It is well known that all towns along the scenic Ring of Kerry are a hive of activity during the peak Summer months and Kenmare certainly fits that profile with visitors from around the world seeking out the unique atmosphere of the town.
Well, Kenmare actually takes on a distinctive experience of its own; where friendly pubs with roaring fires and hearty pub grub are to be found and where crisp-cold afternoons and cosy evenings can be wiled away snuggled up in a welcoming hostelry. Where a choice of top class restaurants with a wide range of menus all serving the freshest seasonal food can be visited with gourmet cuisine around every corner that’ll warm the cold Autumn/Winter days.
Here’s our rundown of the best pubs & bars Kenmare has to offer for the colder seasons:
Located in the town centre of Kenmare on Henry Street, The Coachman’s is a really popular spot for live traditional Irish music and gourmet pub grub to match! This is a great place to pass a cold Winter afternoon especially if you’re after some superb food (their fish & chips are divine!) and a lively atmosphere that is spurred on by the fantastic Irish musicians that hang out here.
PF McCarthy’s Pub:
Best reason to call into McCarthy’s is because it’s simply a great place that serves a great pint and good quality pub grub. Locals love this spot and visitors to the town are always “taken” by the unique atmosphere of this traditional bar. And of course, a spontaneous traditional Irish music session may strike up without prior warning be it a fiddle and accordion combination or a harp and mandolin duo that fills the air to brighten the darkest of Winter days and nights.
Not wanting to be biased in our own assessment but the feedback we receive from both guests and visitors is that Casey’s Bar here at Brook Lane (read latest TripAdvisor reviews) has a really relaxed atmosphere while live music sessions are also frequent. So it’s ideal if you’re looking to have a quiet drink or some food from our lunch or dinner menus which are really popular with the locals plus it’ll be impossible not to cosy-up by our open fire too.
The Horseshoe Bar:
Another popular bar in Kenmare that also serves superb pub grub and has regular music sessions to entertain it’s patrons. The food is great at The Horseshoe with a good variety on the menus (try their Mussels in Cider Cream if it’s on the menu!) while it’s also just a great place to relax with a pint and take in the atmosphere plus there are regular music session too. The Horseshoe also has some quirky outside seating with bar stools at wooden barrel tables if you catch a crisp, sunny afternoon.
Other notable mentions among the best pubs to visit in Kenmare this Autumn/Winter include Crowley’s Pub on Henry Street, The Wander Inn also on Henry Street & O’Murchu’s Pub on Main Street (all 3 are great examples o f traditional Irish pubs).
Both Foley’s and O’Donnabhain’s on Henry Street are also great for music, craic and quality food. Plus, if you’re into your craft beers our sister restaurant No. 35 on Main Street has a great selection so they’re definitely worth checking out.
For Winter warming gourmet food in Kenmare, check out top picks of places to dine:
A firm favourite not just with us but with many visitors to Kenmare, Packies on Henry Street is a great venue for a meal out. Recommend trying the scallops for main course if they’re available! In general, you’ll find lots of fresh seafood on the menu here and although it probably sounds like a cliché, there is a really cozy atmosphere here.
Popular restaurant that is situated on Main Street in the town and always offers a great dining experience. There’s a great selection of both meat and fishes dishes served while have to say that their gnocchi is definitely one dish you should try when you’re there while the service is always really friendly here too.
No. 35 Restaurant:
No. 35 is our sister restaurant (located on Main Street) in the heart of the town and our impartial (honest!) view is that this is one of the top places in which to dine in Kenmare. Our customers tell us that they really like the decor and “feel” of the restaurant which is good news as we’re aiming for friendly, relaxed and intimate ambience. Our wood-fired pizzas are always a favourite while our prime steaks and fresh seafood also get the thumbs up – read No. 35 Restaurant reviews TripAdvisor. Oh, and did we mention the great wine list and selection of craft beers?
The Lime Tree Restaurant:
Located on Shelbourne Street, The Lime Tree is the ideal choice for those seeking an intimate and cozy atmosphere where good food is guaranteed! Some wonderful dishes on offer here but our recommendation must be the Lamb Duet where you receive a combo of chops & stew – The Lime Tree has a nice rustic setting and is well worth checking out.
As we said earlier, Kenmare is awash with superb, award-winning eateries and other restaurants in the area that are deserving of a mention are The Strawberryfield, Jam(love their soups!), Davitts and for a little taste of Italy, Bella Vita.
One thing that can be taken for granted during your short break in Kenmare during Autumn / Winter is that the majority of menu’s are infused with local and freshly produced seasonal ingredients. The Kenmare region is awash with some excellent artisan food producers and the local farmers and fishermen continue to supply quality produce all year round ensuring quality, gourmet cuisine remains at the heart of Kenmare’s tourist experience.
So pack up and escape to the wonders of Kenmare as the nights close in and the seasons turn – take your place by the flickering flames & comforting crackling of an open fire in one of the town’s many welcoming pubs. Kenmare as a town ensures that the passing of an afternoon in the company of friends or locals with a drink and an impromptu music session will seem too effortless to want to curtail.
And the endless choice of quality restaurants in Kenmare will serve up gourmet delights that’ll see you enjoy long leisurely lunches as the Autumn & Winter weather turns the day in how it sees fit while hearty evening meals served in intimate and jovial surroundings.