Must-try Irish food and drink

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Ireland, a land of enchanting landscapes, charming cities, and rich cultural heritage, boasts an equally tantalising array of local cuisine that will leave your taste buds longing for more. From hearty stews to freshly caught seafood and delectable desserts, Irish food and drink is a delightful journey for the senses. In this guide, we explore some of the most iconic and authentic dishes you can savour while visiting the Emerald Isle on a British Isles cruise.

Irish Stew

You can’t talk about Irish cuisine without mentioning the iconic Irish stew, which is maybe one of the most popular Irish dishes. A hearty and comforting dish, Irish stew traditionally features tender lamb or mutton, potatoes, carrots, and onions simmered to perfection. The slow-cooking process ensures that the flavours mix seamlessly, creating a wholesome and savoury delight. When you visit the lush landscapes of Ireland, be sure to indulge in this classic dish that reflects the warmth and hospitality of the Irish people.


With its extensive coastline, Ireland is a haven for seafood enthusiasts. When exploring the coastal towns and villages, you can relish the finest catches from the Atlantic Ocean. From succulent Dublin Bay prawns to flavourful Irish oysters, the seafood offerings are a testament to the freshness and quality of Ireland's maritime delights.

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Traditional Irish Breakfast

Traditional Irish breakfast

Kickstart your day with a traditional Irish breakfast, a hearty feast that includes eggs, sausages, bacon, black and white pudding, tomatoes, and toast. This substantial morning meal provides the energy needed for a day of exploration. Indulge in the finest ingredients sourced locally, ensuring a breakfast experience that embodies the essence of Irish hospitality.

Irish Whiskey Tasting

No visit to Ireland would be complete without a taste of its renowned whiskies. Visit a distillery or pub to sample the rich and diverse flavours of Irish whiskey. From smooth and honeyed to bold and peaty, the whiskey varieties in Ireland cater to every palate. Elevate your culinary journey by pairing exquisite Irish whiskies with the flavours of local cuisine.


Immerse yourself in the authenticity of Ireland by savouring a pint of Guinness, an iconic symbol of Irish heritage and craftsmanship. This world-famous stout, with its rich and velvety texture, carries with it the spirit of Irish brewing traditions that date back to the 18th century. As you visit Ireland's many charming pubs, be sure to indulge in the distinct flavours of Guinness, where the meticulous blending of malted barley, roasted barley, hops, and a unique strain of yeast creates a beverage that is world-famous. The dark ale's signature creamy head and bittersweet notes provide a genuine taste of Irish culture, inviting you to raise a glass and partake in the pleasant atmosphere that accompanies every sip of this revered brew.

Whether enjoyed in a bustling city pub or a quaint countryside inn, Guinness is not just a drink; it's a cultural experience that binds the heart of Ireland to the lips of those who seek authenticity in every moment of their journey.

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Indulge your taste buds in the traditional Irish delight of boxty, a savoury potato pancake that embodies the heartiness of Irish cuisine. Made from a simple yet wholesome combination of grated potatoes, mashed potatoes, flour, and buttermilk, boxty showcases the ingenious use of Ireland's staple ingredient—the potato. These golden-brown delights are expertly pan-fried until crisp, resulting in a delightful interplay of textures: a crispy exterior giving way to a soft and pillowy interior. Often served as an accompaniment to various dishes or as a breakfast item, boxty is a versatile culinary gem that encapsulates the essence of comfort food and tradition. Pair it with smoked salmon and eggs, or simply relish it on its own, and you'll find that boxty is not merely a pancake but a flavourful expression of Ireland's culinary heritage.

Irish Desserts

Cap off your culinary adventure with a sweet finale by savouring traditional Irish desserts. Treat yourself to a slice of rich and moist Irish porter cake or relish the velvety texture of an Irish cream liqueur-infused dessert. The sweet offerings in Ireland are a delightful conclusion to your luxury road trip, leaving you with a taste of the country's sweet hospitality.

The rustic charm of Irish apple cake is a time-honoured dessert that captures the essence of Ireland's rural landscapes and orchards. This traditional treat features layers of thinly sliced, tart cooking apples nestled within a spiced and moist cake batter, creating a harmonious blend of sweetness and warmth. Infused with cinnamon and nutmeg, the cake exudes a comforting aroma. What sets Irish apple cake apart is its simplicity and reliance on fresh, locally sourced apples, ensuring a genuine taste of Irish countryside flavours. Typically served with a dusting of icing sugar or a dollop of freshly whipped cream, this dessert embodies the heartwarming hospitality and homely traditions of Ireland, making it a sweet finale to any authentic Irish culinary experience.

Must-try Irish food and drink:

  • Irish stew
  • Seafood
  • Traditional Irish breakfast
  • Irish Whisky
  • Guinness
  • Boxty
  • Irish desserts

When you step foot in Ireland, let your taste buds guide you through a gastronomic journey that celebrates the country's culinary treasures. Whether you're exploring the vibrant cities or the serene countryside, Ireland's diverse and flavourful dishes are sure to create lasting memories.

If you’re planning to book a cruise to Ireland to explore the culinary delights of the land, we hope we’ve got your mouth-watering idea for some of these delectable dishes and drinks. For more articles and guides like this, or if you’re looking for a bit of travel inspiration, make sure you head to our blog.