Get to know Galway’s First Italian Restaurant; Magnetti’s
Business//Food & Drink

Get to know Galway’s First Italian Restaurant; Magnetti’s

Showcasing a great love and pride for their Italian roots, Magnetti's offers all of their guests a high quality authentic Italian dining experience. At both of their Galway restaurants, visitors can enjoy the best flavours of Italy across everything Magnetti’s offers.

We got chatting with co-owner Seán to find out more about the story of Magnetti’s and its two restaurants;  Trattoria Magnetti on Quay St, in Galway’s historic Latin Quarter and on the waterfront, Magnetti’s Salthill.

above: courtesy of Trattoria Magnetti

The story of the family run Magnetti restaurants begins back in 1986, when Seán’s parents, Mary and Sergio Magnetti, opened Galway’s first Italian restaurant on Cross Street. At this time they specialised in their pastas and lasagnes. They then moved to their current Quay Street location in 1992, and Seán and his brother Marco took over running the restaurant in 2003. Magnetti’s takes pride in being an authentic Italian restaurant, and places a focus on regional cooking, their fresh housemade pasta as well as using Italian products in all that they do. Seán explains; “it's very much an authentic Italian restaurant, ‘Trattoria’ is a style of restaurant which specialises in regional, traditional and local products.” 

A more recent addition to the Magnetti family arrived just over a year ago, as Magnetti’s Salthill. This restaurant is the more casual of the two, putting an emphasis on pizzas and takeaway goods. Here, their speciality is their Roman pizza al taglio, which is perfect for sharing as they come served on large boards, cut into small slices. They also serve platters of meats, cheeses and salads as well as a variety of Italian wines and desserts. Whereas at Trattoria Magnetti on Quay Street, their range of offerings include a full menu of pasta, pizza, meats, fish, starters and desserts, encompassing a more formal style of the two restaurants. At both locations, you’ll also find a retail space which stocks a lot of authentic Italian products, including olive oil, balsamic vinegars, coffee as well as the seasonal goods they bring in throughout the year.

above: courtesy of Magnetti's Salthill

To ensure the use of a high standard of quality Italian products, Seán and Marco bring in most of their ingredients from regions around Italy, right down to the coffee which has been specially imported from an Italian roasting house outside of Rome. These Italian products are key ingredients in making Magnetti’s famous as an authentic Italian restaurant. Seán says; “It goes back to the basic principle that if you are going to do an authentic Italian menu or business, there are certain things you have to be able to source correctly.” He continues; “we try to go that step further to ensure that it's as authentic as it can be.”

Talking us through their menus further, Seán acknowledges that; “It’s really about being authentic and once again going back to the products, going back to the sourcing, the freshness and authenticity of the products and from there we build our menu up and we keep it very strictly Italian.” Holding a high regard for the values that Italians would expect to see in restaurants in Italy, Seán and Marco replicate that same standard across their two Galway locations. Their pastas are all handmade which allows them to include pastas on their menus which would not be easily found otherwise. Additionally, all their pizza dough is matured for up 72 hours in advance to give their pizzas more in depth flavours. “We are always using the skills we have and resources we have to try and just recreate authentic Italian cooking through our recipes,“ Seán explains. A testament to the standards of care and attention to detail, Magnetti’s have been upheld since Seán parents’ first opened the doors in 1986. To this day, you can find items on their menus which use the same recipe that they used all those decades ago. The reputation of one dish in particular stood out to Seán, the Pasta Mista, which was an adaptation of a traditional Italian dish to better suit the Irish palate of the time, and as a result became so popular it has never come off the menu since!

If you would like to find out more about Magnetti’s, Galway’s first Italian restaurant, check out their website here and if you would like to book your table at either of their two restaurants, tap here for Trattoria Magnetti on Quay Street and here for Magnetti’s Salthill. Walk-ins welcome.

above: courtesy of Magnetti's Salthill

Feature photo courtesy of Magnetti's Salthill

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