The Best Irish Food

Delicious dishes to try in Ireland

No matter what anyone says—a pint of Guinness is not a meal. Lucky for you, the bountiful lands and dreamy coastline of the Emerald Isle are brimming with tons of flavours to savour, making Ireland a top destination for food fashioned from fresh, local produce.

Savour the seaside

Ireland’s ideal for tucking in to delicacies plucked right from the sea. Think fresh Galway Bay oysters or wild clams enjoyed from a coastal town with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, perhaps during the annual Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival. Other popular maritime meals include seafood chowder, the Dublin-loved cockles and mussels and, of course, a fresh fish supper (fish and chips). Do look out for organically sourced smoked salmon—especially found along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Keep it fresh

The best way to taste the flavours of Ireland? Straight from local producers at farmer’s markets! Stock up on artisan food at Cork’s historic English Market where smoked salmon king Frank Hederman and famous Irish chef Darina Allen have stalls. The award-winning St George’s Market in Belfast serves up more than just tasty treats—you can also sit in with a coffee while watching live bands and picking up local crafts. If in Dublin, you should also pop in to the Temple Bar Market or Georges Street Arcade!

Traditional tastes

You can’t leave Ireland without trying the classics. Mop up a hearty Irish stew (lamb, potatoes and carrots) or a Dublin coddle (bacon, potatoes, onions and sausages) with simply sublime soda bread. Sample traditional specialties like bacon and cabbage and delicious sides like boxty (potato pancake) or colcannon (creamy mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage). Across the island, local chefs are putting a modern twist on many of these traditional faves, from cafés in County Cork and Kilkenny to world-class restaurants in Dublin or Belfast.

Sweet Spot

Let’s end this on a sweet note! Top off any meal with an Irish apple tart, preferably made with the homegrown Armagh Bramley apples. Special occasions warrant their own dessert—the Irish like their porter cake (made with dried fruit, spices and stout) on St. Patrick’s Day and Barmbrack (a fruit loaf) on Halloween. If you’re coasting by County Kerry, a stop at Murphy’s Ice Cream for handmade desserts using milk from Kerry cattle is a must. For a sweet kick, go for a Guinness-laced cake or sip on an Irish coffee!

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