Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Scroll to top


Connaught Regional Winners Announced

Connaught Regional Winners Announced



.March 23rd 2016, Sligo, Ireland.

The Connaught Regional Final of the Irish Restaurant Awards took place in The Benbulben Suite at Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Sligo last night and named the top restaurants in the five counties for 2016. Over 500 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards, which saw many well-known restaurateurs of Connaught turn out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards.

Speaking at the awards, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins said; “The Irish Restaurant Awards celebrate their eighth year this year and have become the Island’s biggest food awards. The credibility that these awards have is reflected in the amount of nominations they received this year – over 70,000 individual nominations were cast across fourteen categories, showing that these are the awards that everyone wants to win.

“The Irish restaurant scene is internationally recognised for its high calibre of restaurateurs and chefs. These awards celebrate the people that make the restaurant sector the dynamic and exciting industry it is. They are the people who provide 72,000 jobs to our economy and generate revenue in excess of €2 billion. We’re recognising the talent, hard work and commitment that everyone here gives to the food industry. Tonight, everyone is a winner.”

Food outlets were nominated under the categories of Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Casual Dining, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Wine Experience, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Kids Size Me, Local Food Hero, Best Emerging Irish Cuisine and Best Newcomer as well as two new main award categories – Best Café and Best World Cuisine.

All County winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland Title which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards in the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, Dublin on Monday 16th May, 2016.

There are three components to phase two of the process. Each element is independently assessed by BDO.

  1. Mystery Guest Visit (55%) This component of the awards is conducted by Customer Perceptions Ltd, specialists in mystery shopping, consumer insights and customer satisfaction surveys. All County Winners and Dublin shortlists will receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of March, April or May.
  2. National Awards Academy (35%) Our National Awards Academy is made up representatives from each of the regional judging panels and will meet in early May to judge the County Winners. The Academy members include food writers, journalists, bloggers, culinary academics and hospitality magazine editors.
  3. Menu Judging (10%) All County winners and the Dublin Shortlist in each category are asked to submit a copy of their food menu and wine list for judging.

The Connaught winners are as follows;

Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits and Astoria Wines

  • Galway – Loam
  • Leitrim – The Cottage Restaurant
  • Mayo – Sage
  • Roscommon – The Purple Onion
  • Sligo – Eala Bhán


Best Chef – Sponsored by La Rousse Foods

  • Galway – Enda McEvoy of Loam
  • Leitrim – Shamzuri Hanifa of The Cottage Restaurant
  • Mayo – Aine Maguire of The Idle Wall
  • Roscommon – Alison Crean of Terrace Restaurant at Abbey Hotel
  • Sligo – Andy Donaghy of Coach Lane


Best Hotel Restaurant – Sponsored by Elavon 

  • Galway – Restaurant Gigi’s at The G Hotel
  • Leitrim – Sandstone Restaurant at Lough Rynn Castle
  • Mayo – The Library Restaurant at Belleek Castle
  • Roscommon – Terrace Restaurant at Abbey Hotel
  • Sligo – Coopershill House


Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by San Pellegrino

  • Galway – Taste Matters
  • Leitrim – Vittos Restaurant
  • Mayo – The Pantry and Corkscrew
  • Roscommon – Les Petites Tartres
  • Sligo – Shells Cafe


Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Bunzl McLaughlin

  • Galway – Blake’s Bar
  • Leitrim – The Oarsman
  • Mayo – Pat Cohan’s Bar
  • Roscommon – Keenan’s Of Tarmonbarry
  • Sligo – Langs Bar & Restaurant


Best Newcomer – Sponsored by BWG Foodservice

  • Galway – Le Petit Pois
  • Leitrim – George’s Terrace
  • Mayo – The Idle Wall
  • Roscommon – The Yew Tree
  • Sligo – Pudding Row


Best Wine Experience – Sponsored by Classic Drinks & Masottina

  • Galway – Upstairs @ West at The Twelve
  • Leitrim – George’s Terrace
  • Mayo – Ashford Castle
  • Roscommon – The Douglas Hyde at Kilronan Castle
  • Sligo – Hargadon Bros


Best Customer Service- Sponsored by TheTaste

  • Galway – Kai Café & Restaurant
  • Leitrim – George’s Terrace
  • Mayo – The Hungry Monk Café
  • Roscommon – Benny’s Deli
  • Sligo – Harrison’s Restaurant & Bar


Best World Cuisine – Sponsored by Keelings Farm Fresh

  • Galway – Kappa-ya
  • Leitrim – Victoria Hall Restaurant
  • Mayo – Yangs Chinese Restaurant
  • Roscommon – Mother India
  • Sligo – Miso Sushi


Best Cafe – Sponsored by Aryzta Food Solutions

  • Galway – Upstairs at McCambridge’s
  • Leitrim – Lena’s Tea Room
  • Mayo – Rua
  • Roscommon – Rogue And Co Cafe
  • Sligo – Knox


Best Restaurant Manager- Sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants

  • Galway – Cillian Burke of Brasserie on the Corner


Best Emerging Irish Cuisine – Sponsored by Odaios Foods

  • Mayo – The Lodge at Ashford Castle


Best Kids Size Me – Sponsored by Heinz

  • Mayo – Rua


Local Food Hero – Sponsored by Rewarding Times

  • Galway – JP McMahon of Aniar



For further information contact:

Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive Officer

Restaurants Association of Ireland

Mobile: +353 86 8263311

Telephone: +353 1 6779901

Fax: +353 1 6718414



Twitter: @restawards


Instagram: @irishrestawards


Notes for the Editor:

Industry Awards

Aside from the main categories, the Irish Restaurant Awards also run industry category awards, with only one All-Ireland winner been chosen. The judging and selection process for the Industry Award categories differs from the Main Award category process.  Only Members of the Restaurants Association of Ireland nominate for each of the awards in the Industry Categories with a list of finalists announced in May. These nominations are then judged by our National Awards Academy and independently assessed by our auditors before a final winner is determined in each category. Nominations for the industry categories will open for RAI members in April.

Best Cocktail Experience

Best Private Dining & Club Restaurant

Best Seafood Experience

Best Cookery School

Best Eco-Friendly Restaurant

Best Digital Marketing

The winners of the Industry Categories will be announced at the All-Ireland event on 16th May, 2016.

Our thanks to