Awards & Reviews
Rebecca Burr, 2015 Michelin “Eating out in Pubs” Guide. Irish Examiner, Nov 2014
“Look at a place like O’Dowd’s in Roundstone [Co Galway], You get great simple food like crab claws, a pint of Guinness and the atmosphere hits you as soon as you walk in the door. We still look for places with good home cooking and traditional recipes, that’s what we are after.”
Review from Yelp.com
One of the best seafood restaurants in the country, very simple food cooked to perfection, they actually get their fish delivered fresh daily and by god it really shows. There are no airs or graces here, just honest food done the way it should be. Well worth the detour if you are traveling to Clifden.
Review from www.wherecanigoeat.net
Roundstone is probably one of the most picturesque small fishing villages along the west coast of Ireland in Galway. O’Dowd’s Seafood Bar can be found on the main street just 100 yards from the harbour and has a reputation for the some of the freshest and very best seafood around. O’Dowd’s Seafood Bar has been run by the same family for four generations now and over time, other non-fish dishes have been added to the extensive menus, but if you are visiting, it would be a shame not to sample the seafood as it is extremely good.
Diners at O’Dowd’s have the choice of eating in either the restaurant or bar area and there is also a café to be found further down the street with internet access. The restaurant menu is served from 6pm in the evening whilst the bar menu is served all day in the bar and up to 6.15pm in the restaurant and there is also a €19.95 two course special menu available 12-7pm every day as well as a daily specials board.
On the Sunday we visited Roundstone, we were determined to try O’Dowd’s Seafood Bar, having read such good reviews, and chose to eat in the bar area as we were only really after a light snack and I am glad we did as it had lots of character and did not look as if it had changed much over the years, a trait we were beginning to notice about most Irish pubs and bars we had visited during our stay in Galway.
As we entered, there were a couple eating a large plate of local mussels and that pretty much made my decision of what to have for lunch very easy. The seafood chowder also looked extremely good and my partner had vegetable soup and a ham and cheese toasty as she is not a big fan of seafood really. The mussels and soup quickly arrived and very good they were too and good value at €10.95 and €5.95 respectively given their freshness and taste. The chowder in particular was top notch and it was nice to find a generous helping of large chunks of fish at the bottom of the bowl that made the dish extremely filling and satisfying.
The service at O’Dowd’s Seafood Bar was first class and the whole dining experience was faultless. Within an hour we were all paid up and on our way, but very impressed we were too, and it was most definitely one place we would visit again, perhaps for a evening meal next time as O’Dowd’s Seafood Bar without doubt lived up to its excellent reputation as one the best places to eat along the west coast of Ireland.
The Sunday Telegraph
The landscape was becoming more lusher and the villages more populated as we made for Roundstone and O’Dowd’s pub and seafood bar overlooking the small fishing harbour. A real irish pubs award was on the old, wood-panelled wall and the place turned out to be a genuine treat. I gazed out the window to the sea as i scoffed the nine plump scallops in herb butter and fresh, fat chips that made up lunch. We were only a short flight from London but a million miles from the irish “theme” pub. I allowed myself, briefly , to feel smug in the snug. After lunch, we wandered around the town: a pretty little place with freshly painted white cottages and a plethora of art galleries. At 3.30pm, it was back in the car for the hour long drive back to Galway. The day trip had proved to be a stunning highlight in our visit to Ireland; Connemara, more enticing than i could ever have imagined. – Jo Knowsley
Sunday Tribune supplement
Section: Eight of the best pubs for getting top nosh. O’DOWDS, ROUNDSTONE, CO.GALWAY. This picture perfect Connemara village is magnificent, with some great pubs and hotels. O’Dowds has forged a reputation for its excellent bar-food, particularly its delicious chowder that sells quicker than Virgin Mary statues in Knock. It has an old-fashioned no-frills interior, with great views over the harbour and the pier designed by Alexander Nimmo.
Food and Wine magazine – Best in the West
One long narrow street, Houses all higgledy like a row of crooked teeth, an old stone harbour and a sweeping panorama – the charms of roundstone are immediate as you round the bend into this peaceful Connemara fishing village. But after a stroll along Dog’s Bay or Gurteen beach there’s a huge selection of delicious local fare to tempt including O’Dowds seafood chowder. Mark this place on your map!
Barfly- Irish Independent Supplement
This is the pub of pubs in Roundstone. All dark wood, cosy corners, rustic charm and a seafood restaurant next door. Although having sampled it, the bar food does the job just the same. The village was built in the 1820’s by the Scottish engineer Alexander Nimmo. Daily catches of lobster, crayfish, crab, mackerel and oysters (to name a few) make the daily specials worth trying. The pub has been in the O’Dowd family for nearly 100 years, having been bought by Richard O’Dowd in 1904. But where else to order fish? Roundstone is one of the oldest fishing villages in Connemara. And the scenery, as one city slicker friend of mine discovered, can be just as good indoors. “I’ll have one hot-buttered fisherman”, she said on one particular evening (and that’s before she had her third G&T). I got her some Ling and chips, instead. Having left my card behind the bar, I promptly forgot it. When I returned the next day, the barman told me he’d taken the liberty of charging it in case I wasn’t coming back. How charming for him to underestimate the power of his own hospitality. This might hurt him more than it hurts me but, of course, I’ll be back. Just try stopping (or barring me). AT THE BAR: Blow-ins from London and Dublin and a smattering of local fishermen, of course. IN THE GLASS: Pint of lager costs €3.50 while a pint of Guinness at a mere €3.15 is hard to beat. ON THE STEREO: This is one place you won’t get a stereo in your ear. The best you could hope for is a sing-a-long. ON THE PLATE: Fresh Plaice and chips costs €9.95. ADDED EXTRAS: You can walk off your lunch on one of the marvellous beaches (Dog’s Bay or Gurteen) nearby.
Failte Ireland Award
A Chara, On behalf of Failte Ireland, I am pleased to enclose an Irish Welcome Awards Certificate of Merit, which is presented to you as a mark of recognition for the valuable contribution you have made to our famous Cead Mile Failte. This is as a result of nominations we received for you. Most of all, the Failte Ireland Irish Welcome Awards has allowed us to become aware of that extra mile that you, and countless other ‘welcome ambassadors’ from all walks of life, do to make the traditional Irish Welcome so special.
The O’Dowd family have been welcoming visitors to this much-loved pub overlooking the harbour for longer than most people care to remember, and, although there are some new developments from time to time, the old bar is always the same. It’s one of those simple places, with the comfort of an open fire and good pint, where people congregate in total relaxation – if they can get in(it can be very busy in the summer months). A reasonably priced bar. menu majoring in seafood offers sustenance or, for more formal meals, the restaurant next door does the honours: seafood chowder, mussels, crabmeat etc; Connemara Lamb; Blackberry & Apple pie. All day food also available at the adjacent family-run coffee-shop. Own parking. Meals 12-10 daily (to 9.30 in pub). Reservations required in restaurant. House wine from €16. SC10% on parties of 6+. Closed 25th Dec. Amex, Mastercard, Visa, Laser. Directions: On harbour front in Roundstone village.