Some of my favorite things about
Galway is definitely is the food, which might sound surprising considering most people don't usually think of Ireland when they think of good food. And while Ireland may not have amazing pasta like in Italy or delicious macaroons like Paris, it does have some hidden finds that everyone should try when they come here. First of all, if you are in Ireland you must find a cafe and sit for some tea and a scone or croissant. In cafes here they bring you an entire tea pot just for yourself and you can sit for 1, 3 how many cups you want, it truly is great. And with this lovely tea, you must try a chocolate croissant or if your in the right place a raspberry scone. One of my favorite cafes is called the cafe on the river or Au Tolberan in Gaelic, they have great tea and the best chocolate chip cookies but they also have cream cheese bagels, which is a god sent when I'm craving things from home because very few places have bagels (much to my dismay). But whichever cafe you got to it is a must do when in Ireland, because it truly is the best way to sit and listen to the locals chat in their Irish accents or if you are lucky sometimes even in Irish.
Another one of my favorite things to do in Galway is to go to the market on Saturdays and Sundays and visit the doughnut man. For those of you who are wondering what a "doughnut man" is, he is a cute little man who makes homemade donuts, and they are the BEST donuts you will ever eat! They are warm, and dashed with cinnamon sugar and all my friends and family agreed they were the best donuts. And if you have any room after the donuts, you must try a bagel from one of the vendors and get it with cream cheese and Nutella. The market has so many great things from homemade honey to juices to fresh fruit and veggies, and it is such a fun place to walk around in. One of my favorite things about the market is that they have so many homemade items ranging from mugs and other ceramics to scarfs, jewelry and even paintings. The market is truly the best place to find true Irish keepsakes and is definitely a place I got most of my gifts for people back home.
If you are wondering the best food to eat in Ireland, fish and chips is definitely my favorite and there is one great seafood place in Galway that has the flakiest batter and great chips I might add. One of my favorite places to eat in Galway is Finnegans which has cheap prices and serves the best Bangers and Mash and my personal favorite Irish Goujon, which is an Irish version of chicken fingers and is the best chicken fingers you will ever eat. Sometimes when I am missing American food I got to this place called Bite Club that has something called cheesy pasta, which is the closest thing I have eaten to mac n cheese, and there slushies and lemonade don't disappoint! Another one of my favorite places is Griffins Bakery, which is famous for their sandwiches on sourdough bread and have some great desserts such a little cakes, eclairs and even gingerbread men! And while Galway isn't known for their desserts, they do have great places for gelato, crepes and there is this one amazing place that is hidden down a side street and has the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten (they warm it and give it to you with butter, its heavenly!). Another famous place in Galway is the Gourmet Tart which is known for their desserts and of course their tarts! Yet my favorite thing to do will always be sitting in a cafe with some tea and a croissant listening to the locals talk.
While I wish I could go out to eat all the time and eat all this great food, most of the time I am cooking my own meals in my apartment. Most my days consist of me walking to school, having class, getting some homework done in college, eating peanut butter and jelly for lunch, cooking dinner and eating it before my night class. Most of my days are like this and many of my meals are the same, never really getting too fancy; chicken and beef stir fry is always my go to! However, sometimes I will go to my favorite cafes in Galway to do some homework, which is always a nice change in the atmosphere. On weekends I am in Galway I try to go into town for some dinner and treat myself to some gelato after a long week. And while I wish I could eat all the extravagant foods I love in Ireland all the time, getting to have them every now and then makes them so much more special. Trying new food during my time studying abroad, whether it be in a new place I am visiting or finding new places in Galway, is one of my favorite things. If there is one thing you must do when studying abroad it's splurging on food; believe me you won't regret it!