Dinner at Donaleigh’s Irish Pub


My mother and I happened upon Donaleigh’s Irish Pub as we were aimlessly wandering downtown Barrie looking for somewhere new to eat. Now, Donaleigh’s is not an entirely new restaurant per-say, but it was new enough to us because we had never eaten here. Walking inside, we were instantly greeted by a friendly woman clad in a kilt. We were told to choose any table of our liking so we walked to the back of the pub and sat down where it was a little less busy. We went for lunch, but because it was a nice day out the pub was rather busy – both inside and on the patio.

Being a hot day, the first thing that we ordered were drinks: I ordered a Somersby apple cider (my favourite summertime alcoholic beverage) and my mother chose a Vodka Cranberry Spritzer. There is a large bar directly in the middle of the pub with tons of seating around it so you can watch the game on the overhead televisions. Mumford and Sons was playing for the duration of our stay and I did not mind in the slightest.

Our server was very warm and inviting, which made our stay very pleasant. The menu is much like what you would expect a pub to serve – a variety of burgers, steak, fish, tacos, salads, soups, sandwiches, and desserts are available – but Donaleigh’s puts a little spin on these favourites. Feeling like indulging ourselves, we decided to would order a few appetizers to share. We asked our server for the Assorted Cheese Platter, Nachos, and Sweet Potato Fries – she quickly advised us against ordering so many items because the portion sizes are very large, so we settled for Nachos and Sweet Potato Fries. I am very glad our server informed us of the portion sizes because, boy, was she not kidding! Our appetizers arrived on large platters that were loaded with food. The nachos were absolutely amazing! Instead of using typical nacho chips, this appetizer is prepared with kettle chips that we personalized to have only cheese, green onions, and black olives with salsa and sour cream on the side. The Sweet Potato Fries were delicious as well. The only concern we had was with the buttermilk dill dipping sauce that accompanies the fries – personally I would have preferred a chipotle dipping sauce because I feel like it compliments Sweet Potato Fries much better. Other than the minor sauce issue, we had an absolutely amazing time dining here. The service was impeccable and the food was even better.


Donaleigh’s is also known for live music on weekends. Having come to the pub on a Saturday night I can vouch that the music is loud, the beer is cold, and the crowd is mature – all elements that guarantee an excellent night out. If you want to have a night surrounded by good music and happy people, Donaleigh’s is the place for you. Donaleigh’s also has a private room where you can host any type of function. Inside there is a bar with a private bartender, darts, televisions, and lots of seating around the room. On 28 Dunlop Street East, Donaleigh’s bright green panels are hard to miss.

Valerie Colangelo is a writer from Barrie. Read her blog at: www.accordingtovalerie.com and follow her on Twitter at @vcolang.