In modern world you can travel around and find same dishes in every country, same pasta, sandwiches, chicken salads, burritos and so on. If you are one of those travelers, who like to take the most from each culture, we have a guide on where to taste some real Irish food while in Dublin. Traditional family run pub in Dublin
I will start with 7 wonderful restaurants, that cook Irish food in Dublin, and then I will tell you about the top foods to try in Ireland.
Places That Embrace Irish Cuisine Catch-22
Catch-22 is an excellent seafood fast casual restaurant, it can be found in the middle of the tourist part of Dublin, just off Grafton Street. Their whole menu is dedicated to fish supplied from the seas off the East, West and Southern coasts of Ireland.
Catch-22 is well worth a visit, as they offer nice food
, Guiness and craft beers brewed especially for the restaurant as an accompaniment to their seafood menu. Delahunt
Delahunt is an Irish pub with small menu of quality Irish food.
Niall Harbison from Lovin Dublin suggests, that every tourist guide should be sending guests to Delahunt for an authentic Irish experience
And we are doing just this. Fishbone
Fishbone is located far away from traditional Dublin tourist sights, on the coast of Dublin Bay.
In Fishbone you will find perfectly cooked Irish seafood
and stunning view of Clontarf seafront. It is best reachable if you stay in Clontarf Castle Hotel. The Exchequer
The Exchequer in Dublin2 is a gastropub providing the best Irish sourced food one can find in the country.
They have large dinner menu that includes regional Irish dishes, and also offer midday lunch menu, weekend brunches and bar bites menu that changes weekly. Gallagher's Boxty House
Boxty House is a traditional Irish pub style restaurant, a perfect dining spot in Temple Bar.
On the menu you'll find classic Irish dishes, such as coddle, boxty and stew. Locks 1 Windsor Terrace
Locks 1 Windsor Terrace offers modern Irish cuisine to local food lovers, traditional dishes here are rejuvenated with a modern twist by the Chef Connor O'Dowd.
Located on the bank of the Grand Canal, Locks offers splendid views, you will want to be seated close to the window. The Woollen Mills
The Woollen Mills is also very easily reachable for a tourist in Dublin, the restaurant is located very close to the Ha'penny Bridge.
The menu is big with all kinds of dishes, and the style is described as Dublin meets New York
. They have lots of various dishes focused specifically on Irish produce, and also gruel section, that includes traditional Irish dishes.
Foods To Try In Dublin
Bacon And Cabbage
Irish bacon with cabbage is the traditional St. Patrick's Day dish in America, it is sometimes called the "taste of home" by people of Irish descent. The dish consists of unsliced back bacon boiled with cabbage, sometimes other vegetables such as potatoes, turnips, onions and carrots are also added.
Bacon and cabbage is a popular home cooked meal in Ireland, but trendy restaurants largely avoid putting it on the menu. You can order bacon and cabbage in The Brazen Head
, Ireland's oldest pub.
Barmbrack (or Barm brack) is a traditional Irish fruitcake, also known as Irish Tea Cake. The Halloween Barmbrack traditionally contained various objects baked into the bread and was used as a sort of fortune-telling game.
Closer to Halloween look for barmbrack in local bakeries and cafes, expect it to be served with afternoon teas in hotels and restaurants. They also sell barmbrack in grocery stores, try brack from Rankin
, you will find this brand in Tesco and other stores in Dublin.
Battered sausage is a common street food dish, this is a pork sausage dipped in batter, usually served with chips.
If you like this kind of food, Macari's Takeaway should be the right place for you. However, they focus on locals, not on tourists, and all their locations
are in residential parts of Dublin, away from tourist attractions.
Black pudding is a type of blood sausage, generally made from pork fat, pork blood and oatmeal, some enthusiasts call it a superfood
, as it is loaded with protein, potassium, calcium and magnesium. White pudding is similar to black pudding, but does not include blood.
Black and white puddings are pretty common in Dublin, you will find them in lots of places (The Bakehouse
, near the Ha'penny Bridge, dishes up delicious black pudding), and they will offer puddings as part of Irish breakfast in many hotels.
There is also a vegetarian variation of this dish, made from oats, tofu and potatoes.
Boxty is a potato pancake, in restaurants it is often served as wrap, similar to tortillas, accompanied by cooked or fresh vegetables and sauce.
Gallagher's Boxty House in the Temple Bar district caters outstanding food, they have an option called boxty tasting platter
, it includes several variations of boxty.
Irish breakfast roll is a bread roll filled with elements of a traditional Irish breakfast, such as sausages, bacon, white or black pudding, butter, mushrooms, tomatoes and hash brown.
Breakfast roll is served in many fast foods across Dublin, even Irish McDonalds
offers a breakfast roll variation. If you want something special, try breakfast rolls from Hatch & Sons
, you will find them in the Blaas menu section.
Champ, also known as poundies, is a common everyday dish in Ireland. It is cooked by combining mashed potatoes and chopped spring onions with butter and milk.
Champ is served as a side dish in many pubs and restaurants, particularly in The Delahunt.
Coddle was often made to use up leftovers, and therefore didn't have a specific recipe. Coddle usually includes sausages and potatoes, and it is often served with a pint of Guinness and Irish bread.
Sample out Dublin Coddle in The Woollen Mills or in Gallagher's Boxty House.
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage, often served with fish, black pudding or Irish bacon.
Colcannon is a popular side dish, you will find it on the menu in Brookwood
, The Old Spot
, and many other pubs and restaurans.
Corned Beef Sandwich
Traditionally beef was not so much used in Irish cuisine, as simple Irish folks could not afford beef, and Irish corned beef was consumed in the U.S., England, France, but not in Ireland itself
. Nowadays Irish people love this sandwich prepared with corned beef, cheese, mustard and a pickle.
Lots of places offer different corn beef sandwiches, you will find classic variants in The Bakehouse or The Brazen Head. If you want to taste something special, look for The Pig and Heifer
restaurants, they have several location in Dublin, and their Pastrami Melt will be worth the trip.
Cottage pie is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato, sometimes it is called shepherd's pie, the term is typically used when the meat is lamb. In Ireland cottage pie is often cooked with Guinness.
It's not too hard to find cottage pie in Dublin, many places that I've mentioned here, have it: The Bakehouse, The Brazen Head, Boxty House, to name a few. So just to chip in with a new name, great cottage pie is served in Foodgame
, they are located not too far from Aviva Stadium and offer home cooked style dishes.
Crubeens are battered and fried pigs' trotters, they are often served with mashed potatoes or cabbage. Le Bon Crubeen
, on the Northside of Dublin offers decent crispy crubeens as a starter, and lots of other restaurants use pigs' trotters in more healthy and contemporary dishes.
Gur cake is a pastry confection invented by Dublin bakers early in the 20th century to utilize bakery leftovers, it was the cheapest thing in the bakery. Traditionally gur cake contained a mixture of bread crumbs and dried fruits as a filling and two thin layers of freshly baked pastry. In modern bakeries cocoa, chocolate, chopped fresh apples and all kinds of fillings are used, while bread crumbs are kept to a minimum.
For a good slice of modern gur cake you can visit Manning's Bakery
in Merchants Quay.
Irish Afternoon Tea
Ireland is the largest tea consumer per capita in the world, the tea traditionally was served three times a day. Afternoon tea was the more fancy of the three, and it's not just a tea drinking, but a light meal that includes sandwiches, cakes and pastries.
Art Tea at The Merrion 5 star hotel
is probably the most luxurious in Dublin
. It is served in the beautiful Drawing Room, and includes miniature sweets inspired by the works of J.B Yeats, William Scott and Louis Le Brocquy.
Ireland has a delicious bread heritage
, from soft white breads to practically superfood gluten-free whole grain breads. Irish often cook their breads in a so-called farl shape, a round bread, cut into four pieces.
Potato bread is often cooked without wheat flour at all, just potatoes and oatmeal are used.
Soda bread is made from soft wheat flour, buttermilk and baking soda, raisings and occasionally other fruits can be added.
The Blaa Bun, a soft white bread roll covered with white flour, was awarded Protected Geographical Indication in 2013, I've already mentioned, that you will find the Blaas menu section in Hatch & Sons.
Both locals and tourists love full Irish breakfast, that often includes Irish sausages, bacon, black pudding, white pudding, baked beans, Irish bread, butter, cheese, boiled potatoes, baked tomatoes, and eggs. Perhaps, not the healthiest start of the day, but it was originally used to prepare one for a full day's heavy work on the farm or on the building ground.
Irish breakfast is avaliable in many restaurants, cafes and pubs, and lots of hotel restaurants will also offer this option. Among many other worthy places, the Fumbally
and Cake Café
serve great versions of Irish breakfast.
Irish stew is one of the most ancient Celtic dishes in Irish cuisine. Common ingredients include lamb (many historians believe that goat meat was originally used), potatoes (added after the 16th century), onions, carrots, and parsley. Guinness, thyme, and bay leaves are often added.
Irish stew is hearty and delicious, not many restaurants will offer you something better than Irish stew from the Woollen Mills or the Boxty House.
Irish Seafood Chowder
Seafood Chowder, made with cream and seafood, is considered spring and summer food in Ireland, and it is one of the very few seafood dishes in Irish cuisine, originally seafood was not so popular in this maritime country, apart from the shore regions.
I've mentioned two great fish restaurants in the beginning, and if you are staying in Dublin for a few days, think about venturing outside the city
, maybe going to Howth, a fishing village on the north side of Dublin. Howth restaurants King Sitric
and the Abbey Tavern
cook absolutely delightful chowder.
Spice bag is a modern Irish fast food dish, it is inspired by Asian cuisine, but the main ingredient are traditional Irish fried chips. The chips are accompanied by fried chicken, peppers, fried onions, and a variety of spices.
Best spice bags originally come from small Chinese restaurants catering mostly to locals, like Shang Hai Takeaway
, in Dublin business district, or the Sunflower
, in southwest Dublin, but the dish is growing in popularity and even Irish KFC
have adopted the concept.