The Kings Head, a medieval pub with 800 years of living history, is located within the heart of the Latin Quarter in Galway, Ireland. You could perhaps not choose a better time to visit Galway than during the festive season. The Christmas Markets are open until late with their dazzling lights and holiday tunes echo into the night through Eyre Square.
Visiting for the day from Dublin or the east? Galway is about a two and a half hour’s bus or train ride from Dublin’s Heuston Station. The Kings Head is a landmark in Galway. Famous for their nightly live music, it is also “steeped” in centuries of history. Owned and operated by the Grealish Family for 30 years, they continue to carry the intriguing history forward. The Pub’s building dates back to the 13th Century. The Pictorial Map of Galway dated in 1651, for example, shows 15 High Street, the address of The Kings Head, as one of the most prominent buildings in Galway. The Pub is adjoined to Stubbers Castle. First thought to be a legendary tale, it was Colonel Peter Stubbers who was linked to the execution of King Charles I with further research.
The Kings Head got its name with the tale of Colonel Stubbers seizing his grand house on High Street in Galway. This house is now home to The Kings Head Pub.
The Pub is very keen on seasonal cuisine, serving fresh and local dishes. These include the Wild Atlantic Seafood Chowder or Slow Cooked Lamb Shank. To start, I had their own craft beer, the Blood Red Ale. Brewed exclusively by local brewers, Galway Hooker. This small batch, traditional ale is a great pairing for any of their hearty dishes, especially ones with sweet root vegetables. I personally love the go-to Black and Tan. If you love that, you would love the Blood Red Ale.
Lunch specials for the day I visited included a Cream of Vegetable Soup with Homemade Brown Bread and Venison Burger. The fish was the Wild Atlantic Monkfish, served with champ, kale, and foraged sorrel butter sauce (€17). In Ireland, the Brown Bread is a must; in fact I have it every day at least twice a day during my visits.
Notable starters include the Beef Brisket and Kelly’s Native Galway Oysters.
The Pub is particularly strong on their seafood selections. Some of the best crab claws I ever had are found here. Hot, buttery, and with plenty of herbs, their Crab Claws are pan-fried in garlic & chili butter. The Claws are served with homemade brown bread and a bucket of chips (€18.45). The Fillet of Wild Atlantic Hake is one to try. The Hake is served with baby potatoes, chorizo, kale, and foraged lemon sorrel butter (€15.95).
Side dishes not to miss are the Honey Roasted Root Vegetables and Braised Red Cabbage.
Head Chef Brendan Keane curates dishes that feature local produce, fish, game, and dairy, and more. Local suppliers include Petit Delice Bakery for their bread, Kellys in Kilcolgan for their Oysters, and Kylemore Farmhouse cheese in Loughrea.
Current seasonal desserts are the Autumn Fruit Pavlova with Sliabh Aughty honey and cinnamon cream; and Homemade Apple Pie with vanilla ice cream. There is also a Chocolate & Salted Caramel Brownie white chocolate sauce, Sticky Toffee Pudding with rum & raisin ice cream, and other selections (€6.75/each). Any dessert made with Salted Caramel is always a top choice for dessert while in Ireland!
The Pub’s bar and bistro for lunch and dinner everyday from 11am. No reservations are needed for parties of less than eight people. Come during the mid-afternoon for a quieter dining time.