There was a time when going to Ireland for the food was like going to Los Angeles for the fresh air: the act of an eternal optimist. But according to the 2014 edition of Michelin's "Eating Out in Pubs Guide," the Emerald Isle is home to 34 pubs dishing up world-class, mouth-watering grub.
Down tops the list of counties with the most pubs on the list. Eight establishments left the Michelin reviewers licking their lips: Pheasant, Coyle's, Lisbarnett House, Grace Neill's, PIer 36, The Parson's Nose and The Plough Inn. Cork was next, with six standout pubs: Mary Ann's, Poacher's Inn, An Súgan, Deasy's, Cronins and Toddies at the The Bulman.
Perennial tourist destination Clare has four pubs on the list: Morrissey's, Vaughan's Anchor Inn, Wild Honey Inn and Linnane's Lobster Bar. Three Mayo pubs impressed the reviewers, with Crockets on the Quay, The Tavern and Sheebeen all making the cut.
Galway (Moran's Oyster Cottage, O'Dowd's), Kerry (O'Neill's Seafood Bar and QC's) and Kildare (Ballymore Inn and Fallon's) tied for fifth place with two pubs apiece. It's worth noting that the two Kerry pubs are located in the same town: Cahirciveen.
The Journal.ie notes that Dublin, surprisingly, wound up tied for eighth on the list, with one pub of note (Chop House). Other single-pub contenders include Leitrim (Oarsman), Louth (Fitzpatricks), Sligo (Hargadons), Tipperary (Larkins), Westmeath (Fatted Calf), Wexford (Lobster Pot) and Wicklow (Byrne & Woods).
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore