In the southwestern part of County Leitrim is the town of Carrick-on-Shannon. This quaint town sits on the banks of the River Shannon. Carrick is a very popular vacation destination. The River Shannon and Shannon Erne Waterway are renowned for cruising. Carrick is also a well-known fishing destination. http://www.carrickonshannon.ie My husband and I discovered this Irish town while watching House Hunters International a number of years ago. We were immediately intrigued and knew we would like to eventually visit.
While in Ireland this summer we spent a lot of time in Carrick-on-Shannon. The town’s main street becomes one-way and turns down toward the river. On both sides, the street is lined with shops, pubs, and restaurants. The River Shannon is beautiful and blue.
On our first visit to Carrick there was a festival happening, A Taste of Carrick. Local restaurants and pubs, as well as small specialty shops, had come out to showcase their food. With admission, we each received several tickets that would be exchanged for food at our choice of vendors. Vittos Restaurant served some of the best bruschetta I have ever had. http://www.vittosrestaurant.com
While in Carrick, we also discovered the Costello Memorial Chapel. This is a very, very small chapel nestled between two buildings. According to the sign outside, this chapel is the smallest in Ireland and apparently the second smallest in the world. The chapel is a memorial to Edward Costello’s wife, Mary Josephine Costello. It is a mere 16 feet long and 12 feet wide and the final resting place for both Edward and Mary Josephine.
Below is a list of the pubs and restaurants we visited with some comments and links.
The Anchorage Bar http://theanchoragebar.com
They only accept cash.
The Oarsman http://www.theoarsman.com
Make reservations, especially on the weekend. On our first visit we went in around mid-afternoon and sat at the bar for a few drinks. Reservations weren’t an issue, but it was an “off” time. On a second occasion we went in for dinner around 5:30 on a weekend. We were asked if we had reservations. They were able to accommodate us, but the table they gave us was reserved at 7pm.
Crumbs Sandwich Bar http://crumbssandwichbar.ie
This was a sit down/carryout deli-type restaurant that served great sandwiches, wraps, and soups. They had a pretty extensive menu, but were also willing to accommodate our order if we wanted something not on the menu.
Giovanni’s Grill http://www.giovannis.ie
This was the perfect place when we were craving pizza and fries (aka “chips”). The prices were extremely reasonably. We ordered the margherita pizza and garlic cheese chips. This was more than enough food for the two of us. They also had burgers, sandwiches, full Irish breakfast, and more.
Bush Hotel Coffee Shop http://www.bushhotel.com/dining/our-coffee-shop/
Connected to the Bush Hotel, but also accessible through a separate entrance, is this coffee shop. It is small and intimate, a nice place to spend a few hours reading or chatting. They also serve food during specific hours.
We stopped here for dessert and cappuccinos. This is a proper bakery and cafe with pies, cakes, pastry puffs, individual deserts, and breads.
This bar is located just across the bridge from the main downtown hub. They have a very nice outdoor area that is right beside the River Shannon. The day we were there they had a cover band playing outside (they were quite good) and it was free of charge.
This place isn’t unique to Carrick. Supermac’s can be found throughout Ireland. This is like the Irish version of McDonald’s and I must say, I think it’s better. You order at the counter and they bring it out to you since it is cooked to order. The burgers don’t taste processed, they taste fresh. The one in Carrick, and several others I saw, also have a Papa John’s inside.