September is heralded as the start of the native oyster season in Ireland and it runs until April (running across all the months containing an ‘R’!). Sampling an Irish oyster is something we feel should be on everyone’s bucket list! There are endless places to sample these delicacies across the country, but here is a list of our favorite spots. We can tailor a trip for you that captures the best of Oyster season in Ireland up to April 2021..
Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin
Head to the historic Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin for a great oyster selection on the east coast. The bar and restaurant serve 35,000 oysters annually so they know a thing or two about what works! The line-up includes choices from Carlingford, Sligo, Dungarvan, and Galway natives. Enjoy your choices with a pint of Guinness or choose a bottle Laurent Perrier as the ultimate treat.
Moran’s on the Weir, Galway
Moran’s Oyster Cottage is a seafood restaurant and pub located at The Weir, Kilcolgan, outside Galway city. Its location gives it its local name of “Moran’s on the Weir”. Sit outside on a picnic bench to watch the seabird dive into the water as you dive into your Galway Bay oysters, the best in the world. Some even say Ireland’s native food should be oyster, not the potato. Save space for a bowl of mussels with homemade brown bread and Kerrygold Irish butter.
DK Oysters, Connemara
If you really want to experience the story of the oyster, what better way to do it than with an oyster farmer! We can arrange a tour to Balinakill Bay, outside Letterfrack in Connemara, a beautiful setting on the Wild Atlantic Way. Here, on an oyster farm that dates back to 1893, you can learn about cultivating the best oysters in the world, their history in Ireland, and, of course, how to shuck your own right on the coast.
At Klaw Seafood Cafe, in colorful Temple Bar in Dublin city center, Niall Sabongi does a stellar job of promoting oysters. Klaw rocks the crab shack vibe in the small premises where you can perch on high stools and mix and match oysters from around the Irish coast: Galway Bay, Waterford, Dooncastle, Flaggy Shore. Eat them naked, dressed, or torched along with inventive Bloody Marys. Check out Conde Nast Traveler’s review of Klaw here.
Mourne Seafood Bar, Belfast
This busy restaurant in Belfast has a superb menu of fresh shellfish carefully hand-selected from its independently-run shellfish beds. Located on the small historic streets of the city, it also gives visitors the perfect viewing spot to people watch inside and outside! The bar has been praised by top critics and is a favorite of food writer Caitriona McBride who is on hand to meets our clients when they visit her new home town (she is originally from Donegal).
English Market, Cork
Everyone knows Cork’s English Market is the best food market in the world – if you visit you’ll have to agree! Ingredients from local shores and farmland jostle for attention on the stalls heaving beneath their weight. Fish is no exception and the flagship fish stall is Kay O’Connell’s. It takes up the whole back wall of the market fish section and the fish looks fresh enough to jump right off the fishmonger’s slab and into a bag. Alongside locals buying their daily fish, you can order shucked oysters at the counter and enjoy a front-row view to the food theatre that unfolds. If you prefer a less hectic vibe and a glass of wine with your oysters, pop upstairs to the Farmgate Café for a bird’s eye view of the action.