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.

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

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.

Chef Aine Maguire is one of the rising stars of the Irish food scene (a fact that Michelin recognized by awarding The Winding Stair its Bib Gourmand in 2008).

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.

Chef Robert Gleeson's cooking is refreshingly simple and seductive, you'll see on the menu that the smoked haddock comes from Sally Barnes, the duck in the terrine from Helena Hickey.

A newly opened offshoot of the eponymous oyster bar in London, this Bentley’s marks a return of Irish chef Richard Corrigan to his native turf.

A must for any oyster lover - meaty with a coppery edge.

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.