Dining out in Ireland
Ireland’s restaurants are extremely varied and interesting; ranging from hotel dining rooms, castles and countryside mansions to trendy bistros and good old fashioned pubs. Lots of these establishments focus on locally grown produce and meat making the gastro experience second to none.
Every city, town and village in Ireland has a local pub. Pubs aren’t just all about the drinking, well okay that is a big part, but they are also a great place to socialise over a good meal.
Being an island, Ireland has an abundance of fresh seafood and farm produced ingredients. Seafood like prawns, oysters and scallops, are harvested from the sea, as well as free-range beef; potatoes and other locally-produced items are of the highest quality from farms.
Traditional Irish dishes comprise of hearty, slow-cooked roasts, stews, shellfish, grass-fed beef, sausages, potatoes, cabbage, homemade cheese and breads.
The main meal of the day for locals is dinner, so if you’re planning on eating out it is best to make a reservation as restaurants tend to be at their busiest in the early evening – click here for some great ideas. For lunch in a traditional style pub you could go for a bowl of hot soup with fresh soda bread, or a hearty Irish stew. But, there are many cosmopolitan cuisines to be enjoyed in the larger towns and cities too.
Here is an idea of some traditional Irish dishes:
- Irish Stew – A classic Irish stew is made with onions, potatoes and lamb, but you’ll find beef stews are popular as well.
- Irish Soda Bread – Slathered with butter alongside a steaming bowl of Irish stew at lunch. Soda bread is versatile and said to be healthier than most other breads.
- Colcannon and Champ – Colcannon is basically mashed potatoes with onions and cabbage. Without cabbage, it’s called “champ.”
- Black and White Pudding – Black pudding is a combination of pork meat, blood and fat mixed with barley, suet and oatmeal. White pudding is all those ingredients minus the blood.
- Waterford Blaa – Legally, blaa can only be called such if it’s made in County Waterford. It’s a doughy, white bread bun coated in flour, and it’s best enjoyed as a sandwich.
- Boxty – A western Irish dish mostly found in the counties of Leitrim and Cavan, boxty is essentially a potato pancake.
- Shellfish – From Galway’s plump oysters to Dublin’s prawns—shellfish season is definitely something to celebrate in Ireland – festivals along the coast take place throughout most of September.
One thing I have noticed is that the Irish serve generous food portions and the people are extremely friendly. If you are native to Ireland or are planning a trip in the near future please do go and support the local business. The pandemic has really taken its toll on the hospitality industry – now that restrictions on indoor dining have eased slightly it is now the best time to treat yourselves to a much needed night off from cooking and maybe a cheeky pint of Guinness too!
Do you have any favourite Irish restaurants?
Posted by: Sarah Dixon | Posted on: June 16, 2021 | Posted in: FOOD