McKenna’s Guide has just released its app of the top 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland guide – and it looks set to cause some controversy.

An impressive 22 new inclusions are featured in the updated EAT 2016, with a strong emphasis on modern, casual Irish food and up-and-coming chefs.

We’re particularly pleased to see one of our favourite Belfast hotspots featured. Established Coffee is a beloved coffee shop, as featured in our Break The Chains: 11 of the Best Independent Coffee Shops In Belfast.

Established is a new and welcome addition to the list

Established is a new and welcome addition to the list

Reasonably priced, with amazing open-space, modern décor and a massive family-style table in the centre (with more private tables along the side if you prefer), this place is deservedly queued out-the-door (and that was on a Sunday).

The coffee menu changes regularly (you wouldn’t see that at Starbucks), giving you a fantastic range of fresh options all the time to try out. And the food is mouth-watering. Plugs are also available for all those glued to their phones.

SHU restaurant earned itself a spot on the coveted list

SHU restaurant earned itself a spot on the coveted list

Meanwhile, popular Lisburn Road’s restaurant Shu earned itself a top spot – famed for its fantastic blade of beef; cocktails and terrific customer service.

Perhaps most unsurprisingly of all, was the recognition of the fine food and drink available at Michelin Star awarded Ox.

Ox Belfast

Ox Belfast

In March 2013, firm friends Belfast-born Stephen Toman and Brittany native Alain Kerloc’h combined forces and opened OX at Oxford Street, where it has enjoyed huge success ever since.

The art-like food meant this restaurant has indeed been hotly anticipated for a Michelin star before receiving one in September of 2015 – particularly since it has previously fended off some of London’s best Michelin-starred eateries to pick up top awards.

However, Deane’s Eipic –  the only other Belfast restaurant in possession of the coveted Michelin Star – was left out.

As were some of the most celebrated restaurants on the island – including The House at the five-star Cliff House in Ardmore, and Mount Juliet’s Lady Helen – which also hold Michelin Stars.

But then John and Sally McKenna are no strangers to debate. Their STAY 2016 app, also released this week, includes just a handful of five-star hotels among its list of the 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland.

Deane's Eipic - the only other Belfast restaurant in possession of the coveted Michelin Star - was left out

Deane’s Eipic – the only other Belfast restaurant in possession of the coveted Michelin Star – was left out

All told, EAT 2016 is an appetising list ranging from fine dining stalwarts like Chapter One and Nevin Maguire’s MacNean Restaurant to whippersnappers like Harry’s Shack and Kevin Pyke’s food truck in Derry.

Although dominated by Dublin (28 inclusions) and Cork (16), it showcases the diversity and energy in Irish food right now – particularly at the casual end.

Uniting it are great chefs and great cooking, the McKennas say.

McKennas Guides have been published since 1992, with the new apps including bite-sized reviews, interactive maps, social media links and booking options.

You can check out the full list below.

100 Best Restaurants in Ireland

Northern Ireland
Balloo House, Killinchy
Browns, Derry
Established, Belfast [NEW]
Harry’s Shack, Portstewart
James Street South, Belfast
Lost and Found, Coleraine
OX, Belfast
Pyke’n’Pommes, Queen’s Quay, Derry
Shu, 253 Lisburn Road, Belfast

Co. Carlow
Step House Hotel, Borris
Co. Cavan
MacNean Restaurant, Blacklion
The Olde Post Inn, Cloverhill, Butler’s Bridge
Co. Clare
Gregans Castle, Ballyvaughan
Murphy Blacks, Kilkee [NEW]
The Long Dock, Carrigaholt
Vasco, Fanore
Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna
Co. Cork
Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry
Café Paradiso, Lancaster Quay, Cork
Deasy’s Harbour Bar, Clonakilty
Diva, Ballinspittle [NEW]
Elbow Lane, Cork [NEW]
The Farm Gate Café, English Market, Cork
Fishy Fishy Café, Kinsale
Glebe Gardens, Baltimore
Iyer’s, Cork
L’Atitude 51, Cork [NEW]
Manning’s Emporium, Ballylickey
Miyazaki, Cork [NEW]
Pilgrim’s, Rosscarbery [NEW]
Sage Restaurant, Midleton
The Black Pig, Kinsale
The Food Depot, Courtmacsherry
Co. Donegal
Harry’s Bar & Restaurant, Bridgend
The Mill Restaurant, Dunfanaghy
The Tap Room, Rathmullan House
Co. Dublin
Amuse, Dawson St. [NEW]
Ananda, Dundrum Town Centre
Bastible, South Circular Road [NEW]
Brioche, Ranelagh
Brother Hubbard, Capel Street
Chameleon Restaurant, Temple Bar
Chapter One, Parnell Square
Delahunt, Camden Street [NEW]
Dunne & Crescenzi, South Frederick Street
Ely Winebar, Ely Place
Etto, Merrion Row
Fish Shop, Queen Street [NEW]
Forest Avenue, Sussex Terrace
Kinara Kitchen, Ranelagh
L’Ecrivain, Lower Baggot Street
L. Mulligan Grocers, Stoneybatter
Locks, Windsor Tce. [NEW]
Luna, Drury St. [NEW]
O’Connell’s, Donnybrook
Pichet, Trinity Street
Restaurant Forty One, St Stephen’s Green
Taste at Rustic, Sth. Great George’s St. [NEW]
The Cake Cafe, Pleasants Place Winding Stair, Lower Ormond Quay
The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane
The Greenhouse, Dawson Street
Thornton’s Restaurant, St. Stephen’s Green
Winding Stair, Lower Ormond Quay
Soder+Ko, Sth. Great George’s St. [NEW]
Co. Galway
Aniar, Lower Dominick Street
Ard Bia at Nimmo’s, Spanish Arch
Cava Bodega, Middle Street
Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites, Inis Meain
Kai Cafe + Restaurant, Sea Road
Kappa-Ya, Middle St. [NEW]
Loam, Geatta Na Cathrach, Fairgreen
Upstairs @ West, Barna [NEW]
Co. Kerry
Daroka, Ballybunion [NEW]
Global Village, Dingle
Idás, Dingle
Mulcahy’s, Kenmare
Co. Kildare
The Ballymore Inn, Ballymore Eustace
Harte’s of Kildare, Kildare Town
Co. Kilkenny
Campagne, 5 The Arches, Gashouse Lane
Foodworks, Parliament St. [NEW]
Co. Leitrim
The Cottage Restaurant, Jamestown
The Courthouse, Kinlough
Co. Limerick
Canteen, Mallow Street
La Cucina, Castletroy
Restaurant 1826, Adare
Co. Longford
Viewmount House, Longford
Co. Louth
Eastern Seaboard, Drogheda
Co. Mayo
An Port Mór, Westport
Knockranny House, Westport
Rua, Castlebar
The Idle Wall, Westport [NEW]
Co. Meath
Tankardstown, Slane
Co. Sligo
Pudding Row, Sligo [NEW]
Shell’s Café, Strandhill
Co. Tipperary
Chez Hans, Cashel
The Old Convent, Clogheen
Co. Waterford
Momo, Patrick Street [NEW]
The Tannery Restaurant, Dungarvan
Co. Wicklow
The Happy Pear, Greystones
The Strawberry Tree at Brook Lodge, Aughrim

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