Although it may be Ireland’s smallest county, Louth more than makes up for its size with its rich history and culture.
As part of Ireland’s Ancient East, it is home to the vibrant towns of Dundalk and Drogheda as well as the medieval Carlingford and the Cooley Penisula.
Known as the Land of Legends, visitors to Louth can journey to the River Boyne where the famous Salmon of Knowledge was caught. With so much to do in this interesting county, we’ve put together a list of the best places to eat, drink and sleep to make your visit to Louth as easy and enjoyable as possible.
3rd Place Coffee
This speciality coffee house serves the best single origin coffee, whipping up your favourite latte, cappuccino and more. 3rd Place Coffee bake a selection of fresh cakes, pastries and other sweet treats each day that are perfect for your morning coffee or catch up with friends.
Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms
Open every day, Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms offer spectacular views of Carlingford Lough & the Mourne Mountains from their covered terrace. Ruby’s boasts a warm welcome in quaint tea rooms where you can enjoy Afternoon Tea while you sip freshly brewed tea and coffee.
If you’re looking for a more substantial meal you can try one of Ruby’s freshly made quiches or healthy salads.
This Drogheda based café is the counterpart of the Ariosa Roastery and all their coffee is hand-roasted at this HQ. Open since 2017 Ariosa Coffee is a staple in Drogheda for those looking for expertly brewed coffee.
They have a selection of pastries and cakes as well as sandwiches. They also sell their owncoffee beans, so you can take a little piece of Ariosa home with you.
Situated in Ballymascanlon Strandfield is a café, florist, grocer and bakery set in the farmyard grounds of Strandfield House. The café serves freshly baked pastries, scones and bread as well as breakfast and lunch.
The grocery sells local delicacies like cheese, free range eggs and organic produce. You can pick up some fresh flower arrangements before you leave, made from local greenery to take away a unique and special gift from your visit.
The Bare Food Company
The Bare Food Company was set up when its founders experienced some health issues and decided to create a café to help encourage people to lead a healthier lifestyle. Everything in the café is free from refined sugar and preservatives.
They have created their very own ‘bare food’ such as Bare Mayo and Bare Slaw. The Bare Food Company cater well for those with gluten and dairy intolerances, and have a special vegan menu also.
Linn Duachaill at The Gylde Inn
This traditional family-run pub in Annagassan is home to the award-winning Linn Duachaill restaurant. When you dine at Linn Duachaill you’ll be treated to unparalleled views across Dundalk Bay and the Mountains of Mourne.
Enjoy locally caught seafood from Clogherhead such as langoustine, hake and Annagassan crab claws, paired with your favourite pint, while you take in the spectacular views.
At Eno Bar & Grill you can nibble on Italian Mediterranean dishes including wood-fired pizza and pasta using fresh produce. On the first floor, there is a stylish cocktail bar where you can enjoy a relaxed night out and while savouring tasty tapas.
Eno offers great value mid-week and weekend early bird menus to cater for all tastes and budgets.
D’Vine Bistro & Tapas Bar began its life serving just cheese, wine and antipasti boards. Following great success, they began to serve a menu full of sharing tapas and main dishes.
Expect treats such as crab linguine, flame-grilled steaks and sumptuous pasta. They also have a sister restaurant in Rush Co.Dublin if that’s closer to home.
There is a distinct New York vibe at Eastern Seaboard where you can enjoy aperitifs over snacks before dinner. They have a good selection of small plates that are ideal for sharing tapas style or larger plates that are perfect for main dishes.
For wine lovers, you’ll find some interesting vintages on the menu, all of Eastern Seaboard’s wines are organic, biodynamic or natural.
PJ O Hare’s
The Anchor Bar, or as it is locally known PJ O Hare’s, is one of Carlingford’s most popular pubs. The original bar and parts of the original grocery store are still standing, add to this open fires and the atmosphere is completely charming.
There’s a large beer garden for when the sun decides to shine and an award-winning gastro bar menu for when you’re feeling peckish.
Fitzpatrick’s is nestled right at the foot of the Cooley Mountains in the heart of the Cooley Peninsula. The gardens of Fitzpatrick’s Bar & Restaurant are worth a visit in their own right. Teeming with flowers, a unique display of old school bicycles and telephone boxes and even a boat.
If you have the children in tow they will have plenty to enjoy including visiting Fizpatrick’s donkey family farm or simply exploring the spacious gardens. The pub is also very accommodating to pets, there’s even an area for your dogs to run around and play while you sit back with a pint.
Scholars Townhouse Hotel
Dating back to 1867 Scholars Townhouse Hotel is a protected building and when you see the charming old world inside you’ll understand why. It is centrally located in the heart of Drogheda’s city centre and is an ideal base to explore the Boyne Valley
The hotel has 16 en-suite bedrooms where you can retire after an evening of fine dining at the 2 AA Rosette awarded restaurant. Enjoy classic dishes such as Irish Chicken Supreme, Slow Cooked Lamb Shank and Beef Carpaccio.
This award-winning four-star hotel sits on the banks of the River Boyne giving way to beautiful views across the river. The D’Hotel regularly runs various offers such as family breaks, girls weekends and more so you can plan your weekend escape with the greatest of ease.
Visit The Hops bar in the hotel for a fun night of live music along with a wide selection of cocktails, craft beers and lunch and dinner menus.
Dating back to 1727 Ghan House in Carlingford has a rich history. Set in idyllic surroundings guests to Ghan House can relax in three acres of mature gardens whilst enjoying the central location near to the town.
The hotels 2 AA Rosette awarded restaurant use fresh herbs from their own kitchen garden, source their shellfish from the nearby lough and use Cooley lamb sourced from the Mourne Mountains.
Sinéad is a Culinary Arts graduate from DIT. She is a passionate cook with a love of fine dining and modern Irish cuisine. A gin lover, Sinéad loves seeking out cosy new pubs and sampling a variety of craft beers.
If she’s not dining out, Sinéad loves travelling the world exploring new cultures and cuisines. Working with TheTaste allows Sinéad to fully immerse herself in the Irish food industry.