Tourist’s guide to Irish Cuisine: the best dishes to try

Irish cuisine – how much do we know about the culinary preferences of the inhabitants of this country? Typically, Ireland is associated with coffee, Irish stew and potatoes. Of course, beer is traditional for Irish cuisine. According to the consumption of a foamy drink, the country is on the list of leaders – every year thousands of liters of drink are drunk in pubs and theme festivals in Ireland. If you are going on a trip to Ireland, it will not be superfluous to understand the culinary traditions of the country and make a list of national Irish dishes.

Irish national cuisine

Culinary traditions of Irish cuisine

One of the main national traditions in the cuisine of Ireland is a love of meat, vegetables and bread. Potato and cabbage dishes are especially honored, and these vegetables are the basis of many Irish dishes.

Interesting fact! In the most difficult and hungry years, the locals were saved by quinoa, and the traditional drink was Mead, which resembled a mead. It was prepared by the method of fermentation of a honey solution.

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Ireland's traditional drink was Mead

The national cuisine of Ireland is far from concepts such as refined and sophisticated. The main requirement is that food must be satisfying, this is due to the difficult climatic conditions in which it is necessary to survive. That is why the cuisine of Ireland is dominated by dishes of meat and fatty fish. As for the side dish, most often they use potatoes.

Interesting fact! The list of Irish national dishes includes butter, the product is of impeccable quality, excellent taste.

Typical Irish breakfast

A typical breakfast dish is black pudding
Black pudding

The main feature of Irish cuisine is its high calorie content. This also applies to breakfast. A traditional set of products – several meat dishes – sausage, bacon, nipples, they are served with scrambled eggs, toast, in some cases, beans are added.

A typical breakfast dish is black pudding, which tastes like black pudding, with the addition of oats, barley and animal blood.

Good to know! At different times, black pudding was processed in different ways – cooked, fried, eaten raw.

This national Irish dish is mixed for some tourists, but even today it is part of the breakfast. Today in the national cuisine there is a wide variety of puddings – with the addition of turmeric, cheese or greens.

If you are a vegetarian, choose eggs, potato pancakes with fried tomatoes and, of course, mushrooms for breakfast. By the way, mushrooms are on the menu of any cafe and restaurant in Ireland.

Fish and seafood

This is what Lobster looks like

For a long time, the main source of protein in Ireland was fish and seafood. Given the geographical location of Ireland and access to the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea, for many centuries local residents have eaten seafood that residents of other European countries could only dream of – lobsters, shrimps, oysters.

The restaurants serve an original national dish – Dublin lawyer from lobster stewed in cream. One of the thematic festivals is dedicated to oysters. During the holiday, hundreds of liters of foamy drink are drunk along with seafood. With regard to fish, the Irish are not particularly whimsical and eat what they can catch.


Game caught

In the past, meat dishes appeared only on the tables of wealthy people in the country. The peasants ate offal, on holidays it was possible to cook poultry and game. The traditional way of processing game is at the stake, having previously coated with clay. If it was possible to catch large prey, it was cooked on a spit.

The famous national dish of Ireland is a coddle of sausage, bacon, potatoes, and other vegetables. Previously, when potatoes were not yet grown in the country, barley was used instead.

When it comes to Ireland, it is impossible not to recall the Irish stew. There is no unified technology, many families have their own way of preparing refreshments.

Good to know! A variety of recipes is mentioned in the immortal work “Three in a boat, not counting the dog.” The stew from the book included meat, salmon, pudding, potatoes, peas, cabbage, bacon and eggs.

The simplest stew recipe is lamb (can be replaced with lamb), potatoes, carrots, onions, greens. It is traditionally stewed in the winter to keep warm.

The simplest stew recipe - lamb

Practicality is typical for traditional Irish dishes – different parts of the carcass are often used – tails, kidneys, ears, entrails. Of course, working with such original products required certain skills. Today, local culinary experts masterfully cope with any part of the carcass, and the best example of this is the Krubins – a pork leg beer snack.

Potato dishes

In the 16th century, the country began to grow potatoes, since then not only the way of life of local residents has changed, but also the national dishes of Ireland. Since these times, the tuber has become the basis of the diet of peasant families. Each potato crop failure led to massive hunger and even a sharp reduction in the country’s population. The most severe famine in Ireland was recorded between 1845 and 1849, when the entire crop died from late blight.

In the 16th century, potatoes were grown in Ireland

The Irish came up with a huge number of recipes from a satisfying tuber. Most Popular:

Boksti - “bread of the poor”
  • Boxtie – in translation means “poor man’s bread”, outwardly the dish resembles potato pancakes, the main ingredients are mashed potatoes, butter, flour and soda. Prepare in two ways – boil or fry. In the first case, the boksty looks like pancakes, and the tortillas are fried mainly on Halloween and served with fried sausages.
  • Champ – mashed potatoes, whipped with milk, seasoned with green onions.
  • Kolkannon – the main component – potatoes, however, in translation the name means “white cabbage”, in accordance with the technology, cabbage is added to mashed potatoes.

Interesting fact! Potatoes are considered to be the national dish of Ireland cuisine. According to statistics, this is a popular lunch among office workers. Most often they buy assorted different potatoes – boiled, fried, baked.

Fish & Chips - fish and fries
Fish & Chips

If you want to quickly satisfy your hunger, give preference to the dish “Fish and Chips” – fish and fries. Many people think that this is a traditional fast food from Britain, but the homeland of the food is Dublin, where immigrants from Italy offered delicious food in family restaurants. The dish was comfortably packed so that it was impossible to buy fish or potatoes separately.


Ireland’s list of national dishes includes a variety of snacks. Dulce is a product that you can buy in health food stores. These are algae, rich in trace elements, vitamins and proteins. They are dried in the sun, then ground and added to the first dishes to emphasize their taste. Also, seaweed is fried or baked with cheese sauce, and sometimes it is eaten without any processing.

Dulce Algae

The cuisine of Ireland is colorful and distinctive, but it has a place for fast food, however, it is unusual. A traditional dish – krubins – cooked pork legs, which are traditionally served with beer. Also, locals eat legs with soda bread.

Bakery products

Dessert - Goody

The country has a special attitude to bread. For baking, do not use yeast or yeast, but add soda to the dough. Most likely, this is due to the fact that in Ireland soft wheat with a low gluten content is grown. Yeast dough is prepared only for baking rich white buns with the name blaa. Bread with raisins is a barmrack, it cannot be called desserts, because it is less sweet. Previously, it was customary to add a surprise to bread – peas, coins, rings.

Interesting fact! Be sure to try the sweet Irish dessert – Goody – these are sweet slices of stale white bread, which are first fried until golden brown, then filled with milk with sugar and spices, then baked in the oven. Served with chocolate or ice cream.

Cupcake porter cake
Porter cake

When traveling around Ireland, try the famous cupcake made from dark Porter beer. Dessert is called porter cake. History is silent about who and when came up with an alcoholic drink instead of molasses. As for the cooking technology, in Ireland there are a huge number of baking options and everyone who will tell you the recipe will definitely specify that it is its original version and the most correct one.

All recipes of the cake combine several facts: the dessert is prepared on beer of only one sort – Porter, a lot of dried fruits, candied fruits and nuts are added to the dough. The finished dessert does not have a beer flavor, as it disappears during the baking process. Beer gives the cake a pleasant shade, moist texture and aroma. Here are some interesting cupcake recipes:

  • Porter whipped with cream;
  • The beer base is mixed with orange juice and whiskey;
  • Porter mixed with whiskey.

Ready dessert can be stored for a very long time. Immediately after baking it is wrapped in parchment and kept for a week, only after that they eat it.

The drinks

We figured out what to eat in Ireland, now we find out that the locals prefer to drink. An old drink is Mead. A treat was prepared from a honey solution. According to a similar recipe, a mead was prepared in Russia.

Irish whiskey

There is a mysterious fact in the history of Ireland and national alcoholic beverages, which historians cannot yet explain. About 4 thousand strange structures were discovered in the country – a well next to a pond, and fuel and stones are located nearby. According to one version of historians, the first breweries looked like this, but there is another version – game was baked in these wells. The operation of the furnace was as follows – hot stones were added to the well, thus, beer or meat was prepared.

Of course, since the use of such stoves, the skills of Irish masters in the preparation of alcohol only developed and improved. Already in the 5th century, the distillation process was mastered here, since then experts have developed exclusive whiskey recipes. In addition to the traditional varieties of whiskey on the Emerald Island, tourists are offered a unique, clean drink from barley and malt.

Guinness Beer

Guinness beer is a popular alcoholic beverage; it is called the symbol of celebrations in honor of St. Patrick. The Irish say that real Guinness beer is very dark, through it you can see only a ray of sunshine, as well as light that reflects a diamond. Beer was first produced in the 18th century. Today, the closest to the original drink is Guinness Original. Based on it, locals prepare a lot of cocktails.

Irish coffee

Traditional Irish coffee is more like a two-component cocktail of traditional black coffee and whiskey, of course, Irish, for a special, original flavor add brown sugar, whipped cream.

Liquor Irish Mist
Irish mist

The culinary combination of coffee and whiskey is used by local culinary specialists to prepare various liquors, for example, Baileys, Carolans. Another popular liquor in Ireland – Irish Mist – from whiskey, herbs, wild honey. The recipe was used until the 17th century, then the recipe was undeservedly forgotten, it was remembered only in the middle of the 20th century.

Today, traditional Irish dishes are famous for their naturalness and environmental friendliness. Irish cuisine is going through the Renaissance – many old recipes are being revived, but in an original, updated form.

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