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 Quartier Bloom is Dublin’s small, but busy Italian district. It is home to a handful of shops and restaurants, one of which is the wine-focused Enoteca delle Langhe.

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.