Top places to eat in the Twin Towns

· Visit the Festival

Coming to Ballybofey-Stranorlar for the Frances Browne Literary Festival and need a guide to the best places to eat? We’ve got you covered. The ‘Twin Towns’ are packed full of award-winning
places to tempt your tastebuds, whatever your food preference.

If you’re joining us on Saturday night, don’t forget we’ve combined our evening event with a special
dinner in Lifford Old Courthouse – in the same room that prisoners used to get sentenced! Check it out and book direct with the Courthouse here.

View our full festival programme at

Breakfast specials

Get your day off to the right start with a special breakfast. Whether your preference is porridge,
pancakes or a fry – combine it all with award winning coffee at The HatterTearoom in Stranorlar. This Alice in Wonderland themed tearoom was recently featured in the Irish Independent as one of the top cafés in Ireland. And its just doors away from where Frances Browne was born. View the Tearoom and menu on Facebook.

More top choices: Treat yourself at cosy Conkers tucked down a Ballybofey side street, or spend an hour people-watching on the Main Street at The Just Inn.

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Lunchtime bites

Decisions, decisions – we hope you are staying more than one day we have so much for you to choose from! Multi-award-winning Benny & Co is led by chefs Brenda and Jo O Hora. In the heart of Ballybofey, this team have been featured in McKennas Guides, Lucinda O’Sullivan awards and the Irish Restaurant Awards. Drop in for the handcrafted seasonal food, and don’t forget to leave room for dessert. Check the menus and book a table on the Benny & Co website.

More top choices: Pop into McElhinney’s for a spot of shopping and lunch in the Old Finn Café. Or relax by the fire in the Old Forge Bar at the Villa Rose Hotel.

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Afternoon re-energiser

Our programme is so packed full of events, we know you’ll need to refuel mid-afternoon. Luckily for you we have just the spots! Kee’s Hotel in Stranorlar serves afternoon tea every day from 12.30pm to 4.30pm. This hotel was established in 1845, two years before Frances Browne left Stranorlar to move to Edinburgh and is just doors away from where she grew up.

If you find yourself in Ballybofey, indulge in the ultimate book lovers café – The Coffee Loft combines bookshop with home baked treats. Find it upstairs at Alexanders on the Main Street.

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Evening selections

Two newcomers to the towns lead the top spots for evening choices, and both are on Stranorlar Main Street. Best known for it’s wood-fired pizzas and top quality burgers, Before has a diverse menu that includes steak, fresh fish, seasonal specials and an exciting wine list. All cooking is done over charcoal or in their wood fired oven. Be sure to book, as busy weekends mean tables are scarce. Service is top class – this Front of House Team took the top spot in Ulster at The YesChef Ireland Awards.

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 Just a few doors up the street, newly opened Curry Cottage brings award-winning Indian cuisine to the towns. This team also featured in the Irish Restaurant Awards Ulster final taking the Best Newcomer spot. This family run restaurant serves all your favourite Indian foods alongside
their own unique specialities.

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More top choices: The Garden Restaurant at Jacksons Hotel offers beautiful views of the hotel gardens, River Finn and Drumboe Woods. Or try their bistro menu in Fara’s Bar. Fancy a Chinese? Take a seat at Chinatower in Ballybofey or The Oriental Restaurant in Stranorlar. 

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