The most recent (if you could call it that now) of chef JP McMahon’s and co-owner and designer Drigin Gaffey’s EATGalway family, Tartare is an elegant café and wine bar in Galway’s West End. Awarded with a Michelin Bib Gourmand last October 2018, this is a café by day and when the sun goes down and the lights dim the space transitions into a sophisticated wine bar serving small plates and natural wines. The evening menu is broken down into snacks, pickles, oysters, tartares, small plates with everything from beef tartare to oysters and a whole range of other small plates, and sharing boards of either Irish charcuterie, Irish cheese, or a combination of both. However it’s not just about the food here and a wine menu has been created entirely of organic, biodynamic, and natural wines, with many options by the glass in both 125ml and 175ml, including an orange wine. Check out my full review here
Tartare, 56 Dominick Street Lower, Galway
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday 10am – 6pm | Thursday 10am – 10pm | Friday and Saturday 10am – 11pm | and Sunday brunch 11am – 4pm
Phone: (091) 567803
Sheridans Wine Shop & Bar
What can be said about Sheridan’s Cheesemongers and Wine Bar that hasn’t already been said? Perched upstairs above the cheese shop in its home across from St. Nicholas’ Church this has become something of an institution in Galway. With a huge range of wines to choose from for either drinking in or taking home, they also have daily offerings by the glass for those who like to sample something different. Wines have an emphasis on the Italian which is not surprising given that they are selected and imported by Grape Circus’ Enrico Fantasia who certainly knows what he’s talking about. However there is something here for everyone with some cracking wines from Spain, France and Portugal among others. And if that wasn’t enough for you there’s the cheese. Need I say more? What else could you possibly need?
Sheridan’s Wine Shop and Bar, 14-16 Churchyard Street, Galway
Opening hours: Monday – closed | Tuesday – Friday 1pm – 12pm | Saturday 12pm – 12am | Sunday 5pm – 12am
Phone: (091) 564829
Kasbah Wine Bar
Located above iconic pub Tigh Neachtain on Quay St and situated right in the Latin Quarter of Galway city, Kasbah is a venture with the kitchen headed up by chef Sarah Croffey who, coming from a prior long standing stint as sous chef at Kai, brings a pedigree to the food offerings here. With a menu that serves up small plates in tapas style with a focus on local ingredients this is an excellent spot for casual dining. In terms of the wine there is an extensive list with a substantial offering of seven whites by the glass and seven reds which is bound to satisfy even the most fussy of any group, and indeed keenly priced to boot (€6.50 – €9) Plenty more to choose from by the bottle too with a huge amount of the wines organic and biodynamic. Worth the trip for the polenta chips alone.
Kasbah Wine Bar, 2 Quay St, Galway
Opening hours: Monday to Tuesday Closed | Wednesday to Thursday 5pm – 11.30pm | Friday 5pm – 12.30am | Saturday Lunch 12pm – 4pm, Evening 5pm – 12.30am | Sunday Brunch 10am – 4pm, Evening 5:00pm – 11:30pm
Phone: (085) 7340164
Okay so not strictly a wine bar but more so a bar that serves wine The Universal is still one of my favourite to frequent in Galway. With super cool cocktails, beer on tap that changes regularly, and a wine list that offers plenty by the glass with choices depending on taste and budget, this is a wonderful spot to rest your feet on the long arduous journey from lunch in Kai to coffee in Urban Grind. Great food menu here too, universal in nature (pardon the pun) but with an Asian focus, that’s well worth checking out and one that I feel not enough people know about. An ever changing menu but the prawn toast and crispy squid tentacles are especially good.
The Universal, 9 William St, Galway
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 4pm – 11.30pm | Friday and Saturday 4pm – 12.30pm | Sunday 4pm – 11pm
Phone: (091) 728271
Black Gate Cultural Centre
To call Black Gate just a wine bar is to limit this space and all that it entails. A cafe, a cultural space for events in everything from music to film, and of course a wine and beer bar this is a multifunctional venue that offers something unique and different in the heart of the city. And yet taking all of that into account, this is an excellent wine bar serving up wines by the glass and meat and cheese boards to impress even the most greedy. A most welcoming and accessible venue to pop into as a solo guest where you are bound to stumble upon an exhibition, movie night, or indeed a quiet spot in the library with a book. If not already waxed lyrical enough about the charcuterie & cheese boards, they’re good. They’re very good.
Black Gate Cultural Centre, Francis Street, Galway
Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday 5pm – 11.30pm | Friday and Saturday 5pm – 12.00am | Sunday 5pm – 11pm