For a small county, Louth sure is a big catch, with no shortage of world-class seafood and award-winning restaurants. Enjoy the very best restaurants and producers have to offer in breath-taking surroundings along the sea louth scenic seafood trail. Here are seven essential dining experiences you won’t want to miss!
1. Dine at one of Louth’s Michelin Guide-listed Restaurants. The Bay Tree in Carlingford and Square in Dundalk are two of the hottest tickets along the trail. Don’t just take our word for it, according to the Guide, The Bay Tree is “an honest little neighbourhood restaurant” with “carefully prepared, well-balanced dishes”. Whilst Square is praised for its “generous dishes, executed with care, full of flavour…”
2. Enjoy traditional fish and chips by the sea in Clogherhead. Fisherman’s Catch fish shop on the harbour is run by John Kirwan, the latest in a long line of fisherman who have been fishing off the coast here for 160 years. Buy locally caught fish to cook at home, or tuck into the freshest fish and chips you are ever likely to eat courtesy of the trailer out front. At the time of writing (March 2022) the trailer is open Fri-Sun 11am-6pm. Look out for extended hours as the days get longer and the weather, warmer!
3. Taste Cooley and Carlingford Oysters. Louth oysters are world-famous, with Cooley Oysters gaining repute as far away as Hong Kong, and Carlingford Oysters the recipient of the prestigious Guild of Fine Foods’ ‘Golden Fork’ award. Find out more about these delicious delicacies and where to taste them along the trail here.
4. Indulge in fresh local lobster. Two of the nine featured sea louth producers specialise in using traditional potting or ‘passive’ fishing methods to source lobster from our local waters, which are among the purest in terms of quality in all of Europe: Gyles Quay Lobster & Crab and Lobsters Direct. It is little wonder lobster is one of the most popular items on the menu at a number of our sea louth restaurants, including Fishy Dishy, Carlingford and The Townhouse, Dundalk.
5. Sample lesser-known seafood delicacies, such as cockles and razor clams. Louth has an abundance of seafood, but our razor clams and cockles are true unsung heroes. Serving them very simply with diced tomato, onion and parsley serves to bring out the delicate, mildly briny flavour. The Glyde Inn in Annagassan is a great champion for local seafood dishes, and you will often see these on the menu there, when in season.
6. Treat yourself to a comforting bowl of seafood chowder, made using the finest, freshest local seafood. Fitzpatrick’s in Jenkinstown’s chowder was crowned the best in Ireland for theirs. It’s an ever-popular starter at Scholar’s Townhouse Hotel in Drogheda, too.
7. Savour our famous scampi - the scampi sourced in local waters, of course. Sea louth restaurants do it best, naturally! The Smugglers Rest, Clogherhead and The Brake, Blackrock are renowned for theirs. Try the famous Smugglers Scampi 3 Ways – Coconut, Cajun and their own Secret Recipe, or make your way to The Brake for traditional homemade scampi. It is certainly worth travelling for!
Have you heard about our sea louth passport? Once you have picked up your passport, remember to keep your receipt when choosing a sea louth special seafood dish – you will need two of these, plus 10 unique scenic viewpoint stamps to complete your passport and qualify for your exclusive sea louth memento!
For more Louth restaurant inspiration and to browse a full list of restaurants taking part in the sea louth trail, click here.
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