Arriving in Galway was a welcome change from the silence of Connemara, beautiful though it may be. Tourists and college students overflowing from the pubs into the cobblestone streets give this medium-sized town its jovial air. Galway is known as the gateway to the wild west of Ireland, and from here there are plenty of day tours available to the Aran Islands, Connemara towns, and the Cliffs of Moher – the latter of which I wanted to visit but was advised that I wouldn’t even see them – apparently there is such thing as too much fog in Ireland. The town will keep you entertained, though, with plenty of crooked alleyways to explore and of course, plenty of pints to be had. While Guinness may feel like a meal, pull yourself away from the pub long enough to try these eateries I loved:
1. The Pie Maker (10 Cross Street Upper, Galway) – When the weather sucks and it’s cold outside, it’s time for pie. Which means there is never a time to not eat pie in Ireland. From rhubarb ginger pie to sausage and veal gravy pie or spinach and feta pie, The Pie Maker has you covered, all from the cozy confines of a hole-in-the-wall that looks like it came out of Harry Potter.
2. Ard Bia at Nimmos Restaurant (Spanish Arch, Galway) – Just when you thought the locavore organic movement could not have survived in this land of fried chips and meat of questionable origin, think again. Nimmos serves the gourmet organic food made from local ingredients in the requisite rustic atmosphere that you’ve come to know and love from your favorite Brooklyn haunts. Artsy locals crowded the place when we visited its charming location behind the Spanish Arch and overlooking the water.
3. Cupan Tae (8 Quay Lane, The Latin Quarter, Galway) – It’s hard not to feel loud and American when dining in this traditional Irish tea house, especially when trying to decipher the long list of teas, from the traditional to the exotic, all served by the pot. They offer freshly baked pies,cakes, and scones and I highly recommend a slice of the zucchini cake with lime frosting. If the mismatched floral tea sets and lace doilies are off-putting for your male companion, the handwritten sign on the door insists that they will love it, too.