The quality of local food is becoming an important factor in Ireland’s boom in tourism. And when you look a little closer, perhaps that’s not so surprising. The dark dreary days of meat, potatoes and two veg covered with glutinous gravy are long gone and culinary hot spots like Cork, Belfast and Dublin have taken the-always-fantastic raw produce cultivated in Ireland and brought it to new local heights.
Add to the quality of meat and seafood available around Ireland the improvement in the variety of beer and whiskey to be had, craft brewers and distillers seem to be sprouting up everywhere, the colossal increase in quality coffee shops and the seemingly-endless opening-up of new innovative cafés and restaurants and you can see that Ireland has taken major culinary steps forward. Travelodge Ireland Hotels thought it would be a good idea to pick out a few great foodie locations for you to try.
The Burren Food Trail
While the Burren is already well known for its flora, fauna and geology (UNESCO has recognised its unique location with its Global Geopark Status), it is less well-known for the quality and variety of food on offer in the local area.
Naming the Burren the Fertile Rock and producing an easy to follow pathway through the myriad of the growers, farmers, producers, chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers in this amazing area of natural beauty is a great start for this intriguing food destination.
The Burren food trail lets you follow a trail from field to plate and you can decide where and when you stop and dip into the delicious food on offer. Each producer and restaurant on the trail sign up to have staff who are extremely knowledgeable about their region’s food and its origins as well as producing menus which show the local source of ingredients and maintain a commitment to prioritise local produce. When you eat on the Burren Food Trail, you can be sure your food hasn’t had far to travel to your plate! Afterwards, you won’t have far to travel to enjoy the budget comforts of our Travelodge Galway or Limerick hotels.
The English Market in Cork
Perhaps the most famous foodie spot in Cork city and certainly its most enduring, the English Market has been officially trading since 1788 but there was a market there all the way back in 1610. More recently it has been called one of the best food markets in Europe and a visit to the market is the perfect way to experience Cork’s impressive local cuisine and food culture. The most exacting foodie will be tempted as you browse through the varied stalls of exotic imported goods and delicious local produce on offer. The key to its success is the consistently high standards of the many long-standing family-run stalls of quality meats and fish, fruit and veg and speciality cheeses. Treats to look out for include drisheen, a local blood pudding often served with tripe and the battlebord, dried salted ling that tingles the senses.
Northern Ireland Food Heaven
If you’ve been to Northern Ireland before then you’ll know all about the fantastic array of top-quality food available to gorge yourself on. Northern Ireland’s world-class produce, those world class breakfasts full of soda farls, innovative chefs and impressive restaurants in Belfast and Derry as well as top cookery schools in addition to the traditional strengths of brewing and distilling make the Province a proper food destination. Visiting St. George’s Market is a real highlight, the Victorian market on a Saturday is teeming full of tantalising smells and chock full of the best local produce from around the province. And when you step into the foodie paradise that is St. George’s you’ll see exactly why it was voted the best indoor market in the UK. Thankfully both our Travelodge Ireland Hotels in Northern Ireland are in the city centre so you won’t have far to stagger to after a foodie odyssey around the Province.
The Galway Food Festival
Galway’s unique and thriving dining scene is reflected in the delicious tastings put on during the Galway Food Festival, an event which brings together incredible food and live entertainment to create a genuine foodie paradise for anybody visiting the city.
The 2017 event in April will include an extended food village on the banks of the river Corrib, open-air markets, restaurant trails, cookery demonstrations, food tours to local artisan producers, foraging trips, food talks, tastings, wine and beer workshops, a meet-the-producers forum, lots of local produce, kids’ activities and family fun days. The festival will also highlight the international diversity and global character of Galway food and celebrate the Galway food diaspora. Over 75 restaurants, food outlets and food producers will participate and most events will again be free, all will be family friendly and many will have a strong ‘Galway’ flavour.