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Which Northern Ireland county is leading the way for Michelin recommended pub grub?

By Allan Preston

Many of the finest pubs across all of Ireland have secured a coveted Michelin stamp of approval, but one county in Northern Ireland tops the bill.

The Michelin Eating Out In Pubs Guide 2017 recommends more than 500 pubs across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, including 38 new entries.

In all 32 pubs were selected across the island of Ireland, with seven in Northern Ireland.

But the classiest pub grub here is now officially to be found in Co Down, boasting six Michelin star pubs.

Those selected are the Pheasant in Annahilt, the Poacher's Pocket in Comber, the Parson's Nose and Plough Inn, both in Hillsborough, Pier 36 in Donaghadee and Balloo House in Killinchy.

Co Antrim is not to be left out either with Billy Andy's at Mounthill, near Larne making the cut.

Co Cork comes a close second with five pubs on the guide  - Mary Ann's in Castletownshend, the Poacher's Inn in Bandon, Deasy's in Clonakilty, Cronin's in Crosshaven and Toddies at The Bulman in Kinsale.

In Dublin some of the best venues include the Old Spot and Chop House in Ballsbridge made the grade while in Galway Moran's Oyster Cottage in Kilcolgan and O'Dowd's in Roundstone also did.

Guide editor Rebecca Burr said: "We are increasingly witnessing how pubs can provide a platform for young chefs to start their own businesses, and how inventive these chefs can be, particularly when it comes to the sourcing of their ingredients."

The full list includes Billy Andy's at Mounthill, near Larne, Co Antrim, while in Co Clare Morrissey's in Doonbeg, Vaughan's Anchor Inn in Liscannor, the Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna and Linnane's Lobster Bar in New Quay were all listed.

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