I am a true Irish girl from my freckles to my potato loving palate, so when I had the opportunity to go to Ireland through a school program, I signed up in a heartbeat. (Check out my Dublin, Ireland Bar Crawl for more Irish fun!) The food scene in Ireland makes my mouth water just thinking about all of the hearty potato based foods I consumed. Potatoes aren’t the only thing Ireland serves up though; check out my full restaurant list below to see all of the food I devoured while in my home land.
Each restaurant has a different culinary expertise, price range, and atmosphere so find your favorites and go check them out!
Description: THE pub for traditional Irish cuisine; O’Neill’s Pub & Kitchen is one of the coolest places I dined at in Ireland. They have a main bar, a whiskey corner, and a beer garden, but the whole establishment feels authentic and cozy. O’Neill’s has a counter where they have freshly prepared main courses and then you choose your sides, which consist of potatoes, potatoes, and more potatoes. My Shepard’s Pie was served with buttered green cabbage, creamy mashed potatoes and seasoned roasted potatoes. Some people are scared of Shepard’s Pie, but this dish was spectacular. At the bottom of the crock, there is roasted shredded lamb and hearty brown gravy that is piled with creamy mashed potatoes and then topped with classic cheesy cheddar mash and a bacon flower that is broiled in the oven. Don’t knock it ‘till you try it!
Description: I stopped at Fitz’s Pub when I was on a tour to the Cliffs of Moher with Cliffs of Moher Tours/ Irish Day Tours. After we made our first stop at the Cliffs, our next stop was lunch and then off to the Burren. We stopped in Doolin for lunch, which is a quaint little fishing town by the sea. Of course I had to try the seafood chowder because I knew the seafood would be as fresh as I could get it. It was smooth, creamy, and warmed my cold body all the way through. I picked a warm dark corner by the fireplace to slurp down my hearty soup. This was one of my favorite moments in Ireland because I truly felt like a local in the little town of Doolin.
What I ate: Twice baked potato, broccoli salad, chickpea rice salad, Italian style noodle salad, and a rolled chocolate cream cake for dessert
Description: Avoca Terrace Café is the café at the Powerscourt Estate that overlooks the lush grounds. Not only is this the most beautiful place in Ireland to have lunch, but their food is incredible too! The menu changes every day according to locally sourced produce and fresh made specialties, which gives the café a very fresh and trendy feel. Like many of the traditional Irish meals, you pick one entree, and get 3 sides with it. I have had many twice baked potatoes in my lifetime since it was a staple in my Irish household growing up, but this one takes the cake. It was filled with creamy mashed potatoes, oozing with hot cheese, and stuffed with baked pieces of chicken. Mmm I can taste the rich bites of it now.
What I ate: Crispy fresh catch with lemon dill aioli and a mini mixed side salad
Description: Sadly, Zaragoza is closed, but they are reopening in another location later in 2018. I still must pay honor to the exquisite Spanish tapas meal that I enjoyed in their original Dublin 2 home. Their fresh catch was so clean and light tasting, exactly how you would want fresh fish to taste. Most people don’t realize that Ireland is an island and fresh fish is abundant here. They pan fried my filet of fish perfectly with the most delicious lemon dill aioli that I had to ask for an extra side of it because it was so good. My side salad was vibrant and fresh with a lovely vinaigrette that complemented the nutrient rich veggies.
What I ate: The Cashel Burger and fries (aka “chips” in Ireland)
Price: approx. $15 USD or 11.95 EUR
Description: My first night in Ireland and I end up eating at a burger joint… Let me tell you, after almost 12 hours of travel, you too will eat the first thing in site. Thankfully Bobos Gourmet Burgers were out of this world delicious and right down the street from my hotel (Camden Court Hotel). The Cashel Burger was incredible with ooey gooey Irish Cashel Blue Cheese melted on top alongside crispy smoked bacon strips.
Description: Ok, this may not be on your list when you head out on your adventure to Ireland, but after you’ve hit a few Irish pubs and you need a late night bite, McGuinness Traditional Take Away is the place to go! I ordered a huge thin crust cheese pizza to which grease dripping off the sides was something that went unsaid. Keep the name of this take out joint in your back pocket and thank me later. P.S. They also have a vegan menu!