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Ireland's best crab claws - Where to get your fix this summer

By Sarah Finnan

June 16, 2020 at 4:00pm

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With people being free to travel anywhere within their own county, and news that many restaurants and cafes will reopen at the end of this month, most people have one thing and one thing only on their mind. Food.

And seafood eaters are in for a treat as crab claw season has just arrived - the most wonderful time of the year for shellfish lovers. Crab claws are at their biggest and most fresh during the summer months so why not use the opportunity to kill two birds crabs with one stone by sampling local delicacies and supporting the hospitality industry while you're at it.

For anyone in Dublin, Clare, Cork or Galway - this one's for you: here are five places to get your crab claw fix this summer.

Morrisey's Doonbeg, Co. Clare

By far one of the most beautiful spots in all of Ireland, Doonbeg in the summer is second only to Galway in my opinion (we all know I have a love affair like no other with the Cty of Tribes). And Morrissey's is one family-run restaurant that is renowned for their crab claws. From the time they are caught in the sea until they reach the diner’s plate, the crab claws never travel more than 5km. That's about just as fresh as it gets. They also serve theirs with three different kinds of bread and garlic butter... as if you needed further convincing.

East Café Bar, Howth, Co. Dublin

Howth comes into its own during the summer months when Dubliners flock to be by the sea. Usually, it's ice-cream that is top of the list for day-trippers but the East Café Bar has a pretty stellar seafood offering - one that acts as the perfect pre-ice-cream warm-up. The famous sister restaurant to King Sitric in Howth village, local fisherman Peter Lynch catches the crab and brings it straight from the boat in the harbour to the café door on Howth’s east pier. The crabs are then prepped in-house, cracked, shelled and ready to be cooked.

Klaw by Niall Sabongi, Temple Bar, Co. Dublin

The only one on the list that I've been lucky enough to try but well worth the visit... with a name like Klaw, there's no doubt that this place knows good seafood. Sourced from the owner's very own wholesale seafood company Sustainable Seafood Ireland, Klaw is known for its crab-shack dining experience, where an array of crab dishes can be found - including whole crab, crab claws, crab on toast and even a crab BLT for the slightly more adventurous.

O'Dowd's Seafood Bar & Restaurant, Roundstone, Co. Galway 

Overlooking the harbour out in Galway, O'Dowd's Seafood Bar & Restaurant has over 100 years' experience having been in business since the 1900s. The oldest pub in all of Connemara, it's a quintessential Irish pub that serves up some of the best seafood out west. Their much-loved Roundstone crab always proves to be a favourite and is sourced locally on the Aran Islands.

O'Dowds

Poachers Inn, Bandon, Co. Cork

Often referred to as Bandon's best when it comes to crab claws, Poachers serve shellfish caught locally by Yeoman O'Neill in Kinsale. Priding themselves on unpasteurised and fresh crab, they're regularly featured on the Michelin Guide and the Bridgestone Guide - having been part of both since 2008.

I'm very jealous of anyone who finds themself lucky enough to be by the sea so please enjoy double the helping on my behalf.

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READ NEXT: Kai Galway reveals when they’ll be back in business

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