Updated On: November 08, 2023 by Ciaran Connolly
What is The Rusty Oven?
The Rusty Oven is a family run pizzeria in County Donegal aiming to produce fantastic sourdough pizza and bread.
From the very beginning The Rusty Oven has had rustic charm, artistic flair, and tasty sourdough. When they first started out in 2013 their trailer oven was rolled into the courtyard behind Patsy Dans Dunfanaghy. There people were served up delicious pizza while sitting on upcycled furniture. For the first year they didn’t even have a roof except for a slightly leaky cow shed for raining day customers to sit in.
Ever since their first year the business has grown on the strong foundations of great sourdough and rustic charm. The experience of entering The Rusty Oven is still a magical one as their courtyard restaurant (now with a roof) is decked out in artistic décor and houses the best pizza in Ireland. The Rusty Oven’s dedicated staff makes all their food in house and care deeply about the creation of great sourdough, and about surfing when they aren’t making pizza.
The Rusty Oven is a family run business and pizza isn’t their only talent, check out some art while you are there in the cow shed dining space.
Where is The Rusty Oven?
The Rusty Oven is in the very North of Ireland in a small town called Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal. Dunfanaghy is just a short trip from gem of the Wild Atlantic Way Downings, which is a great place to visit if you are in the area. Check out our article for more information on the great things there are to do in Downings Donegal.
How do you get to The Rusty Oven?
Once on Dunfanaghy’s main street head to Patsy Dan’s pub and follow the smell of delicious pizza out back where you will be transported to the amazing Pizzeria in the courtyard which is home to their stonebake pizza oven which bakes up to 60 pizzas an hour.
What’s on The Rusty Oven Menu?
The Rusty Oven’s pizzas start with their homemade sourdough created with Organic Stone-Ground Flour from Shipton Mill and Baleine Salt as well as their own natural starter. A sourdough starter is a combination of flour and water which is then left to ferment creating natural yeast for the bread.
They have a range of delicious topping including Irish, Serrano, or Milano ham, Chorizo, Pepperoni, Nduja, Capers, Sweet peppers, Mushrooms, Caramelised onions, Caramelised pear, spinach, red chilli, goats cheese, and halloumi. Their pizza’s have a base of San Marzano Tomato sauce and Irish Mozzarella (some specials may differ).
They also have serving suggestions and weekly specials with fun names such as ‘The Truffle Shuffle’ and ‘PepperToni Soprano’. A pizza recommendation from the author: Try the Sundance, its San Marzano and Mozzarella base with chorizo, caramelised onions, and sweet peppers. I very rarely choose anything else as its just that good.
Beyond just pizza they sell beautiful loaves of sourdough bread daily, and have starter options such as olives, antipasti, and burrata.
Check out their entire menu on their website.
When does The Rusty Oven Dunfanaghy Open?
Opening times vary at The Rusty Oven based on the season, as they open less in Autumn and Winter than in Spring and Summer due to their courtyard location. They open 7 days a week during summer and reduce that to weekends in the Autumn. After November they close up until the following Spring/Summer season.
During the current summer season their opening times are:
The Best Sourdough Pizza in Ireland?
The pizza at The Rusty Oven is truly delicious, made of great fresh ingredients, never over greasy, and made with love. People return time and time again to this small Irish town for this great pizza. In my opinion, its the best pizza in Ireland, but you’ll have to try it for yourself and see. The amazing food and unique atmostphere are well worth the trip.