By Rachel Garvey
Galway isn’t just welcoming in the New Year, but also the honour of being named as the Top Foodie Destination for 2020 by BBC’s Good Food Guide.
In a recent article by Kathy Prendeville in RSVP Magazine, she shared renowned travel guide Lonely Planet’s praise of the city of the tribes. They described Galway as “arguably Ireland’s most engaging city”. BBC Good Food hailed the Irish city as a “shining star in the country’s ever-expanding culinary firmament”. Their visit took them on a tour through Galway to The Quay House and Michelin-starred Aniar. Galway proved to be a true winner, as it battled with France, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain and Scotland for the top spot.
They went on to encourage people to “Save space for treats harvested from the epic landscapes surrounding Galway to the refined dishes of Michelin-starred Aniar, and hearty Irish breakfasts at the Quay House, Good Hotel Guide’s Irish B&B of the year 2019”.
Galway didn’t just attract Lonely Planet’s attention for its food, but also for the brightly painted pubs and cafes, as the majority of venues offered front row seats to watch Galway’s buskers dotted through Shop Street and The Latin Quarter. Compliments were extended as far as the most Irish of traits – “the craic” as outlined in RSVP’s article. Not only are Galway’s pub and food scenes attracting Foodie officials, but the atmosphere is proving to be winning the hearts of people from all over too.
In an interview with the Irish Times, Galway’s 2020 Chief Executive Patricia Philbin shared her excitement for what Galway has in store for 2020, stating, “It’s official – Galway is the place to be in 2020!”, and that the travel accolade is “a fantastic endorsement of this incredible place on the western edge of Ireland and at the heart of Europe”.
Philbin also revealed that they are inviting people from right around the world to come and experience Galway in 2020.
The Lonely Planet guide lauded the city for its unique and homely approach to food and drink, heaping praise on established city pubs such as Tigh Cóilí and Tigh Neachtain.
“Taking in live music at Tig Cóilí where the walls are decorated with photos of those who’ve played there, and two live traditional music sessions a day draw the crowds.” On Mainguard Street at the end of Shop Street, Tig Cóilí describes itself as “a country pub in the middle of the city”.
“Feeling at home at the Tigh Neachtain pub, where timber walls frame a roaring fire and locals crack gentle jokes”.
Local culinary hotspots didn’t go unnoticed by the guide either, with Michelin starred Loam coming in for praise by the widely read travel guide.
“Enjoying the ground-breaking flavour combos at Loam, where Galway’s culinary heart beats strongest and home-grown, locally sourced and foraged ingredients rule.” Chef-proprietor Enda McEvoy’s restaurant on Fairgreen Road has had a Michelin star since 2016 and was voted best restaurant in Ireland at the 2019 Irish Restaurant Awards.
Tom Hall, Lonely Planet’s vice-president of experience, said: “Exuberant, vibrant and full of imagination, Galway in 2020 will be home to a year-long celebration and amplification of culture and creativity which travellers will love”.