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.

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.

The restaurant occupies the second-floor mezzanine of a lofty three-story hall with clerestory windows and a vaulted ceiling in the English Market building.

A dramatic restaurant setting can often mean underwhelming food—but Quay 16 is a happy exception to this rule.

Featured on television and in books, Chef Kevin Thornton had made his mission clear to incorporate Irish ingredients into modern cuisine.

No visit to Dublin is complete without a taste of the city’s signature treat: a bag of greasy, deliciously crunchy fried cod and chips.

The chefs at Café Paradiso turn out perfect fried samphire with raita and a zesty tomatillo-and-cucumber green gazpacho.

Down a few steps, into what was once Mitchell’s Wine Merchants, this underground cellar is now the location of the upscale Italian restaurant, Town Bar and Grill.

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

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.

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).

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.