So you've found yourself in Tralee in the morning, late afternoon or early evening and you are planning your evening's food and entertainment. Where and how are you going to figure out a good place for an evening meal? If you'd like a bit of local knowledge, please read on.
My Airbnb Experience Guests and travelling Woodturning Students ask me all the time about good places to eat and I am never properly prepared for an answer. Well from now on, I am going to show them this Blog Post in which I have painstakingly researched (certain details) ( googled briefly) and written myself. This Blog Post should give a visiting person/ family or group a few ideas on where to go based on hopefully some good local ( me ) advice.
I prefer to give information I know to be true so I am only going to list places that my family or I have Dined in to begin with but I will add more after I talk with people I know that go out all the time.
Restaurants in Tralee for Evening Dining
As mentioned above, I am going to try and give you first hand experiences for Restaurants in Tralee where I or someone well known to me has visited. I will also have to include places later on that I only know about beyond that. My aim is to feature no more than 10 establishments, more would only complicate things.
There are plenty of articles online that mention Tralee Restaurants in the driest language available while simultaneously being copy/pasted from someone else's blurb. I'm opting for the genuine experience article here so please bear with me while I warm up my not-oft used culinary related vocabulary.
I have chosen not to add any images of these places in this Blog as I have linked to their websites or Facebook pages. No point in me showing you one picture when their pages are filled with professional photos that tell their full story. Read my paragraphs and then follow the links when something gels.
Reviews are Subjective
You may know this already but reviews are always subjective and each person can have an entirely different point of view than you or I. I guarantee, the best restaurant in the world has a few negatives reviews from people who probably can't be pleased or who have to stick a knife in but that shouldn't dull your view of that particular establishment.
I am going to try and give an accurate, fair assessment of my experiences in each place and leave out the negatives. The world is negative enough without adding to it. I judge places on cleanliness, friendliness, fairly good service, good food and everything with no hassle. Sometimes restaurants are very busy during peak times and staff might let something fall through the cracks. As a business owner, I understand this only too well and I always allow for it. Staff are doing a difficult job and they are only human. Please Be Kind, always!
If you are of a like mind, then my reviews will be exactly as they appear and should suit you. If you are spending more than one night in Tralee, maybe you will visit them all to see how accurate my details are. I'm sure each restaurant will appreciate your business!
Benners Hotel Restaurant - Upper Castle Street Tralee
I recently went out to this restaurant with my Aunt and Uncle from the US, on 2 different evenings. I'm not much of a critic of places so I will comment on what I know. The staff were very friendly and the restaurant was not crowded or loud and the atmosphere was pleasant. Service was quick with friendly chats from the server and the beer was going down nicely while we were waiting. I had the most amazingly cooked chicken burger with fries, no idea how it was cooked but the burger seemed to be crispy all the way through. If I could have managed a second helping each evening, I would have. Along with a front Bar, they have the restaurant behind with it's own bar and a huge courtyard with outside seating and dining too I believe (but not 100% sure). Definitely a place I would recommend. For full transparency, the owners are neighbours of mine and are well known to me.
Visit the Benners Hotel Tralee Website Here
Cassidy's Restaurant - Abbey Street Tralee
I'm not much of a real restaurant enthusiast type person but I have eaten here several times. This place is a favourite eatery for my parents and they regularly come here with their friends. There is a lovely calm atmosphere around the place and the lighting is subdued for effect. There is music through speakers around the rooms also for effect. (the tables are spread through 3 areas downstairs) The serving staff are very friendly and always have the bit of banter while taking the orders. The food is very high quality with the veg and fries normally served on side dishes so as not to interfere with the taste of the main course. I have eaten a few of their main courses which would be unusual for me. The food is always great and interestingly prepared and displayed. There is a good selection of beer & wine to go with your meal. They don't have a website but I will link to their Facebook page instead.
The Rose Hotel Bar & Restaurant - Dan Spring Road
The Rose Hotel is a 4 Star Hotel. I don't know much about evening dining here but I have had a lovely lunch in their Restaurant recently. Again, opting for the Chicken Burger and Fries, I wasn't disappointed. (I have an amazingly diverse palate as you may have already surmised). Everything was beautifully presented. I did have a bit of difficulty with the plate design, not being critical, just informative. Every time I rested the knife and fork on the oval plate, they would slip in and get sauce on the handles. Not a big deal, probably says more about me than the Restaurant (insert laughing emoji here). The Restaurant was full for lunches but tables are far apart enough that you are not joining in on adjacent tables conversations. My next door neighbours eat at this restaurant several times a week and are always happy with everything. I would also happily return here for lunch and maybe an evening meal at some stage.
The West End Bar and Restaurant - Fenit
Ok, so this one is not technically in Tralee but is just outside the town a little bit (17 mins) and you will need a car to get to it. I have been to this restaurant in the past and had a lovely fish dinner. My parents go to this restaurant several times during the year as a bit of variation from Cassidy's. They always have good things to say about the food and atmosphere. The West End is practically in Tralee Bay and you have a fantastic view from near sea level. Fenit has a long pier that you can walk out on which will give you a better view of the Bay. Visit the West End Fenit Website Here
Fancy a Pint after your Meal?
Tralee has plenty of pubs if you fancy an 'auld scoop or two' and each offers something a little different. Some have live music for a couple of hours on Fridays and Saturdays. The town has suffered a lot in the last number of years so having a few tourists spend a little money around the town is always greatly appreciated. Tralee often has full hotels overnight with coach loads of tourists going off to see Dingle, Killarney, Kenmare and other places the following day. Many of these visitors do not take the time to explore the town which is in fact the Capital of Kerry.
New Blog Post Coming Soon
I am going to do a Blog Post on Tralee pubs soon but I thought I'd mention two pubs here that I like to visit. Turners Bar at 22 Castle Street and Baileys Corner at 30 Lower Castle Street. Aidan Turner and Garry O'Donnell are the owners respectively. Both are good for a chat while serving you and both have a huge knowledge of the town and surrounds. If you are looking for further recommendations, these are the men to talk to. They are not always working but you might be lucky and catch them on duty.
Parking Facilities while you visit
Tralee has plenty of car parks around the town. Most are paid parking with cash meters. Google maps has them all marked out clearly so I won't mention them here specifically. Most hotels would have free parking facilities onsite or arrangements for parking with an off site car park. Always check out their information on their website first or contact them and ask. Paid parking ends at 6pm so you should be ok to park for free after that and enjoy your meal without worry.
Parking Facilities while you visit
Tralee has plenty of car parks around the town. Most are paid parking with cash meters. Google maps has them all marked out clearly so I won't mention them here specifically. Most hotels would have free parking facilities onsite or arrangements for parking with an off site car park. Always check out their information on their website first or contact them and ask. Paid parking ends at 6pm so you should be ok to park for free after that and go and enjoy an evening meal in the town without worry.
I am going to add to these Restaurant listings until I get to a maximum of 10 and then rewrite the ending. For now, there are some great recommendations for you to follow. If you are visiting around the time of the Rose of Tralee, please allow that these businesses will see a massive rise in short term business and may have trouble finding staff to work. Eat early, avoid peak times and you should be ok.
Thanks for reading, David