puttaghan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland