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Louth’s very best crowned at 2020 Irish Restaurant Awards

Winnter of Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant category Sarah McGarry of The Restaurant at Ghan House with Mark McGowan, President RAI.

The Bay Tree Restaurant in Carlingford and Dundalk’s Square and The Spotted Dog were among the big winners at the Leinster Regional Finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards on Thursday night, as winners from across the county took home prizes in 16 wide-ranging categories.

The Bay Tree took home the coveted title for Best Restaurant in Louth and doubled up on their success when chef Conor Woods claimed the award for the counties’ Best Chef. Elsewhere, there were also two wins each for Square Restaurant (Best Newcomer and Best Emerging Irish Cuisine) and The Spotted Dog (Best Kids Size Me and Best Casual Dining).


The Longwalk-based restaurant follows up from their success last year when they claimed the Best Newcomer gong in Louth.

In other categories, Amy McGuirk of the Trinity Quarter in Drogheda won Best Restaurant Manager while Sarah McGarry of The Ghan House was on hand to pick up the award for Best Hotel and Guesthouse Restaurant (pictured above). In 2019, they had claimed the Best Emerging Irish Cuisine award.

Strandfield, Rocksalt and Atami Japanese Cuisine both won in their categories for the second successive year. On a night when establishments from north Louth dominated, Russell’s Saloon claimed the Best Pub gong.

The best restauranteurs and chefs from all over the province descended on the Knightsbrook Hotel in Trim wherer over 700 owners and staff celebrated their achievements over the last 12 months. 16 of them will now compete for regional and all-Ireland titles at the next big awards bash, slated for May this year.


Click below to see the full list of winners from across county Louth from Wednesday evening’s awards.

“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,” Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins said at the event,


“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”.

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