Ard Bia Galway: an effortless welcome

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Ard Bia has been a staple part of Galway’s food scene for over 20 years. In its current home, right beside the iconic Spanish Arch, you’ll find a quirky building staffed by friendly staff members proud to be serving up innovative brunch and dinner options, alongside lighter coffees and cakes. Think community, atmosphere and tasty food.
The front door at Ard Bia in Galway

Ard Bia at Nimmos

Spanish Arch, The Long Walk, Galway, H91 E9XA

Friendly staff, innovative menu & comfort foods

Very popular, on warm days there might be a line

Open 10-3, 6-10 every day (no dinner service Mondays)


Atmosphere & Service

Ard Bia is what you’d get if you distilled all the best things about Galway into one restaurant. It’s friendly, conscious of community and sustainability, a big bit artsy and chock-full of interesting people eating, chatting and writing intriguing things in journals. Through the low windows, you can almost taste the teeming River Corrib outside. The welcome is warm and chatty, the red front door opening into a room full of colourful sweater-wearers with their bobble hats resting on mismatched tables dressed with (real) lit candles.

Before I try and make this review too poetic, I met my cousin Mary who has loved Ard Bia since its inception in Galway, and we set out to enjoy a mid-morning brunch, snagging one of the last two tables on a busy Monday in town.

On weekdays, brunch = breakfast (a ‘proper’ brunch is served on weekends). There’s some things you might expect: a granola with plums, eggs with sourdough and the usual add-ons. But watch out for some unusual additions: charred halloumi with a nutty rayu, pork belly with chimichurri and a heavy emphasis on turmeric via a spiced latte or a sea moss tonic.

Breakfast menu at Ard Bia

For breakfast and lunch, Ard Bia offers a very fair mid-priced menu. At dinner, I’d argue that the menu is pitched just a little bit high, despite an agreeable emphasis on ingredients and local sourcing.

Food & Drink

Everything was available on the menu when we visited in March 2024. We went for a very simple poached eggs with sourdough. The toast was well browned and fresh from the grill with a chunk of properly salted Irish butter. The eggs were poached perfectly with soft deep orange centres, avoiding the problems of stringiness and jelly albumen from undercooking. The server brought a jar of Ard Bia’s own tomato chutney to set up some shakshuka vibes. Nice.

Sourdough toast with poached eggs
Sourdough w/ poached eggs
A cabinet of sweet treats
Treats & patisserie
Lemon meringue pies
Towering lemon meringues

The breakfast options are served until 12pm and were more than enough for this hungry Irishman to keep him going on a cold and wet West Coast day.

Top Tip: check out the sweet treats and patisserie options in the Sugar Cabinet at the front entrance.

Overall Experience

a traditional box stamped with 'Galway Market'
Photo: Patrick Hughes – a traditional box stamped with ‘Galway Market’.

What summed up this experience for me was a woman who was sitting in a comfortable window seat writing in a lovely cream-coloured journal. She might have been outlining her latest novel or working on a dramatic PR disaster recovery strategy. We’ll never know. She had her things spread out on the table, a big pot of tea and the light through the window made her look snug and cozy, while nobody bothered her at her tasks. That’s the sign of a place you’d want to return to time and again: welcoming, where you can step into a community of strangers, yet feel at home. If you’re in Galway, this is a MUST visit.

Sign at Ard Bia in Galway
How DO you make your Monday less manic?! Sign at Ard Bia in Galway

I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.

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