Here’s seven places to eat dinner after a day’s gallivanting around Wexford.
Selecting the right place to have a relaxing dinner is always on the mind before visiting an area, especially when you have a full day of activities planned out and all you want to do is end it with something delicious and memorable. Spending time in the cornerstone of Ireland’s Ancient East offers you so many adventures to suit many groups of people. It could be a day at the beach swimming and building sandcastles with your family, a day’s shopping with friends, a day in the car seeing our rugged coastlines, heritage parks and culture sites or on a one-day food trail with our excellent tour guide, Lorraine from www.gallavanting.ie. Picking a restaurant for the right occasion is always hard to do without knowing some inside information.
Below in no particular order, we have compiled seven of Wexford’s top restaurants loved by locals and regular visitors. The list has a great mix of places, with some offering a casual setting to suit families and big groups to a more formal style eating where you can have an intimate dining experience. All places below are big supporters of using Wexford and Irish produce and indicate this through their menus offering a great #TasteWexford experience. Many restaurants here have won well-respected national and international awards for their cooking and hospitality.
1. Aldridge Lodge
Duncannon, New Ross, County Wexford
00353 (0)51 389 116
Since opening in 2005, Billy Whitty and Joanne Harding have built up a loyal fam base in Wexford, around Ireland and beyond for their excellent food and warm hospitality at their oasis in Duncannon which includes a small restaurant and guest accommodation. They are holders of the prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand since 2007, two AA Rosettes for food since 2016 and many other national accolades over the years. Please ring ahead and book in advance as it is a popular place.
Aldridge Lodge changes their dinner menus daily using the best of local and home-grown produce. They have an array of producers on their books. Fish comes from Kilmore Quay and Dunmore East by Duncannon Fish Merchants along with Billy’s father Tommy who fishes from Duncannon for crab and lobster. Vegetables either come from their own gardens, Billy’s fathers polytunnel, next door from Aldridge Farm or from local organic growers like David Ward. Beautiful colourful free range eggs from Tinnock Farm up the road in Campile and mushrooms from Fancy Fungi in Enniscorthy. We could go on here with their excellent sourcing methods. It is a real gem here in Wexford.
Billy’s food is real and honest. He lets the food speak for itself. It is seriously good food, beautifully cooked and presented with great prices. The drinks list is a little snapper too. We recommend everything. Definitely try and stay here if you can.
2. Cistin Eile
80 South Main Street, Wexford town, County Wexford
00353 (0)53 912 1616
Simple honest cooking comes to our mind when thinking about Cistin Eile. Meaning ‘another kitchen’, the restaurant has a respectable following here in Wexford with many saying it is the best restaurant in Wexford town to dine at. You will remember their food and service for quite some time afterwards – honest, real and wholesome.
The décor and ambience of this little restaurant is very relaxed and informal with an open kitchen hatch. Head Chef and owner Warren Gillen is passionate about using local ingredients in his kitchen. He sources his meat from the butcher next door and fish purchased from the shop and wholesale suppliers just five minutes stroll away. Like any good and well-respected restaurant, Warren prefers to work directly with his producers and suppliers, creating that bond of trust that guarantees high quality produce delivered to his kitchen. Consequently, the menu here changes daily, in accordance with what Warren’s suppliers have available. The menu contains very few words as Warren likes the food to speak for itself. The drinks list is as carefully selected as the food with great house wines by the glass or bottle. Lovely selection of after dinner drinks of whiskeys and dessert wines. Few Irish craft beers offered also.
You will walk out of here satisfied and wanting to go back again the next day for more of his delicious food. Cistin Eile excellent front of house team delivers a warm and attentive service, a real treat after a day gallivanting around Wexford. Warren likes to come out of the kitchen sometimes to say hello to his diners, a nice touch to meet the person who is cooking your food.
3.The Yard Restaurant
3 Lower Georges Street, Wexford Town, County Wexford
00353 (0)53 914 4083
Bang smack in the middle of Wexford town you will find The Yard. What we like about this place is the charming enclosed courtyard that you walk through on the way in with a real olive tree in the corner and vibrant greenery on the walls. In the evenings, it feels very Mediterranean with flickering candles and some jazz tunes in the background. The perfect location to unwind after a spot of shopping on the streets of Wexford. Their second location is just around the corner, known as Little Yard, which serves a tapas-style menu if you were looking for something lighter and refreshing.
The Yard have their own 10-acre vegetable garden which they strive to use as many of their own vegetables, herbs, fruit, eggs and flowers in the kitchen. Seafood comes from either Meylers Fish Merchants or Atlantis Seafood and meat from Richie Doyle & Sons Butchers, all located within walking distance from the restaurant.
Their menus have lots of choice to suit all tastes from salads, Wexford bay mussels, chowder, stuffed vegetables, grilled meats and fish. They look after people with special dietary requirements very well – no fuss created. The drink list comprises of Irish craft beers from Clever Man and Yellow Belly in Wexford and Dungarvan Brewing Company in Waterford. Lovely selection of new and old wines available by the glass, carafe and bottle. We particularly like the sparkling and dessert wine selection, great to see some choice.
4.La Marine Bistro
Kelly’s Resort Hotel and Spa, Rosslare, County Wexford
00353 (0) 9132114
La Marine Bistro is a French bistro-style brasserie located within Kelly’s Resort Hotel. The Kelly family have a reputation which spans five generations in providing excellent hospitality – it is one of those hotels you just do not want to leave. Their customer base is mainly made up of repeat visitors so heading here will not disappoint.
La Marine is one of two dining rooms to eat in, the other is Beaches which is a more classic and formal affair compared to the bistro which offers an informal and casual atmosphere. The cosy fireplace, wine cellar and the exquisite zinc bar, imported from France, are the focal points of the room, making this the ideal place to relax with family and friends.
Chef Eugene O’Callaghan and his team offer food which is simply full of flavour. Behind the scenes, they run a traditional French-style kitchen with a vegetable house, fish and meat workshop and a bakery which produces all their breads. Everything is made onsite using high-quality produce from Wexford and beyond. Anything here is going to be delectable as the menu is highly sensitive to seasonality with great options to suit everyone, even those with special dietary requirements. You will find lots of classic brasserie dishes here like chicken liver pâté, crab mornay, pigeon breast salad, spatchcock chicken, crispy duck confit, pan fried scallops from Kilmore quay, and a creamy pearl barley risotto. Indulge here and make sure you order the sides. The Grain Dauphinios is the most talked about dish on the menu! Desserts are amazing featuring items like baked cheesecake, chocolate mousse and baked figs. The Ballycross apple tart tatin with mascarpone ice cream is the perfect way to end the meal. Here’s hoping they have it on the menu when you dine.
With family connections in France, they have a superb wine list. The cellar is full of bottles directly imported from individual estates in France and across Europe. The beautiful zinc bar is well stocked with local beers, ciders and Irish spirits. Try and arrive early to have a walk around the hotel and admire their extensive art collection.
5.The Kitchen Gorey
1-4 North Parade, Gorey, County Wexford
00353 (0)53 948 0541
An informal and family friendly restaurant, The Kitchen Gorey is a real crowd pleaser. It has a modern bistro-type feel on the outside with a more warming atmosphere inside. With its open kitchen that features a charcoal grill and woodfired oven, this place would appeal to families of all ages. They were awarded ‘Best Casual Dining’ in Wexford at the Irish Restaurants Awards 2018.
Sisters-in-law Cathy and Jane Farrell are the faces behind the restaurant and have used their global dining experiences to construct a menu with lots of European dishes using great local produce from Wexford and around Ireland. The menu is named checked with produce from places like Wild About and Green’s Berry Farm located just outside Gorey, O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon in Enniscorthy, Gold River Farm in Wicklow and Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella from West Cork. Anything from the grill or woodfired oven is great here. Pizzas are really good. In keeping with menu presentation, their drinks list is easy-to-navigate with Irish craft beers and ciders, and wine offerings by glass, carafe or bottle.
6.The Village Bar & Grill
Seafield Hotel & Spa Resort, Ballymoney, Gorey, County Wexford
00353 (0) 53 942400
The Village Bar & Grill at the Seafield Hotel is a great spot to relax and unwind after a day’s adventure around the sunny south east. It is a New York / London style designed bar and grill situated right beside one of Ireland’s beautiful beaches and golf courses. The room has a sophisticated urban feel with glass-framed walls, high ceilings, grey leather booths and a semi-open kitchen. The drinks list has lovely selection of wines by the glass and bottle. The bar is well stocked with Irish craft beers, ciders, gins, whiskeys and other delicious spirits. Their cocktail list is worth looking at too.
The menu here is laid out simply with easy-to-navigate options of snacks, main courses, pizzas and grill options. A nice children’s menu is also available. Through their dish selection, the hotels tries to showcase what North Wexford has to offer with Wild About chutneys, Macamore Buffalo and Green’s Berry Farm strawberries featuring during the summer months. A dish which is causing quite a stir at the moment is the delicious melt-in-the-mouth buffalo burger with Wild About ginger beets chutney. The water buffalo herd in just located down the road in Ballygarrett run by Liam and Sinead Byrne of Macamore Buffalo Farm. If you would like to see these friendly creatures, pop out to Macamore Buffalo Farm – they have a farm shop onsite and an online shop too. Check here for opening times and details: macamorebuffalo.ie.
7.The Duck Terrace Restaurant, Café & Bar
Marlfield House Hotel, Courtown Road, Gorey, County Wexford
00353 (0) 53 942 1124
Recently named Atmospheric Restaurant of the Year 2017 by one of Ireland’s leading hospitality guides, Georgina Campbell Guides, The Duck Terrace Restaurant & Café is located in the restored courtyard buildings on the grounds of Marlfield House. This casual restaurant has only been opened since 2015 but the Bowe family have been welcoming guests through the beautiful ornate gates for over thirty-five years. Marlfield House is one of Ireland’s most luxurious historic country house hotels.
The Terrace is a beautiful space with its long dining room, high ceilings, old exposed brickwork, open fire and long glass windows overlooking the outdoor paved dining area and their extensive colourful gardens. Here you might find their resident peacocks and other two-footed animals casually walking around. It is definitely a beautiful place to spend an evening with family and friends. If it is warm and sunny, the outdoor area is a magical spot to watch the sun go down.
Here you will find an abundance of fruit and vegetables on the menu from their own kitchen garden with happy roaming eggs coming from their neighbours Samuel and Maurice Allen. The Duck Terrace is particularly known for their sharing boards for starters, delicious sides and moreish desserts. Cocktails are beautiful here with a superb wine list.