1 of’s “Best Irish Pubs in America” (#8 of 22)

“This Irish pub is award-winning and brings great Irish hospitality to Annapolis, Maryland. Galway Bay has been recognized for its great bartenders, trivia nights, and even for having the best Irish pub experience in the United States.

Galway Bay works very hard to bring an authentic experience where patrons can connect. To that end, this pub has no televisions to draw attention away from your company. Instead, it relies on the food, drink, and environment to make your experience memorable.

With unique offerings and classic favorites, Galway has an entire menu dedicated to its own eggnog cocktails inspired by Galway Bay's Irish eggnog. It includes apple spice nog and even a chai tea nogg. This eggnog beverage isn't like the bottles you'll find in refrigerated coolers during December since this eggnog comes from the very best that Irish pastures have to offer.”

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Chesapeake Bay Magazine Best of the Bay 2022 Awards

Best Bar in Maryland: The Irish Restaurant Company
Pick just one favorite bar? We can’t, and neither could our readers. Thankfully, the winning Irish Restaurant Company has four. Galway Bay Irish Restaurant and Pub is a cozy Irish pub with an award-winning whiskey list, situated on beautiful Maryland Avenue in downtown Annapolis. Brian Boru Restaurant and Pub is a friendly hangout for families and friends, located in Severna Park. Killarney House is an Old World, wood-paneled retreat in rural Davidsonville. Pirate’s Cove Restaurant and Dock Bar in Galesville overlooks the West River, easily accessible by boat or car. They all feature fantastic food (including Irish favorites like shepherd’s pie at the pubs, and plentiful seafood at the dock bar), plus great live music and genial Irish hospitality.

Best Dock & Dine in Maryland: Pirates Cove
Boaters love tradition, and both of these winners from last year have the same recipe for success. First is a great location: Hole in the Wall is set on Gwynn’s Island, where the Piankatank River meets the Bay, while Pirates Cove is on the West River, convenient to Annapolis. Add in ample docking space, wide open-air decks for waterside dining, fresh food with something for everyone, and you get that last piece: convivial crowds, made up of locals and boaters passing through for an afternoon or weekend.

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What’s Up? Media Best of Annapolis 2022

Best Irish Restaurant: Galway Bay


Bay Weekly Best of the Bay 2021 Awards - Staff Picks

Best Community Outreach: The Irish Restaurant Company
Best Key Lime Pie: Pirates Cove

Pirate’s Cove Restaurant in Galesville wins a Best Community Outreach award this year. Along with the other properties under the Irish Restaurant Company umbrella, Pirates Cove went above and beyond helping out during the height of the pandemic. They fed first responders, kept employees working and hosted fundraiser dinners for a variety of groups. And then they were whammied by flooding in October. Through it all, the staff and management stayed positive and met the challenges head-on. Our CEO John Martino also nominates them for Best Key Lime Pie.

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Bay Weekly Best of the Bay 2021 Awards - Readers' Picks

Best Brunch:
Killarney House
Best Irish Pub: Killarney House

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What’s Up? Media Best of Annapolis 2021

Best Irish Restaurant: Galway Bay. Finalists: Brian Boru and Killarney House

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What’s Up? Media Best of West County 2021 – FINALIST

Finalist Best Irish Restaurant: Killarney House

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Severna Park Voice’s Best of Severna Park 2021

Best Live Music Venue: Brian Boru

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Chesapeake Bay Magazine Best of the Bay 2020 Awards

Best Bar in Maryland: Galway Bay
A slew of local and imported beers on tap, an award-winning whiskey collection, tasty food, and live music most evenings make this bar a winner, as does its friendly tribe of locals. Don’t come for the game because they don’t have TVs, preferring the art of conversation over competition.

Best Brunch in Maryland: Killarney House
A traditional Irish breakfast with rashers, sausage, and black and white pudding is a natural at this roadside tavern. Or maybe the corned beef hash bowl, crabmeat omelet or made-to-order waffles? Bring your appetite and plan to linger: Live music starts at 3pm.

Best Chef in Maryland: Steve Hardison
Come for the views, stay for the food at this waterfront eatery helmed by executive chef Steve Hardison. The broiled seafood bake is tops, as are the fish ‘n’ chips and honey-glazed Norwegian salmon. (He also oversees more Irish-tinged menus at sister restaurants Galway Bay, Killarney House, and Brian Boru.)

Best Dock & Dine: Pirates Cove
There are few better ways to spend a weekend than cruising to this marina, ordering up a seafood platter, and watching the sun go down as live music heats up the deck.

Best Outdoor Dining Maryland: Pirates Cove
You’re practically on the dock itself when you grab an outdoor table at this longtime favorite in Anne Arundel County. Live music, a diverse menu, and a congenial crowd makes it an ideal spot to while away the hours.

Best Bartender in Maryland: Jamie Taylor, Brian Boru Irish Restaurant & Pub
With the Boru team for eight years and counting, Jamie’s loyal following of regulars-turned-friends comes from his affable nature and personal service. “He remembers the things that are important to people,” says manager Heather Saffield, be it pouring your usual before you even order or participating in charity fundraisers in his time off.

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IRISH CENTRAL: Best Irish Pub in Every State in the United States 2020

Best Irish Pub in Maryland: Galway Bay
The best places in the US to find a piece of Ireland, a good pint of Guinness, and some tasty food.

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What’s Up? Media Best of Annapolis 2020

Best Irish Restaurant: Galway Bay

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Irish Global Hospitality 2019

Best Whiskey Experience in the Americas: Galway Bay, Annapolis

Commercial Stewards Award, Chesapeake Bay Trust 2019

Irish Restaurant Company

Bay Weekly Best of the Bay 2019 Awards

Brunch: Killarney House Irish Restaurant & Pub
Crab Soup: Pirates Cove Restaurant & Dock Bar
Fine Dining Restaurant: Pirates Cove Restaurant & Dock Bar
Friendliest Wait Staff: Killarney House Irish Restaurant & Pub
Irish Pub: Killarney House Irish Restaurant & Pub
Restaurant to Take Out-of-Town Guests: Pirates Cove Restaurant & Dock Bar
Waterside Dining: Pirates Cove Restaurant & Dock Bar

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Bay Weekly Best of the Bay 2018 Awards

Crab Cake: Pirates Cove (tied with Boatyard Bar & Grill)
Waterside Dining: Pirates Cove
Fundraiser: Pigs & Pearls (tied with SPCA)
Trivia Night: Galway Bay
Best Irish: Killarney House


Bay Weekly Best of the Bay 2017 Awards

Brunch: Pirates Cove (tied with Boatyard Bar & Grill)
Waterside Dining: Pirates Cove
Crab Soup: Pirates Cove
Live Music: Pirates Cove
Irish Pub: Killarney House


Bay Weekly Best of the Bay 2016 Awards

Irish Pub: Killarney House