Ulster regional finals winnerUlster regional finals winner
Ulster regional finals winner

54 pictures as Northern Ireland firms scoop accolades at Irish Restaurant Awards

Northern Ireland restaurateurs battle for an award at the prestigious Ulster regional final of Irish Restaurant Awards 2023...but who were the winners?

Almost 800 local restaurant and hospitality business owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Ulster Regional Final of Irish Restaurant Awards 2023.

Showcasing the incredible food on offer in Northern Ireland’s cafes, hotels, pubs and restaurants, over 100 well-known restaurateurs turn out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards.

Speaking at the Ulster Regional Awards president of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Paul Lenehan, said; “Now in their 14th year, the Irish Restaurant Awards returns with a record breaking number of public nominations (over 130,000). This sheer number of votes highlight the support and appreciation by the general public for our hospitality sector and all who contribute to it.

"The awards are an opportunity to celebrate the existing, and up and coming talent, in the sector and are a reminder that hospitality is nothing without their dedicated and passionate staff. The awards continue to showcase the incredible food that is on offer in the cafes, hotels, pubs and restaurants of Ireland.”

Food outlets were nominated under the categories of Local Food Hero, Best Sustainable Practices, Best Free From, Best Emerging Irish Cuisine, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Wine Experience, Best Café, Best World Cuisine, Best Newcomer, Pub of the Year, Best Casual Dining, Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant, Best Customer Service, Best Gastropub, Best Chef, and Best Restaurant and finally a new award category for 2023 Innovator of the Year.

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, May 15 in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Pictures by Paul Sherwood.

The winners on the night were:

Local Food Hero sponsored by The Irish Times

Antrim - Phil Ervine, Taste and Tour

Armagh – John & Sarah Murray, Embers

Cavan - Imelda Mullen, The Cottage Market

Derry - Kevin Pyke, Pykes "N" Pommes

Donegal - Chris Molloy, The Lemon Tree

Down - Peter Hannan, Hannan Meats

Fermanagh - Marty McAdam, The Street Kitchen Enniskillen

Tyrone - Colin McMenamin, The Red Pepper

Monaghan - Karl Breen, Wild Thyme Restaurant

Best Sustainable Practices sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland

Antrim - Academy Restaurant, Ulster University

Armagh - Killeavy Castle Estate

Cavan - Cabra Castle Hotel

Derry - The City Hotel Derry

Donegal - Rathmullan House

Down - Slieve Donard Hotel

Fermanagh - Manor House Country Hotel

Tyrone - Corick House Hotel & Spa

Monaghan - The Hillgrove Hotel

Innovator of the Year sponsored by Diageo

Antrim - Flout Belfast

Armagh - The Corner House Bar

Cavan - Blossoms Tea Rooms & Garden Centre

Derry - Brøn Cafe Bar and Restaurant

Donegal - The Bluestack Shack

Down - Frae

Fermanagh - The Giddy Box

Tyrone - The Millstonebar and Restaurant

Monaghan - The Hive

Free From

Antrim - Home

Armagh - The Portmor

Cavan - Chapter One Food & Living

Derry - Cedar Restaurant

Donegal - Chandpur Restaurant

Down - The Smugglers Table

Fermanagh - Milly's Restaurant

Tyrone - The Tailor's House

Monaghan - The Hive

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine sponsored by FBD Insurance

Antrim - Blank

Armagh - Clenaghans Restaurant

Cavan - People's Restaurant

Derry - The Sooty Olive

Donegal - Narrow Quarter

Down - The Cuan

Fermanagh - Finn Lough

Tyrone - The Banks Restaurant

Monaghan - Wild Thyme Restaurant

Best Restaurant Manager sponsored by Halcyon Group

Antrim - Alain Kerloc'h, OX

Armagh - James Scott, The Bawn Pantry

Cavan - Ola Kavanagh, The Oak Room Restaurant

Derry - James McKee, District 45

Donegal - Orhan Enric, Harveys Point

Down - Saul McConnell, Noble

Fermanagh - Mario Breban-McDonald, Tully Mill Restaurant

Tyrone - Ellen McCabrey, Chapter V

Monaghan - Emma Aughey, The Squealing Pig

Best Wine Experience Sponsored by Bibendum Ireland

Antrim - La Bottega

Armagh - Wine and Brine

Cavan - The Olde Post Inn

Derry - Artis Restaurant by Phelim O'Hagan

Donegal - Fisk

Down - Noble

Fermanagh - 28 At The Hollow

Tyrone - The Wine Rack

Monaghan - Snaffles Restaurant at Castle Leslie Estate

Best Café sponsored by Illy

Antrim - Neighbourhood

Armagh – Caife Mhacha

Cavan – Tillie's Tea Romms

Derry – The Pickled Duck

Donegal - Thyme Out

Down - The Bearded Goat

Fermanagh - The Toastery

Tyrone - Moy Larder

Monaghan - Screaming Bean Café

Best World Cuisine sponsored by San Pellegrino

Antrim - Bo Tree

Armagh - Shapla

Cavan – Chilli Lounge

Derry - Mekong

Donegal - Bella Dona

Down - Tuk Tuk Asian Bistro

Fermanagh - Taco Loco

Tyrone - Tusk

Monaghan - Eastern Balti

Best Newcomer sponsored by Square

Antrim - Roam

Armagh - Sojourn Coffee

Cavan - Fika 33

Derry - Coupe

Donegal - Curry Cottage

Down - Joxer Holywood

Fermanagh - The Dog and Duck Inn

Tyrone - The Banks Restaurant

Monaghan - The Castle Bar & Restaurant

Pub of the Year sponsored by Peroni

Antrim - John Hewitt

Armagh - Hole in the Wall

Cavan – White’s Bar

Derry - Sandinos

Donegal - The Forge

Down - Maghera Inn

Fermanagh - Devenish Bar

Tyrone - Tomneys Bar

Monaghan - The Coachhouse & Olde Bar

Best Casual Dining sponsored by Musgrave Marketplace

Antrim - Edo

Armagh – Sally McNally’s

Cavan – The Oak Room Restaurant

Derry – El Tapas Grá

Donegal - Andersons Boathouse Restaurant and Accommodation

Down - Frae

Fermanagh - Dollakis

Tyrone - Salleys Restaurant

Monaghan - The Batch Loaf

Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant sponsored By Frylite

Antrim - River Room Restaurant at Galgorm

Armagh – Newforge House

Cavan - MacNean House and Restaurant

Derry – The Gown, Bishops Gate Hotel

Donegal - Harveys Point

Down - The Salty Dog Hotel & Bistro

Fermanagh - Catalina Restaurant at Lough Erne

Tyrone - The Sika 1888 @ The Cedar Country Hotel

Monaghan - Snaffles Restaurant at Castle Leslie Estate

Best Customer Service sponsored Restaurant-Insurance.ie Provided by Dolmen

Antrim - Blank

Armagh - Newforge House

Cavan - MacNean House and Restaurant

Derry - Shipquay Restaurant

Donegal - Rathmullan House

Down – Brunel's

Fermanagh - Francos

Tyrone - Oysters Restaurant

Monaghan - Neighbourhood

Best Gastro Pub sponsored by Worldpay from FIS

Antrim - Deer’s Head

Armagh - Digby's Bar & Restaurant

Cavan – Murph's Gastro Pub

Derry – Walled City Brewery

Donegal - Olde Castle Bar

Down - The Dirty Duck

Fermanagh - Granny Annies

Tyrone - The Brewer's House

Monaghan - Andy’s Bar & Restaurant

Best Chef sponsored by BWG Food Service

Antrim - Gareth McCaughey, The Muddlers Club

Armagh - Chris McGowan, Wine and Brine

Cavan - Carmel McGirr MacNean House and Restaurant

Derry - Ian Orr, Browns Bonds Hill

Donegal - Ciaran Sweeney, The Olde Glen Bar

Down - Pearson Morris, Noble

Fermanagh - Glen Wheeler, 28 At The Hollow

Tyrone - Conor McCabrey, Chapter V

Monaghan - Conor Mee, Courthouse Restaurant

Best Restaurant sponsored by San Miguel

Antrim - OX

Armagh - Wine and Brine

Cavan - MacNean House and Restaurant

Derry - Browns Bonds Hill

Donegal - The Olde Glen Bar

Down - Noble

Fermanagh - 28 At The Hollow

Tyrone - Chapter V

Monaghan - Courthouse Restaurant