Ireland

Restaurants in Ireland

While the Irish have long been known for their fine liquors, it is seldom travelers seek out the emerald isle as a food destination, – which is a pity. Many of the best restaurants in Ireland now serve refined takes on traditional dishes, using the freshest local ingredients. Foodie hotspots include the big cities of Dublin, Galway and Cork where local purveyors, cheese mongers, bakers and organic farmers meet in markets to sell their wares. The towns of Killarney, Kilkenny, and Kinsale also have excellent cuisine.

A traditional Irish breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, mushroom, potato bread, black pudding and baked beans is something to try when visiting restaurants in Ireland. Bewley's Café in Dublin and Kilkenny restaurant (numerous locations) are two places that serve a great "Full Irish" as it's called.

While not exactly Irish restaurants, the pub is another traditional institution to visit during your stay. Most towns and even the tiniest villages will have a pub, sometimes with a post office or shop attached. Johnny Fox's in Dublin, McHugh's in Belfast and Sean's Bar in Athlone (the oldest in Ireland) are some places to sample Guinness or "a pint of the black stuff."

These days, there are restaurants in Ireland to cater to every palette and a variety of international cuisines. Try to venture off the beaten track to avoid the tourist traps and don't be afraid to ask a local for a recommendation, they'll be delighted to help.

Dublin was once a foodie’s worst nightmare, but the last decade has seen a massive improvement in the city’s communal palate—with cappuccino bars, high-end seasonal restaurants, and ethnic food outlets appearing all over town.

In just a decade, Ireland's booming economy has taken it from a rural backwater to a sophisticated country that has surpassed Scandinavia for highest cost of living in Europe.

In the back are stained-glass windows, designed by the early-20th-century craftsman Harry Clarke, glowing with parrots and feathery foliage.

For almost 30 years, Cognac native Patrick Guilbaud has dominated Dublin’s culinary landscape—and with good reason.

Reservations aren’t accepted at this superb, if slightly self-conscious bistro, which is unmarked by signage of any sort (you’ll find the door beside Hogan’s Pub).

This cozy, casual room turns out Galway's best local food, with global flourishes; house made ice creams are not to be missed.

Simple, compelling preparations of fish and shellfish from local waters are owner Peter O'Brien's calling card. Book early as reservations go fast.

Suffused with an understated attitude of perennial hipness, the Mermaid has been an oasis of cool since it opened in 1996. The space is bright, clean, and contemporary, and Gavin Pedersen’s menu—which falls somewhere along the culinary spectrum between Ireland and New England—follows suit.

The Irish comfort food at Roly’s is served in a dining room with yellow-painted walls, white linen-covered tables, and maroon banquettes. Located directly above its bakery and all-day café, which serves coffee and homemade pastries, it has been open since 1992.

Ely

As one-third of the Ely group of restaurants, this wine bar supplies guests with 400 options by the bottle, of which, nearly 100 are served by the glass.

Simple, compelling preparations of fish and shellfish from local waters are owner Peter O'Brien's calling card. Book early as reservations go fast.

At Michelle Darmody's Cake Café, a restaurant in the Portobello neighborhood, the building was designed to be sustainable and with materials that were apparently "healthy and organic," as indeed is the food.