Buncrana Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Buncrana

August 4, 2017 Darleen Reid

Buncrana (/ˈbʌn.krænə/; Irish: Bun Cranncha, meaning "foot of the (River) Crana") is a town in County Donegal, Ireland. It is beside Lough Swilly on the Inishowen peninsula, 23 kilometres (14 mi) northwest of Derry and 43 kilometres (27 mi) north of Letterkenny. In the 2016 census, the population was 6,785 making it the second most populous town in County Donegal, after Letterkenny, and the largest in Inishowen.
Things to do in Buncrana

1. Beach House

Swilly Road, Buncrana, Ireland Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Irish, Seafood, European, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +353 74 936 1050
Excellent
73%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 369 reviews

Beach House

Reviewed By JaxAmerican - NJ

If the review covered only the food, Beach House would get 5 stars. However, since service is part of the experience, we give them 2 stars and do not recommend.
For example, after we were seated the waitress bought us a carafe of water, but did not notice that there were no water glasses on the table, and then she disappeared. We had to flag her down to give our order, but she hadn't brought the wine list, so she went to find it....
Food: the oak smoked salmon starter was excellent, one of the best we had in Ireland. But looking around I see other tables with bread service; DH says "maybe it was something they ordered". Now it's 30 minutes in, suddenly bread service, but no mains.
Still waiting for the mains....watching Tidy Towns vol clean up the beach...ONE HOUR after we were seated the mains appeared.
Food: Pan seared cod w mussels & peas perfectly done; Baked Hale with chorizo onions peas totally awesome
Then we ordered dessert, it's 8:30
Umm....9:00 where's our ice cream? It's a little ridiculous...
Ok, 9:15, gave up, asked for check & got immediately. No response about ice cream...?
Also they still haven't picked up the check!
Spend your money elsewhere.

2. The Railway Tavern & Firebox Grill

Station Road, Fahan, Ireland Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi Steakhouse, Irish, Bar, European, Pub, Grill, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Drinks HK$118 - HK$251 +353 74 936 0137
Excellent
66%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
4%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 384 reviews

The Railway Tavern & Firebox Grill

Our restaurant is located on the shores of Lough Swilly, at Fahan, Co.Donegal, in the premises of The Railway Tavern which was formally the Station House of the Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railway Company (L&LSR)..Our Main course dishes are cooked to perfection on our wood burning Firebox Grill, just like in the old days were the engineers on the locomotives, used their firebox to heat their snacks !The Bar and Restaurant still have the old fires blazing which create a very cosy , snug room to eat or drink in ..

Reviewed By Laura D

I have previously ate here with few friends, and decided to return, but unfortunately it just wasn't up to the standard that I was expecting.
Among making our reservation for 7:30 we were told the table was rebook again for 9, this wouldn't be a problem as we didn't intent to stay on drinking.
Upon arrival we stood at the bar awkwardly and waited to be served. The barman seemed pretty busy, but felt there should be another person on meet and greet. We ordered a drink and waited to be seated. By then another couple had came in and was waiting too. A waitress then by passed us and seated the other couple first even though we were in at least 5 minutes before them.
We were seated up stairs and got the menus. By this stage it was almost 8 before our order was taken. Soup came with steal bread. Nothing too exciting about the soup. After we finished our soup it felt like a life time before someone cleared our plates, here I had asked for another drink. Our mains followed after, still no drink, being placed in a corner I found it had to get the attention of a waiter without shouting across the room. The waiter did not check on our table during our mains. Finally a waiter came to clear the table beside when I had to ask for a jug of water. Even though there was water glasses on the table, they failed to give us one when we were being seated.
I finally got my drink after I had my main course finished. Just before desserts arrived I had to put on my coat it was getting very cold, desserts were some what average.
Food was average, service was below average. Wouldn't be hesitant to return, unfortunately.

3. Belle's Kitchen

Pier Road, Rathmullan, Ireland Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Free Wifi, Wheelchair Accessible Irish, Cafe, European, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch HK$8 +353 74 915 8800
Excellent
65%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 213 reviews

Belle's Kitchen

Reviewed By Margaret B - Belfast, United Kingdom

We had a late lunch in Belles kitchen which was really lovely...the surroundings were great and just right for the seaside!!. The staff were friendly and welcoming. The sandwiches I had were brimful of chicken and salad. My husband’s toasted Sandwich likewise..
We were sorry we hadn’t chosen to have an evening meal here as the food on display looked excellent. The price was very reasonable. We will definitely recommend and return to Bells when next in the area..

4. The Red Door Country House

Along the Wild Atlantic Way, Fahan F93 FV4Y, Ireland (Formerly The Red Door) Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Private Dining Irish, European, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast, Late Night HK$204 - HK$510 +353 74 936 0289
Excellent
74%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 469 reviews

The Red Door Country House

Renowned for relaxed dining, luxury accommodation and breathtaking views, The Red Door Country House is nestled on a 4 acre site overlooking Lough Swilly in Inishowen, Co. Donegal in the North West of Ireland.Built in 1789, the tradition of a country house is today cleverly combined with contemporary luxury and style.

Reviewed By R_Kernohan - Ballymena, United Kingdom

Last weekend I attended a Christmas wedding at The Red Door Country House on the shores of Lough Swilly, County Donegal.
From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, the hospitality we received was truly excellent. The location, of The Red Door Country House was stunning and quality of food... simply perfect.
I would highly recommend this location to anyone looking for a suitable location for a wedding or civil partnership. Their award winning restaurant is most certainly worth a visit anytime too.

5. Primavera

St. Marys Road, Buncrana F93 CA22, Ireland Takeout, Seating, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Reservations, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Pizza, European, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Drinks, Late Night +353 74 932 1921
Excellent
68%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 132 reviews

Primavera

The reason Primavera’s is as popular as ever is we offer a wide range of delicious home style Italian food, from our house made fresh egg pasta, traditional cooking techniques and the freshest of produce available, chicken and seafood dishes, to our popular steaks, and our many entrée dishes, and don’t forget about our famous traditional pizzas, which started it all. In Italy, family and friends getting together around the dinner table eating a satisfying home cooked style meal is an important part of every day. It’s a place where family and friends can all come together, share a good conversation, funny stories and experiences, in a relaxed friendly environment. Our aim is to bring to you a warm, inviting, friendly environment for the whole family to enjoy and to share with us our passion for good food, good wine and good times.We look forward to seeing you dine at Primavera soon.

Reviewed By JaxAmerican - NJ

Outstanding. It isn't fancy, but it is the perfect little Italian restaurant. We shared the Caprese Salad, wow again, the mozzarella and tomatoes were super fresh and the oil was tasty, and it was definitely enough for two as an appetizer (5 "sets", red onion, leaves). And the pizza! We shared the 12" Pizza Rustica with added black olives and it was just wonderful, wonderful. Also got garlic bread, and it was actual slices of bread (not, you know, a squashed over-cooked baguette), very tasty. It was a Thursday evening, they weren't busy, and we felt well cared for. Highly recommended.

6. Ubiquitous Restaurant and Bar

47 Upper Main Street, Buncrana, Ireland Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi, Wheelchair Accessible Irish, European, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night HK$157 - HK$306 +353 74 932 2320
Excellent
71%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 240 reviews

Ubiquitous Restaurant and Bar

Reviewed By MikenLynn

We think that this was about as good as it gets in a dining experience in the area. Thoroughly modern, clean, attentive staff and absolutely the best grilled salmon I’ve ever had anywhere, and I do mean anywhere.
The presentation of the meals was uniquely a work of art. The preparation of both the salmon and chicken was flawless. Ubiquitous is just next door to a great pub where you can catch local traditional music on Thursday nights
Truly our best dining experience in Ireland yet.
.... interesting name......

7. Oscars Cafe Bar & Resturant

5 Upper Main Street, Buncrana, Ireland Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards Irish, Bar, Cafe, International, European, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Brunch, Dinner HK$47 - HK$243 +353 74 936 3642
Excellent
53%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 203 reviews

Oscars Cafe Bar & Resturant

Reviewed By preglad - New York

Oscar's does a subdued/bland art deco vista and provides something of a brick bread crusts removed menu. The super trad veggie soup -smallish portion- was acceptable, the accompanying brown bread slice tasteless. We ordered a medium burger, but were informed it had to be served certifiably terminated, with slaw side excessively mayonnaised.
At over E16, let's do a very kind rating of acceptable because it seemingly meets the needs of some out there.

8. The Harbour Inn Restaurant

Derry Road | Ludden, Buncrana F93 B57X, Ireland Seating, Waitstaff, Reservations, Television, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol Bar, Irish, European, Pub, Gastropub, Vegetarian Friendly Drinks, Lunch, Dinner +353 74 932 1810
Excellent
44%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
6%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 62 reviews

The Harbour Inn Restaurant

The Harbour Inn offers 30 en-suite bedrooms with various views over Lough Swilly, Northwest Golf Course and the surrounding area. The hotel offers spacious rooms including; family rooms, double, twins and triples, all equipped to a high standard. In the bar you can enjoy some bistro style food using locally sourced produce. With entertainment every Saturday night you will not be disappointed with the atmosphere and craic in the bar. "The Ideal Place to Stay When Touring The Inishowen Peninsula"

Reviewed By Holidaydiane

We called in for a 'quick' bite to eat on the evening of Thursday 30th March at about 8.20pm. We had stopped here before on previous trips to Buncrana and found the food reasonable but nothing outstanding.
Firstly it took a while to get seated (table 7) as no one member of staff appeared to be watching who came into the restaurant. We ordered mains only and it took over 30mins from ordering till food came out which is too long.
I ordered a chilli chicken pasta dish. When it first came out I was aware that there was some oil over the top layer of the sauce/pasta. This didn't bother me as it's quite often the case that oil is drizzled over pasta dishes. The waitress had checked just after we started eating if everything was ok and I said yes for this reason. My partners chicken burger was ok.
However as I got 'deeper' into my dinner it became obvious that there was a lot of oil and more appeared to be settling to the top all the time. I couldn't finish it. When (the same) waitress came over to lift the plates I said to her that the dish was very oily. At this point I didn't want a replacement or anything else to eat as we were in a rush so hadn't got her attention sooner.
I was very taken aback at how she dealt with the situation and some staff retraining would need to be addressed. Basically I was told that she had asked if everything was ok and I had said it was, so that was my chance to say if I wasn't happy with it and although she was sorry there was nothing she could do about it now. She said she would mention it to the chef. I told her I was initially happy with the food but the more that was eaten the more oily it became. I again got the same abrupt response and told I should have said earlier and that there was nothing she could do. She was quite curt in her manner and came across as cheeky in how she dealt with the situation. We were in a rush to meet friends in Buncrana (who by the way had a lovely meal in the Inishowen Gateway at a lesser cost) and on another day I would have sat my ground and asked to speak to a manager.
A picture speaks a thousand words. This is what was lifted from the table. There was no offer to deduct anything from the bill or no apology for the dish itself which would have eased the situation in some way.
Won't be back! Avoid!

9. Beachcomber Bar & Restaurant

Kerrs Bay, Rathmullan, Ireland Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol Irish, Bar, Pub, European Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +353 74 915 8080
Excellent
44%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
5%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 76 reviews

Beachcomber Bar & Restaurant

Reviewed By malcolm1959 - Bangor, United Kingdom

We were staying in Millstone cottages and always get a feed in the Beachcomber fantastic food and we are always made welcome

10. Drift Inn

Railway Road, Buncrana Eire, Ireland Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi Irish, Bar, Pub, European, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner, Late Night HK$71 - HK$322 +353 74 936 1999
Excellent
67%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 262 reviews

Drift Inn

The Drift Inn bar and restaurant Buncrana is one like no other, set against the windswept banks of the Lough Swilly it stands out as a main vocal point on entrance to the town. The Drift Inn has a history which many will agree compares to no other bars in Buncrana, once a functioning railway station up until the mid 1900's it has kept this theme very close to the heart of the bar with original railway timetables still to be seen on the walls of the premises and the water tower once used to fill steam trains standing tall at the rear of the premises. The drift Inn also has a strong connection with the sea as our name would suggest, the connection is carried through the bar and restaurant with our boat shaped bar the "St.Jude" standing strong over these many years having many drinks crossing her deck. The has a wide variety of areas for each patron to enjoy a drink or a bit to eat, the more relaxed harness room is an old favourite of many patrons with the open fire always blazing, the main bar boasts an open brick fire which ha been know the burn full trees in one day (depending on the staff working), then we have the more private "wee room" with a piano incase anyone is feeling musical after a few stout (which many think is the best pint of stout in the town). There is also two tv's which play all major sporting events and can be split between two to meet everybodys needs.

Reviewed By MissJen - Athlone, Ireland

Stopped here for lunch, menu offers mostly dinner type options, all which sounded lovely but we were only after a light bite so had some starters instead. Food was nice, fresh and reasonable. Bar has nooks and cranny’s and even during the summer a great big fire burning in the corner. Would love to revisit in Winter and enjoy a hearty dinner by the fire. Great outdoor Seating out back and particularly love their weather forecast sign!

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