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What to Eat in Ireland?

I'm traveling to Ireland fairly soon and would like some recommendations on what kind of Irish food I should try. I can't believe the stereotype that Irish food is awful (or maybe it is???) but I have only a elementary idea of what constitutes real Irish food and cuisine. What dishes should I try? What type of Irish deserts are really good? Any recommendations on good traditionally Irish restaurants, pubs and tea rooms? Right now we have Cork, Adare, Cobh, Galway, Dingle, Limerick and Kinsale on the agenda.

Posted by
635 posts

I am currently under indictment for "lamb genocide" from my trip to Ireland. I loved the lamb in Ireland and ate it at least once per day. This was in any form I found availble. Lamb stew is a must and it's generally one of the better choices of pub grub. We ate in some nice restraunts in Ireland but I can't think of anything fancy that would be considered "Irish" and not more European. Probably the nicest restraunt we ate at was in Dingle and recommended in Rick's book. I can't think of the name right now. For dessert I usually had a Smithwicks.

Posted by
1986 posts

When in doubt I ask the waiter. But i could definitely go for the lamb

Posted by
12942 posts

The seafood is wonderful, often prepared wiht a French-inspired touch.

Posted by
9363 posts

The smoked salmon, absolutely! I even had it mixed with scrambled eggs at a B&B in Navan. It is exquisite. Kinsale is well-known for its seafood restaurants, particularly.

Posted by
1064 posts

All I know of Irish cuisine is what I have seen in U.S. style Irish-themed pubs: Salad: Potato salad. With beer. Soup: Potato soup. With beer. Meat: Irish potato stew. With beer. Vegetables: Fried, mashed and scalloped potatoes with french fries. And beer. Dessert: Potato pudding. With beer.
Actually, your question is a good one. I also would like to know what Irish food is really like. That might be worth a trip.

Posted by
1035 posts

The best thing that has happened to food in Ireland is the introduction of curry.

Posted by
29 posts

We were in Ireland two years ago and the best food we had was in Kinsale, which according to RS is the capital of great food in Ireland. Stay away from obviously "tourist" places and I think you will really enjoy the food - I certainly did. However - the Irish serve large, "American-sized" portions, so be prepared! ---and potatoes as a side with everything! :) In Kinsale, we ate at Jim Edwards, Hoby's Restaurant and Max's Wine Bar. The lamb was insane in all of Ireland and I had an entire John Dory at Jim Edwards. So So good. In Dingle we ate at the Stone House Restaurant for lunch (disappointing, which I don't understand b/c everyone else seems to love this place) and Out of Blue which was great, but popular. In Galway we ate at Nimmos Restaurant and Wine Bar and really enjoyed the food - not to mention the sweet and charming interior.

Posted by
31435 posts

Katie, Be sure to include some Guinness in your Irish diet. After all, it's considered a "food group" there. Sláinte!

Posted by
1357 posts

Along with the Guinness is the Guinness stew. 'Specially good after a cold, rainy day walking about. If you can find some boxty somewhere, go for it. It's like the Irish version of crepes, big potato pancakes filled with stuff. Other than that, go with what the others have suggested and get some lamb and fish. It is an island nation, the seafood's good. And get some fish and chips from a van if you can.

Posted by
61 posts

We had seafood chowder in many of the pubs- it was amazing! Thick creamy soup and ping pong ball sized bits of all kinds of fish and seafood. The brown bread is good and served everywhere and of course the Guinness! I didn't eat one thing there that I would call awful.

Posted by
69 posts

Ah, it's a good thing that I absolutely looove sea food and lamb! It's not such a good thing that I can't drink Guinness b/c of health reasons, but oh well. I'll just try to find some Guinness-flavored chocolate or whatever and use my imagination. Thanks for your responses!

Posted by
3551 posts

Pub grub everywhere was hearty, well-priced and delicious.