Next-gen cafés, fine-dining classics and one of the best food markets on the island of Ireland, Limerick is upping its game when it comes to food.
Wander around Limerick, and there’s one thing you’ll notice: this is a city that’s serious about food. The streets jostle with restaurants, cafés, all-day dining spots and bars serving old fashioned pub grub. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that a raft of innovative chefs, a great European-style food market and lots of artisan producers are raising Limerick’s foodie credentials to new heights.
An international city with a very Irish heart, Limerick’s culinary scene reflects its global outlook in Asian fast food spots, Italian stalwarts and French-style fine dining. Cosmopolitan café culture plays out in some great little spots, including Rift and Canteen, where you’ll score a perfect flat white and Greek-style eggs; the Milk Market, which offers endless opportunities for sampling local cheese and European chocolates; and if you’re after a hearty pub lunch, there’s no better city for waterside bars ranging from modern to the traditional. Tuck in…
The French Table
Relaxed, civilised and boasting gorgeous
views of the river, the French Table is one of Limerick’s loveliest fine-dining
spots. With an elegant interior and relaxed, friendly service, the dishes here
have a strong French flavour, with everything from classic escargots, to
haddock in Champagne beurre blanc to chocolate mousse with Chantilly cream.
There’s also a handy take-away menu at lunch, which is perfect for picnics and
alfresco dining, and features salads, sandwiches and soups.
With a focus on “Low-intervention”
wines, sustainability and community, Rift is a super-cool coffee shop for the
21st century. Coffee aficionados might like to know that they’re a
multi-roaster café, but for the rest of it, it’s just enough to know that they
serve a very, very good cup of coffee. Drop in later in the day, and enjoy a
glass of wine after a bout of sightseeing.
If intensely flavoured fresh Asian food,
cold beers and casual surrounds are your thing, then Aroi is for you. This is a
great little spot with very well priced dishes that don’t shy away from spice.
Settle yourself down and choose from a menu that specialises in pan-Asian
favourites, including Balinese-style catch of the day cooked in banana leaf,
Singapore noodles and Thai stir fries. Service is brisk, friendly and
La Cucina Centro
You can’t miss the huge silver lettering
of La Cucina Centro decorating the window of its Henry Street outlet. Step
inside and you’re faced with a selection of sweet treats in portions that are
almost overwhelmingly large. You can grab a coffee and a cake from here if
you’re on the move, but for a sit down, grab a table and enjoy a menu with that
mixes Italian favourites with European influences. Lunch-wise, this place is a
great bet with flavour-laden dishes, such as sourdough, avocado, roast
tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and balsamic; but it’s also a good option for
dinner with a wide-range of pasta dishes, pizzas and main course staples of
burgers, fish-finger sandwiches and surf and turf.
This bright, airy café sitting on a
faded Georgian street is a perfect go-to for high grade coffee and excellent
brunch plates from Greek eggs to the “real Irish breakfast”… Drop in for lunch
and you’ll be rewarded with halloumi wraps; sweet potato, chickpea and spinach
satay; and fish-finger lunch boxes. As well as other veg-loaded options, vegan
choices and down-home comfort food are also on the menu. According to owner
Paul Williams: “We buy organic when we can – organic milk, organic
lamb and beef and halloumi, and we source locally so it’s not just health food;
it’s real food.”
The Milk Market
Limerick’s Milk Market feels like one of
Europe’s great food markets. It’s not big, but it’s got that wonderful mix of
indoors cafés, arty stalls and great food offerings just right. What’s more,
you don’t have to worry about rainy days with this one – an enormous white
canopy keeps the inclement weather at bay. Underneath, you’ll find a great
array of foods including cheese from The Flying Cheese Brigade, gourmet
handmade pies from Piog Pies and jams from Rose Cottage Fruit Farm.
Alex Findlater & Co
The smart, upscale offerings from Alex Findlanter
& Co include Bar Alexa and The Grill Room, but a great bet for day time
dining is the Food & Wine Hall on O’Connell Street. It’s a real all-day
affair here, with breakfasts and then a great selection of pizzas, pies,
quiches, pastas and even a rotisserie. The food market here is particularly
good, with locally sourced products, jams, chutneys and over 300 fine wines.
Curragower Bar and Restaurant
With a lovely location overlooking the
River Shannon, the Curragower is a relaxed and friendly pub-style restaurant
with great options for lunch and dinner. It’s in an ideal location, too, if
you’re doing the Three Bridges Walking Tour of the city, as its close to
Thomond Bridge and overlooking King John’s Castle. Menu-wise, you can expect
lots of variety here with well-loved favourites from calamari to bangers and
mash. And for dinner, meat and fish dominate the menu, with slow-cooked braised
beef cheek, sirloin steak and chicken and waffles.