Steeped in history, heritage and culture, Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city with a rich history dating back to Viking times. Home to the famous Waterford Crystal and a number of Viking museums, this port city highlights the importance of the Viking Triangle along Ireland’s Ancient East.
There are also a great number of festivals held in the county throughout the year, including the Tall Ships Fesitval, Spraoi Festival during the August Bank Holiday and the Waterford Festival of Food.
The county has also recently unveiled the Waterford Greenway, a stunning off-road trail which takes travellers along the old rail route from Waterford to the beautiful coastal town of Dungarvan.
With all the history and culture to explore in Waterford, you’re bound to get a little peckish. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best places to eat, drink and stay in Waterford, from the historical city centre, to the seaside town of Dungarvan and the dramatic coast of Ardmore.
The Granary Café
With 7 McKennas’ Guides awards under their belt, the Granary Café is going from strength to strength. In 2006, Peter Fowler opened the café with the vision of creating great homemade food in relaxed and comfortable surroundings.
Housed in a charming quay-side granary, the café boasts a mix of salads, mains and desserts, prepared using fresh local ingredients. The café’s outdoor seating is also perfect for sipping a tasty brew on those rare sunny days.
Located in the heart of Waterford city, this family-run cafe is perfect for those who want to get their day off to a relaxing start. With a mix of food for the health-conscious and those in need of a powerhouse breakfast, Blackfriars Coffee has it all.
Their Eggs Benedict is particularly popular among locals as they sip a brew created using 3fe beans.
A vibrant mural signals the entrance into Portico Coffee, Waterford city’s first third-wave coffee shop, promoting both good quality coffee and great customer service.
Crafting up to twelve single origin brews, this is the perfect spot for a coffee on the go while exploring all Waterford has to offer.
Momo Restaurant Waterford
Momo Restaurant is an ideal venue for either lunch or dinner in Waterford city. For lunch, they offer a wide range of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, as well as gluten free and dairy free options.
A lovely casual dining experience, all products are locally sourced where possible, and customers can choose to dine in or take their lunch away – ideal for those on the go.
The Bay Tree Bistro
Only a little over a year old, the Bay Tree Bistro is already making tracks, having won the RAI Best Newcomer All Ireland 2016 award and the McKennas’ Guides Best Newcomer 2015 award.
Ideal for lunch or dinner, sample Chef and owner Keith Boyle’s creations, all made with locally sourced goods. Some items on the menu include seafood chowder, hake with citrus crust, Hereford beef sirloin steak and chestnut mushroom and caramelised onion pie.
With fresh local produce and rich flavours, The Tannery restaurant in Dungarvan should be on your wish list for food in Waterford.
Owned and run by Paul and Marie Flynn since 1997, this award-winning dining experience is all about great food and an engaging atmosphere. Whether it’s lunch or dinner, the gorgeous scenery of Dungarvan harbour will only add to the charm.
House Restaurant at Cliff House Hotel
Perched atop a dramatic cliff in Ardmore, Waterford, The House Restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel is a Michelin starred restaurant, the only Waterford venue with the award.
With an ever-evolving menu that utilizes local Irish produce and an exploratory style of cooking, diners are in for a treat when they visit the restaurant headed by Chef Martijn Kajuiter.
La Bohème restaurant and winebar is located on George’s street in Waterford city. Utilising locally sourced suppliers, farmers and fisherman, this luxury dining experience is one for lovers of the finer things in life.
Living in Ireland since 1996, proprietor and Chef Eric Thezé promises a taste of France in the heart of Waterford. For craft beer fans, La Bohème provides a fine list of both Irish brewed and world beers.
Ideal for lunch, dinner and drinks, the award-winning Bodega restaurant and wine bar is located on 54 John street in Waterford city. They have tasting platters, a la carte and early bird menus, along with an extensive wine list and a wide selection of cocktails.
Championing the local food experience, the colourful interior of the Bodega helps to create the fun and relaxed atmosphere, all while enjoying a delicious meal.
The Munster Bar
For the past 60 years, The Munster Bar has been run by the Fitzgerald family. As one of the oldest family-run bars, this is the ideal location for a coffee, beer or even a quick bite to eat.
The Munster Bar specialises in steak and seafood so be sure to try some while sipping a pink in a delightful family-run pub, right in Waterford city.
Merry’s Gastro Pub
Merry’s is an award-winning gastro pub in the coastal seaside town of Dungarvan. With live music every weekend and a great selection of craft beers, this is the perfect place to eat, drink and be merry.
With its rustic decor, the bar stocks Dungarvan’s craft beers from the local Dungarvan brewery. Merry’s Gastro Pub is a exquisite local pub for a bit of food, drink and music.
Settle in for a drink at Davy Macs, an award-winning gin bar in Waterford city serving over 70 gins.
When over 100 venues took part in the 2016 Irish Gin & Tonic Festival, a public vote determined that Davy Macs was home to the country’s best G&T – definitely a place worth visiting.
Cliff House Hotel
The Cliff House Hotel is a luxurious five-star hotel, dramatically located atop a cliff in Ardmore, Co. Waterford.
With sea-facing rooms and private balconies, this uniquely located hotel is also home to the Michelin starred House Restaurant, along with an intimate spa and modern decor.
Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort
Located on an enchanting private island, Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort is a unique jewel in the heart of the Viking city. Just ten minutes from Waterford city, this 16th century hotel is the perfect place to escape for a luxury weekend.
The hotel also boasts an award-winning restaurant, Munster Room, so you needn’t leave your peaceful surroundings during your stay.
Faithlegg House Hotel
Just 6 miles from Waterford city and situated in the luscious green countryside, Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Resort is a haven of relaxation. From its luxury accommodations and award-winning cuisine to the tranquil spa to the beautiful views of the Suir river, it’s no surprise that Faithlegg House is the perfect location for a luxurious stay in Waterford.
Dining options at Faithlegg House Hotel are at a fabulous standard, holding 2 AA Rosettes for the past six years under Head Chef Jenny Flynn.
Athenaeum House Hotel
A 20 minute walk from Waterford City Centre, the award-winning Athenaeum House Hotel blends rural serenity with a close proximity to all the city has to offer. This beautifully restored 4-star Georgian Manor is owned and managed by the Power family.
With Chef James Crawford at the helm of Zaks Restaurant, the hotel offers locally sourced seasonal produce, and the restaurant also picked up the award for Best Customer Service at the 2016 Irish Restaurant Awards.
Sarah has always had a great love of travel, food and photography.
Following her journalism degree at DCU, she developed a passion for travel writing while living in Spain.
Sarah loves exploring new places and sampling the local cuisine. Working with TheTaste.ie combines her love of food and travel.