I moved to the countryside just outside Youghal over three years ago. Previously, in my ten years in London, I was fortunate enough to eat out frequently and in some very good places – thoroughly spoilt. When I moved here I stupidly thought that my days of fine cuisine were well over. Oh no, and not just fine cuisine is available but also good honest food that is delicious too.  So let me take you on a good food tour from Dungarvan to Midleton via my favourite places to eat.

Starting with my favourite little gem that I was over the moon to find when I first moved here, The Tannery in Dungarvan owned by the famous Irish chef Paul Flynn. Here fine cuisine is at its best with excellent service and surroundings too. You normally need to book, especially on weekends, because people come from all over for the amazing food. And there is the Tannery Townhouse too so you can stay over in style as well. They also hold cookery courses run by Paul Flynn. You can find out everything on their website.

Just around the corner from The Tannery is The Indian Ocean overlooking the beautiful Quays in Dungarvan. The food here is lovely and you get lots of it. Now I’m only a korma woman however friends have had hotter there and they rave about it too. They have an extensive and very reasonable Early Bird menu and it is constantly busy with its ideal location overlooking the boats in the harbour. Check out more on their website.

Heading out from Dungarvan on the N25 towards Cork you’ll go up the winding hill and it is well worth making a stop here in the viewing area for the amazing views over the bay.  Straight after this just slip off to the left to the infamous local Seanachai pub. A very old pub with lots of history and a massive open fire in the winter that makes it very homely. The food is normal pub grub and very reasonable. My sister in law loved the Chowder and I scooped up the Colcannon. The pub’s character really makes it for me. See all you need to know on their website.

You cannot be in this area without visiting the award winning seaside town of Ardmore. It’s a short deviation left off the N25 heading from Dungarvan. It’s absolutely beautiful with a fantastic beach and steeped with history throughout the whole village. The Cliff House Hotel has breath-taking views across the sea and beach. Food and service is impeccable although you need to bring a very full purse. Well worth it though.  Just visit for lunch or dinner or stay overnight in their luxurious rooms. Find out more on their website.

The White Horses Restaurant in Ardmore serves amazing food. The service is excellent and very homely. Wear something loose though as the portions are huge. I can’t see that they have a website but you can find out lots from the Ireland Guide link.

Ok, so pretend you’re back on the N25 heading towards Cork and you haven’t stopped off at any of the previously mentioned restaurants. Don’t get a sarnie or whatever from the garages, stop off at JJ’s Chipper just after Youghal Bridge. You can’t miss it; it’s painted blue and white for Waterford, although only a few metres from the Cork border it’s a very proud Waterford chipper.  They serve breakfast all day and I’ve never seen it quiet. Ideal for a drive through or sit in (tv provided for entertainment even). My favourite is chips and cheese and mayonnaise but they do lots more. Perfect for a stop gap as you’re on your journey or even to stop off after a day at the office, as I do quite often. No website yet I’m afraid but you can’t miss it in the layby just after Youghal bridge.

In Youghal you’ll find the famous Ahernes seafood restaurant. I haven’t been there yet, mainly because I don’t like seafood but I’m forever hearing good things about the place and recommended to go by people who don’t even live local. There are some great reviews on their website.

Still on the N25 just after Youghal you’ll see lots of sign posts for Greenbarn Garden Centre. Here you’ll find a shop with lots of lovely nick-nacks for presents or treats for yourself. Also there is a garden centre plus a cafeteria type restaurant. The menu is quite extensive and always lovely with good service too. See more about Greenbarn on their website.


Another 20 minutes and you’re in Midleton; a lovely town with lots of shops and restaurants. I’ve only been to two eateries there and I can highly recommend both. Firstly the Thai Thanie is half way down the main street. I’ve been a few times and great Thai food and service each time. No website I’m afraid but contact details can be found on Google.

And finally my second favourite out of my list is the Farmgate restaurant in Midleton with an extensive menu of specials and open for lunch and evening meals. You enter the restaurant through their lovely deli store; a take on the old fashioned Irish pub at the back of a shop I think. The food is gorgeous and service spot on whilst keeping a homely atmosphere. They also have a restaurant in the English Market in Cork City which is well worth a visit too. You’ll find out more on their website.

I hope you find the above interesting and you’ll try one or two or maybe more of my suggestions. Of course there are lots more lovely places to eat in this area and I’ve just given you a snippet of ones that I personally like.