Paola Bassanese is a freelance author and writer specialising in food, lifestyle and entertainment.
If you are planning to visit Galway and you are a keen foodie, you will soon be invited to purchase food tours on social media from your browsing history. While it may be a good idea to go on one organised tour to get a feel for the place, the DIY option can be even more fun.
How to Create Your DIY Food Tour of Galway
While there are different ways you can put together a food tour based on what you like, a good starting point is Google Maps.
Depending on the level of food obsession you have, you can either plan things in advance by looking at Google listings or scan for places around you to visit at the last minute.
There are no hard and fast rules about creating your own tour. Sometimes it’s fun to discover places outside of the tourist areas, while other times it’s rather entertaining to plan your meals while you are having breakfast.
Step 1: Decide Which Type of Cuisine
What do you feel like eating today? Chinese, Thai, pizza, tapas, gourmet hamburger? Once you have narrowed down the type of restaurant, you can search within a very specific area or zoom out on the map for more options.
Step 2: Look at the Pictures
Most places will display photos taken by their customers. Does the food look appetising?
Step 3: Look at the Reviews
Google rates restaurants from one to five stars, with five stars being the highest score. If a restaurant has an overall rating of 4.5 or 5 stars, you know it’s good. Sometimes an average score of 4 is also good, but you will need to scroll down the reviews to see why some people thought it wasn’t the best place they have ever been to.
Step 4: Check the Menu
If a restaurant has a website, you can check their menus directly, but sometimes smaller, independent places may not have one. Alternatively, they may have at least one social media profile.
The advantage of looking at the menu upfront is that it saves you time when ordering in person and helps you to stick to your budget.
Step 5: Check If You Need a Reservation
Some places are so popular that you won’t be able to get a seat unless you book in advance. This is often the case for smarter restaurants.
Step 6: Create a Wish List
Not enough hours in one day? Save some places for later. You can save listings in your “want to go” category, which shows on your map as a green flag. You can mark places you have enjoyed in your “favourites” category, showing as a red heart, and “starred” category, showing as a yellow star.
Step 7: Let the Fun Begin
Once you have your shortlist of places, you can finally go out and enjoy your food.
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Galway Foodie Tour Suggested Places
If all of this looks a bit daunting, don’t worry: Here are some handy suggestions for restaurants, cafes and gastropubs in Galway to whet your appetite.
Pizza: The Dough Bros
The amount of press coverage this pizza restaurant gets should not put you off, thinking it might be hyped, because it isn’t. This is honest food and a great story of two brothers working hard to make their vision a reality. Their Neapolitan-style pizzas are baked in a wood-fired oven for all to see, and they are as authentic as the pizzas you get in Italy. An added bonus is that this place is very casual, but expect queues.
Gourmet Burger: Caribou
Sometimes pub grub hits the spot, and this is particularly true for Caribou, a pub just off Eyre Square tucked away in a side street.
The burgers are packed with flavour, and you can also choose from a good selection of local ales, beers and stout. Even the fries are gourmet: You can have them with a truffle sauce if you feel fancy.
Traditional Irish Food: Salt Restaurant
This place is definitely off the beaten track: Only the locals seem to know about it. Salt Restaurant is above a crystal shop east of Galway town centre and has a buffet-style layout. You order your food, pay, and bring it yourself to your table. The dishes are seasonal using local produce, so check the menu on the blackboard. You’ll find typical home-cooked roast beef, Irish stew, soups, salads, quiches and Irish breakfast.
Galway Farmer's Market
Every Saturday, there’s a farmer's market near St Nicholas Church, not far from the main square. You can find fresh fruit and vegetables, organic bread and cakes, fish and meat. The market is very popular, and not even the rain will deter the regulars from doing their shopping there.
There are so many ways to find useful information on places to eat.
- For example, if you are staying in a hotel, restaurant or Airbnb, you can ask for recommendations.
- Tripadvisor also lists restaurants and rates them.
- You can do a search for “best restaurant”, and you will likely get through to an article from a local or national paper; sometimes these articles have lists of the best 5 or 10 restaurants.
- See also: Modern Irish Food in 3 Memorable Meals.
Are you planning a food tour of Galway? Please share your experience in the comments.