Abbeygate Street has, for a few years now, been the home of street food in Galway. While we may have lost several stalwarts in recent times — The Home Plate, Couch Potatas, and La Salsa — we have gained much more. This street has everything from authentic Mexican food to the very best falafel. There is a vegetarian cafe, an Italian restaurant, a chilli shack — and even a Asian supermarket and an American sweet shop.
One that has become a firm favourite is Biteclub, which has been a solid performer from its opening. Biteclub is restaurant and bar culture united in a unique way. This is a very happy marriage of two popular food trends, the new breed of pop-up style restaurants like Craicbird in Dublin or Canteen in Limerick meets food truck cuisine — resulting in elevated street food.
There is a full bar here, but also some beautifully presented cocktails and slushies. There is good coffee, and you can upgrade to an espresso martini. The 'Lushies' churn away in good old fashioned Slush Puppy style, expect frozen margaritas or sangria daiquiris. The cocktail menu often lists ingredients that would make Willy Wonka proud — watermelon juice, curiosity cola, ice cream, poitin, agave. The short menu offers towering burgers, excellent wings, fish tacos, and some of the best fries in town. Everything comes in brightly coloured, cheap and cheerful plastic trays. The shabby chic style of furniture makes it a relaxing place to bring children too, as there is really nothing for them to break.
The expansion into the space at street level blended exotic bites and inventive cocktails in a laid-back atmosphere. The food is a world-inspired take on street food with influences ranging from Mexican to Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and beyond, using the best in locally sourced and free-range produce to create flavoursome, colourful, and affordable food. At the street level diner, Biteclub offers private spaces for dinner parties, birthdays, staff parties, and the like. A brunch menu runs from 2pm until 5pm on Sundays with menu items such as spicy chorizo beans and baked eggs and BLT with Herterich's smoked bacon, extra points for shopping local.
Both floors share the same kitchen, and the menu is similar. The food at Biteclub is inexpensive, nicely spiced, and dangerously delicious. All of the food and drink at Biteclub is locally sourced and organic wherever possible, with meats arriving fresh from Colleran's and Herterich's, fish from Gannet, and cocktail ingredients foraged from local organic produce venders, and the restaurant's own rooftop herb garden.
With a casual environment and good, simple, food with relaxed hipster style service, what could have been an over-thought cool concept is in fact a lovely space. An atmosphere is the one thing that cannot be manufactured in a restaurant, it either has it or not. Biteclub has it in spades. Whatever fairy dust has been sprinkled here is working. Nice setting, staff, food, drinks, music, and dancing. It is pop-cuisine at its finest.
Biteclub - Streetfood Discotheque, 36 Upper Abbeygate Street, Galway. Phone 091 569824, email [email protected].