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Loam Restaurant, Galway, named Best Restaurant in Irish Restaurant Awards 2019

Owner and staff of Loam Restaurant Galway, All Ireland winners of Best Restaurant. Photographer – Paul Sherwood

The Irish Restaurant Awards took place, today, May 13th in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road. Over 1,100 guests sat down to a black-tie gala dinner to celebrate and honour the hard work and achievements of those working in the Irish restaurant industry over the last 12 months. Attendees were treated to a black-tie gala dinner prepared by previous winners of the Irish Restaurant Awards. The Chef Team is handpicked by the Irish Restaurant Awards, with chefs representing each region of Ireland.

Loam Restaurant in Galway was named All-Ireland Best Restaurant 2019, while Graham Neville of Dax Restaurant, Dublin, was named All Ireland Best Chef and Everett’s Restaurant in Waterford was named All Ireland Best Newcomer. The All Ireland Pub of the Year is Doheny and Nesbitt from Dublin.

Speaking at the awards, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins commented, “This is the 11th year of the Irish Restaurant Awards, and it has been the biggest year for the awards to date. Over 90,000 nominations were received from the public in January, and over 2,000 restaurateurs attended the Regional Awards, which were held in Kildare, Monaghan, Limerick and Sligo. The standard for judging this year has been very high.

Ireland may be a small country, but it boasts everything from fine dining to high quality gastropubs, from the comfort of traditional Irish food to exploring the world through exotic world cuisine, the Irish restaurant industry has much to offer. We have an appreciation for what we eat and where our food comes from, as well as the dedication of those working in the food industry”.

The full list of regional and All-Ireland winners is below.

Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants

  • All -Ireland – Loam Restaurant
  • Dublin – Dax Restaurant
  • Connaught – Loam Restaurant
  • Leinster – Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill
  • Munster – Wild Honey Inn
  • Ulster – OX

Best Chef – Sponsored by Nisbets

  • All -Ireland – Graham Neville of Dax Restaurant
  • Dublin – Graham Neville of Dax Restaurant
  • Connaught – Barry Ralph of House of Plates
  • Leinster – Deirdre Adamson of The Fatted Calf
  • Munster – Peter Everett of Everett’s Restaurant
  • Ulster – Chris McGowan of Wine and Brine

Best Restaurant Manager – AIB Merchant Services  

  • All -Ireland – Eva Ivanova of Sage Restaurant
  • Dublin – Denise McBrien of The Old Spot
  • Connaught – Eva Ivanova of Sage Restaurant
  • Leinster – Edwina Hynes of La Côte Seafood Restaurant
  • Munster – John Edward Joyce of The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge
  • Ulster – Saul McConnell of NOBLE.

Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Jameson Caskmates

  • All -Ireland – Doheny and Nesbitt
  • Dublin – Doheny and Nesbitt
  • Connaught – V.J Doherty’s
  • Leinster – Hamilton’s Pub
  • Munster – Levis Corner House
  • Ulster – Coach House & Olde Bar

Best Hotel and Guesthouse Restaurant – Sponsored by BWG Food Service

  • All -Ireland – Gregans Castle Hotel
  • Dublin – The Saddle Room at The Shelbourne Hotel
  • Connaught – West Restaurant at the Twelve Hotel
  • Leinster – Brabazon Restaurant at Tankardstown House
  • Munster – Gregans Castle Hotel
  • Ulster – Newforge House

Best Newcomer – Sponsored by mytaxi Hospitality

  • All -Ireland – Everett’s Restaurant
  • Dublin – Uno Mas
  • Connaught – Passione by the Slice
  • Leinster – Lily’s On Church Street
  • Munster – Everett’s Restaurant
  • Ulster – Hara

Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Elavon

  • All -Ireland – The Old Spot
  • Dublin – The Old Spot
  • Connaught – Bar One
  • Leinster – The Ballymore Inn
  • Munster – Mikey Ryan’s Bar and Kitchen
  • Ulster – Clenaghans

Best Customer Service – Sponsored by Lockton

  • All -Ireland – The Muddlers Club
  • Dublin – Luna
  • Connaught – Park House Hotel
  • Leinster – LENNONS @ Visual
  • Munster – Ballyvolane House
  • Ulster – The Muddlers Club

Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by Just Eat

  • All -Ireland – 777
  • Dublin – 777
  • Connaught – HOOKED Sligo
  • Leinster – Truffles Restaurant and Wine Bar
  • Munster – Bodega
  • Ulster – The Olde Glen Bar, Restaurant and Tea Room

Best Wine Experience – Sponsored by Gilbeys with Bibendum

  • All -Ireland – Green Man Wines
  • Dublin – Green Man Wines
  • Connaught – Le Petit Pois
  • Leinster – Barrows Keep
  • Munster – The Black Pig
  • Ulster – OX

Best Kids Size Me – Sponsored by BWG Food Service

  • All -Ireland – Old Street Restaurant
  • Dublin – Old Street Restaurant
  • Connaught – Shells Seaside Bakery and Café
  • Leinster – Tiffin by Sunil
  • Munster – No. 9 Café
  • Ulster – Oak Room Restaurant

Best World Cuisine – Sponsored by HiUp powered by Olive Group

  • All -Ireland – 3 Leaves
  • Dublin – 3 Leaves
  • Connaught – Spice India
  • Leinster – Pink Salt Indian Restaurant
  • Munster – Iyer’s
  • Ulster – Tuk Tuk Asian Bistro

Best Café – Sponsored by Illy

  • All -Ireland – Connemara Greenway Café & Restaurant
  • Dublin – Two Pups
  • Connaught – Connemara Greenway Café & Restaurant
  • Leinster – Knockdrinna Farm Shop & Artisan Café
  • Munster – Good Day Deli
  • Ulster – Dinkin’s Home Bakery & Café

Best Free From – Sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free

  • All Ireland – GROW HQ
  • Dublin – Urbanity
  • Connaught – Drumanilra Farm Kitchen
  • Leinster – Zucchini’s Restaurant
  • Munster – GROW HQ
  • Ulster – The Olde Post Inn

Local Food Hero – Sponsored by Rewarding Times

  • All -Ireland – Seán Hussey of Hussey & Sons Fruit & Veg
  • Dublin – Seán Hussey of Hussey & Sons Fruit & Veg
  • Connaught – Anthony Gray of HOOKED Sligo
  • Leinster – Fiona Falconer of Wild About
  • Munster – Chad Byrne of Chef Collab
  • Ulster – Trevor Connolly of Monaghan County Council

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine – Sponsored by Odaios

  • All -Ireland – No. 35 Restaurant
  • Dublin – Forest & Marcy
  • Connaught – An Port Mór Restaurant
  • Leinster – Thyme Restaurant
  • Munster – No. 35 Restaurant
  • Ulster – Wine and Brine

Best Digital Marketing – Sponsored by Digital Restaurant

  • All -Ireland – Michael’s Mount Merrion

Best Cookery School – Sponsored by Avonmore

  • All -Ireland – The Neven Maguire Cookery School

Best Private Dining & Club Restaurant – Sponsored by Wild Irish Game

  • All -Ireland – Stephens Green Hibernian Club

Best Seafood Experience – Sponsored by Musgrave Market Place

  • All -Ireland – Fish Shop, Benburb Street

Best Cocktail Experience– Sponsored by Coca Cola HBC

  • All -Ireland – The Tack Room at Adare Manor


For further information contact:

Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive Officer

Restaurants Association of Ireland

Mobile: +353 86 8263311

Telephone: +353 1 6779901



Twitter: @restawards


Instagram: @irishrestawards

Notes for the Editor:


The 2019 Irish Restaurant Awards are brought to you by The Restaurants Association of Ireland. The awards are the largest and most coveted awards in the Irish Restaurant Industry.

The Awards recognise achievement and excellence in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry throughout the 32 counties on the Island of Ireland. The Awards celebrate all aspects of the Industry from Chefs, Restaurants, Restaurant Managers, Cafes and Gastro Pubs to Food Producers and Cookery Schools.

The 2019 Awards process ran from January until May 2019. It is a detailed and thorough process whereby nominated Restaurants face rigorous scrutiny from the Consumer, Regional Judges, a Mystery Guest Visitor and finally, the National Awards Academy. The Irish Restaurant Awards are the only restaurant awards in the country that carry out mystery guest inspections.

There are two phases of voting. Phase One consists of nominations from the public. This was live on the Irish Times website from 9th January to 23rd January, which generated over 90,000 nominations in the two-week period. The nominations were then audited by BDO, and the Regional Judging Panel decided on the winners. The county winners are announced at the Regional Awards events, and go through to Phase Two, the All Ireland event.

There are two parts to Phase Two of the process. Each element is independently assessed by BDO.

1. Mystery Guest Visit (40%) 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 (60%) 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.

Separately, nominees for Best Gastro Pub, Best Kid Size Me, Best Wine Experience and Best Cocktail Experience submit copies of their menu for judging. The menus are assessed by independent associates, and this information is presented to the judges to help them make their decision.

Our thanks to

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