Ireland eats!

So before I do more “doing things” posts, I know you all want to know how the food was in Ireland, right? This post is going to be kind of long and picture heavy, so sorry about that. And if you are hungry while reading it, I’m really sorry 😀

It was said in a lot of places that you don’t go to Ireland for the food, so we weren’t expecting anything other than sustenance. Well, turns out we were mistaken!  Ireland has some really great food.

The larger the city, the more choices of cuisine, obviously, but even the  smaller towns had a nice variety of food and everything was plated so nicely.  For those of you who don’t know, John is a vegetarian. We weren’t sure what his options would be. Quite a few, actually. Almost every restaurant had at least one vegetarian selection (even the pubs). The only thing is that there were no vegetarian versions of ‘traditional’ Irish dishes.

Anyway, our bed and breakfast places all had good food. Except the coffee at Rose Cottage. It was terrible LOL. I mentioned before that the breakfasts were huge. Or had the opportunity to be. We definitely ate less than we could have.  It was nice having the porridge. Sometimes with eggs. We asked for the eggs to be scrambled with a little cheese and our host made it look so attractive – and even cut the toast into a little square:


So  much bread. Every breakfast had the brown bread (a grainy quickbread thing that is really good) plus white toast.  Not to mention all the butter!  I ate a lot of butter that week LOL.

Lunches were just in little shops that we stumbled on. Even in a much smaller town, there was a good lunch for John of quiche and various salads.


For the price, we were pretty suprised at how much food came on the plate. Very reasonable.  All of the coleslaw/potato type salads we came across were really mayo heavy. I don’t know why, but I guess the Irish love their mayo.  At that place I had a ham, corn and cheese sandwich.


I’ve never had corn on a sandwich before. I don’t know if I will do that again. It was fine, but nothing special.

Another small cafe that served sandwiches in Adare:


See what I mean about how they plate everything nicely, even just a sandwich? This was a caprese sandwich.

There was always soup of some kind on the menus, with the ubiquitous brown bread. This was a place pretty much in the middle of nowhere near Staigue Fort (another post).


There were scones at all these places, too.  The interesting thing is that they were always homemade scones, even at the really busy places like the Blarney castle. They don’t mess with the scones.


Usually served with jam and cream.

This was a “traditional” lunch:


Irish stew, potatoes and vegetables.  This was quite good.

Since we were in Ireland surrounded by the ocean, I decided to try some fish and chips. I am not a big fish fan because it tastes…fishy. But, I figured it would be the freshest here. This was on our anniversary:


It actually was quite tasty, although I’m not used to having fries and a fried item. The fish didn’t taste fishy LOL!

At this same restaurant (pub), John had falafel, which he really enjoyed.


He got a soda with his meal. There are no fountain taps in any place it seems. You are given a bottle of soda everywhere. And it shows up on the bill as “mineral”.

The dinner I enjoyed the most was the cottage pie:


This was a Guinness beef stew on a bed of mashed potatoes with a pastry crust on top.  Very good. While most of the portion sizes in Ireland were a more reasonable size than you get in the US, this one was a lot of food and I couldn’t finish it.

Ireland hosts a lot of different cuisines. There were tons of Indian restaurants, and we ate at one. The food tasted fresher and brighter than the Indian restaurants around here and really, really good.  This is a samosa appetizer filled with potatoes and vegetables.  We were sharing it and the chef plated one for each of us.


Now that is service!

We tried a French crepe restaurant:


These are buckwheat crepes. Mine said it had 2 kinds of bacon in it. It had what I call ham inside and the bacon outside. So good.

Another traditional dish (and another huge portion) was bacon, cabbage and potatoes with parsely sauce. Look at what they call bacon!


It’s ham LOL! This was at a pub with live entertainment. The food in the pubs is quite good!

You all know I love my coffee and I was concerned about being able to find coffee in Ireland, figuring it would be all tea. Well, apparently the coffee wave has hit over there and towns had multiple coffee shops. Yay!


The interesting thing is that they don’t have urns of brewed coffee to pour from. If you order a cup of coffee, you are made an Americano.  Makes it nice and fresh that way.  The only issue I had with the coffee shops is that almost all of them closed at 6:00.  I guess after 6:00, they figure you switch from coffee to Guinness!

Lastly, the sweets. I mentioned before that Ireland does its sweets really well – and boy, do they! All the desserts were delicious. A few samples of what we had:








Ireland is really a melting pot of different cuisines and there certainly is plenty of good food to find. Can you believe I only gained 1 pound??

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12 thoughts on “Ireland eats!

  1. Jody - Fit at 58

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! Now you know me & bread & that brown bread looks amazing!! Desserts too of course! 🙂

    Such a mix of all kinds of food! I gained 5 pounds reading!!! 🙂

  2. Helen

    As a foodie, this is the post I’ve been waiting for LOL!

    Everything looks delicious. I’ve always wondered if they serve a lot of potatoes and it seems they do. While I’m not a huge fan of potato, you wouldn’t get any complaints from me having bread at every meal!

    Is the brown bread anything like the brown bread we have here? You know the kind you can buy in a can? My mom makes a fabulous brown bread and I’ve always assumed the tradition came from her British roots, via her Maine roots.
    Helen´s last blog post ..Running DC: The Army Ten Miler Expo and Race Report

    1. Lori Post author

      It’s not really like the bread in a can. I think the can bread is softer and sweeter. The Irish bread uses a really coarse flour so there are grainy bits in it when you eat it. I think you can get Irish style flour from King Arthur. We need to try to make it at home. It was very tasty.

  3. Susan

    Your food pictures look yummy! I have enjoyed reading your posts on your travels in/to Ireland.
    I just recently took a DNA test at and found out I have a high percentage of
    Great Britain, and Irish in my genetics so this is really cool seeing some of the places my ancestors
    may have come from. I am an adoptee and didn’t know any of this about myself until I got my
    dna test results back. Again thanks for sharing.

  4. Jane

    I have so enjoyed your Ireland travel posts! My husband and I are thinking of going there for our 25th anniversary so I’m getting lots of ideas! I’m a long time reader, but hardly ever comment (sorry ’bout that?) Jane

  5. Fran

    Oh yum yum yum! Now I really want to go to Ireland LOL.

    Funny thing is that one of my favourite food bloggers went on a business trip to Ireland and wasn’t quite sure what she could expect for the food and she was as pleasantly surprised as you were.

    Bread is eaten a lot in European countries, here in Holland really a lot of people eat bread with often cheese on it for lunch. There is almost always bread served as an appitezer when you go out for dinner.

    About the coffee, that’s funny too because when Europeans go to the USA we are worrying if we can get any good coffee there LOL. I was in the USA in the early nineties and what I remember most is how gross the coffee was.

    Thanks for sharing, it looks so delicious that I’m drewling over my screen at 11 am at work. Imagine how that looks like …
    Fran´s last blog post ..Hike #19, Friday, August 12, 2016: Groene Wissel Maarn

    1. Lori Post author

      There is plenty of swill coffee to be found here in the US, but lots of great coffee as well. You just need to know where to go LOL

      Bread seems to be served mostly with dinner in the US. At restaurants there is a bread basket, but that doesn’t usually come with breakfast or lunch, although breakfasts come with toast.

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