Dublin Eats: The Foods You Need to Try in Ireland’s Capital

Dublin fair city, where according to a well-known tune, the girls are said to be so pretty, is enjoying something of a culinary renaissance. And honestly, I’m as surprised as you are to find that Ireland’s capital is home to some spectacular local eats and fine dining establishments serving food from all over the world. Of course, when we think of Dublin, it’s not necessarily the food that pops into our minds. It’s the friendly locals, the rich culture and of course, the many historical pubs where you can enjoy a pint of the black stuff. But, like I said earlier, this city is much more than the home of Guinness and James Joyce. So, let’s take a closer look at what delicious local treats we can find on the streets of the city.

Local Eats In Dublin

Let’s start off with breakfast, and yes, you guessed it, the good old-fashioned full Irish. Now, some might say it’s the same as an English breakfast, but it’s not. In any Dublin eatery, you’ll find that the full Irish also includes blood pudding (white and black) and fried mushrooms. It’s a Saturday and Sunday morning staple in Dublin, so don’t even think about skipping it if the hotel has one on offer.

Next, we have Guinness (so what if it’s still morning!) and oysters with a slice of brown bread. It sounds like the worst combination of items you can put on a table, but apparently, it’s one of the single most popular tourist dishes in all Ireland. Oh, and the bread must be freshly baked with a lashing of butter. None of that sliced pan stuff.

Now, where would you get the best Irish stew? Well, I’m sure that many Irish folks will have their own recommendations, but if you’re in Dublin, then the best place to try it is O’Neill’s. The most famous of pubs is supposed to be a lovely place to sit for a pint and a plate of stew, and I’m assured it’s authentic stuff. There’s even an open fire to sit by if it’s a cold day. Stew and a fire? Doesn’t get better than that now does it?

You might be wondering why there are no potato dishes yet but don’t worry, here are two that sound incredible. Colcannon is a combination of mashed potatoes and cabbage with some milk, salt and pepper thrown into the mix. It’s usually served as a side dish with main courses, and The Oliver St. John Gogarty in Temple Bar has the best in the city center.

Our second potato dish is something akin to a potato pancake and is called boxty. It’s finely grated potato in a fried pancake, and it looks amazing. Variations of the pancake come with bacon, sausage and even chili (not quite the Irish staple). The best boxty in the city can be found in The Boxty House just across the street from The Oliver St. John Gogarty in Temple Bar. It gets packed during busy hours though, so you may have to wait.

And last but by no means least, there’s Dublin coddle. A dish strongly associated with the city, it consists of the leftovers from yesterday’s dinner put into a stew of sorts, but it’s not Irish stew. The taste is supposed to be different and each household has their own recipe. The best coddle in Dublin is a big claim to make, but the Hairy Lemon pub has some excellent reviews, and when Dubliners say the coddle is good, then you listen.

The list could go on and on, but these are the traditional Dublin foods that any food tourist should give a try. There are lots of restaurants in Dublin serving everything from Thai to Mexican, but if you’re going to visit a city, you need to eat locally. So, the next time you’re in Dublin, live like a local and eat your coddle. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Photo by Benreis, CC BY

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