These are the must-try Monaghan dining experiences.
Monaghan is emerging as a destination for in-the-know foodies, home to a growing number of fine dining experiences, fabulous food trucks, artisan bakeries, award-winning producers and more.
Here are eleven of our favourite foodie experiences in Monaghan:
Monaghan Town Farmers Market is a regular fixture in Church Square on Fridays, 10am-2pm. Check out award-winning Blasta Street Kitchen and Paelling, two food trucks leading the Monaghan street food charge, as well as an array of stalls, including chef Val O’Kelly’s Subh Fraoc Ban small batch jams and condiments.
Monaghan’s fine dining scene is focused on the very best of what’s available locally and in season. Courthouse Restaurant in Carrickmacross has been awarded the coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand for its quality and value. Meanwhile, Snaffles Restaurant at Castle Leslie Estate is a 2 AA Rosette award-winning gem, considered to be one of the best restaurants in Monaghan. Wild Thyme Restaurant in sleepy Threemilehouse is an exciting recent opening that is already receiving rave reviews.
Visit an award-winning micro-brewery set on a working dairy farm. Brehon Brewhouse in Inniskeen is unique in this respect, and tours include an overview of the brewing process as well as fascinating insight into local folklore and history. The tap room, where the obligatory tasting session takes place, is the ancestral home of proprietor, Seamus McMahon.
Monaghan is home to award-winning artisan bakery chain Dinkin’s, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Sample their World Bread Award-winning sourdough at four locations throughout the county – Monaghan Town, Ballybay, Castleblayney and Carrickmacross. Matilda’s Bakery and Deli in Carrickmacross has a cult following for its house-made breads, cakes and pastries; the meat in the legendary black pudding sausage rolls is also butchered in-house.
Monaghan’s fantastic forest parks are well worth a visit, and The Coffee Doc in Rossmore Forest Park and Trailer Café at Lough Muckno provide refreshments year-round. There are ample picnic benches at both parks, including a new purpose-built picnic area beside the lake at Muckno. Bonus points if you bring along a reusable cup, and please help us to keep our parks beautiful by leaving no trace.
Kevin Redmond of Andy’s Bar & Restaurant in Monaghan Town is a leading expert on gin, and his entertaining gin tasting masterclasses are a highly entertaining way to expand your knowledge of the spirit. There are over 100 different types and brands of gin in Kevin’s collection, including locally made Old Carrick Mill.
You will be hard pushed to beat the view at The View Restaurant at Concra Wood Golf Club in Castleblayney. As well as good grub, the restaurant boasts jaw-dropping panoramic views out over Lough Muckno and the Monaghan’s trademark rolling green drumlins.
Enjoy authentic Italian wood-fired pizza at Adamson’s Bar in Clones; owner Ross Adamson installed a traditional pizza oven and sought pizza-making lessons from an Italian chef, so you know what you are getting is the real deal. Pizza lovers can check out Cavallino’s in Carrickmacross and Ambeldown Cottage in Glaslough, too.
Don’t miss the Monaghan Taste Club’s pop-up dining events, which take place at various venues around the county. Every event is a sell-out, which is testament to organiser Jenn Gonnelly’s passion for local produce and appreciation of amazing cooking.
Monaghan’s hotel restaurants are gaining a reputation for their food offering, from top-notch bar food, afternoon teas and Sunday lunches to blow-out a la carte dinners: the Hillgrove, Westenra Arms and 4 Seasons in Monaghan Town; Shirley Arms in Carrickmacross; Glencarn in Castleblayney; and Creighton Hotel in Clones, are always a good bet for a great value Monaghan dining experience.
For more short break and staycation ideas and inspiration browse monaghantourism.com, and be sure to follow @monaghantourism on social media.