Unfortunately, the food in Ireland finds itself on the receiving end of many jokes. Unimaginative. Bland. And everything is simply boiled. While there might some truth to this, you can’t say this about the 21 Michelin Star restaurants in Ireland. In this post, we look at the Michelin Star restaurants we’ve dined in and how they are rewriting fine dining in Ireland.
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What Is A Michelin Star Restaurant
Music has the Grammy’s, film has the Oscars, and for recognizing excellence in cooking, there’s the Michelin Guide.
The Michelin Guide has been around since 1926 with the introduction of the One Michelin Star rating. It wasn’t until 1933 that a Two Michelin Star and Three Michelin Star rating came into existence.
It’s odd that a tire company would be behind the most coveted award for restaurants. Started in France, the Michelin Guide was in part created to get more people to drive. The more people drive, the more tires need replacing. When you think about it, the Michelin Guide might be the greatest advertising campaign ever. With the exception of “Guinness is good for you” of course.
One important misunderstanding about the Michelin Star rating is it’s not the chef who earns the star. The Michelin Star is awarded to the restaurant. The exception to this is when a chef has more than one restaurant.
Today, there are over 2,600 restaurants around the World with at least one Michelin Star. France leads all countries with the most Michelin Star restaurants and is tied with Japan for the most number of three Michelin Star restaurants.
Michelin Star Rating System Defined
Ever wonder what each of the Michelin Star ratings means? The good folks over at the Michelin Guide have put together a very straightforward rating system for each of the stars.
- One Michelin Star: High-quality cooking; worth a stop
- Two Michelin Star: Excellent cooking; worth a detour
- Three Michelin Star: Exceptional cuisine; worth a special journey
Michelin Star Restaurants In Ireland
There are a total of 21 restaurants in Ireland (Republic and Northern Ireland) with at least one Michelin Star. 17 restaurants have one Michelin Star, and 4 restaurants with two Michelin Stars. Currently, there are no 3 Michelin Star restaurants in Ireland.
|🍽 Restaurant||⭐️ Michelin Star Rating||🏙 City|
|Aimsir||⭐️ ⭐️||Celbridge, Co. Kildare|
|Chapter One by Mikael Viljanen||⭐️⭐️||Dublin|
|Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud||⭐️ ⭐️ ||Dublin|
|Bastion||⭐️||Kinsale, Co. Cork
|Chestnut||⭐️||Ballydehob, Co. Cork|
|dede||⭐️||Baltimore, Co. Cork
|Eipic||⭐️||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|House||⭐️||Ardmore, Co. Cork
|Ichigo Ichie||⭐️||Cork City|
|Lady Helen||⭐️||Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
|The Muddlers Club||⭐️||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|The Oak Room||⭐️||Adare, Co. Limerick|
|Ox||⭐️||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Wild Honey Inn||⭐️||Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare|
Two Michelin Star Restaurants In Ireland
One of only four two Michelin Star restaurants in Ireland, Aimsir is the brainchild of head chef Jordan Baily and his wife Majken Bech Bailey. Set in the stunning Cliffs at Lyons Hotel, Aimsir is easily one of the best restaurants in Ireland and everything you want in a two Michelin Star dining experience. An intimate setting with seating for only 24. Clean, minimally decorated walls. No music. And friendly and super knowledgeable staff. And then there’s the food.
Chef Bailey’s 18 course tasting menu highlights the best of Irish ingredients. Nearly every ingredient on the menu comes from within Ireland. For us, the highlight of the tasting menu was the incredible Flaggy Shore oyster poached in butter and finished in an Irish apple balsamic vinegar. Having visited the Flaggy Shore Oyster Company, it was a joy to see them featured in a two Michelin Star restaurant.
In addition to the oysters, the wild mallard cooked in its own fat, fermented summer berries, and rosehip jam was extraordinary. While this was our experience, the tasting menu changes with the seasons to ensure only the best Irish ingredients are featured.
Opened in Celbridge in 2019
Awarded two Michelin Stars in 2019, 2020
Head Chef: Jordan Bailey
Style Of Food: Contemporary Irish
Menu And Cost: 18 courses for €210 Beverage pairing €125
One Michelin Star Restaurants In Ireland
The Lady Helen
Located in Thomastown Co. Kilkenny, the Lady Helen is the marquee dining experience at Mount Juliet Estate. Situated in the property’s Georgian Manor House, the Lady Helen is led by head chef and Kilkenny native John Kelly. Joining the Lady Helen in 2011, the restaurant was awarded its Michelin Star two years later.
Chef Kelly focuses on using locally sourced Irish food products. Believing in the quality of these ingredients, he creates dishes based on his previous travels and experiences as a chef. Chef Kelly told me that he wants his food to be “understood by the customer” and to “marry ingredients with accuracy and balance” Having experienced the 9 course tasting menu, I’d say Chef Kelly has done exactly this.
Amber and I visited the Lady Helen during the summer. Chef Kelly changes the tasting menu during the year to match the best ingredients for the season. Our tasting menu certainly reflected this. Super fresh Summer fruits and vegetables were incorporated with mouthwatering Irish fish and meats. The highlight of our meal was a mind-blowingly good potato and truffle raviolo served with a duck egg yolk and Pedro Ximénez sauce. Unreal.
Opened in Thomastown in 1991
Awarded one Michelin Star in 2013-2020
Head Chef: John Kelly
Style Of Food: Contemporary Irish
Menu And Cost: 3, 7, and 9 courses for €90, €105, and €130
Earning a Michelin Star is no easy task. Holding onto that Michelin Star is even more difficult. With this in mind, Campagne, led by Kilkenny native Chef Garrett Byrne, has held a one Michelin Star designation since 2014. Having eaten there, I’m not surprised, but this is still an incredible accomplishment.
Located in an unassuming building in Kilkenny adjacent to old railway arches, Campagne draws its culinary inspiration from regional French cooking. This is apparent in the dishes on its seasonal menu including duck terrine, pig trotter’s, and peas a la francaise. During our visit, I enjoyed a terrine of foie gras that I’m still thinking about.
With access to exceptional Irish food products from Co. Kilkenny, Chef Byrne blends French cooking techniques with high-quality local ingredients. A perfect example of this was the shoulder of Irish lamb I had for my main. Cooked perfectly and with a sauce, you’d expect from a one Michelin Star chef, it’s easily the best lamb dish I’ve ever eaten.
Campagne offers both a lunch and dinner menu. The menus change with the season to ensure the freshest ingredients. A 3 course dinner at Campagne will cost €70 per person. When you consider how good the food is, this is an unbelievably great value.
Opened in Kilkenny 2008
Awarded one Michelin Star in 2014-2021
Head Chef: Garrett Byrne
Style Of Food: Regional French
Menu And Cost: 3 courses for €70
Wild Honey Inn
Amber and I have visited a lot of pubs in Ireland. But until our visit to Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, we’d never been to a pub with a Michelin Star. The only Michelin Star pub in Ireland, the food at Wild Honey Inn is described as “bistronomy”, a blend of bistro dishes prepared using haute cuisine techniques.
Wild Honey Inn’s location in the heart of Co. Clare and near Ireland’s famous Burren allows head chef Aiden McGrath access to some of the best food products in Ireland. From locally sourced Irish seafood and meats to award-winning Irish cheeses, his dishes burst with Irish flavors.
Our meal at Wild Honey Inn consisted of three courses. We both started with local Irish scallops cooked with a crisp pigs head, broad beans, Bayonne ham, and tapenade velouté. For mains, Amber enjoyed a wild turbot with Irish langoustine. For me, a perfectly cooked Irish lamb rump and neck fillet in a black olive jus. Like most restaurants, the menu at Wild Honey Inn is seasonal and changes throughout the year.
Opened in Lisdoonvarna in 2009
Awarded one Michelin Star in 2018-2020
Head Chef: Aidan McGrath
Style of Food: Bistronomy
Menu And Cost: €80
Finding high-quality Japanese food outside of Japan is never easy. Finding Michelin Star Japanese food outside of Japan is even more difficult, let alone finding it in Ireland. Thanks to Chef Takashi Miyazaki-san and his one Michelin Star restaurant Ichigo Ichie enjoying high-end Japanese food in Ireland is now possible.
First opened in Cork City in 2018, Ichigo Ichie, from the Japanese meaning “one time, one meeting” has held its one Michelin Star rating since 2019. Chef Miyazaki-san’s imaginative menu transports dinners from Cork to Japan with each and every bite. Chef Miyazaki-san strikes a beautiful balance with fresh locally Irish seafood and Japanese cooking techniques.
With a seasonal tasting menu that changes to ensure only the freshest ingredients, diners to Ichigo Ichie are guaranteed a dining experience unlike any in Ireland. The highlight of our tasting menu at Ichigo Ichie was a dish called “nimono”. The dish featured swordfish, Caherbeg pork belly, cauliflower, pedrón pepper in squid ink. A combination on paper that doesn’t seem like it would work, but believe me, it does and then some. Ichigo Ichie features a few different dining options including the ability to sit at the Chef’s Counter to watch Chef Miyazaki-san in action.
Opened in Cork City in 2018
Awarded one Michelin Star in 2019, 2020
Head Chef: Takashi Miyazaki
Style Of Food: Japanese
Menu And Cost: 12 courses for €120
FAQs – Ireland Michelin Star Restaurant
As of the 2021 Michelin Star rating, there are a total of 18 Michelin Star restaurants in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has 3 Michelin restaurants, all with one Michelin Star. The remaining 15 are in Ireland, with 2 restaurants having 2 Michelin Stars, the remaining 13 with one Michelin Star.
There are six Michelin Star restaurants in Dublin. 3 two Michelin Stars and 3 one Michelin Star.
No, Neven Maguire does not have a Michelin Star. He has worked in several Michelin Star restaurants over his career, but he has not been awarded one.
There are currently three, all 1 Michelin Star restaurants, in Northern Ireland. They are all located in Belfast. Those restaurants are, Eipic, the Muddlers Club, and Ox.