Ireland is known for its sweeping landscapes, ancient castles and deeply fried fish and chips, but it may surprise you that it’s also quite famous for its locally sourced and organic food. With plenty of farmland and independent grocers occupying the bountiful country, Ireland has wholeheartedly embraced farm-to-table cuisine. Combined with the Irish National Tourism Agency’s initiative ‘Place on a Plate’ and the growing social media movement #thisisIrishfood, it’s no wonder why food tourism in Ireland has inspired various eco-conscious pop-ups throughout the country. From sophisticated dining to comfort food, there is no shortage of places to please your palate (and support local businesses).
So, this St. Patrick’s Day we encourage you to pair your pint of Guinness with a responsible and healthy meal. After speaking with chefs and restaurant owners around Dublin, the country’s capital, we have compiled a list of top notch recommendations that will make your next trip to the Emerald Isle as tasty as it is healthy.
L. Mulligan Grocer —
With an ethos that “Irish produce is special and worth celebrating,” L. Mulligan Grocer is one of Dublin’s most sought-after destinations for farm-to-table dining. Head Chef, Seáneen Sullivan, aims to promote an ever-changing and dynamic menu, and personally seeks out and gathers ingredients both locally sourced and from all around the country — we’re talkin’ Lambay Island all the way to the hedgerows of Offaly. She says that the restaurant, built in a turn of the century pub, “is proud to work with farmers, growers, brewers and distillers to bring the best produce available on the island, to the table.” When speaking of specific ingredients one can only find in seasonal Irish produce, Sullivan spoke highly of the country’s “Irish asparagus each April, rich umami-laden dulse every summer, and the sweetness of brambles in the autumn.”
With two locations across the city, Farm delivers what its name promises: wholesome, locally sourced ingredients free from any artificial components. Farm offers both vegans and meat lovers a variety of delicious options: from fertilizer-free produce to organic and free-range meat options. With changing menus throughout the day, stay a while to experience the array of options served for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Blazing Salads —
A local favorite of wanderers along Dublin’s busy Drury Street, Blazing Salads is a vegetarian deli and cafe that focuses on a rotating selection of daily soups, weekly specials and an incredibly wide array of vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free options. Founded by sisters, Pamela and Lorraine Fitzmaurice, almost 20 years ago, it was inspired by their parent’s nutritional lifestyle. After adopting a macrobiotic diet they used their experience to create a menu full of vegan and vegetarian whole food options, and today offer one of the healthiest food selections in Dublin. With two cookbooks available, fans of this cafe can now recreate their favorite salads at home.
Cornucopia is a vegetarian restaurant focusing on organic ingredients that can cater to a wide range of food preferences including coeliac and raw/living diets. Established in the 80’s, this restaurant produces a varied menu of delicious, inventive food that changes daily and is prepared in-house every day. Sadly, you won’t be able to find a menu online to salivate over, so you either have two options: order one of Cornucopia’s cookbooks or taste the ever-changing dishes in person.
Stone at Rustic —
Situated in Dublin’s city centre, Stone at Rustic boasts an innovative, artisanal menu with interesting cocktail concoctions to match. Their salads and herbs come from trustworthy farmers and their meat dishes are served on volcanic stone (which customers can then use to cook their meals themselves). The popular Dublin hangout has a lively atmosphere, and a sustainable food culture they encourage you to participate in. So come learn a new (Irish) cooking trick or two.
Sonia Gumuchian is a writer based in Los Angeles. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she received her film degree from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and has been working in the TV industry for several years. Sonia recently worked at ABC Studios and HBO, where she learned the ropes of creative development. Additionally, her work has been showcased at film festivals in the UK, the US and Canada. Earlier this year, one of Sonia’s original pilots won an award at the London Filmmaker Festival. Her entertainment articles have also been featured in USC Annenberg Media and Neon Tommy.