Who doesn't love finding a hidden gem? Luckily we have 10 of them.
While it can be easy to find all the well known popular restaurants in Ireland with a quick Google search, what's harder is finding the hidden gems. By their very definition, these spots are lesser-known but much-loved by the locals in their area, and Tripadvisor has found the Top 10 Hidden Gem Restaurants in Ireland.
The Best of the Hidden Gems were determined with an algorithm analysing the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings posted on Tripadvisor over the 12-month period from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 for restaurants tagged as a ‘hidden gem’ on Tripadvisor.
So next time you're heading out for meal, why not try one of these spots instead? They'll likely be easier to get a table for, and by being on this list, you know the food will be delicious too.
The Cross Guns, Meath
Coming in at the Number One spot in all of Ireland is The Cross Guns in Navan. This hidden gem accounts for vegan and vegetarian diets, serving lunch, brunch, dinner, and snacks that are reasonably priced.
The Cross Guns opens Thursday through to Sunday.
The Grill House, Dublin
The Grill House comes out on top of all 54 restaurants in Swords, and as a runner up on our list of Ireland's top hidden gems restaurants. This Lebanese restaurant serves what Tripadvisor users are calling "the best Lebanese / Turkish restaurant ever".
The Grill House opens every day except for Tuesdays.
Mountain House Steak & Seafood Bar, Cork
As someone who loves steak, I can say it's incredible difficult to find a good steak. Even from proper steak houses, I often find the meat isn't cooked they way I've asked, or is the wrong steak entirely, and while I'm not someone who is fussy, or who would complain about this, I would generally expect steakhouses to get these things right. Which makes me very intrigued about Mountain House Steak and Seafood Bar in Clonakilty, coming in at third on the list of Ireland's hidden gems.
They open Thursday through to Sunday.
The Thatch, Offaly
The Thatch is the second highest rated restaurant in Birr on Tripadvisor, taking the fourth spot on Ireland's hidden gems list. They specialise in local cuisine, pub food, both Irish and European, and they open every day except Tuesdays.
Coal-Kitchen Cellar Cocktails, Dublin
A hidden gem indeed; I had never even heard of Coal Kitchen Cellar until today, but after a quick scroll on Instagram, I think I'll be making it my mission to visit. This Blackrock spot specialises in steaks and seafood, using locally produced ingredients. And as the name would suggest they have a great cocktail menu, which all cost €11 (a bargain in this day and age where you'd be hard pressed to find cocktails for less than €15).
Coal Kitchen Cellar Cocktails opens Wednesday to Sunday. You can book a table HERE.
The Boathouse Bar Restaurant, Donegal
Of the 11 restaurants listed in Moville on Tripadvisor, The Boathouse Bar comes in second place. Closed on Tuesdays, this spot has chef Darren Deery at the helm (no pun intended), who works with fresh and local ingredients to produce a unique and seasonal menu. Another reason this may appear on Ireland's hidden gems list is because of the beautiful view it has of the water as well.
The Old Stone House Restaurant, Roscommon
The Old Stone House won the Best Restaurant in Roscommon at the Irish Restaurant Awards, and has a major focus on organic food.
This hidden gem is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The Anvil Bar Restaurant, Kerry
The Anvil is a bar, B&B, and restaurant in one, and a hidden gem to be found on Kerry's Wild Atlantic Way. The restaurant focuses on Kerry produce, including Kerry beef, Slieve Mish lamb, and Dingle seafood. It's a laid-back spot with some brilliant food and opens daily.
The Castle Café, Cork
The Castle Café, which can be found at Blackrock Castle in Cork, opens Wednesday to Sunday from 10am for brunch, lunch, and dinner. This isn't your ordinary café however, earning its place as 31st on a list of best Cork restaurants (of which there are 464 listed on Tripadvisor). They serve Mediterranean food with an Irish twist, and of course are based in a wonderful location.
Girl and the Goose Restaurant, Dublin
And finally we have Girl and the Goose based in Dublin 4. Owner Michael Sabik, who has worked at acclaimed restaurants such as La Maison and Chapter One Restaurant, opened Girl and the Goose to bring the best of Irish and French cuisine to Dublin diners served in a warm and relaxed setting. The team pride themselves on serving up "uncomplicated" dishes that deliver on taste, freshness and presentation. Worthy of its place on the list of Ireland's top hidden gems.
And there you have it. Next time you're looking for somewhere to eat, why not opt for a hidden gem instead of one of the more well-known classic restaurants? Wow your companions with your choice.
Header images via Instagram/theboathouseredcastle & /coalblackrock