What to Eat in Dublin: Traditional Irish Favorites

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Dublin is the vibrant capital city of Ireland, known for its rich history, incredible attractions, and cozy pubs serving hearty helpings of traditional Irish dishes and live Irish music.

Whether you have just a day in Dublin or are moving to the Emerald Isle, here are some top dishes you’ll want to try!

1. Irish Stew

Stews are a staple dish in Ireland. You’ll find stews on the menu all across the Emerald Isle, whether you’re visiting big cities like Dublin or Belfast or the charming small villages Ireland is known for.

Irish Stew in a white pot.
Traditional Irish Stew

Stews became a mainstay dish in Ireland during the 19th century when many families experienced economic hardship. Stews were easy to make with whatever ingredients were on hand and were also easy on the budget.

You’ll commonly find Irish stew and beef stew on restaurant menus in Dublin. Irish stew usually contains lamb rather than beef. Sometimes you’ll get a scoop of mashed potatoes in your stew, and some soda bread served alongside.

For a taste of Beef and Guinness Stew, head over to the Irish House Party Dinner and Show.

2. Full Irish breakfast

As they say: breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

The full Irish breakfast is a hearty one. It typically contains eggs, sausages, black and white pudding, beans, and rashers. You might also find mushrooms, tomatoes, and soda bread as part of your full Irish breakfast.

Historically, this filling meal would get workers ready for a full day of physical labor on the farm. Get your day off to a good start with the full Irish breakfast, and you’ll have plenty of energy to power an epic day of Dublin sightseeing!

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3. Soda Bread

Soda bread and brown bread are commonly served with soups and stews in Dublin restaurants and can also be a component of the full Irish breakfast. 

Slice of dark brown soda bread.
Classic Irish Soda bread

This mainstay of the Irish menu became popular in the 19th century when baking soda became available. Soda bread makes use of flour from the soft wheat grown in Ireland. Unlike bread made with yeast (that requires baking in an oven), soda bread could be cooked on a hearth or a griddle.

Enjoy your soda bread with a generous layer of delicious Irish butter!

4. Black Pudding and White Pudding

White pudding and black pudding are not sweet desserts but savory types of sausages. Puddings are sliced, pan-fried, and enjoyed as a part of the full Irish breakfast.

Puddings were created by butchers trying to find a way to utilize animal fat and other parts that were not popular to sell.

White pudding is a grain-based sausage made with animal fat and flavorful seasonings. It’s typically a light brown shade.

Black pudding is similar to white pudding, but with one big difference: black pudding contains blood, which gives it a dark color. So, if you’re a picky eater or a little squeamish about such things — skip the black pudding!

5. Fish and Chips

Fish and chips are one of the most popular foods in Dublin, especially on a Friday night! This stems from the Catholic belief that meat should not be eaten on Fridays.

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You probably already know that ‘chips’ are ‘fries’. In Ireland, chips are always chunky, wide-cut fries (even the chips are hearty!) Salt and vinegar are the traditional seasonings for your helping of fish and chips.

Fish and chips with mayo and dip.
Fish and chips

You’ll find this comfort food on the menu of nearly every restaurant, and many takeaway shops (called chippers) specialize in fish and chips. Enjoy your fish and chips takeaway on a park bench, as the locals do!

6. Guinness

Guinness is one of the most famous beers in the world. This iconic Irish stout beer is a hometown favorite, brewed in Dublin since 1759. It’s sometimes even referred to as the national drink of Ireland.

Sign saying Guinness sis good for you.
Guinness is good for you

Guinness gets its distinctive flavor from hops, barley, water, and a special variety of yeast.

Guinness takes beer very seriously, and you’ll even see ‘Guinness Quality Team’ vans driving throughout Ireland to ensure you enjoy the perfect pint of Guinness no matter where you are. Cheers!

7. Beef and Guinness Pie

Speaking of Guinness: it’s not only a tasty libation, but is also a common cooking ingredient in Ireland. It lends a richness and depth of flavor when added to hearty meat-based dishes.

A savory pie is another traditional Irish dish to sample during your visit to Dublin. Shepherd’s pie and beef and Guinness pie are popular varieties.

Beef and guinness pie with chips and a side salad.
Beef and Guinness pie

Meat-based pies have been around since medieval times. The ‘pies’ you’ll find in Dublin most commonly start as stews, with an added layer of pastry or mashed potatoes on top.

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Traditional Irish cuisine tends to be filling comfort food. These delicious dishes are sure to make your taste buds happy and warm you up on even a rainy Dublin day. Be sure to try them on your next visit to Dublin!

Author bio: Lisa Garrett

Lisa from Waves and Cobblestones.
Lisa from Waves and Cobblestones

Although she works full-time in the semiconductor industry, Lisa fits in as much travel as possible throughout the year. Her travel blog, Waves and Cobblestones, is chock-full of city guides and destination tips to help you make the most of your vacation time. Lace up your shoes and let’s go! Follow Lisa on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Pinterest image of traditional Irish dishes to eat in Dublin.
Pinterest image of food to eat in Dublin.

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