Athlone is fast becoming the foodie centre of Ireland as well as the actual centre of the country. It’s a tasty prospect for visitors with a superb selection of places to eat and drink at all price points. The new network, Athlone Food Circle is focusing attention on the excellent cafés, restaurants, gastro pubs and producers in this gorgeous medieval town.
It’s just 90 minutes by road or rail from Dublin and Galway. How handy is that!
Here are a few tasty ideas for your next visit to Athlone:
Take it easy
No need to put on the glad rags, just come as you are and enjoy some great food.
It’s a café. Its’s a health food and organic shop. It’s right downtown Athlone and it’s a fantastic place to eat six days a week. No fuss, no frills, just exceptional food at excellent prices. If you’re vegetarian, vegan or just looking for fabulous, homecooked, wholesome food the Bastion Kitchen is definitely the place you need to be.
Who doesn’t love a great gastropub? It has to be said The Villager is one of the best. Located in the charming village of Glasson, just a few minutes outside Athlone, it’s a real gem. Once you find The Villager, you’ll snuggle in and you won’t want to leave. It’s all that’s best in a pub – traditional, snug, welcoming and it serves outstanding food.
How about something a little bit special? Here are two of the country’s finest, both in Athlone and both at the top of their game.
Chef John Coffey has created something very special using the very best ingredients to produce exceptional dishes. He’s so proud of his local producers he has dedicated a wall to them. If you’re looking for perfection in dining – you might just find it. No wonder the folks at Michelin have tracked them down. Thyme really is sublime.
The Fatted Calf
This wonderfully named restaurant is right beside Athlone Town Centre – shop ‘til you drop and then enjoy some of the best food in the town. Feargal O’Donnell’s kitchen is surefooted and creative turning out dishes that are both beautiful and creative. Sit back and enjoy it.
There’s always room for something sweet. It doesn’t make sense – but it’s undeniably true. You can depend on this pair to serve you something home-made and absolutely divine.
Beans and Leaves
Fresh baked breads, cakes from heaven, melt in the mouth scones and did we mention the croissants? Steven Linehan clearly took inspiration from his time in France.
Kelly’s café is a little oasis of taste in Monksland. Whatever time of day you drop in, you’re sure to find some freshly baked goodies to tempt your taste buds and satisfy your soul.
The craft beer revolution is alive and well in Athlone Food Circle with two breweries producing cracking beer. If your tipple is a little different, Kilbeggan Distillery might be more your style. Take a tour – or even bottle your own whiskey.
Dead Centre Brewing
In the heart of Athlone on the banks of the mighty River Shannon, Dead Centre Brewing is something very different, very special and very well worth visiting. They produce wonderful craft beer onsite, run brewery tours, have a taproom and also a top class pizzeria and bar. What a combination!
Black Donkey Brewing
The brewery is well outside town, but the beers aren’t – you’ll find them in any number of bars and off licences around Athlone. The wonderfully named Sheep Stealer is the flagship brew (a farmhouse ale similar to the Belgian saison style) but there’s plenty more in their armoury to attract attention. Look out for the recently launched Underworld range brewed from genuine wild Irish yeast. https://blackdonkeybeer.com/