3 weeks on the Emerald Isle
Hey there everyone, I will be spending 3 weeks traveling along the southern coast of Ireland from Dublin to Cork and then up to the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. Then we are going across land through Limerick back to Dublin. This is my first time visiting Ireland, so I am looking for tips on what foods I should try along the way. Any of the regional specialties that stand out, or local restaurants that would be a must try. Thanks a lot and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Well, for that sort of trip buy the Bridgestone Irish Food Guide, an excellent reference for the foodie tourer. Everything from farmers markets to country house hotels, you are bound to find some things up your alley.
My favourites are Ballymaloe House, Cafe Paradiso and the English Market in Cork. Longueville House in Mallow on the way to kerry. Dingle is great for seafood, try places like Out of the Blue, Fentons and the Half Door. The pubs in Dingle are great - Dick Mac's is my favourite. My brother was married in the church across the road and we had the bride photographed pulling pints in the pub afterwards!!
I am a great believer in our country house hotels, many are using their own produce (animal or plant) with a refreshing integrity and intelligence. Coupled with Irish hospitality its a world class product and although expensive should be tried by any visitor. Visit www.irelands-blue-book.ie
There are some exceptions but pubs in general aren't for food, eat first elsewhere then sit back and enjoy the atmosphere.
Check out other boards here for Dublin reccs too.
I'm not sure what the food is like now (you could check in that food guide), but we had a good meal at the Muckross Park Hotel a few years ago. It's right outside Killarney and was a great place to stay after doing The Ring. There is some good Irish music at a nearby pub, too.
I agree that Cafe Paradiso (excellent vegetarian fare) in Cork and Longueville House in Mallow are worthy stops. The best lamb I've ever had was at Longueville House. In Kinsale, I quite liked our meal at the Blue Haven - don't be dismayed that it is part of the Blue Haven Hotel. Also in Kinsale, used to love The Old Bank House when Michael and Marie Riese ran it but they sold it 4-5 years ago. On pubs, I think one does better for pub grub in some of the outlying areas that you might stop along the way on your journey, not touristy magnets like Bunratty Castle etc. This is assuming that you are driving. In Dublin we enjoyed the Halo Restaurant at the rather chic Morrsion Hotel.