This post is about exploring Westport on a food trail. Westport is a town in County Mayo in Ireland and it’s on the Wild Atlantic Way.
There are many ways to experience a new place but one of the best ones is by eating. After all, eating is an important part of everyone’s lives and it is the easiest way to learn about every culture.
I normally don’t write much about food because I am not patient enough to click good food photos. Yup, I’m one of those people who pounce on their food as soon as it hits the table. However, while I was exploring Ireland’s Mayo County, especially Westport, I couldn’t stop myself from clicking pictures because everything I ate was a work of art.
Anyway, before we go further I want to give you quick information about Westport. This city was the first stop on our road trip in Ireland’s County Mayo followed by the insanely gorgeous Achill Island. For more details about this lovely town, be sure to read my post about falling in love with Westport, Ireland. Check this post for a 10 day road trip itinerary for Ireland.
Westport, County Mayo – Quick Info + Travel Video
Westport is an insanely cute town in Ireland’s Mayo County, at the bottom corner of the Clew Bay. It is on Ireland’s West Coast but I’m not sure if that is the reason why it’s called Westport.
This post is just about food but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a quick glimpse of this adorable town. Apart from eating, I also enjoyed exploring it on a little train and on our rented bicycles.
Now that I have given you an introduction about Westport, I want to tell you that this town is soon becoming a popular destination for food lovers with many restaurants, cafes and an annual food festival.
Where to eat in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland
1) Traditional Irish Lunch at The Idle Wall
I visited the Idle Wall for lunch and Chef Áine Maguire gave our group a little introduction to the restaurant’s background and food. She mentioned that the name of the restaurant “the idle Wall” has a historical significance. Back in the early days, men would sit at the old quay wall outside the restaurant to wait for day jobs on the boats at the harbor.
This restaurant is right next to the boatshed, so you can expect to eat some freshly caught seafood that arrives here pretty much every day by boat. It is a bit outside the main town area, right next to the famous Westport House.
Chef Áine Maguire also mentioned that they have a sustainable policy and only use locally sourced fresh produce. She also informed us of the origins of most of the ingredients that were used in the cooking.
As we waited for our meal, we enjoyed the Idle Wall’s signature smoked butter and pork salt with old-fashioned bread with herbs and dill. It was a delicious combination and I could have happily had it to fully fill my stomach but hey I wanted that fish too!
Traditional Irish food surprisingly doesn’t include enough fish, even though Ireland is an island country. Meats, potatoes and cheeses dominate Irish cuisine, so if you may face a hard time finding restaurants if you’re a vegan. We love this guide with a list of vegan restaurants in Dublin.
The meat lovers ordered slow cooked Dexter beef rib in a pie. Dexter is an indigenous Irish breed of smaller sized cows and the meat is more tender as compared to the typical beef. The rib of this meat was slow cooked for 12 hours and the result looked beautiful.
My meal was a plate of pan-fried Hake fish that was freshly caught from the Clew Bay. It was garnished with celeriac, picked hazelnuts, and apples. It looked really pretty and tasted even better than it looked.
The vegetarians ate a pastry tart that was made with goat cheese from Aran Island, and onions that were smoked with a little bit of turf for a unique flavor. To be honest, I wish I had a bigger stomach because I wanted to eat everything.
For dessert, I ate buttermilk pudding that was sweetened using honey from the nearby town Newport. You see those crisp things in the bottom left picture? That’s dried bee pollen and it was delicious. One of my friends, Siobhan ate poached pear with chocolate which looked heavenly. Check it out.
2) Appetizers & Chowder at the Westport Coast Hotel
The Westport Coast Hotel overlooks the beautiful Clew Bay and the nearby mountain – Croagh Patrick. If you’re visiting Westport, then you should surely consider staying here so that you can enjoy the view. You can read the reviews about this hotel on TripAdvisor here.
There are two different places in Westport Coast hotel where one can enjoy their food – the Coast Bar and the Waterfront Restaurant. The former is a little relaxed with a bar, while latter is fancy and is apparently the tallest restaurant in Westport.
Irish Seafood Chowder is famous all over the world and it was very high on my list of things I wanted to eat in Ireland. It made a lot of sense to order it in Westport because it’s a coastal town.
The Coast Chowder in Westport Coast Hotel was thick, creamy and comforting and needless to say, it surely met my high expectations. It was made with mixed Atlantic seafood and was served with homemade brown bread.
My friends ordered chicken spring roll, which was delicious as well.
By the way, while you’re enjoying my post about Irish food, check out these amazing things that we ate in the Philippines:
3) Dinner at Hotel Westport
Dear food snobs – don’t hate me for this but I ate curry for dinner at Hotel Westport. It was so good that it made me cry!
After my lovely soup at the Westport Coast Hotel, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to eat dinner. However, all that changed when our group reached Hotel Westport and it was announced that there was chicken curry for dinner.
I have no pictures of this meal but it was one of my most memorable meals of the day and it kind of made me shed a tear because I was missing home.
You see, I’m from India and I really miss the curries that I loved eating there. I never order them outside India because I was once disappointed by the food in an Indian restaurant in the USA.
I visited Westport on my dad’s birthday – October 6th and I was really missing my family at that time. If I was with them to celebrate, we would have surely eaten my dad’s favorite food – chicken curry. The curry at Hotel Westport was perfect in every way that it reminded me of home food back in India.
4) Dessert at Bistro at Maddens – Clew Bay Hotel
Maddens Bistro at the Clew Bay Hotel is one of those places where I wish I had spent more time. It’s vibrant, fun and had a great atmosphere and guess what, it started off as Westport’s first Fish & Chips shop.
Clew Bay Hotel is located in Westport’s main town center and there were a few tables that were laid out on the sidewalk, right outside the main door of Maddens Bistro.
We got a big dessert platter that contained Apple pie, Banoffee pie, chocolate brownie and ice creams. Apple pies and Banoffee pies were surely my favorites out of everything and I enjoyed till the last crumb. True to the description that was mentioned on the menu, the apple pie really did melt in my mouth and was warmed up before serving.
Suggested post: Check out all the delicious food that we ate in Amsterdam-Noord:
5) Enjoy Drinks with Good Music at Cobbler’s at the Wyatt Hotel
If you’re wondering where to enjoy the best of Westport’s nightlife, then Cobbler’s Bar at the Wyatt Hotel is your answer. It has the perfect blend of traditional Irish pub atmosphere along with a little bit of contemporary vibe.
The Wyatt Hotel is a cute yellow colored low rise building in Westport and Cobbler’s bar is inside this hotel. It is located directly at the Octagon – which is the town center. There is live music on most of the days and Irish trad music session on Sundays.
While you’re here, make the best use of the bar by drinking fresh beer from the tap. While I was in Ireland, I did not drink anything other than Guinness, but hey – you can find many local and international brands here. Be sure to order their delicious bar food that this place is famous for.
I’m not really a party girl anymore but I couldn’t stop enjoying Ireland’s nightlife. Unlike most of the places in the world, Ireland is one of the very few countries where people of all age groups come together in pubs. Moreover, dancing on traditional Irish tunes was a refreshing experience as compared to uncomfortably loud EDM sounds.
The time that I spent in Mayo county’s Westport was short but unforgettable. I would love to revisit this lovely city of Ireland next year and would love to hear your suggestions of places to see in Westport. If you have visited Westport already, then please share your recommendations in the comments below.
Disclaimer: I explored Westport with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland on a press trip but all opinions and bad jokes in this article are mine.
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