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14 fantastic Irish food and drink experiences
Relish the amazing flavours that can be found around the country.
From exciting hotspots to artisan trails, foraging classes to luxury dining, the food and drink scene in Ireland is incredible. Creative and talented chefs, passionate food enthusiasts and master distillers are responsible for Ireland’s rapidly growing culinary reputation.

Here are 14 fantastic food experiences that are not to be missed.

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1Explore Connemara and the Aran Islands with Padraig O’Raighne, Galway

Visit two iconic Gaeltacht locations with Padraig O’Raighne on this jampacked tour of Connemara and Árainn (Aran Islands). A Gaeltacht man himself, Padraig of Connemara Pub Tours combines his local expertise with food-industry insider knowledge. Experience the stunning beauty in Connemara’s Gaeltacht as you sample a tipple or two and listen to the locals tell tales and sing songs from times gone by. 

If you want to head further afield, take their Árainn tour and witness life living off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Journey to Inis Oírr (Inisheer) on a short scenic flight across the bay and head to three Irish establishments. It’s there you can indulge in traditional Irish food and drink before you tour the island with your informative guide.

View of the cliffs at Aran Islands at sunset
Enjoy an epic food and drink experience on the Aran Islands.
2Catch and cook at Dingle Cookery School, Kerry

Get out on the water to experience the thrill of catching your own food in the Atlantic and then using fresh ingredients to create a delicious meal with Catch and Cook at Dingle Cookery School. This is an authentic meal not to be missed as you head out to the fishing grounds of Dingle Bay and land fish such as mackerel, pollock or cod. 

Once you’ve caught your fish, you’ll be invited back into the cookery school’s kitchen to prepare your catch. This is followed by a cooking lesson where you’ll learn how to create delectable accompaniments to your dish. And the reward? An amazing seafood meal that you’ve created from ocean to plate.

3Eat out in the Long Dock Pub and Restaurant in Carrigaholt, Clare

Built in the 1820s, The Long Dock was always a pub – but like many traditional Irish public houses, it was also a hardware shop, grocers and even a drapery. From the moment you cross the threshold of the Carrigaholt pub, you’ll be struck by the old-world charm and comforts of this establishment. 

Enjoy some quintessential Irish pub food when you're in County Clare, from amazing racks of lamb ribs, roasted pork belly and of course The Long Dock's signature seafood chowder with homemade brown bread, a local favourite and a heavenly experience.

A waiter serving food to a table of people at The Long Dock restaurant in County Clare
Grab a seat outside and enjoy The Long Dock's famous seafood chowder.
4Take a wild food walk with Wild Kitchen, Clare

Join Oonagh O’Dwyer from Wild Kitchen and share her knowledge and passion for all things to do with wild food on her guided walks. Discover many types of edible seaweeds, plants, flowers, herbs, berries and fruit and learn how to forage sustainably and safely with an expert by your side. 

The walk includes plant identification, recipes, seasonal tips and, of course, tasting the wild bounty that you collect. With your lunch or supper coming directly from nature, it’s an immersive experience that everyone can enjoy.

5Have a tipple at Roe & Co Whiskey Distillery, Dublin

Right in the Liberties in Dublin City, Roe & Co Whiskey Distillery is a top-notch urban distillery and whiskey attraction. Step into this iconic former Guinness Power Station for an immersive journey from conception to creation. 

Discover the secrets of Roe’s unique blend in Room 106 and learn about the pillars of flavour to see where your ideal taste profile lies. This is an intimate and personal tour allowing you to get up close to see modern whiskey at its finest.

Three women enjoying a tour of Roe & Co Distillery in Dublin City.
Taste test some of Ireland's finest Irish whiskey at Roe & Co Distillery.
6Enjoy something sweet at Highbank Organic Orchards, Kilkenny

From ‘pip to sip’, enjoy a glass of cider or apple crystal gin at Highbank Organic Orchards in Kilkenny. These orchards were originally built by the Calder-Potts family in the 17th century. 

You’ll find refreshing apple juice, cider and mulled apple juice here, as well as their very own orchard syrup which many adore. Part of the Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail, these orchards and organic farm shop are well worth a visit.

7Have a drink at the Franciscan Well Brewery, Cork

Learn about the mysterious art of brewing at the award-winning Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork City. Founded in 1998, this brewery is built on the site of an old Franciscan monastery dating back to 1219. Today, the brewery has combined modern technology with old-age tradition to create flavoursome beers including lager, ale, stout and wheat beers.

Inside the Franciscan Well Brewery and Bar in Cork City
Combine the old with the new at the Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork City.
8Go foraging with Blackstairs Eco Trails, Carlow

Spend a day foraging for wild foods and exploring wildlife in the hedgerows with Blackstairs Eco Trails in Carlow. Discover the abundance of wild edibles of the Blackstairs Mountains with a fully guided walk to suit all ages. Saunter through lovely lanes, lowlands and bogs as you enjoy a rural day in the countryside.

A herd of sheep grazing with Blackstairs Mountains in the background in County Carlow
Roam the landscape surrounding the incredible Blackstairs Mountains.
9Savour smoked fish at Goatsbridge Trout Farm, Kilkenny

Established in 1961, Goatsbridge Trout Farm is a local family business. See the fish up close as you take a farm tour and watch the trout at the various stages of their life, from ova in the hatchery until they reach maturity at 20 months in the earthen pond. Taste their fresh, smoked, barbecued fish, as well as their astonishing trout caviar during your visit.

Goatsbridge Trout Farm
10Enjoy a wellness retreat at Macalla Farm on Clare Island, Mayo

Set sail for magical Clare Island and prepare yourself for an incredible foodie experience in a stunning setting at Macalla Farm. Explore the organic farm, watch sheep graze on the wide open boglands and wander through pretty woodlands on a scenic walk. After you’ve worked up an appetite, sit down in the Stone Barn Café for a meal made with the farm’s fresh produce. With the ingredients for their soups, salads and desserts grown just steps from your table, this truly is farm to fork dining.

Stay for the night in the farm’s accommodation, take a yoga class, and learn about the legend of the Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley.

A view of a lighthouse on a cliff and waves crashing against the rocks below at Clare Island Lighthouse, Mayo
Escape to Clare Island.
11Try seafood delicacies at Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co, Galway

Visit the Connemara coast and find one of the most unique and delicious seafood dishes in Ireland – abalone. This sea snail thrives in Irish waters and at Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co. they teach you all about this interesting creature on an abalone tasting tour. 

Described as tasting like a mixture of scallops and foie gras, abalone is a luxury ingredient. Mungo’s foodie tours don’t stop there, scour the shoreline on a seaweed tasting tour and let the experts identify ingredients for your next meal, or pick up some pre-packaged jars from the shop.

12Enjoy a day out on the Carlow Food Trail, Carlow

With their GAA teams known as The Scallion Eaters, it’s no surprise that people in Carlow love their food and there’s no better place to experience this than on the Carlow Food Trail. Set off on this self-guided adventure of Irish cuisine through picturesque towns and villages.

Relax in a modern environment at the art gallery, VISUAL, and enjoy a lunch made with sustainable and locally sourced ingredients at Lennon's. Stop by Carlow Brewing Company afterwards and learn about these amazing, small batch drinks. No food tour is complete without desserts, so make sure you visit The Chocolate Garden of Ireland for sweet treats.

A dish served in the Smuggler's Rest
Explore Carlow on a tasty food trail.
13Savour the views at Caffe Banba, Donegal

At the top of Ireland’s most northerly point, Malin Head, Caffe Banba is one of those places you just have to see for yourself when in Donegal. Known locally as the “café on wheels”, it serves up some of the best coffee in Ireland, alongside spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the neighbouring Donegal mountains. Find a selection of delicious baked goods that the Banba team make from scratch every day in the nearby Banba Malin Head Bakery and enjoy a wonderful treat in an incredible setting.

Once you’ve had your fill of tea and coffee, make sure to explore the rugged area around the coffee wagon and see where some of the famous scenes from Star Wars: The Last Jedi were filmed.

Caffe Banba
14Go for a coffee and a swim at The Happy Pear, Wicklow

You can’t miss this brightly coloured wholefood store and restaurant as you drive along the Church Road in Greystones, Wicklow. With its eye catching shopfront, The Happy Pear has become a landmark place to visit in this quaint town beside the sea.

Open seven days a week with a variety of hot and cold vegetarian food being served, you can choose to enjoy a delicious meal in the restaurant upstairs, at one of the outdoor tables on the street below or get it to takeaway.

Join owners, Dave and Steve, for a “swimrise” — that's a swim at sunrise — at Greystones Beach for the full Happy Pear experience, before refuelling with a hearty breakfast and mouth-watering coffee back at the café.

The Happy Pear
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