Local restaurants are having a taste of success after picking up 16 accolades at last night’s Ulster Regional Final of the Irish Restaurant Awards.

Over 600 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards, which saw many well-known restaurateurs of Ulster turn out at the Slieve Russell Hotel to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards.

Sixteen awards were presented to leading restaurants and hotels across Donegal. Harvey’s Point had the biggest triumph on the night, coming home with three awards for Best Chef, Best Customer Service and Best Wine Experience.

The Harvey’s Point culinary team in the new Food Hall of the Grand Ballroom: L-R Colin McKay, Lucy Doyle, Chris McMenamin, Marcus Pearson and Eddie Callaghan

Donegal’s own world chowder champ Kieran Doherty of Nancy’s Barn took the title of Donegal’s Food Hero 2020, and many more trailblazers have successes to celebrate after the event.

See the full list below.

All of the local winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland Titles, which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards. These will be held in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin on Monday 18th May, 2020.

Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants

  • Donegal – Danny Minnies Country House

Best Chef – Sponsored by BWG Foodservice

  • Donegal – Colin McKee of Harvey’s Point

Best Newcomer – Sponsored by Monin

  • Donegal – Boathouse Restaurant Killybegs

Best Restaurant Manager – AIB Merchant Services

  • Donegal – Jo Roarty of Quay West

Best Hotel and Guesthouse Restaurant – Sponsored by Frylite

  • Donegal – The Foyle Hotel Eatery and Wine Bar

Best Customer Service – Sponsored by Dolmen Insurance Brokers

  • Donegal – Harvey’s Point

Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Elavon

  • Donegal – The Rusty Mackerel, Teelin

Best Cafe – Sponsored by Illy

  • Donegal – Benny and Co. Coffee Bar and Restaurant, Ballybofey

Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Jameson

  • Donegal – The Forge

Best Wine Experience – Sponsored by Gilbeys with Bibendum

  • Donegal – Harvey’s Point

Best World Cuisine – Sponsored by Stafford Lynch – San Pellegrino

  • Donegal – Chandpur Indian Restaurant

Best “Free From” – Sponsored by Peroni Libera

  • Donegal – Sonder Café

Best Kids Size Me

  • Donegal – The Edge Restaurant at Redcastle Hotel

Best Local Food Hero – Sponsored by The Irish Times

  • Donegal – Kieran Doherty of Nancy’s Barn Ballyliffin

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine – Sponsored by Manor Farm

  • Donegal – The Lemon Tree Restaurant Letterkenny

Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by Just Eat

  • Donegal – Fisk at the Harbour Bar

Speaking at the awards on Tuesday, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins said; “Now in their 12th year, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to showcase the incredible food that is on offer in the cafes, pubs and restaurants of Ireland, as well as recognising the teams behind these establishments and the hard work and dedication that they put in. With well over 100,000 nominations received from the public this year, the standard for the judging process was higher than ever.

Ireland may be a small country, but it boasts everything from fine dining to high quality gastropubs, from the comfort of traditional Irish food to exploring the world though exotic world cuisine, the Irish restaurant industry has much to offer. We have an appreciation for what we eat and where our food comes from, as well as the dedication of those working in the food industry”.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland would like to extend a huge thank you to our sponsors of this year’s Irish Restaurant Awards:

The Irish Times, Tindal Wine Merchants, BWG Foodservice, Elavon, Dolmen Insurance Brokers, Frylite, Just Eat, Jameson, Monin, Stafford Lynch – San Pellegrino, Peroni Libera, Illy, Gilbeys with Bibendum, AIB Merchant Services and Manor Farm.