The Irish Restaurant Awards determine the best cafe, chef, restaurant and more

The best café, chef, restaurant and more were revealed at the Irish Restaurant Awards, in a glamorous gala attended by many of the country’s top food experts.

After a lengthy qualification process, the All-Ireland Final for the Irish Restaurant Awards 2022 was held at the Convention Center Dublin (CCD) on Monday 19 September 2022.

The first chapter of Mickael Viljanen has been named Ireland’s Best Restaurant for 2022, reaffirming its position as one of the country’s most sought-after dining venues.

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They fended off stiff competition from Aimsir in Kildare, Dede in Cork, Lignum in Galway, Deanes Eipic in Belfast and Chestnut Restaurant in West Cork.

The esteemed restaurant recently reopened with Finnish chef Mickael Viljanen taking over as Head Chef from Ross Lewis, and has since garnered more positive reviews and pressure for its simple take on local and seasonal Irish cuisine, mixed with luxurious staples like fois gras and truffles.

Elsewhere, Tiller + Grain in Dublin’s Frederick Street was voted Ireland’s best café, while Donegal’s The Rusty Mackerel was named best gastropub.

Ahmed Diddy, of Diddy in Cork, was named Ireland’s best chef, while The Sky & the Ground in Wexford was named the best pub in the country.

Nearly 900 restaurateurs and staff in the restaurant and hospitality industry have come together to celebrate food and hospitality, after two of the most challenging but in some ways rewarding years for the industry, as the pandemic has increased customer appreciation for food and service in Ireland.

Now, it has been running for 13 years, and the awards have been paused for two years during the Covid-19 outbreak. However, they received 100,000 public nominations online in June of this year, with nearly 3,000 people taking part in their regional events in Meath, Cavan, Cork and Leitrim.

Speaking at the All Ireland Restaurant Awards finale, Paul Linehan, President of the Restaurant Association of Ireland said; “The awards are an opportunity to celebrate current and upcoming talent in the sector and are a reminder that hospitality is nothing without the dedicated and motivated employees of the industry.

“We are excited to have the Awards back up and running again and it was a great showcase of what the industry has to offer here tonight at the Convention Center Dublin (CCD).”

Read the full list of winners below:

Best Restaurant Sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants

  • Leinster: the weather
  • Ulster: Dennis Epic Belfast
  • Monster: Chestnut Restaurant
  • Connaught: Wood
  • Dublin: Chapter One
  • All of Ireland: Chapter One

Best coffee shop sponsored by Eli

  • Leinster: Mullichain Cafe, Glynn
  • Ulster: Brunn’s Café Bar and Restaurant
  • Monster: Coffee Lógr, Adare
  • Connaught: Lions Café and Backshop, Sligo
  • Dublin: Tyler + Green
  • All of Ireland: Tiller + Grain

Best Chef Sponsored by BWG Foodservice

  • Leinster: Lady Helen Thomastown Restaurant, John Kelly
  • Ulster: The Olde Glen Bar Carrickart, Ciaran Sweeney
  • Monster: Didi, Ahmed Didi
  • Connaught: Enda McEvoy, Galway
  • Dublin: Dax’s Restaurant, Graham Neville
  • All Ireland: Didi, Ahmed Didi

Best Gastro Pub Sponsored by Worldpay by FIS

  • Leinster: Butler and Barry Gastropar
  • Ulster: rusty mackerel
  • Münster: The Glenby Hotel
  • Connaught: Coyne’s Gastropub, Kilkieran
  • Dublin: Davy Burns
  • All of Ireland: rusty mackerel

Pub of the Year sponsored by Jameson

  • Leinster: Heaven and Earth
  • Ulster: Charlie’s Bar, Enniskillen
  • Monster: Moton Lane N
  • Connaught: Laurie Barr, Clifden
  • Dublin: Old Coliseum
  • All Ireland: Heaven and Earth

Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant Sponsored by Frylite

  • Leinster: Mount Juliet Estate, Thomastown
  • Ulster: McNean House And Restaurant, Blacklion
  • Monster: Cashel Palace Hotel
  • Connaught: Foyles Clifden Hotel
  • Dublin: Shelburne Hotel
  • All of Ireland: Mount Juliet Estate, Thomastown

Best Newcomer Sponsored By Square

  • Leinster: Canal Square, Kilkenny
  • Ulster: Women, Hollywood
  • Monster: Beach House, Tramore
  • Connaught: Bird
  • Dublin: Orwell Road Restaurant
  • All of Ireland: Orwell’s Road Restaurant

Best wine experience curated by Bibendum Ireland

  1. Leinster: Illy Winery, Maynooth
  2. Ulster: Ox Cave, Belfast
  3. Monster: Shane Falls Lodge, Kenmare
  4. Connaught: Walker 1781, Sligo
  5. Dublin: NOTE, Dublin
  6. All of Ireland: Illy Winery, Maynooth

Best International Cuisine Curated by San Pellegrino

  • Leinster: Pink Salt Indian Restaurant
  • Ulster: Chandpur Restaurant, Donegal
  • Monster: Mezze, Tramore
  • Connaught: Miso Izakaya, Sligo
  • Dublin: Bijan
  • All Ireland: Mezze, Tramore

Best casual dinner curated by Musgrave Market

  • Leinster: Insecure
  • Ulster: The Copper Tap and 1806
  • Monster: Goldie Cork City
  • Connaught: Poacher Restaurant, Ballina
  • Dublin: Nanette
  • All of Ireland: Goldie, Cork City

Local Food Hero sponsored by The Irish Times

  • Leinster: Butcher’s Restaurant Kilkenny, Mark Williams
  • Ulster: Original Seafood, Stevie and Rebecca McCary
  • Monster: Paradiso Cork City, Dennis Cotter
  • Connaught: Claymore Farmhouse Cheese, Theresa Roche
  • Dublin: Bread 41, Ewen McCluskey
  • All Ireland: Bread 41, Ewen McCluskey

Sustainable Best Practices Sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland

  • Leinster: Green Bar Restaurant
  • Ulster: Olde Post Inn
  • Monster: Grow HQ Waterford
  • Connaught: Sweet Pete Café
  • Dublin: Airfield Estate
  • All of Ireland: Grow HQ Waterford

Best free service sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro

  • Leinster: Truffles Restaurant, Kilkenny
  • Ulster: cell
  • Monster: Cobia Green
  • Connaught: Greens & Co.
  • Dublin: Vietnam
  • All of Ireland: Cobia Green

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine sponsored by FBD

  • Leinster: Heritage, Killinard
  • Ulster: Klingans Restaurant
  • Monster: Old Coach Cafe
  • Connaught: Fish and Bean, Roses Point
  • Dublin: Margadh Food & Wine, Howth
  • All of Ireland: Old Couch Café

Best Restaurant Manager sponsored by AIB Merchant Services

  • Leinster: Vanilla Pod Quills, Larina Quigley
  • Ulster: Noble, Saul McConnell
  • Monster: Mustard Seeds, John Edward Joyce
  • Connaught: Buffalo Boy, Gabriel Camporo
  • Dublin: Night Market, Conor Sexton
  • All Ireland: Night Market, Connor Sexton

Best customer service sponsored by by Dolmen

  • Leinster: Tracy’s Restaurant & Bar
  • Ulster: Oak Room Restaurant
  • Monster: Mitchell House Restaurant
  • Connaught: The Twelve
  • Dublin: one more
  • All Ireland: Uno Mas

Best cooking school, all of Ireland – Anyar Boutique Restaurant and Cooking School

Best seafood experience, all over Ireland – Beach House, Tramore

Best cocktail experience, all over Ireland – Hilliards, Skirmantas “Mossy” Lelys

Private restaurant and club, all of Ireland – No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place

Best Digital Marketing, All of Ireland Michael, Mount Merion