The King’s Head is a destination food pub steeped with centuries of history and atmosphere, professional management expertise and a personal touch from the Grealish family.
With their contemporary sister restaurant, The Malt House, in an adjoining premises, their shared food philosophy is based on a firm commitment to a menu underpinned by conscientiously sourced Irish and artisan ingredients – or as they put it, “...pub food, only better!”
A piece of Galway's medieval architectural history, The King's Head is the original super-pub. Looking out on busy High Street, the comparatively small frontage belies its extent. Revealing itself over three floors, it caters to a broad audience to fill its seats and does so with style.
At over eight hundred years old, this popular bar has free live music every night, big screen sports, lunch-time comedy and serves fresh food every day. It is dark and atmospheric, and the original medieval fireplace always has a welcoming blaze.
Cosy and casual, the thick stone walls are hung with tapestries and an upstairs gallery overlooks the action on stage. In the evenings those wanting to eat are encouraged up here to separate the diners from the tipplers. At night it is a very popular watering hole for students and since it is Galway, there is often a hen or stag party passing through.
The ‘magic door’ to the adjoining Malt House Restaurant is the secret of The King’s Head’s menu. They borrow all the best things from desserts, chowder and even the wine list from next door.
Then they add sandwich bread and ciabattas from Griffin’s Bakery next door, sausages from Colleran’s Butchers across the street and dip their fish in batter made with the local Galway Hooker beer.
The seaweed comes from Westport, smoked salmon from the Burren, fish and vegetables are as local as they can find them. An authentic blaa from Waterford is about as far away as they stray to source their ingredients. They then mix all that together to make some very good pub grub.
There are plenty of menu items you would expect to see on a pub menu, burgers, rib-eye steaks and lasagna. Alongside these, new favourites regularly appear - moules frites using plump local mussels, chicken balti with minted Glenisk yoghurt or perhaps a St Tola’s Goat’s Cheese Quiche with a beetroot and walnut salad.
As it is of such historic interest, 'The Head' is a popular tourist destination and there’s traditional Irish stew, oysters on the half shell with dillisk scones and a pint of creamy Guinness for a truly Irish treat.
Watch out for the specials board as they can be very special indeed, like Galway lobster dripping in browned butter, with some of the Malt House’s fat, chunky chips smuggled in from the kitchen next door to go with a light lemony aioli.
They have a more than adequate children’s menu, the baby bowl is a mix of mashed potato and soup free of charge for the tiniest customers or home made fish or chicken goujons for their older siblings.
From the humorously titled sharing platter of 'Irish Tapas' - goujons of chicken, Colleran’s cocktail sausages, onion rings, vegetable samosas & chips with a selection of sauces to the ‘Best of Irish’ cold plate, top quality Irish ingredients simply put on a wooden platter which features Colleran’s corned beef and suckling pig, McGeough’s air-dried smoked Connemara lamb, local goat and blue cheeses with pickled beetroot salad. If you prefer your dining a little livelier, maybe with a pint, the match or a good live band, The Kings Head could be the place for you.
Drinks are given the same careful attention as the food. They carry the same wine list as The Malt House, otherwise it is a full service from three bars, with speciality cocktails, craft beers and ciders and local brew 'Galway Hooker' available on tap.
There is something for everyone here, whether student, tourist, families or revellers.