5 most popular Irish foods that everyone should try once


On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone celebrates the Irish spirit. These 5 most popular Irish foods are dishes you should eat.

Whether it’s Chicago with the green dyed river or a favorite Irish pub, St. Patrick’s Day is a perfect reason to celebrate Irish foods. While the sales of Guinness pints goes up over 800% during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, beer isn’t the only Irish food on the menu. From traditional dishes to modernized favorites, these five most popular Irish foods need to make your Irish celebration.

Photo by Cristine Struble

Irish food focuses on four basic ingredients. Potatoes, beef, lamb and bread are often the top used ingredients in Irish cuisine. Many recipes are humble. Over the years, more chefs and cooks have found ways to reconceive the traditional Irish recipes. From adding more robust spices to elevating the dishes, Irish recipes aren’t boring anymore.

While many people associate corned beef and cabbage with Irish cuisine, the Emerald Isle isn’t that Americanized dish. Although the four classic staples are predominant, a few other foods are surprising. For example, shellfish is quite popular, and delicious, in Ireland.

Here are five popular Irish foods that you need to eat at least once.


Since potatoes are a staple in Irish food, a boxty uses plenty of this ingredient. A boxty is similar to a potato pancake. Using finely grated potatoes, the boxty is often paired with beef and gravy. The crisp outside of the pancake yields to a luscious potato center. As all the gravy soaks into the potato, this Irish dish is quite delicious and hearty.

Irish soda bread

One of the most common Irish food recipes, Irish soda bread is fairly easy to make. A yeast free bread, which means it is a quick bread, Irish soda bread is popular with many home bakers. Many households have their own recipes that are handed down. Whether you prefer a dark or light variety, no two Irish soda breads are quite the same. Side note, do you know why there is a cross on the top of Irish soda bread? Legend has it that the cross lets the fairies out.

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Irish stew

Most cultures have some type hearty stew. For Irish stew, it uses lamb, carrots and potatoes. While the basic ingredients are common, any recipe can add its personal touches. Whether the Irish stew is more traditional, peasant variety or a more modern, heavily seasoned one, this type of Irish dish is perfect on a cold, brisk day. Let the Irish stew cook for a long time to develop more robust flavors. Just be warned, the delicious aromas coming from the kitchen could make you hungry all day long.

Irish breakfast

Like its English counterpart, Irish breakfast is quite a hearty meal. It was designed to give people the energy to complete a hard day’s work. Also, after one too many pints of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day, an Irish breakfast could help to calm a growling stomach. Often this type of breakfast includes lots of meat, potatoes, baked beans, eggs and Irish soda bread. The heartiest part of this breakfast is the meat, usually both bacon and sausage. Lunch may not be required after eating an Irish breakfast.

Photo by Cristine Struble


When people think of an Irish food, shellfish isn’t usually on the top of their tongue. Actually, the Emerald Isle has some amazing shellfish. For oyster fans, September is the perfect time to visit. Other traditional Irish recipes feature mussels, clams and prawns. While Ireland’s seafood calendar might be different than the U.S. calendar, a plate of raw oysters and a pint of Guinness might be a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Related Story: St. Patrick's Day cocktails

Some people may be wondering about corned beef and cabbage. Of course, corned beef and cabbage is a popular choice for many people to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, why not try something else this year. If you still want to have a similar recipe, try the more traditional Irish boiled bacon and cabbage.

Adding a touch of Irish food to any St. Patrick’s Day isn’t too difficult. Irish foods are everywhere. Look around and you might be surprise. Slainte!