Restaurants in the Midlands: 7 Great Places to Eat in Laois
With one of 2023’s most highly-rated new restaurants being Bramley in County Laois, we wanted to explore some of the most unforgettable and unique restaurants in the Midlands. And we started by tracking down the best food experiences County Laois has to offer!
In our search for the best places to eat in County Laois, we found 7 unmissable spots. These include a bold and exciting neighbourhood restaurant with a Michelin-starred chef and a food truck with near-cult status! If you’re looking for great restaurants near Dublin, these hidden gems are all just an hour from the city!
Restaurants in the Midlands: 7 of the Best in County Laois
While Laois may be known for its rich history and stunning landscapes, it’s now gaining recognition for its bustling and diverse food scene. Recently at the forefront of this gastronomic renaissance is Bramley, where a Michelin-star chef is bringing fine dining to Laois.
But Bramley is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Laois’s food offerings. The county is home to a host of other exceptional gastro experiences, each offering a unique taste of the region’s rich culinary tapestry. Let’s take a closer look!
Image source: Bramley on Instagram
Bramley, run by Sam Moody and his wife Emily, is a recently renovated restaurant that beautifully captures the historic essence of the Bramley building – a prominent feature of Abbeyleix’s Main Street since the 1800s. The restaurant, opened in May 2023, has been making waves in the culinary world with its innovative approach to Irish cuisine.
Formerly the Executive Head Chef at the Michelin-Starred Ballyfin Demesne, Sam has made a commitment to locally-sourced ingredients.
The eatery’s creative, ever-changing menu has already earned it a place among the country’s top dining destinations from critics and guests alike. It’s fast becoming popular with foodies from all over the country looking for great restaurants near Dublin.
Main Street, Abbeyleix │ bramleyabbeyleix.com
Image source: The Pantry on Instagram
2. The Pantry
A short drive from Bramley, you’ll find The Pantry, a delightful café and food hall that’s a favourite among locals.
With its mouth-watering pastries, artisanal cheeses, and a wide selection of locally sourced produce, The Pantry is a must-visit for any food lover.
Market Square, Portlaoise │ thepantry.ie
Image source: Bowe’s Café on Instagram
3. Bowe’s Café
Nestled in the heart of The Square, Durrow, Bowe’s Café is a family run business and is situated in a 250-year-old building with a scenic walled garden attached.
Their menu provides a delectable selection of freshly baked goods, homemade soups and gourmet rustic sandwiches, all accompanied by delicious coffee. Voted one of the best motorway coffee stops, this local run café is not to be missed for breakfast or lunch.
The Square, Durrow │ bowescafe.ie
Image source: The Falls at Glenbarrow
4. The Falls at Glenbarrow
For those seeking a truly scenic food experience, look no further than the Falls at Glenbarrow, a charming artisanal food truck situated beside one of the most awe-inspiring locations of the county, Glenbarrow Falls.
Serving home-baked goods, teas and barista coffee, it’s the perfect spot to indulge in delicious treats while taking in the breathtaking scenery of the trail and waterfall.
Glenbarrow │ The Falls at Glenbarrow Facebook Page
Image source: Castle Durrow
5. Castle Durrow
For those seeking a truly unique dining experience in one of the best restaurants in the Midlands, a visit to Castle Durrow is in order.
This historic country house hotel offers a dining experience like no other, with its elegant dining room overlooking the stunning formal gardens and country landscape. The menu at Castle Durrow features exquisite dishes made with ingredients sourced from the hotel’s own kitchen garden.
Castleview, Durrow │ castledurrow.com
Image source: Daily Dose Gluten & Dairy Free Café
6. Daily Dose Gluten and Dairy Free Café
Catering to those with dietary requirements, Daily Dose Gluten & Dairy Free Café in Abbeyleix is a family-run café providing good quality, healthy food and sweet treats.
Each day, they serve up tasty homemade treats, cakes, soups, breads, smoothies and juices. It’s the perfect food spot for anyone looking for that sweet treat!
Upper Main Street, Abbeyleix │ Daily Dose Gluten & Dairy Free Café Google Business Profile
7. Treacy’s Bar
No list of the county’s most memorable dining locales would be complete without Treacy’s Bar, a County Laois institution.
From its idyllic thatched roof to its smiling staff, the place oozes unique Irish charm. A great place for country-style atmosphere, hearty grub and a great pint of Guinness.
Treacy’s Bar & Restaurant is a member of the Laois TASTE Provenance Scheme. The Laois TASTE Provenance Scheme certifies Laois Food Producers and also Supporters that sell Laois made produce. To find out more check out laoistaste.ie
Greatheath, Portlaoise │ treacys.ie
So, whether you’re a seasoned foodie or just looking for a memorable meal, Laois has you covered. With its mix of innovative restaurants, charming cafés and quirky food offerings, it’s home to some of the best restaurants in the Midlands. In short, it’s the perfect destination for a gourmet getaway. And the best part? It’s all just an hour away from Dublin.
Hungry? Discover your new favourite restaurant here.