I just recently got back from a trip to Ireland with one of my best friends and knew I had to do a post about the delicious food we ate. Traveling there was probably one of the most comical experiences of my life since we are just two American girls who decided to rent a car and explore as much of the country as possible. We battled many spiders along the way and made many many Irish friends who would let us pet their dogs and reverse our car when we were stuck and lost.
In anticipation of going to Ireland, I did not give food much of a thought and prepared myself thinking that it would be bland and monotonous. But I was completely wrong about my assumptions! While there are some platters you would expect to see consistently (Beef Stew, Chicken Curry, etc.), there was a wide variety of restaurants and options. Not to mention all of the food was tasty fresh and lovingly prepared. Ireland presented us with the perfect dose of comfort food and farm-to-table indulgence!
I have compiled a list below of my favorite Irish culinary experiences while visiting earlier this month. Keep in mind we did do a lot of traveling around the country so these places are scattered location-wise but all were incredible. Did I forget to mention the hospitality in Ireland was out of this world. Every person we met was so genuine and kind!
- The King’s Head Pub in Galway, Ireland – We had gotten off the plane, picked up our rental car, visited Clonmacnoise (so beautiful!) and headed to Galway for site-seeing and fooood! The King’s Head is one of the more famous pubs in Galway and rightly so. It had a peaceful back patio where we were seated and enjoyed a lovely meal of Fish & Chips and Roasted Chicken & Veggies (an appropriate first meal in Ireland). We also had the bread and cheese platter for an appetizer and split a nice cold beer.
- Hazel Mountain Chocolate Factory (Instagram) in County Clare, Ireland – Our first full day in Ireland was crammed with castles, caves, and cliffs. We had a midday pit-stop at Hazel Mountain which we had heard fabulous things about. We tasted different dark chocolates and then had a lovely tea break outside on their front porch. The desserts were delicate and rich with incredibly deep flavors. We tried the Rose & Raspberry Fika and White Chocolate Fruit Tart with Hot Chocolates on the side!
- Keanes Garden Center Cafe in Kilcolgan, Ireland – While en route to the stunning Killarney National Park, we randomly pulled off to grab breakfast and what a delight! Keanes Garden Center Cafe was surrounded by beautiful flowers and served up delicious Coffee and Quiche Lorraine.
- Salvador’s in Killarney, Ireland – We were hangry and tried to go to Bricin but did not have the patience for the long wait. Salvador’s gave us a delicious and traditional Irish meal of Guinness Stew and Roasted Chicken not to mention a tasty Bruschetta for appetizer.
- Cafe Hans in Cashel, Ireland – While en route to Kilkenny, we stopped by the Rock of Cashel and figured we would pick a quick lunch spot. What was originally going to be a quick sandwich turned into a three course meal from one of my (now) favorite restaurants in the world. Cafe Hans delivered the most thoughtful meals with intense and complimentary flavoring. Not one ingredient was overlooked and every component to the dishes was essential to creating this perfect meal. I had the Mozzarella, Roasted Tomato, and Beet Salad, Pork & Mushroom Risotto with Crispy Sage and Fried Butternut Squash (currently drooling thinking about it), and White Chocolate Mousse with Pomegranate Seeds for dessert. Needless to say, it is a meal I will never forget.
- Ristorante Rinuccini in Kilkenny, Ireland – If you are ever in Ireland, or anywhere else in the world, and are craving a perfect Italian meal, then stop everything you’re doing and head straight to Rinuccini’s right away. Located adjacent to Kilkenny castle, this beautiful restaurant features traditional Italian dishes made so perfectly, you would think you were in Italy, and they had displayed the countless awards to show for it. I indulged in their Polpettine con Spaghettini and Cheesecake Al Caramello for dessert.
- Cakeface in Kilkenny, Ireland – On our way out of town after mailing some post cards and finishing up last minute shopping in Kilkenny, we headed to Cakeface to try out yet more dessert. I got the Rastachio Sambo and it was so tart and sweet and indulgent. ❤
- Queen of Tarts in Dublin, Ireland – If you like brunch, then you can’t go to Dublin without going to Queen of Tarts. They have quiches and scones and cookies galore. The restaurant was quaint and the food hearty. I had the chicken and bacon sandwich, and it was perfect before a full day walking around the city. Even if you’re super full, do not skip dessert. In my opinion the Victorian Sponge Cake should not be missed! Also they have the cutest coffee mugs if you need a fun souvenir!
- Guinness Factory in Dublin, Ireland – Get beer, get drunk and have fun. It’s like a giant party for tourists, plus the city view at the top bar is stunning. Be sure to book your tickets in advance and keep in mind a free beer is included in admission. ‘Nuff said.
I hope you enjoy and let me know your thoughts on Irish cuisine!