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food and drink food and drink

Food & Drink

“The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.”
- Brendan Behan


In recent years, Ireland’s reputation when it comes to food has come along in leaps and bounds. Ireland is now the proud recipient of numerous Michelin stars. Not only that, there is also a wide range of very good quality, well priced restaurants all over the city and county; and the influence of other cultures can be seen in various Asian, South American and African restaurants. Farmers markets are hugely popular (see the Green Dublin section for details). With access to your very own kitchen in your Sunlight Properties holiday letting apartment, you can have a go at whipping up some gourmet delights yourself – simply pop along to your local market to get fresh and seasonal ingredients - can’t do that in a hotel!

Many restaurants serve traditional Irish food, some with a twist, some the old fashioned way. Potatoes (or spuds as the Irish normally call them) are probably the most common ingredient in Irish dishes. There is a long history of potatoes in Ireland, most notably, the failure of the crop resulting in the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852). For more information on the Famine, go to the History, Culture & Customs section. The dishes noted below can be found on the menu of many pubs and restaurants in Dublin; and we encourage you to try some of these unique flavours.

Here is an overview of traditional Irish food.

Irish Stew

This famous and popular dish contains lamb or mutton with carrots, onions and potatoes.

Skirts and Kidneys

Pork meat and kidney stew.

Soda Bread

Traditional homemade Irish bread that calls for bicarbonate of soda, rather than yeast.

Black Pudding

Blood sausage made of cooked pigs blood, oats and spices.

White Pudding

Similar to black pudding but containing pork meat and fat instead of blood – for the less squeamish!

Batter Sausage

Just what it sounds like, this is a sausage covered in batter, then deep fried. Normally served with chips and lashings of salt and vinegar, try one from Leo Burdock’s – delicious!

Boxty (also known as potato cakes)

A thick pancake made from a base of potatoes, boxty is cooked on a griddle pan and served simply with butter.


Traditional stew-like dish normally associated with Dublin, it’s made up of pork sausages, bacon, sliced potatoes and onions


Mashed potatoes mixed with either cooked cabbage or kale.


Mashed potatoes with chopped spring onions.

Full Irish Breakfast

Typically includes a variation of the following ingredients: sausages, bacon (called rashers in Ireland), eggs (normally either fried or scrambled), grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, baked beans, fried bread (fried in meat fat) or toast, black and white pudding, boxty (potato pancake), fried potatoes – you might want to go for a long walk afterwards!

“Work is the curse of the drinking class”
-Oscar Wilde

There’s no denying that the Irish have a renowned fondness for alcohol, or 'the drink”, as they call it. When you rent your Dublin holiday apartment from Sunlight Properties, you can also have the luxury of relaxing with a ‘little tipple’ on your very own balcony, terrace, or garden, and if the weather is a little inclement in front of your own cosy fire place! Click here to view our holiday rental apartments in Dublin.


The most obvious of Irish drinks, this world famous stout originated in Dublin, having been created by brewer Arthur Guinness in 1759. Guinness is widely sold throughout the globe but the best pint of the black stuff is at the Guinness Storehouse at St James’ Gate, Dublin 8.
Guinness may be the most famous but it’s certainly not the only stout on offer in Ireland. Others include Murphy’s (more popular further south of Ireland, particularly in County Cork), and Beamish Stout.

Bulmers Irish Cider

You may recognise Bulmers cider once you see the sparkling red hues, as it’s marketed internationally as Magners Cider. Brewed in Co Tipperary, there are different flavours available in Ireland including Pear and Red Berry but none are as popular as the Original.
Smithwicks (pronounced Smith-icks)
Brewed in Ireland for over 300 years, this is a dark, reddish ale with a creamy head.

Craft Beer

This is becoming more and more popular in Ireland, with many bars now shunning imported beers in favour of Irish beers. Pubs such as the Black Sheep on Capel Street and the Porterhouse Central have been brewing and serving craft beers for many years now. Some popular craft beers include: O’Hara’s, Galway Hooker, Tom Crean’s and Donegal Blonde.
Whiskey (with an “e”!)

Irish whiskey differs from Scottish whisky due to the fact that it’s distilled only twice, rather than three times as Scotch is. There are many types of whiskey in Ireland but there are three main distilleries to visit in Ireland. One of those is the Old Jameson Distillery found at Bow Lane, Smithfield, Dublin 7 (open 7 days a week) – a great place to visit while on your Sunlight Properties Dublin holiday. The other two distilleries are the Bushmills in County Antrim and the Midleton in County Cork.

Poitín (pronounced Pucheen)

A very strong spirit, generally homemade, and mainly popular in rural Ireland. Due to the fact that it was so difficult to regulate, it was made illegal in 1840. Traditionally made from potatoes, it is now produced commercialy and available in some pubs.

Irish Coffee

Made by mixing black coffee with a shot of whiskey, sugar and topping off with smooth whipped cream. Normally served in a tall glass, it looks like a Guinness. The cream should not be mixed into the drink; instead, you sip the coffee through the cream. The perfect way to warm up after an afternoon of sight-seeing!

Hot Whiskey (or Hot Toddy)

Made by mixing a shot of whiskey with boiling water, adding brown sugar and a slice of lemon with whole cloves through it. A classic cold remedy and a concoction you can easily whip up in your own Sunlight Properties holiday letting – a great reward after a blustery hilltop walk out by the coast!


An Irish cream liquor that is popular far and wide. Baileys is a mixture of whiskey and cream combined to make a smooth liquor that can be enjoyed on it’s own over ice, in a coffee as a variation of an Irish Coffee or cold mixed with milk. Baileys is also a popular ingredient in desserts such as Bailey’s cheesecake or Bailey’s ice cream.


The most popular drink in Ireland, hands down, is tea. Whatever house you go into, the first thing you will be offered is a cup of tea. This is strong, black tea, normally made with loose leaves in a large teapot and left to brew for at least 2 minutes, served with milk and sugar. Tea goes with everything; you have it with your breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. There is also a tradition of fortune-telling by reading tea leaves left in the bottom of your cup!

Red Lemonade

Something of a phenomenon and unusual in that it is only available in Ireland, Red Lemonade is a carbonated fizzy soft drink. It is often used as a mixer for whiskey and other spirits. While it still has a lemon flavour, red lemonade is distinctive because of its unusual colour.

MiWadi (pronounced My Waddy)

It's hard to imagine that this popular fruit cordial was once only sold in chemists to sick people! Since the 1970s it has been available in supermarkets and doesn't actually have any medicinal properties. Despite this, it's a commonly sought hangover cure in bars! It comes in a range of flavours including orange, lemon and tropical fruits.

Rock Shandy

Unique to Ireland, this is traditionally made by mixing “Club Orange”, an Irish version of Fanta, but with bits, and the Lemon version of the same drink in one glass, normally a pint glass, for a tangy and refreshing non-alcoholic beverage.


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