No matter what part of the world you visit, you are guaranteed to find at least one Irish pub or restaurant serving traditional Irish food and drink. This is a good indication of how popular the native cuisine is but of course if you want the best there is, you really need to sample it in its true home.
Top of the list on any description of Irish cuisine is the full Irish breakfast. A greasy but extremely appetizing combination of bacon, sausages, eggs, black & white pudding etc. etc. that will probably keep you going for the entire day – good news for all those of you on a budget, bad for the vegetarians among you. Of course the locals will also try to convince you that a full Irish is also the best hangover cure there is but this is truly a matter of opinion. And if in doubt, don’t risk it.
Other favourites among locals and visitors alike are the traditional potato cake known as boxty. Well you could hardly read a description of traditional Irish cuisine without at least one reference to the humble spud. Irish stew is another specialty which a great deal of visitors to the country are familiar with. It is also an extremely popular choice on pub grub menus and like the Irish breakfast, you won’t have much room for desert left after eating a helping of this. Smoked salmon with traditional brown bread is also something which you really should try. In fact fish and seafood in general are of an excellent standard in Ireland.
When it comes to drink there are not many of you out there who even need to be told about the native tipple. But, while there are quite a few of you who think you have already tasted Guinness in your home country, the reality is that Guinness sold outside the country is not the same thing at all. And, as soon as sip your first pint on Irish soil, you’ll know exactly what we mean.
As well as Guinness, other traditional drinks include Murphy’s, a sweet stout brewed in Cork, Kilkenny Beer, Smithwicks ale and Harp lager. You should also be aware that the last two are primarily consumed by ‘oul lads’ or senior gentlemen to those of you who have yet to familiarize yourself with the local dialect. And, Irish liqueurs and whiskeys have also made their mark in the drinks world with delights such as Baileys, Sheridans, Irish Mist, Jameson, Paddys and Powers. The purveyors of these wonderful beverages are open until 12.30 but many pubs in the larger cities also have late licenses which allow them to serve alcohol until between 1.30am and 2.00pm.