Ireland; Eating Out:

Part of Ireland Travel Planner. When I was first started traveling to Ireland in 1984, the food was pretty basic, but the quality and diversity of Irish Cuisine has improved dramatically. Everything from Full Irish Breakfasts, to Fish & Chips, to Roasts of the Day. And you are never far from the coast on the Emerald Isle, so if you like mussels, oysters, salmon and any other kind of fresh fish you are in for a treat. There are some great fine dining restaurants as well. There are ample choices to appeal to everyone. Bon Appetit or in Irish (Taitneamh a bhaint as do chuid béile):

Table of Contents:

Breakfast:

Full Irish Breakfast made by our friendly and kind host, Ann, at Emir View House in Glenbeigh on The Kerry Way
Full Irish Breakfast made by my Camino Buddy at Albergue Darren in Larkin, in the north of Ireland. Definitely a breakfast for a walker. And good hangover food.
Eggs Florentine with incredibly delicious Irish Smoked Salmon at Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry
As too many of those Full Irish will kill you, a simple scone with a pot of hot tea is a great alternative. Great with Irish butter and jam but get some cream on the side for a taste of heaven.
A scone served at The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin
One of best options for dessert, scones, and a pot of tea in Dublin. The Queen of Tarts in Temple Bar area. Fabulous with the Irish cream

Lunch and snacks:

After those Full Irish you are probably better off skipping lunch. Though the local supermarkets usually have a deli where they make up a fresh sandwich of your choice with plenty of fixings. Though if you feel like stopping in a pub another nice lighter option is one of the creamy soups Ireland is well known for. Cream of vegetable is a standard. Though when on the coast, opting for a creamy seafood soup is a good choice.

Seafood Soup at The Long Dock in Carrigaholt Clare. After a long walk, a wonderful lunch at any pub is a a rich, creamy Irish soup. Of course they always include some brown soda bread with creamy Irish butter.
Great burgers and pub food at The Blind Piper in Caherdaniel on The Kerry Way Walk and Ring of Kerry Drive
There are kebab shops all around Ireland offering up hearty sandwiches at reasonable prices.
Sausages at The English Market in Cork. Awesome lunch
A cheap snack for teenagers and budget eaters. Chili fries at The Long Dock in Carrigaholt, Clare. Recommended by my cousin Muerrin.

Mussels and Oysters:

The mussels and oysters are fabulous as the small island is surrounded by the cold waters of the Atlantic

The mussels at Hotel Leenane are tough to beat as they come right out of Killary Harbour a stones throw away. But they are great anywhere close to the sea. Spillane’s Bar is arguably as good. In Fahamore, at the end of the 14K Fermoyle Beach, the longest beach in Ireland.
Some oysters in Howth. Fabulous

Fish & Chips:

This is many folks go to meal in Ireland. The fish is almost always fresh. Typically a light crispy batter, with tender, moist, flaky white fish inside. Cod, Haddock, or Hake are the typical choices. The chips crispy and golden brown on the outside while soft and flaky on the inside.

The Fish Box in Dingle Town served up one of the best Fish & Chips
Quinlan’s in Killarney is tough to beat as the family has their own boat. They have a few choices. I just asked for a recommendation. Cod, hake, and haddock. The haddock was delicious. And since I could not decide, the waiter offered 1/2 and 1/2 salad and chips.

Click on Best Fish & Chips in Dublin for recommendations. Some of those are a bit outside of City Centre. Below are my personal favorites. The 4 in Dublin are all in City Centre so easily accessible:

  • Quinlans, Killarney Town
  • The Fish Box, Dingle Town
  • The Wicklow Heather, Laragh, County Wicklow
  • The Long Dock, Carrigaholt, County Clare
  • In Dublin:
    • Leo Burdock
    • Beshoff Bros
    • Kingfisher
    • Davy Byrnes

After you have had a few Fish & Chips, you will likely come to the conclusion that the Irish no how to make a proper Chip. Occasionally you will see thinner French Fries and those are good as well. Almost always fresh. That said, for those who love a good fried potato, you will be delighted by the Chips served up all over Ireland. Ideally a crispy golden brown on the outside, and a tender flaky savory inside. Try them with mayo or better yet mayo and ketchup.

Roast of the Day:

Ryan’s Pub and Hotel, Cong, Mayo
Roast of the day at McDermott’s in Doolin
Hannigan’s Pub at The International Hotel, Killarney
Roast Turkey with Dressing is a nice alternative to the standard roast beef

Lamb Shanks:

Ireland has some incredibly delicious lamb dishes but particularly delicious are lamb shanks smothered in gravy over mashed potato.

Lamb Chop at The Long Dock in Carrigaholt, County Clare
Hard to beat the lamb shank at Mac’s Lounge in Enniskerry. Perfect meal after first day walking the Wicklow Way

Vegetarian Food:

There are some excellent vegetarian restaurants in Ireland.

Our local Dublin friend Liz recommended Conucopia for a wonderful vegetarian lunch with plenty of options at Cornucopia, just off Grafton Street in the heart of Dublin. Highly recommended whether you are a vegetarian or not. Great food and inexpensive.

Afternoon Tea:

They really know how to serve up a great afternoon tea in Ireland. Particularly so in Dublin where there are many offerings. Best afternoon teas in Dublin.

Afternoon High tea at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin for an elegant dining experience.
I am going to need some more Earl Grey Tea. Fabulous tea experience at The Shelbourne
If you don’t want to spend €50-60 for afternoon tea, there are plenty of small tea shops around. Unfortunately, this one in Kilkee which we enjoyed in 2019 was gone by 2021, I suspect Covid having an impact on a small business.

Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie:

The ultimate comfort food on a chilly, rainy day; Cottage Pie or is it Shepherd’s Pie. Ideally lamb but often mincemeat (groundbeef) in gravy and maybe some carrots and peas covered in mashed potatoes.

Slow cooked Lamb Shepherds Pie at The Pig’s Ear in Dublin. Expensive but delicious
Cottage Pie at The Old Mill in Temple Bar makes a great lunch after a walking tour.

Fine Dining:

Click on Best Dublin Restaurants to find restaurants to your personal liking. That said, a few excellent spots in City Centre, include; The Winding Stair, Chapter One, The Pig’s Ear, and Davy Byrnes. Frankly, I need to try more of the wonderful mix of restaurants in Dublin, as I keep heading back to The Vintage Kitchen not too far from Trinity College. A fantastic dining experience. Every dish has been delicious. It is small though so be sure to make reservations a week or two ahead of time.

duck liver pate with pistachio nuts and cherry jam on toast. Fabulous
Risotto at The Vintage Kitchen
Hotel Leenane
Beautiful seafood dish at Vintage Kitchen
I have no idea what this is but I found it in my photos and hope to come across it again.
More seafood but anything at The Vintage Kitchen is outstanding
More from the Vintage Kitchen. Yes I really like it. My favorite restaurant in Dublin.
Duck liver pate at Pisces Restaurant in Castlegregory, Dingle
Perfectly cooked Hake over a bed of spinach at Pisces Restaurant in Castlegregory on The Dingle Way
Succulent duck breast, with a perfect crispy skin over mashed potatoes with tasty gravy. I always ask for more gravy if I have walked that day. Ryan’s Hotel, Cong, County Mayo
Quinlans & Cooke in Cahersiveen on the Kerry Way and Ring of Kerry. Fabulous piece of salmon in a delicious cream sauce. Especially for those who liked the Fish & Chips at Quinlans in Killarney. This is another family member with a more upscale restaurant.

Steaks:

Don’t worry steak lovers there are plenty of restaurants offering up delicious juicy steaks:

Hannigan’s in Killarney
Jacques Restaurant in Cork for a delicious Ribeye.
Worth a close up
Tenderloin steak at The Vintage Kitchen in Dublin
Side dish with the steak at Jacques in Cork.

Asian Food:

The Enchanted Kitchen in Mullinavat, County Kilkenny. Yupha is Thai, married to an Irish Chef trained in French Cooking and they have some Thai’s in the kitchen serving up outstanding Red Curry, and other delicious Asian Food. And a cozy room upstairs for walkers on the South Leinster Way.
Delicious spicy Red Curry from The Enchanted Kitchen in Mullinavat
Spicy Papaya Salad at wonderful Black Valley Lodge on The Kerry Way. Trevor and his wife Nana from Bangkok were great hosts and what a wonderful change of pace the food was.

Sushi:

Why not. The cold water seas around the Emerald Isle offer up some delicious fresh fish.

Visiting our friend Liz in Dublin, we decided to get some sushi at a little place around the corner to go with our Ramen Noodles shipped from Japan.

Brown Soda Bread:

Don’t leave Ireland without sampling the brown soda bread served at breakfast and with other meals. It is uniquely Irish, and delicious smeared with creamy Irish butter.

The brown bread at Hotel Leenane in Connemara has molasses and some nuts in it. Probably my favorite in all of Ireland though Imelda’s at The Long Dock in Carrigaholt, Clare gives them a good run for their money.

Dessert:

I get so filled up on the Roasts of the Day and Fish & Chips, but occasionally, I partake and Queen of Tarts in Dublin offers up some wonderful cakes (Carrot Cake pictured), scones, and cookies along with a great pot of tea in a wonderful atmosphere.
Cheesecake at Hotel Leenane in Connemara
Apple and Berry tart at Queen of Tarts in Dublin
Chocolate mousse pie made by Nana at Black River Lodge on Kerry Way
Offbeat Donut Company has several shops if you are in need of a sugar fix

Share to Social Media

Happy to answer any questions and help in any way.