My husband and I recently returned from our trip to Ireland!
We began our journey in Dublin, then drove to Belfast, on to County Mohill, then to Galway, Killarney, Blarney, Waterford, and Celbridge.
I will recommend a few of the places that we ate – our absolute favorites along the route, as well as a few dishes you should try while in Ireland – regardless of where you find it! I will say, the pub food in Ireland is amazing, and you can’t go wrong by asking any locals where to eat nearby.
I also highly recommend asking the waiter/waitress what their favorite thing on the menu is.
Nancy Hands, Dublin, County Dublin
Warm, cozy, pub environment with candles burning on each table. I could be wrong, but it seemed to me even the locals were eating here and enjoying their food. A Guinness is included in your Red bus hop-on hop-off bus pass, so there are plenty of tourists here as well. A few tour buses did pull up to drop off their passengers, but they had plenty of seating and wait staff available to accommodate them.
Bonus: Walking distance to Ashling Hotel
Nancy’s Famous Dublin Coddle of Potato, Bacon Chop, Sausage & Onions.
The Coddle was recommended by the waitress and oh, my yum! Basically a gigantic pork chop that tastes like bacon. The meat is thick, savory, tender, and juicy. I ate every last bit on my plate.
Fratelli’s Belfast, Northern Ireland
I must say we had some incredible Italian food in Ireland! When we stayed in Belfast we asked for a recommendation from the hotel staff. They pointed us down the road to Robinson’s Bar & Bistro. I totally recommend you stop in here for a Guinness and to watch the game with the locals. Unfortunately, the kitchen was closed so we had to ramble on in search of a meal. Next stop was The Crown Liquor Saloon. I would also highly suggest you grab a whiskey in here. The woodwork is stunningly detailed. We wandered in, saw no food being served and no seats available and wandered back out. If I had to do over again, I would have gone back after dinner for a night cap just to savor the architectural details of the place. It is across the street from The Europa, the most bombed hotel in the world. Our taxi tour guide brought us there the next day on our city tour and took our photos outside.
Long intro but I am about to get to the point: After finding the charming Fratelli’s and scoring a cozy window seat on a couple of love seats facing one another, we were so glad that there was no food to be found in the first two places because we would have never had found this place! The Italian aroma smells amazing in here, you pretty much know you can’t go wrong with any of the menu items as soon as you walk through the door.
Bottle of Montes Cabernet Sauvignon
Chorizo, Chicken, Tomato & Chilli Ragu
Garlic Bread Rolls
Creamy carbonara linguine – Thick cut cured bacon, onions & garlic in a white wine cream sauce
Cheesecake Al Cioccolate Bianco E Pistacchio
The Pie Maker, Galway, County Galway
We loved, loved, loved this place. Be advised: It’s tiny. Minuscule. But what it lacks in size it more than make up for in flavor, charm, and spunk. Our server was incredibly friendly even though he was incredibly busy and the only server working the four tables and the bar counter. Yep. That’s all the room there is. You literally wait outside the door for someone to come out, and then you can go in.
The Pie Maker has a menu of savory pies for dinner followed by sweet pies for dessert if you left room for it (or if you are willing to eat in regardless.)
So, so good. I still have not stopped thinking of the pastry tops. The mashed potatoes on the side were the perfect compliments.
Chicken & Mushroom Pie
Beef & Galway Stout Pie
Chocolate Pecan Pie
Roasted Pumpkin Pie
John M Reidy’s, Killarney, County Kerry
The perfect ending to a perfect day. We spent the day riding around on The Ring of Kerry Tour bus and finished up at Reidy’s which was a charming pub/coffee shop. Nooks and crannies every which way you turn this old candy shop turned hang out is a happening spot. No matter what environment you are looking for, I’m certain you can find it here. I saw people drinking cappuccino and studying, others having a smoke out back on the patio, we sat in a quiet corner enjoying a Whiskey listening to 90’s rap music and snapping selfies as we reminisced about the day’s sight seeing. As we went to leave, we walked through the pub where the beer is on draft and there was a lively crowd listening to live traditional Irish music. Needless to say, we lost several hours here and aren’t one bit sorry about it.
Other things you must try in Ireland:
- Porridge with Jameson Whiskey
- Fish and Chips with Malt Vinegar
- Lamb Stew
- Guinness Stew
- Bacon & Cabbage
- Fried Brie
- Any and all cheeses
- Streaky Bacon
- Irish Coffee
- Hot Whiskey/Hot Toddy
- Smithwick’s Irish Ale
- Redbreast 12
- Yellow Spot
- Green Spot
- Powers Signature
- Powers 12
Sláinte chugat. (sounds like Slawn-cheh ch(k)oo-at) Cheers, literally translates Good health to you.
ACTIONABLE STEP: Go on and explore Ireland virtually. Check out the places listed online. Daydream a little. Make this Irish Coffee Recipe this weekend. 😉