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Review: McDonagh’s, Galway

mcdonaghsSo there we were arguing about why we were in Galway, shouting about whose turn it was to be designated driver, and having tantrums about what our future really held together.

Thankfully, however, all four of us agreed that we should have fish for dinner. McDonaghs in Galway City has been feeding people whatever the sea is willing to offer for four generations. There’s even a picture of some loser from hit TV show LOST on the wall. You can’t argue with that. Nor can you argue with the freshness of their seafood. I thought the lobsters were literally going to jump out of their pots and snog me.

One of our group of four went off to continue crying while the rest of us sat in the restaurant part (it is also a regular chipper but has a fully licensed restaurant). So many fishy options.

McDonagh’s fish soup (€5.25) was ordered by all three of us to start. Filled with seasonal fish and cream and general loveliness it is, in effect, a chowder-like soup. I’m wary of labelling it a straight up chowder as some zealous CheapEats reader might chastise me. But it felt that way to me.

For mains I ordered the deep-fried and battered cod with homemade chips and mushy peas (€13.50). Ooh me grapes it was delicious. Hadn’t had cod in a while because I’m from Dublin and everyone in the capital is so right on and aware of how our fishermen are pillaging our oceans of cod blah blah blah…….

My ugly ethnic friend went all out and got seared scallops with black pudding and crispy bacon served with salad (€15.95). This was beautifully presented and really tasty. We were all impressed and wanted to steal from him but you know what these ethnic types are like (I think he’s from England or somewhere ridiculululous like that). My weasely friend once again disappointed us all by ordering a salad (€6) with homemade chips (€2.75 ).  Nevertheless both were really tasty.

Having the chipper next door gives the added advantage that the place takes their straight up fish and chips quite seriously while also offering snooty shite like scallops and pudding. There’s loads more on the menu and I would love to go back and try their fish pie (I saw some man eating it and wanted to go over, stab him with a big trident, and take the pie). Our bill came to €55.

Mc Donagh’s
22 Quay Street


  1. I was there the two weeks ago and the battered hake I had is still playing on my mind. It was absolutely delicious and it kills me that I left some of it behind.

  2. McDonaghs is a great spot. In summer there can be a que of hungry people outside, waiting for a table. Its well worth the wait. Snackbox gets it bang on, all the advantages of good chipper food – great real spud chips and fresh fish – but other options on the menu if you’re not in the mood for an artery hardening deep-fry-fest.

  3. Often visited McDonaghs as a younger man when I lived in Galway city. (in the early 00’s) ..sadly only the Take-away part usually. (Restaurant part I found is the same food but more expensive and fussy).

    It was always fantastic grub and it is a genuine Galway institution. The fish is incredible and the Garlic sauce is orgasmic.

    But, there’s always a but …… On visiting again this summer I found it has got incredibly busy (McDonaghs got rave reviews in Rough Guide and Lonely Planet etc.) Queues out the door… and long wait for even the Take-away part.

    Noticably its nearly all tourists in the Q. (local Galweigan’s still go mad for Supermacs !!)

    The sad part about this is that when demand goes up so do the prices and service levels drop.

    Prices have indeed gone into Orbit (Can’t remember the exact numbers but you’re taking ball park twice the price now of the ‘regular’ take-aways) and the staff who were always kinda ‘working class’ but friendly with it, are still ‘working class’ but decidedly impatient now.

    Kind of a shame, but thats progress I suppose