I just returned from a whirlwind 12 days in Ireland. Two of those days were primarily travel days; the other 10 were crammed full of as much as possible. It was an absolutely incredible trip! I rented a little Ford Ka and drove all over the country on my own – something I never thought I would be brave enough to do! I visited Doolin, Galway, Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork, Killarney, Dingle, and Ennis. The whole country is beautiful, the people are wonderful, and I totally fell in love with Ireland.
Some highlights from the trip:
Clockwise from top left: The Cliffs of Moher, the Gap of Dunloe, a beach along the Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula, kissing the Blarney Stone, St Finn Barr’s Cathedral in Cork, and the Killarney National Park.
So. Beautiful. I took so many pictures.
And, of course, one of my goals was to eat all the food! It can be so challenging to travel with food sensitivities. One of the best things I did was buy groceries and cook in my hostels. It saved me money and it saved me from getting sick – who wants to spend their vacation feeling crappy?! I did dine out a fair amount and from what I gathered, the signature dishes are:
1. Irish Stew. Duh. Made with beef or lamb, potatoes, and maybe some Guinness.
2. Soup and Brown Bread. You could find vegetable soup and brown bread everywhere!
3. Salmon. Some of the freshest salmon I have ever had was in Ireland.
4. Quiche. Again, almost every cafe I walked into had a quiche option. Soup and brown bread and a quiche.
5. Fish and Chips. Traditional pub food at its finest. Since most of the cities I stayed in were close to the coast, the fish was so fresh. I was so happy to find gluten free fish and chips in Dublin!
All the things I ate (and drank)!
Almond milk latte and gluten free, dairy free donut from Antoinette’s Bakery in Dublin. I have nothing but great things to say about Antoinette’s. The food was great, the staff was great, and the cafe itself is really cute. I would go back in a heartbeat!
Gluten and dairy free crepe from Lemon Crepe and Coffee Co. in Dublin. Great start to my last day in Dublin! They were so accommodating to my food needs… and they brought out a piece of chocolate with my coffee! So wonderful.
Gluten free fish and chips from Beshoff Bros. in Dublin. I was so excited to be able to partake in such a classic dish!!
Gluten-free (but not dairy free 😦 ) brownie from the Fig Tree in Kilkenny. They had a nice selection of gluten free meals and the atmosphere in the restaurant was great. I regret eating the brownie, but it was delicious!
Amazing salmon from the Cornstore in Cork. The Cornstore is one of Cork’s best and has won several awards. Cork is very much a “foodie” town and I wish I would have spent more time there!! Anyway, this salmon was some of the best I ever had!
Delicious coffee and gluten-free almond orange cake from the Garden Cafe in Dingle. So delicious. One of the best cafes I have been to! They have a great garden seating area, good coffee, and the staff was awesome!
Gluten and dairy free crepe from Creme de la Crepe at the farmer’s market in Dingle. Made with rice milk and buckwheat and delicious!
Gluten and dairy free honey bread from a farmer’s market in Kenmare. It made for the perfect afternoon treat after spending the day driving all over Co. Kerry.
I didn’t eat here, but this is definitely how I prefer my food! I got a great cup of cold brew and some great advice from the folks at Suas in Ennis. They have been named one of Ireland’s top 10 coffee shops and they have only been in business for 10 months!
So much coffee. I probably drank my body weight in coffee and Guinness. I was also introduced to a “flat white” which is similar to a latte but uses less milk. The emphasis is on the espresso and it’s awesome.
And after all that deliciousness, I got some questionable airplane food and a little bag of peanuts. Totally disappointing. But I don’t feel too terribly jet-lagged and I remembered what side of the road to be on, so all is well 🙂 Now it’s back to work in the kitchen to bust out some deliciousness!