Galway’s Westend is spectacularly lit up with decorations, lights, and a Christmas tree for the runup to the festive season. We want to help spread Christmas cheer by sharing all of the wonderful businesses in Galway’s Westend that offer gifts and Christmas present inspiration as well as those serving winter warmers and delicious foods to keep you fueled on your shopping spree. Discover our Christmas shop local guide to Galway’s Westend right here..
By spending your money in local independent stores, you’re simultaneously supporting the entire locality and ensuring that Galway maintains its famous community-driven quality. Bespoke, one-of-a-kind items that have been produced with tender love and care make for ideal gifts that will withstand the tests of time. Meet some of our local traders who want to share the grá for shopping local this Christmas.
Get your Christmas gifts
There are plenty of fabulous presents and stocking fillers to get down in Galway’s bohemian Westend. Start with a browse of all fabulous collections of books and vinyls at Bell Book and Candle. Visit the herbalist health store Dr. Clare Apothecary for unique gifts, speciality teas, natural cosmetics and more. At Ernies discover the best of local produce and a range of lovely hampers before popping into the neighbouring Galway Simon Community Charity Shop because you never know what treasure you might find for a stellar price!
To treat those in your life who love a bit of pampering, get them a voucher to get their hair styled at the wonderful team at Envy Hair Salon or The Face Hairdressing. Alternatively, get them on the path to a fresh bit of ink at Westend Art Collective, Claddagh Art Collective, or Galway Bay Tattoos. If you have someone in your life who needs a bit of relaxation, get them a voucher for the wellness garden at Train Station Galway, where they can enjoy sauna, ice bath with coffee or fresh fruit juices.
Head into Daisy Bowl Florists to pick up a stunning floral display or cute new indoor plant to help brighten your loved ones home. If plants aren't their thing but art is, Just Art It is home to a large variety of art supplies and handmade crafts that are sure to wow all ages. Shopping for your significant other and looking to get them a gift you can both enjoy? Call into Laura Jane Adult Boutique Store to get a present that they are guaranteed to love. If shopping sustainably is a priority this Christmas, be sure to visit the Flea Style Market pop-up in Áras na nGael on the 16th and 17th of December. Alternatively, the gorgeous Sustainable Studio is open all week long, showcasing one-of-a-kind vintage designer bags, clothing, accessories and shoes.
Give them an experience that they’ll never forget in Galway’s Westend by treating your loved one to a voucher for; the Michelin-starred Aniar Restaurant, the beautiful wine bar Daróg Wine Bar, Ireland’s best Italian Restaurant 2023 Il Vicolo, the award-winning gastropub John Keogh’s, the sensational seafood restaurant Oscar Seafood Bistro, or take the out for a lovely brunch at Dela Restaurant. However, if your loved one prefers something more activity based, a voucher for Escape Rooms Galway or Seomra Yoga will do nicely.
...get a coffee with your presents
In order to warm yourself as you shop, check out the stores where coffee and retail merge. At Plámás, treat yourself to an early morning coffee and treats from Hapi Bakery. Their lovely retail shelves include beanies, artwork from Irish artists, cookery books, coffee beans and more. Stave off the cold with a delicious flavoured hot chocolate from Espresso 44. Alongside their yummy snacks and takeaway sandwiches, check out their Christmas hampers online here, as they are perfect for that coffee lover in your life. If your loved one is more of a tea drinker, they will absolutely adore the huge selection of herbal teas available at The Secret Garden. They also have locally made artwork and other products available on their retail shelves. To gift a loved one a fantastic hamper full of the finest artisan snacks and foods, pop by the lovely Gourmet Tart Co to enquire all about their Christmas hampers.
Get a Bite to Eat
When you want to take a break from shopping, call into one of the many amazing eateries that call the Westend home. An Tobar Nua offers a unique coffee on the canal experience, so stop by for a refreshing cuppa along with creative sandwiches and delicious 'in-house created' baked goods. At Greens & Co it’s all vegetarian and vegan goodness. Their daily specials are always seriously divine and it is always a popular choice for lunch. If you are after a delicious early morning feed, Urban Grind are top of their game. They are a favourite amongst the locals so be sure to try it while you are in the area. Another popular sit in option is Bare Pantry Café which offers incredible brunch and lunch options for the whole family. Birdhouse in the beer garden of Carroll’s on Dominick St is the ideal solution for a filling and delicious meal of tasty chicken wings, sides and sauces. Pair it with a pint from the bar and you’re laughing. If you are feeling a bit peckish for seafood, Hooked on Henry St is a family favourite and their fresh catch of the day is always delish. Offering both stunning lunch and dinner menus, if you have never eaten at Kai Restaurant take this as your sign to visit as soon as possible. We guarantee you’ll love it!
Enjoy exquisite French dining at Rouge, every evening they offer a gorgeous menu that is beautifully complemented by their wine selection. This makes them the perfect reward after a day of Christmas shopping. A cosy and intimate space, The Universal serves a fabulous variety of small plates alongside their drinks menu. For an authentic Italian experience Mona Lisa is second to none and if you are visiting Galway’s Westend with a friend or loved one we highly recommend dining at the Spanish Deli La Tasca for their spectacular tapas with Spanish wines. Both Spice India and Kashmir run unmissable weekly offers, making them the perfect destinations to try some of the finest Indian cuisine in the city. However if you’d prefer some post-shopping burgers, beers and cocktails, BóTOWN and Handsome Burger will never let you down. The newest addition to the Westend, Smashbird is every foodie’s dream. They offer takeaway chicken dishes, burgers, and vegan junk food and are well worth adding to your must-visit list.
There is one very special part of Galway city where the changing of the seasons is especially palpable; Galway’s Westend. Follow the glowing Christmas lights across the bridge and into the heart of the vibrant activity as the welcoming locals chat excitedly about the fast approaching festive season and all the fun it brings. A stroll along the canals, a visit to the playground and Fr. Burke Park each offers their own enjoyment and are all lovely ways to pass a day in Galway. Pop into the free exhibitions at Galway Arts Centre to admire the stunning artwork by local artists and get chatting to the staff there to learn more about Galway’s growing art scene.
Get a Well-deserved Drink
When all the shopping and snacking is done, we feel as though all your work deserves a reward in the form of a refreshing tipple. Catch some live horse-racing while you sip and savour your Guinness in MP Walsh Bar. Head to Salt House to sample some of the award-winning Galway Bay Brewery craft beers. The new cocktail menu at Bierhaus is a thing of dreams and we cannot suggest you call in and sample it for yourself. If you’re out for the night, Massimo and The Blue Note have been keeping the craic and dancing around Galway’s Westend going for decades. Providing entertainment and food to all who visit them, Monroes is a popular choice in Galway for unforgettable nights out.
Finally, let your hair down at one of the nightly Róisín Dubh events. From Silent Discos to independent gigs, there’s plenty of craic to be had. If you’re after some trad music, The Crane Bar is famous for it, best get down early though to ensure a decent seat. Additionally, a night out in Nova, Galway’s only gay bar is always a lot of fun. Taylor’s Bar and Beer Garden is always buzzing with live music and DJs, their late bar on the weekends is the source of many great nights out.
For more information on Galway’s Westend and all of its amazing businesses, please follow the Galway’s Westend social media pages - Facebook, X, Instagram - so you never miss out on any updates and stay tuned for the upcoming giveaways on these pages. Shopping local in Galway’s Westend is supported by Galway City Council’s Shop Local Campaign.
All photos by Ciarán MacChoncarraige.