30 Unpopular & Must-try Irish Food & Drinks & Snacks & Desert to Celebrate

30 Unpopular & Must-try Irish Food & Drinks & Snacks & Dessert to Celebrate

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Updated on April 7, 2024

Reviewed by Ahmed Samir

Not just known for its glorious history, perfectly manicured landscapes, imposing forts, and quint beaches, Northern Ireland can please you with its food scene.

From beef, fish, and potatoes all the time, the Irish kitchen is rich, colourful and diverse. Whether the temperature goes up or down, you will find a mouth-watering cuisine to try. Every recipe is a combo of hearty and simple ingredients that will brighten up your table. 

Indeed, Northern Ireland introduces a foodie revolution where you can find fancy restaurants against street food carts.

And, of course, intentional cuisines offers everywhere. But are you coming to this unique spot with unique culture to eat Italian or Indian food? It doesn’t make any sense; you come here for Irish fare. 

Let’s be real with tons of delicious Irish and know more about what you can eat if you’re planning to visit Northern Ireland or even if you are an avid traditional foodie and want to prepare something that everyone would love. So this weekend, be ready with one of these delights and let everyone around the table mumbling, “What delectable fare this is!” 

We’ve created a list of 30 amazing Irish food you should give a try at least once in your life.

Irish Food Favorites

  • Seafood Chowder 

If you ask, “what do the Irish people eat?” the answer lies in seafood, especially shellfish. It’s one of the most popular cuisines, and it’s a somewhat national dish.

Certainly, Irish people are masters at creating heaven dishes made of shellfish with other hearty greens. They even organize Galway Oyster Festival in September to celebrate to let the world know about their tasty shellfish cuisines. This soup mixes fresh fish, including salmon, white fish, smoked white fish, Haddock, and shellfish.

It’s perfect for warming up on cold winter days but feel free to try it whenever you want. Also, you can prepare it ahead of time, and before serving, just rewarm the soup in a saucepan and ladle it into bowls.

  • Original Irish Coffe

If you’re planning a trip to Northern Ireland and still wondering what Irish drinks to enjoy, I’m here to help and offer you one of the best local coffee to warm up when the sun might be slim (as usual!)

I know most of us, when we think of Ireland, probably think about Gennies 

The good news is that you can make it in your home; if you get tired of standard coffee, it’s time to try something new, like original Irish coffee. Bring hot coffee to Irish whiskey, whipped cream, and sugar to taste. Besides its handy ingredients, you don’t need to have any bartending experience or special equipment.

Mix things up, and you’ll have a tasty cup of coffee to enjoy while watching a good movie.

  • Cheesy Pretzel Ring Dip

Looking for a creamy, tangy, and delicious dip holding the spirit of traditional Irish recipes? Well, this cheesy dip is incredible with mustard, cream, some hearty greens, beer, and lots of cheese.

You should try it with hot pretzels. Whether you are willing to prepare it from scratch or prefer bringing ready pretzels from your desired bakery, you will taste something unique, refreshing and loaded with flavours.

Want to serve it without any biscuits? Well, it’s up to you. Irish amazing cheesy dip is more than perfect that it doesn’t need many things to liven it up. It’s enough to start your party off right.

  • Smoked Salmon

Salmon takes a hefty portion in the Irish feast. Irish people use many ways to give it a boost, seasoning it with additional herbs. They end up with this fluffy and juicy fish with soda bread and onions to take this wholesome meal to the next level.

And it should take you no surprise since Northern Ireland houses many shores brimming with diverse species of marine creatures.

They often use Atlantis salmon to prepare this dish, adding a special sauce.

Before serving, sprinkle grinds of black pepper if desired. And don’t forget to take any kind of coleslaw right to the dinner table for a memorable family gathering. It’s a typical Irish night.

  • Nonalcoholic Irish Cream

You’ve landed in the right spot if you’re looking for a unique addition to your coffee to make a restaurant-quality latte with a detachable foamy topping. This cream should be in everyone’s fridge. It’s easy, super cheap compared to readymade cream, and can be added to many recipes and drinks. Then, top your coffee or over any baked sweets like doughnuts, cakes and muffins, or even on your ice cream. Then taste. It’s the heavily rich creamy thing that will absolutely leave you speechless.   

Most importantly, you likely have all ingredients on hand.

However, some Irish people prefer drizzling it with whisky to create Baileys Irish Cream; you can make it a nonalcoholic recipe if desired.  

  • Luck of the Irish

It’s one of our Irish favourite cocktails. This tempting refreshing, and light drink will make you smile. Or you can tell, it’s a wonderful treat at each celebration. Everyone raises this glass filled with an incredible cocktail in Northern Ireland and on St Paddy’s Day. 

You’re not in Northern Ireland, or you don’t even celebrate St Paddy’s Day! No worries, you can prepare it at home. It’s packed with intense and joyful flavours, and you’re free to try different variants if wanted from pineapple, orange, or mint.  

This vibrantly green drink is sure to delight even the most adamant drinkers, making it the perfect addition to any special occasion.

For celebration gatherings, you can serve it with tortilla chips as snacks. 

  • Black and White Pudding

This pudding might be lesser-known (mainly white pudding) around the globe, but surely it deserves more attention. Choose black or white! Both come with an exquisite taste that will make your day.

Black is a blend of pork meat, fat and blood and oatmeal with a great deal of sausage; however, white involves the same ingredients with less blood.

Serve it for breakfast or dinner; these puddings are delicious and easy to make. It will excite all your family members to try it, and once you use the proper ingredients and quantity, they will fall in love with Irish pudding.

If you’re looking for any side dishes, try them with sautéed scallops. Both combine beautifully. 

  • Typical Irish Breakfast

Looking for breakfast to fuel you with enough energy to survive all day! Look no further; Irish breakfast has something for you. This meal is filled with everything you’d like without plucking out the herbs, making boring salads, or whizzing some things in a standard blender until smooth. 

You don’t have to bring all items in one meal, but the perfect Irish breakfast includes mushrooms, eggs, sausage, bacon, white and black pudding, and grilled tomatoes.

If you want to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day ideally, wake up as early as possible and prepare it for your beloved ones.

This dish can be served hot or let cool to room temperature. Anyway, it will be devoured once you place plates on the morning table.

  • Irish Nachos

Green beer is perfectly enough to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for some. Others can celebrate with multiple canned beef recipes. But we think St. Patrick’s Day should be celebrated with unique Irish nachos.

This recipe is exclusive to Irish ingredients making it a traditional dish if you are planning to invite your friends and family to have fun on special occasions. First, we add crispy roasted potatoes, then top with corned beef. Then garnish the dish with freshly chopped chives.

If you want to make it creamier, use melty cheese for goodness. Our special zesty and fresh topping will maximize your desired flavours and give you a variety of textures in one dish.

  • Stew Pie

Forget about beef or veggies stew. Let’s try something much better. How about stew pie? Seems delicious, right? While the Irish do love a stew soup, we think out of the box and make another traditional and revolutionary dish. 

Decides its fantastic look, stew pie comes under a detachable crispy puff pastry with a good helping of lamb. And if you get rid of potatoes which should be added to any Irish dish, just skip it.

Stew pie is more about a comfort dish that celebrates saucy veggies making it thick and tasty. It’d take some time to prepare, but you will be rewarded with the result. Just be stuck to the exact instructions and ingredients to make the best traditional Irish recipe ever, and don’t forget to share a photo of your stew pie in the comments. 

  • Biscuits with Butter

As you see, Northern Ireland is home to delicious dishes. But do you know that it’s world-famous for its lovely snacks?  

Prepare these amazing snacks for cookouts or summer gatherings for picnics. Also, you can make it for your kids if they get tired of sandwiches and sausage.

Based on your preference, just bring biscuits and cover them with a thick or light layer of butter. Then, you can get another biscuit to make a sandwich tucked in creamy butter.

To have the fullest experience of excellent Irish food, just clear your mind from any chatter by preparing a cup of tea during the sunset.

  • Irish Manhattan

Whether you want to conjure up Irish rituals and reconnect with your Irish roots after going away from your hometown, or just you’re excited to sip something new, Irish Manhattan is a perfect end to a hectic day. 

Use vermouth and garnish your glass with cherry, and don’t forget to add your desired bitter flavour since the wine has a sweet taste. Also, you can blend some fresh mint leaves with ice and give it a pulse but don’t puree big pieces of ice. It can create a vortex and blow off the lid.

A Jameson Manhattan or Irish Manhattan is our way to pamper ourselves on special days. Make it at home without having to search for Irish bars.

  • Drisheen

It’s a type of black pudding. Drisheen includes oatmeal, pork blood, and fat mixing up with species. 

You can combine it with your full Irish breakfast. However, it’s unusual Irish food that you can not find on the menu; we invite you to give it a try and surprise your family with unique and traditional dishes before vanishing in favour of fast food and Indian recipes

But if you want a simple word, drisheen is one of these foods that divide the Irish themselves. Some people find it super, and others don’t even like its look. But if you want to include this dish in your next dinner, just make sure to use the right ingredients. 

  • Brown Bread

None can beat the Irish in baking bread. So fill your home with the warm baking aroma that brings us back to the warm old days.

It’s made of stoneground flour. It’s not the kind of bread you can wrap to make stuffed sandwiches. But it’s perfect for picnics and meal prep.

Like biscuits, you can spread butter for a leisurely breakfast without too many steps when you are in a hurry. And you can bake it at home within less than 1 hour! So, what you’re waiting for. Also, if you have any special dip, just duck brown bread, close your eye and enjoy this unbelievable taste. It’s a must-try with corned beef on warm days.

And remember to bring a good baking sheet before even preparing the dough. 

  • Irish Pastries

It’s one of the staple pastries you can find in any local bar around Northern Ireland. But don’t get them wrong! They don’t like any pastries. Take a bite, and we promise you the best baking goods you could ever eat anywhere. Irish pastries are stuffed with ground saucy pork or beef. How about the fact that it will not give you all its best if you eat it plain. Instead, prepare gravy or creamy sauce for dipping. You can combine corned beef with savoury pork if you think it would be much fattier than your stomach can handle. I also like to fill it with a handful of mashed potatoes. Anyway, pick what you want most and serve it ahead of time to not be in a rush.

Serve it hot or cold, and enjoy.

  • Roasted Cabbage

You probably know what the corned beef and cabbage dish is. But how about roasted cabbage? Don’t think that Irish food is just about beef cuisines. Roasted cabbage is ideal for vegetation variation or if you want to prepare a cheap dish. 

Generally, the Irish consume a great deal of cabbage and have adopted many methods to make it more appealing and create their cuisines. It combines many flavours at once, salty, sweaty and savoury. So don’t wander too much, “How come!” Just sidle up and take a spoonful of roasted cabbage and let it tell you how!

The only trick is to chop the cabbage well and remove the tough parts to keep it as delicious as it should be.  

  • Spiced Beef

As soon as it’s served, everyone at the table will want to get their hands on this delicacy. Of course, you’d love to make it on St Patrick’s Day, which is a night for Irish brew and when everything around you turns to be green. But you can make it special by preparing just this old-age recipe passed down from one generation to another. Because you know that Irish food is more than just mixing ingredients, you are most likely to season the beef for at least 3 days in advance to reward you with its delightful taste. Using the proper cooking method will guarantee you have the funniest Irish twist.

  • Banana Sandwiches

Bananas can add magic to anything mixed with it. Peel and eat or add to ice cream or make a banana tart. Or even mash a banana between two slices of bread. But have you known that this fruit sandwich is ingrained in the Irish culture? It was a shock for me as well. The first time my friend saw me biting a banana sandwich, a disgusting reaction drew on her face. Nevertheless, she turned her opinion from a horrible combination to an everyday snaky launch after giving it a go herself.

Don’t wait for St. Patrick’s Day to search for recipes inspired by Irish food. Instead, go to make dishes away beyond special events. 

  • Irish Ale

Irish ale is all you should know if you’re looking for inspiration to make for fabulous cocktails parties.  

This refreshing drink can be made with an assortment of mix-ins such as ginger beer and authentic heaty ale— but most Irish folks like it with high-end quality rye whiskey. All of them are loved when shaking together. 

You have to be picky when it comes to the ingredients of Irish ale. However, they can make or break your night if you don’t give more attention to the brand’s name.

The glass of this ale is savoury with a small pinch of sugar so make it for chilled-out nights.

  • Crubeens

Honestly, this Irish recipe is not for everyone. Crubeens are salty tootsies of pegs. Yes, as you heard, it’s boiled pig feet. When they see these thick feet selling in market stalls, a sense of cultural shock can creep into some visitors to Ireland and Northern Ireland. Otherwise, others can tempt others to order it up in a local restaurant, often served with cabbage.

You might also try eating some crubeen sandwiches, but only if your stomach is strong enough to handle such a greasy dinner since it includes plenty of fats. If so, and if you want to eat it at Irish pubs, class your meal up with any Irish drink behind, and we promise you that no one will go home disappointed.

Also, you can prepare homemade crubeens, but make sure that you wouldn’t have to cut tootsies on your own, which is hard and dangerous. 

  • Velvet Cocktail

Fruit and fiery! It has long been a fancy mix of Guinness and champagne. That’s why never say no to a shot of a velvet cocktail. If you’re lucky enough that someone would invite you to have this cocktail, just take it and say, “Cheers!” It’s one of the Irish cocktails that you can find easily in London or other English cities.

But if you want to make it at home, it will take no time. Bring Guinness, wine, and other flavoured-cherries liquor. Stir it gently for excellent mixing, and that’s it. It’s a drink that matches every taste and mood. Make it at St Paddy’s Day night, a justified excess of overindulging in Irish beverages.

  • Irish Cabbage Soup

Cabbage soup is one of the good old Irish recipes to warm up in winter (myself included. This cabbage recipe is my favourite veggies soup). But, most importantly, you’re welcome to use your desired veggies to rustle this detachable hot soup.

And if you’re wondering what kind of cabbage should be used here, you can use any of them. 

Indeed, whenever you have any leftovers in your refrigerator, combine them to make a soup-style dinner or even a morning meal on freezy days before going out. You can even make large batches of Irish cabbage soup and store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

And if you have a baby, you can pulse the ingredients for a healthy meal, but please don’t place them hot in a blender. 

  • Red Roasted Potatoes 

Sometimes, we all suffer from a lack of dinner ideas. Don’t order pizza. You need something easy, healthy and tasty— or a perfect comfort meal like roasted potatoes.

Then, this recipe is for you. It’s a good version of making the most of potatoes, just like restaurants and saving a bunch of pounds.

That’s why, once you find red potatoes, purchase them immediately and roast them for an amazing feast. Then, sprinkle all favoured herbs and spices before serving. It’s one of the most popular Irish snacks amongst tourists.

And don’t replace it with any other kinds of potatoes because the red ones have low levels of carbs, exceptionally if it’d be your next evening dish. 

  • Blaa

Most people will advise you to start with potatoes every time you visit Ireland. Others will encourage you to order up shepherd’s pie. But I see blaa is the first and last thing you need to savour. 

And my fellow travellers confirmed that —you should eat twice, once you arrive in Ireland and before leaving to keep the taste stuck in your memory. Bla is another kind of bread the Irish take pride in making and offer visitors to try due to its authentic flavours and cooking method.

Bla is a bread roll that comes in a soft, floury, and white texture. However, you can prepare it at home. It’s pretty easy, and the only hard part lies in waiting for fermentation. So, it’d be much better if you prepared the dough a day before baking.

  • Irish Cookies (Shortbread)

Cookies are always the perfect comfort meal for snacks or light lunch during working hours. But this kind of biscuit is a keeper! It can dip in chocolate, cheese, and any desired butter. Most of all, shortbread has roots dating back to long centuries, making it perfect if you want to prepare a recipe showing Irish culture and heritage.

My favourite thing about shortbread is that it satisfies my cookies caving and cake caving simultaneously. Also, it can be baked at home quickly and easily. 

This crisp biscuit is made of just two things; butter and sugar. And what makes the Irish cookies so remarkable is just the Irish butter. So, if you want to make the perfect weeknight dinner and gather the whole family together to enjoy your shortbread, spend extra pounds and buy high-quality Irish butter. Trust me; it’ll make a huge difference, more than you imagine.

  • Guinness Bread

While my Ireland intrepid tour, I used to try as many local dishes as possible. That’s how you can introduce a new culture and immerse yourself in a new experience. The Irish seem to use Guinness in everything around. They love to cook with it and then add a glass of Guinness to sip during eating. They even bake bread with Irish beer forming warm and cheesy baked buffs with any delicious sauce.   

Don’t stress if you’re into a holiday in the Irish land and away from the bar crawl scene. We’ve got you back and invite you to cook bacon Guinness bread to bring an excellent celebration right to your home, wherever your location in the world right now.

Most baking goods take a lot of time, but it doesn’t apply to this beer bread. Just bring the right ingredients and start combing, patting, and baking. You may engage your child in this amusing process if you’d like.

  • Fried Cabbage 

You probably ask now why cabbage gets all the love in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Actually, there are millions of reasons. It’s big, cheap, mild flavour, and is rich in vitamins. Also, you can find it wherever you go. You can find different kinds of cabbages if you’re willing to venture into the world of this amazing vegetable. Cabbage recipes go beyond coleslaw ar corned beef. This time, we will fry cabbage, a traditional Irish dish. It’s a meal everyone will love. You can add some bacon if desired to boost flavours and textures.

Also, it’s an adaptable recipe, mix any veggies you like or omit what you don’t— it doesn’t apply to cabbage, of course, or it won’t be a fried cabbage recipe, right?

Just try adding onions and parsley on for size!

  • Irish Asparagus Quiche

That’s how you can celebrate! Rich and hearty! Order it once you visit Ireland or Northern Ireland or know the perfect recipe to make it at home.

And we promise once you introduce Irish asparagus quiche to your family, it will be their favourite forever. It’s a particular tart with your favourite cheese toppings— you can pick your desired one, but I’d like it with melty mozzarella. Add bacon slices or make it vegetarian as it is. And garnish the quiche with asparagus. It might seem heavy, but it’s not. Our recipe is light and crust. So prepare it for a weekend night or cookouts or even to celebrate with beloved ones. You just need to follow the instructions to have a crisp crust and well-done bottom.

You’ll love it.

  • Irish Crisp Sandwiches 

 It’s such easily and most loved recipe for breakfast and snacky lunch; it is one of the top sandwiches to take 5 minutes or less. Just put crisp in-between two slices of bread. You can add bell peppers, onions or even mushrooms. Or eat it plain like the Irish; it’s the simplest way to prepare snacks before leaving home to work or after a long day. While some might find it disgusting or at least strange, just offer a bit for your coworkers, and they will change their minds immediately. It’s a delicacy when you add your favourite butter and use the ideal way to prepare it. And I bet you’d addict it shortly.  

  • Black and Gold

Our list of unpopular Irish food can not complete without mentioning this smooth drink. It has a slightly sweet flavour paired with drizzles of tangy orange juice. It’s a mix of Kahlua and whiskey with heaps of fresh herbs like mint if desired. This savoury taste balances the intense alcohol. It will be a fantastic way to end the day with a sip of this uplifting beverage. The good news is that this cocktail can be prepared at home with ease. Like any other beverage, the secret to composing a great cocktail is to bring the exact ingredients. Mixing things up doesn’t take a lot of time at all! But the essential part of the whole process is searching for the perfect whiskey.

We hope you have enjoyed and found some inspiration from these 30 unpopular amazing Irish food and drinks to choose from. If we miss anything, please let us know in the comments. Also, tell us which thing you’re more excited to try right now.

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