Some of My Favorite Meals in Ireland

Eating is a big part of any good travel experience, and I just wrapped up two weeks of good eating on a Best of Ireland tour.

Whenever I’m in the British Isles, my body jumps up and yelps for a good old-fashioned “fry.” This big fried breakfast (traditionally what a farm worker would eat to get him through a day in the fields until dinner) is jokingly referred to as a “heart attack on a plate” or a “plate of cardiac arrest.” I eat about two eggs a week at home. In the British Isles, it’s an egg a day.

I’ll enjoy this high-powered start to my day for a few more days…but I’ll be in fried-breakfast land for a total of thirty days this trip. Thankfully, these days it’s easy to find healthy alternatives.

Ireland is one of those places that surprises travelers with its fine cuisine. A good menu should have a few choices and feature local and seasonal ingredients. The restaurants we visit on our tours typically provide a three-course menu, and our guide is careful to explain any local specialties we should be aware of (in this case, the seafood chowder, pan-fried hake, and banoffee pie…all big hits).

Kinsale is one of Ireland’s gourmet capitals, and Jim Edwards is one of Kinsale’s leading restaurants. If you’re traveling on your own, this would be offered as an early bird special (three courses for about $38 if you order before 7 pm).

By the looks of the dishes we’ve been enjoying, there’s no shortage of seafood off the coast of the Emerald Isle…and the cake-like soda bread complements it wonderfully. A plate like this makes a fine quick lunch. (We do our best to minimize chain restaurants and French fries on Rick Steves’ Europe Tours.)

This is Day 80 of my “100 Days in Europe” series. As I travel with Rick Steves’ Europe Tours, research my guidebooks, and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences across Europe. Still to come: England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and more. Thanks for joining me here on my blog and via Facebook.