As our year in Galway comes to an end, we'd like to share our own "best of" list:
Tig Cóilí is one of my favorites for socializing and listening to authentic, live music. It's across from the Kings Head in city centre. It's always packed: a good sign.
Tigh Neachtain’s (Naughtons), located across the street from the Quays, is another favorite. The blue and yellow building is easy to spot. If you like privacy, this is a fun pace to enjoy a pint. There are weathered, wooden alcoves located throughout the interior. Lots of tables for people watching outside too, but those are typically full.
Our local-local favorite -- the one that's walking distance from our apartment -- is O'Connor's of Salthill. The decor can only be described as flea market meets taxidermy store meets antique shop. It's so funky cool. The music has been more blues/rock than Irish folk when we're been there, but it's always good. We love sitting at the sewing machine and drinking a pint. The church pew seats aren't that comfortable, but they've got character. A real charming place.
This is a tough one. We've been very disappointed with the restaurants in Galway. But we've had some great meals.
The new Asian Tea House is excellent. Great ambiance, prices and quality: a rare trifecta in Galway. Hip vibe. Take a date there to impress.
The Thai Garden near the Spanish Arch is pretty good.
For a slurge, drive 15 minutes out to Barna and visit O'Grady's on the Pier. Probably our best Irish-style meal on the West Coast, but we paid around 100 euros for two.
If you're American and looking for many of the same ingredients you enjoy back home, Tesco is the best bet, in my opinion. I boiled bouillon cubes to make chicken stock for months when I shopped at Dunnes.
The farmers' market in Galway in the city centre on Saturdays and Sundays is also nice.
Don't forget to bring your canvas bags to the store whenever you shop anywhere in Ireland.
We're going to go with Milano here. Others might argue for Da'Roberta in Salthill, but frankly, I've eaten pizza at Da'Roberta twice, and it was burned both times. Milano's crust is more thin and crispy; Da'Roberta's is thin and soft, more like a traditional pizza from southern Italy.
At low tide and in good weather, it's nice to walk along the path from Blackrock (just west of the diving board in Salthill) out to a medium-sized cliff. It takes about 30-40 minutes to walk, and you need to go at low tide to get across. Lots of seashells to be found along the way.