Three restaurants each for Galway and Dublin in first ever Top Ten Best Restaurant list compiled by The Sunday Times

  • Assembled by renowned food critics John and Sally McKenna, The Sunday Times’ annual list of Ireland’s 100 Best Restaurants features a Top Ten list for the first time ever


  • Dublin’s Chapter One tops the list with Belfast’s Ox and Aimsir in Kildare completing the prestigious top three


  • Half of restaurants in the Top Ten feature women at the helm demonstrating an exciting trend in Irish cooking


The Sunday Times, Ireland’s leading quality Sunday news brand, has unveiled its first ever definitive Top Ten restaurant list as part of its annual 100 Best Restaurants list – the ultimate guide to eating out in Ireland.


Dublin’s Chapter One has taken the top spot in the Top Ten, followed by Belfast’s Ox and Aimsir in Kildare.


An exciting trend to emerge in the Top Ten Best Restaurant list is that half of the restaurants named are led by women – Majken Bailey partnering with her husband Jordan at Aimsir, Jess Murphy at Kai in Galway, Grainne O’Keefe in Dublin’s Mae, Christine Walsh at Galway’s Ean and Aishling Moore in Cork at Goldie.


Compiled by renowned food critics John and Sally McKenna, this is the first time in the 30-year history of the Top 100 Best Restaurants that a definitive Top Ten has been compiled. The full list of the 100 Best Restaurants is available in The Sunday Times on Sunday, 3 April.


The complete Top Ten list is below, with comments from John and Sally McKenna as to why they received the accolade:


  1. Chapter One – Dublin
    • Chef Mickael Viljanen takes Irish cooking to a new level of visceral perfection in Chapter One, with cooking that exceeds everybody’s expectations.”


  1. Ox – Belfast
    • With a lunch menu priced at £35 for 3 courses, Ox offers the most accessible experience of creative modern Irish food.


  1. Aimsir – Kildare
    • Brilliantly configured Irish food and superbly orchestrated service make Aimsir one of the great event restaurants in Europe.


  1. Kai – Galway
    • The best loved restaurant on the west coast, and Jess Murphy is an inspiration for every woman working in the food business.


  1. Ichigo Ichie – Cork
    • Takashi Miyazaki’s kaiseki restaurant offers a unique exploration of contemporary cooking, with Irish ingredients seen through the prism of Japanese techniques and traditions.


  1. Mae – Dublin
    • Grainne O’Keeffe cooks with astonishing precision, and her concise menus allow the kitchen to hit the bullseye every time. Even the bread and butter is an event.


  1. Aniar – Galway
    • After ten years, JP McMahon’s refurbed room is offering the best cooking in Aniar’s history, a unique exploration of Western coastal cuisine.


  1. Woodruff – Dublin
    • The simplicity of the setting in little Stepaside only adds to the impact of Simon Williams extraordinary forage-led cooking in Woodruff.


  1. Ean – Galway
    • Christine Walsh takes west coast terroir cooking in a new direction, and her food is utterly distinctive and exploratory.


  1. Goldie – Cork
    • Aishling Moore is the finest young chef of her generation, and her sustainable philosophy of fish cookery should be the new norm for Ireland.


The Sunday Times’ annual list of Ireland’s 100 Best Restaurants also features a host of other exciting foodie categories including:


  • Six Best on the Wild Atlantic Way
  • Eight Best Open Fire Restaurants
  • The Art of Wine Service: 12 Best Sommeliers
  • Ten Best for Bread and Butter
  • Ten Best Oysters
  • Eight Best Chips
  • Eight Great Foraging Restaurants
  • Seven Best Counter Seats
  • The Ten Most Talked About
  • Eight Best for Brunch
  • Nine Best Sharing Plates
  • Six Great Pies
  • Five Best for Vegetarians
  • Five Best for Vegans


With half of the Top Ten restaurants led by women, John and Sally McKenna say that this is a thrilling example of a modern new Ireland at work:There is one crucial factor that has quietly made an enormous difference on the Irish culinary scene. Women have become significant players, not only as chefs but also as sommeliers, and operate at the pinnacle of the culture. This is evident in the number of women-led restaurants that have made our list, including several in the top ten.”


Dara Flynn, Editor of Ireland’s 100 Best Restaurants, said: “The 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland was written exactly 30 years ago by John and Sally McKenna, in 1992, when Ireland’s culinary culture was only just beginning. Since then it is clear from this guide that Ireland has built an exciting national style of cooking. The difficulty the food-loving traveller encounters now, particularly in the cities of Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Galway is the paradox of choice: how do you choose where to eat, when there are so many good places to do so? The McKenna’s Guides has had the great good fortune to have witnessed and described the progression and we hope that readers can enjoy the many delights that Ireland has to offer throughout this list.”


The complete list of the 100 Best Restaurants, can be found

here –