If you are planning a vacation to the Emerald Isle, then you are in for a treat! Ireland offers the most delicious authentic food. From spring lamb to fresh fish, hot stews and of course, potatoes, Irish food is always adored by visitors. To ensure you make the best choices when dining out in Ireland, we have listed our top 10 traditional Irish food experiences for you to try during your vacation.
1. Irish Lamb stew
There is no dish more comforting than a hearty Irish stew. This is typically made with Lamb, onions, potatoes, and sometimes, with carrots and other vegetables. The added herbs, such as thyme, parsley and bay leaves, add depth to its wonderful flavour. Spring is the best time in Ireland to try this dish!
Boxty, originating from old Irish word ‘bacstaí’ is a traditional Irish potato pancake. It was a common dish made from Ireland’s most famous crop, the humble spud (potato). Today boxty is made in three varieties, pan, loaf and boiled. This yummy potato pancake is best served straight off a hot pan with eggs and bacon.
3. A Full Irish Breakfast
A trip to Ireland is not complete without a full Irish breakfast. The meal generally consists of bacon, sausages, black and white puddings, eggs, a grilled tomato and toast. It is typically served with a breakfast tea such as Barry or Lyons tea or a glass of orange juice. Eating this Irish breakfast is the best way to start your day!
4. Smoked salmon
Smoked Salmon is something of an art in Ireland, with a variety of smokehouses, such as Connemara Smokehouse and the Burren Smokehouse, creating some intricate flavours. This dish is the perfect appetizer for someone who is looking for something a bit lighter to eat. Smoked salmon features on many menus across the country and is best served on homemade brown bread with butter and cucumber pickle.
5. Boiled bacon and cabbage
Bacon and cabbage are a tasty combination. If they are cooked well, it is without question one of the most delightful meals in existence. It remains a firm family favourite in Ireland. Silky parsley sauce and boiled potatoes are the classic accompaniments for this tasty Irish dish.
6. Homemade Irish Breads
To experience the traditional Irish food culture, you must taste some homemade breads during your vacation. From soda bread to the Waterford blaa, from sourdough breads to batch loaves, there are plenty of delicious Irish breads to try! Each type of bread is tasty on its own or served with real Irish butter.
7. Irish Shellfish
A visit to Ireland means you will be able to feast on some of the best shellfish in the world. Ireland’s west coast is known for its plump native oysters (Ostrea edulis), which come into season in September. They are so popular in this region that there is even a festival dedicated to this food – the Galway Oyster Festival, which takes place in late September.
Shellfish thrive in Irish cuisine, from clams in Connemara to Molly Malone’s famed cockles and mussels, and Dublin Bay prawns, which also have their own festival held in Howth, Dublin.
8. Coddle - traditional Irish food experiences
Enjoy a month-watering bowl of bacon, sausages, onion and potato. This is an honest and hearty traditional Irish meal that you must try at least once in your lifetime. It is best enjoyed during the colder winter months in Ireland.
9. Fresh fish and chips
A philosophy of simple but impeccable fish and chips runs through Ireland. If you have spent the day exploring, then this tasty meal is the perfect meal for you. Ireland is an island encircled by coast so there is no surprise that its fish tastes so good. Whether you add salt, vinegar or garlic sauce, the choice yours. This will be a dish you will crave when you return home.
10. Irish Brack
Irish Brack, also known as Barmbrack, is an Irish fruitcake. It is a yeasted sweet bread with added sultanas and raisins. A slice of Barmbrack served with a cup of tea is the ultimate traditional Irish food experience.
Are you planning a trip to Ireland? Contact one of our travel experts who are happy to help you plan an unforgettable trip to Ireland.