You come to Ireland for the incredible windswept views, the green landscapes and trails, the music and pub culture, but you likely didn’t come for the food. Irish food may not be a selling point for your trip to Ireland, but it should be. We are wiling to bet it is the food you will be most surprised and delighted by.
“Our guide made it so much fun, not to mention the fabulous dinners (Michelin stars) & cozy B&Bs which were included in the price. And I would have been happy with fish and chips” – Warsch, Israel.- Trip advisor
Since you are here to enjoy the outdoors with an active vacation hitting the trails, then it’s our responsibility to make sure you have the fuel to propel you day after day. We don’t just want you to refuel; we want to showcase the local flavors of our land. Irish food is much more than fish, chips, and Guinness. Irish food is more refined than you think.
Let us take you on a typical day on the trail with us.
Our B&B’s have something for everyone to start your day off with energy. You can expect a full Irish breakfast including meat (bacon, sausages and black and white puddings), eggs, vegetables and potato. It is a meal traditionally used to prepare one for a full day of heavy-duty work on the farm on a cold winter morning and is comprised of the best local and homemade farm produce. Or if you like to keep breakfast light the B&B’s have salmon, seasonal fruit, and yogurts too!
But there are a few favorites that we hope you try such as the fresh baked Irish Soda Bread. Irish Soda Bread is a traditional product of a poor country, it was made with only the most basic of ingredients: flour, baking soda (used as a leavening agent instead of yeast), soured milk to moisten and activate the soda, and salt. Before baking, a cross was cut on the top with a knife, to ward off the devil and protect the household. Have it with fresh locally produced jams or to soak up that Irish Breakfast!
Another classic Irish breakfast you’ll find at some B&B’s and hotels is Kippers. It’s a super source of protein and energy for your active day. Kippers is a classic smoked herring cooked up in butter, garlic and capers. It’s typically served with grilled tomatoes and lemon wedges. You may first think fish for breakfast seems odd, but don’t knock it until you try it. You’ll also frequently find smoked salmon most mornings as a breakfast option.
Lunch on the Trail
It’s not about what you are eating; it’s about where you are eating! How does a picnic lunch overlooking the crashing waves of the Atlantic sound; or maybe a lunch among historic monuments; or a view of lush rolling hills; or a sandwich on Ireland’s best beaches while bird watching? You’ll have the best seat in the house for lunch – no reservations required.
Lunches are functional and practical on the trail. We normally provide a sandwich, seasonal fruit, an energy bar, and something sweet. We will always cater to whatever dietary needs you have. And as you hike or bike throughout the day, your guide will also be educating you on the local farming practices and culture. You may even forage for berries or other seasonal foods along the way.
During the day it’s a chance to learn and see more about where the food you are eating is coming from. You will be passing by sheep, goats, and cows all day along the trails. You may even pass by a cow that provided your milk for breakfast! On some itineraries we make stops at local cheese makers to meet the farmers and see the process, or stop by the growing list of distilleries making world famous gins and spirits. We will meet the local artisan producers as often as possible on our trips because it’s a way to show you our Irish culture.
Ireland is a land of small villages and communities and it’s important we support those communities by eating local. You won’t find any chain restaurants on our itinerary! We bring you to the best restaurants based on where we are staying; like these three top restaurants in Dingle. Some nights in bigger towns that may be an award-winning restaurant, and some nights the best thing in town may be the local pub.
In Irish restaurants fish is always on the menu, however don’t think that the Irish only eat battered deep-fried fish; it’s prepared a number of different ways. You’ll also find refined lamb and steak dishes as well as fresh local vegetarian options. These types of restaurants typically serve a 3-course dinner with a variety of wine choices.
“Frankly, for the price, we had expected pub food, but what we got was fantastic, fresh, local cuisine in independent restaurants. Three course meals prepared us for the day ahead of walking or biking through the spectacular countryside. One of our top trips ever.” – wdee, Los Angles USA– TripAdvisor
Pubs also take their food seriously. Ever want to know how many ways you can use Guinness to cook, just head to the local pub! You find a variety of hearty stews, cottage pies, fish and chips, and cabbage dishes at our local pubs. Would you like vinegar with that? You’ll find that vinegar is the ketchup of Ireland when it comes to fries! Make sure you try it how the locals eat it!
Pubs are a low-key atmosphere and often just what you are craving after a rewarding day on the trail. Pubs are the gathering place in Ireland, and it’s a culture that shouldn’t be missed. You can have a pint of Guinness, do some Irish whiskey tasting, or try a traditional hot port, as you meet locals at the bar. And the best part is you’ll likely also be treated to a nice warm fire, some great stories, and of course toe-tapping music.
We try to give you a full cultural experience in addition to the outdoor adventure, and our food choices and experiences are a big part of that. Experience Irish cuisine from trail to table on one of our tours, you’ll likely leave surprised, and full.