Ireland is a feast for the senses, literally. Sure, there’s the amazingly green landscapes and traditional music wafting through charming little villages, but there’s also an amazing food scene too.
Food in Ireland is fresh, delicious and made with a contemporary twist. The best part is it doesn’t even matter what kind of foodie you are. The country’s phenomenal food scene is sure to have something to tickle your tastebuds and have you ordering more.
Here are a few helpful pointers on where to go depending on what type of foodie you are…
IF YOU LOVE GRAZING THROUGH MARKETS…
…then you’ll love Ireland’s farmers markets where you’ll be able to sniff your way through stalls selling everything from fresh produce, fish and locally-made cheese to antiques, books and clothes. When in Cork, make sure you spend a morning checking out The English Market, which dates back to 1788 and was hailed as the “best covered market in the UK and Ireland” by chef Rick Stein.
St George’s Market in Belfast, in particular, is definitely worth a visit. Wander around its 150+ stalls and rub shoulders with the friendly locals who shop and work here. Graze through the stalls by yourself or join a food tour where you’ll be taken to all the best spots to eat and drink in the city by locals in the know.
IF YOU LOVE YOUR FINE DINING…
…then you’re going to be absolutely laughing in Ireland. The island boasts an abundance of fine dining restaurants, including twelve Michelin Star rated establishments.
Heron and Grey in Blackrock Market, Dublin, Eipic and Ox in Belfast, Bastion in Cork and Aniar in Galway are just some of Ireland’s world-class fine dining restaurants serving traditional Irish fare, all done superbly.
IF YOU LOVE GOING LOCAL…
…then you’ll be happy to know there are heaps of traditional Irish food and drink trails that will lead you around the cities. This is a great way to explore a country that’s as famous for its history, natural beauty and friendly people as for its amazing traditional grub.
A must-eat, and the perfect way to start your day is tucking into an Ulster fry in Northern Ireland. This traditional fry is a black and white pudding with bacon, sausages, tomato and potato farls (potato bread). Other local treats include a hearty bowl of creamy chowder with salmon, smoked haddock and served with soda bread, boxty (Irish potato pancake), muscles and oysters, and of course Ireland’s famous grass-fed beef.
But of course, Ireland doesn’t just deliver on the plate – it also delivers in the glass too. Great food deserves a great drop, and you can’t go wrong without pairing your meal with Irish whiskey. Try the traditional Bushmills and Jameson, or experiment with new varieties like Teelings and Glendalough.
If beer is more your thing, then after having a pint of Guiness, get stuck into Ireland’s burgeoning craft beer. Or sample some Irish artisanal gins from small distilleries such as Dingle Distillery and ShortCross Gin.
IF YOU LOVE YOUR SEAFOOD
…then you should make your way to Ireland’s west coast and travel along The Wild Atlantic Way. This promises some of the best seafood you’re likely to ever have the pleasure of tucking into. If you time your visit right you’ll be able to attend the Galway Oyster Festival, the world’s longest running Oyster Festival.
Over in Derrynane in County Kerry, you’ll be able to experience a deliciously memorable food adventure. Visit Atlantic Irish Seaweed, where the Captain will take you on a fishing trip around the islands of Derrynane Bay to catch and picnic on sashimi and ceviche, Irish-style.
Have we tickled your tastebuds yet? Remember, Ireland is easily do-able as part of a broader European itinerary with easy access from Australia.
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