Thursday, March 16, 2023


By Elizabeth Lee

THE best restaurants and cafés in Leinster were celebrated last week at the regional finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards 2023, which took place in the Killashee Hotel in Kildare on Tuesday 14 March.

Chefs, front-of-house staff and owners all got a deserved night off to attend the glittering ceremony, which paid dues to their hard work and achievements.

More than 1,000 people attended the event, which saw some of Carlow’s veteran restaurants such as The Cellar in the Step House Hotel, Borris picking up two awards, including best hotel restaurant and best chef for Alan Foley, and Clonegal’s Sha-Roe Restaurant bringing home the gong for best restaurant and best manager for owner Stephanie Stone.

Among the newcomers honoured were The Goodly Barrow, Goresbridge, which won the Local Food Hero award as well as best emerging Irish cuisine, while Waterlillies in Carlow town scooped best newcomer.

All of the county winners now compete for the regional and all-Ireland titles, which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards all-Ireland final on Monday 15 May in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4. The winners on the night were:



Best Café, sponsored by Illy 

Carlow – CIBO Café

Best World Cuisine, sponsored by San Pellegrino

Carlow – Pimento

Best Newcomer, sponsored by Square 

Carlow – Waterlilies

Pub of the Year, sponsored by Peroni 

Carlow – Ewings

Wicklow – O’Keeffe’s Pub

Best Casual Dining, sponsored by Musgrave Marketplace 

Carlow – The Railway House, Bagenalstown

Best Hotel & Guesthouse/Restaurant, sponsored By Frylite 

Carlow – The Cellar Restaurant at Step House Hotel, Borris

Best Customer Service, sponsored Provided by Dolmen 

Carlow – Clashganny House Restaurant

Best Gastro Pub, sponsored by Worldpay from FIS 

Carlow – Teach Dolmain

Best Chef, sponsored by BWG Foodservice 

Carlow – Alan Foley, The Cellar Restaurant At Step House Hotel

Best Restaurant, sponsored by San Miguel 

Carlow – Sha-Roe Bistro

Local Food Hero, sponsored by The Irish Times 

Carlow – Paula Leyden, The Goodly Barrow

Best Sustainable Practices, sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland  

Carlow – Clashganny House Restaurant

Innovator of the Year, sponsored by Diageo  

Carlow – Neighbourhood Espresso

Free From 

Carlow – Café 500

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine, sponsored by FBD Insurance 

Carlow – The Goodly Barrow

Best Restaurant Manager, sponsored by Halcyon Group 

Carlow – Stephanie Stone, Sha-Roe Bistro

Best Wine Experience, sponsored by Bibendum Ireland

Carlow – Mimosa


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