Ard Bia

Drink & Eat

Café / Restaurant / Wine Bar

2 euro Denotes genuine Irish food culture, ie special Irish food products/companies/producers, and highlights the best places to shop for regional and artisan foods; the selection excludes obvious 'non-Irish' elements regardless of quality, eg ethnic restaurants and specialists in coffee, wine and other drinks, unless relevant to local production or history. Eat & Stay establishments are chosen for their commitment to showcasing local produce and Irish hospitality. Outstanding Location, building or atmosphere Previous Georgina Campbell Guides Award Winner The "Best of the Best" - Only the very best establishments across various categories have been chosen for this accolade
Address:
Ard Bia
Spanish Arch, Galway City Co Galway
Contact Ard Bia
Dislike Like
100%
7 votes
Tel: +353 91 539 897

Please mention ireland-guide.com when enquiring.

Proprietor Aoibheann MacNamara’s enthusiasm, energy and commitment to quality are evident throughout, making this a favourite destination for both Galwegian food lovers and visitors to the city
  • Cookery Classes
  • Wine Courses
  • Broadband WI/FI
  • Broadband WI/FI (No Charge)
  • Family Friendly
  • Location - By a river
  • Location - By the sea
  • Location - Town Centre
  • Location - Waterside
  • Open New Year
  • Outdoor Dining Avail. (summer)
  • Private Parties
  • Wedding Venue
  • Bistro
  • Contemporary International
  • Contemporary Irish
  • Moroccan
  • Al Fresco
  • Atmospheric
  • Attractive Views
  • Breakfast Venue
  • Budget Meals (€21-35/£14-23 pp 3-courses, not inc. dr
  • Buzzy Atmosphere
  • Coeliac Friendly
  • Cool Venue
  • Daytime/Coffee
  • Informal
  • MSG Free
  • Organic Produce used (mainly)
  • Pub Grub
  • Romantic
  • Sunday Dining
  • Vegetarian Friendly (always at least 1 starter & 1 main course)
  • Vegetarian Menu
  • Wine Bar/Café

Ard Bia

Happy the food lover visiting Ireland’s western capital who happens on Aoibheann MacNamara’s trio of Galway restaurants at Spanish Arch.


A wonderful stone-built medieval customs house overlooking the Claddagh Basin is home to Ard Bia (‘High Food’) and its sister restaurants, Ard Bia Café and Nimmo’s, plus a constantly changing exhibition of modern art. It’s full of character and atmosphere and everybody loves it for the quality and interest of the food, and the long opening hours - between the three operations, Aoibheann and her team cater for everything from a casual brunch to dinner.


Aoibheann - a key player in the Galway food scene for many years – is known for her enthusiasm, energy and commitment to quality local foods, and a glance at her menus will have foodies heading straight to her welcoming bright red door.


Menus read lip-smackingly well. You couldn’t do better than start a long day around town with ‘McGeough’s lovely full fry’ for example, featuring breakfast meats from the famed Connemara butcher and Ard Bia’s own chutney. Or, later on, perhaps a St Tola’s goats cheese salad, with cheese from the milk of Burren goats in nearby Co Clare; or a bowl of Ard Bia creamy seafood chowder, full of local fish - smoked cod, seatrout, mussels and clams - supplied by the aptly named Gannet Fishmongers...


Evening menus kicking off cheerfully with a seasonal glass  - of ‘Spring Tipple’ of Hedgerow Prosecco, perhaps - are very well constructed to allow a 2/3 course early bird choice from the main à la carte (Sun-Fri, 6-7pm) which offers terrific value for the quality at €23/€27, with no supplements.


But it’s what Aoibheann has added to the back of her menus that’s really exciting. Not satisfied with giving a summary list of suppliers (useful as that is), she’s given a concise rundown of a dozen of her main suppliers, with a mini profile of each and enough information (address, phone number, website) to encourage interested diners to visit them, or see their produce for themselves in local shops or at Galway Market.


It begins with a mission statement: “At Ard Bia we cook everything in house. We strive to provide food that is ‘Great for Galway’. When sourcing produce we think local think fresh think forage think sustainable and are fortunate to have amazing suppliers who think as passionately about their produce as we do.”


And those suppliers are the best. Meats, poultry and fish are supplied by McGeoughs Artisan Butchers of Oughterard; the Friendly Farmer (Ronan Byrne) of Athenry; Gubbeen Smokehouse; Galway Free Range; Stephane Griesbach’s Gannet Fishmongers; Burren Smokehouse of Lisdoonvarna Co Clare.


Fruit, vegetables and herbs come from respected organic growers Green Earth Organics, Sloe Hill Farm and Steve Gould. Cheese suppliers include St Tola Farmhouse (Burren goats’ cheese) and Gubbeen; Murphys of Dingle supply ice cream; ‘the healthiest oil you could cook with’ comes from Donegal Rapeseed Oil Co; and coffee is supplied by Badger & Dodo speciality roasters of Fermoy, Co Cork.


There’s an interesting wine list too although, surprisingly, without tasting notes.


When it comes to supporting producers of quality local foods, Aoibheann MacNamara has always ‘walked the walk’  - and these days she's ‘talking the talk’ too, and sharing that great passion for local foods with her lucky customers. She is also quick to point out that she has a fantastic team working with her including Head Chef, Niamh Fox, a talented and well-travelled Galway girl. No wonder that Ard Bia is a favourite destination for both Galwegian food lovers and visitors to the city.


The first floor is used as an extension to the restaurant in busier periods and is also available for private functions.


*As well as displaying exhibitions in the restaurants, Ard Bia Gallery Berlin offers artist residencies (www.ardbiaberlin.com). Together with food writer Aoife Carrigy, Aoibheann wrote the handsome Ard Bia Cookbook (Atrium, hardback; €39), which is available at the restaurant, online through their website, and from bookshops.


** Wine bar also, open Thu-Sat 6-11pm.

Seats 100 (private room, 20-50, outdoors, 10); children welcome; reservations required; riverside deck; Ard Bia Restaurant: Mon-Sat 6-10pm & Sun 10am-10pm; à la carte, house wine from €20. Ard Bia cafe menu served Mon-Sat 9am-3.30pm & 6-10pm (Lunch from 12pm and brunch from 10am-3.30pm) & Sun 10am-5pm & 6-10pm. Winebar Thu-Sat 6-11pm. 10% sc on groups 10+. Closed 25-26 Dec. Amex, MasterCard, Visa, Laser. abbreviations
Last Updated: 17-10-2015
Author: Georgina Campbell

Might also like

Tigh Neachtain & Artisan Restaurant

Galway City, Co. Galway
Character Pub / Restaurant
Distance: 0.2km
Tigh Neachtains Pub & Artisan Restaurant - Galway City ireland
89%
9 votes
2 euro Outstanding Location, building or atmosphere

Tigh Neachtain (Naughton's) is one of Galway's oldest pubs - the origins of the building are medieval and it has been in the McGuire family for three generations – and the interior has remained unchanged since 1894. Quite unspoilt, it has great charm, an open fire ...

Brasserie on the Corner

Galway City, Co. Galway
Fish & Seafood / Meat & Game / Restaurant / Wine Bar
Distance: 0.5km
image coming soon
100%
1 votes
2 euro Denotes genuine Irish food culture, ie special Irish food products/companies/producers, and highlights the best places to shop for regional and artisan foods; the selection excludes obvious 'non-Irish' elements regardless of quality, eg ethnic restaurants and specialists in coffee, wine and other drinks, unless relevant to local production or history. Eat & Stay establishments are chosen for their commitment to showcasing local produce and Irish hospitality. Serious About Seafood

A long disused corner building in the heart of Galway, now elegantly refurbished, is home to the modern and friendly pub, Blakes Bar, is on one side and, on the other, the restaurant and wine bar 'The Brasserie on the Corner', which is a younger sister business. In ...

The Huntsman Inn

Galway City, Co. Galway
Bar / Guesthouse / Restaurant
Distance: 1.9km
Huntsman Inn, Galway
92%
12 votes
2 euro

Within walking distance of the city centre and easily accessible by car, this busy spot looks like a pretty row of houses and, with its colourful hanging baskets, the facade cleverly disguises a large interior. Contemporary décor and muted colours complement an ...

The Twelve Hotel

Galway City, Co. Galway
Baking/Bakery / Bar / Hotel / Restaurant
Distance: 6.9km
The Twelve Hotel - Barna County Galway Ireland
89%
18 votes
2 euro For Cooking & Service Well Above Average Denotes genuine Irish food culture, ie special Irish food products/companies/producers, and highlights the best places to shop for regional and artisan foods; the selection excludes obvious 'non-Irish' elements regardless of quality, eg ethnic restaurants and specialists in coffee, wine and other drinks, unless relevant to local production or history. Eat & Stay establishments are chosen for their commitment to showcasing local produce and Irish hospitality. Highly Recommended as a Special Place to Stay Previous Georgina Campbell Guides Award Winner The "Best of the Best" - Only the very best establishments across various categories have been chosen for this accolade

Despite recent development at this seaside village, Barna has retained some of its old charm around the harbour area – and its location, handy to both Connemara and Galway City, is a huge attraction. And so is Fergus O’Halloran’s unique hotel which, alt ...

Raftery's, The Blazers Bar

Craughwell, Co. Galway
Pub
Distance: 22.2km
Rafterys - The Blazers Bar - Craughwell County Galway Ireland
100%
13 votes
1 euro Pub with good food and atmosphere

Donald and Therese Raftery's famous family-run establishment (now in its third generation) is off the old Galway-Dublin road and is the meeting place for the well-known Galway Blazers Hunt, who are kennelled close by. Immaculately maintained and full of character, this ...

Directions

Harbour front, beside the Spanish Arch and Galway City Museum.

Trip Planning Tools

My Ireland Guide

Local Recommendations

Hospitality

  • By Distance
  • By Category

Comments

There are currently no comments

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment
Not a member? Register for your free membership now!
Or leave a comment by logging in with:

Facebook & Twitter Recent Activity

Apps and Books