When visiting any holiday destination, even one as close to home as Ireland, one of the great pleasures of travelling is the opportunity to sample and indulge in local fare. Every locality has its share of cuisine that you would not be able to find anywhere else, and even though Ireland is a relatively small country it is home to a number of cities with their own distinct and very worthwhile food culture. For anybody planning a trip to Ireland, or anybody just considering a potential visit to Ireland, these are four of the best destinations for foodies.
It is no surprise that Irish capital of Dublin has a whole slew of great restaurants, as the city has something to offer for just about any taste. These are two of the city’s best regarded restaurants:
- Thornton’s has that all too elusive combination of qualities that many modern restaurant-goers seek: a refined, elegant and a contemporary, innovative menu from chef Kevin Thornton. The Michelin Star does not hurt, either.
- Visitors to the Writers Museum will find the fashionable Chapter One in the basement. The tasting menu is worth the visit alone, but the characteristically inventive vegetarian menu will please most herbivore patrons. Do not leave without trying the exceptional Irish coffee.
This northern city used to be in the news for all the wrong reasons, but in recent years it has seen major changes. Belfast hotels like LaMon are welcoming record numbers of inquisitive tourists who flock here for the tours, nightlife and an increasingly bouyant café and restaurant scene.
- Howard Street is a fairly recent newcomer, like so many other restaruants in the city, but one look at their Trip Advisor reviews and you’ll want to make a booking. “Unreal”, “wow”, “excellent”: whatever it is they’re doing, it’s good!
- The Mourne Seafood Bar is something of a local icon. It specialises in locally sourced seafood, which is hard to come by, and has had rave reviews since opening. Well worth a look.
Cork may technically be second to Dublin in terms of size, but when it comes to civic pride this southern Irish city is second to none. The fierce love that Cork residents have for their city is not unfounded. In addition to a walkable city centre and a fascinating architectural landscape that seamlessly blends old and new, Cork also boasts what is arguably the best restaurant scene in the country. These are a couple of the best restaurants in Cork:
- Jacques Restaurant has been a favourite of Cork foodies for over three decades, and the venerable eatery has managed to evolve with the times. This spot generally hosts a healthy mix of locals and tourists, especially during breakfast with their famous scones and other baked goods. However, an evening visit is worth it for the tapas alone.
- The Farmgate Cafe subscribes to the modern philosophy of serving local food. Part of the bustling English Market, the Farmgate Cafe is a great spot for fresh, expertly prepared food served in a comfortable atmosphere.
Limerick is a compact and friendly city full of both modern culture and intriguing history. While it is not the most geographically expansive city, Limerick hosts its share of world-class eateries, including these well-regarded local spots:
- Do not let the name of Chocolat fool you, this Limerick restaurant has much more to offer than just confections, including a vast menu that spans the world, from America to Southeast Asia.
- The Cafe Noir is best known for its excellent pastries and quiches, making it a lunch-time favourite. However, coffee fans would be remiss to miss this spot in their travels.