12 mouthwatering Irish foods everyone should try for St. Patrick's Day

Brent Hofacker/ShutterstockIrish soda bread is one of the most famous foods from the Emerald Isle.
  • Irish culture is known for its hearty cuisine, from stews to potato pancakes.
  • Colcannon, for example, is a twist on traditional mashed potatoes that’s made with butter and cream, as well as kale, cabbage, or scallions.
  • Barmbrack is an Irish fruitcake typically served with afternoon tea.
  • And Irish stew is a must-try.

From stews to potato pancakes, a huge part of Irish culture is the food.

Some people may be familiar with Irish soda bread, but dishes like boxty and coddle might be less well-known to those outside of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day this year, we’ve compiled some of the most mouthwatering Irish foods you should consider trying.


Dublin coddle is a warm stew made up of leftovers that makes for a perfect comfort dish.

Nickola_Che/ShutterstockDublin coddle is a traditional Irish stew.

Dublin coddle is a traditional Irish stew that derives its name from the hours of “coddling,” or simmering, of ingredients in a pot during its preparation. This dish normally comprised of leftovers likesausage, bacon, potatoes, and onions.


Irish soda bread is a staple in nearly every Irish home, especially around St. Patrick’s Day.

Brent Hofacker/ShutterstockUnlike most other breads, Irish soda bread does not require yeast for leavening.

Despite what its name implies, Irish soda bread actually has the consistency of a scone or a biscuit. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that Irish soda bread is leavened using baking soda rather than traditional yeast.

The bread was an easy and affordable staple for people living in poverty-stricken Ireland during the mid-19th century, according to The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread.

While traditional recipes use flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk, other varieties incorporate honey, sugar, fruit, seeds, or even Guinness.


Boxty is an Irish take on potato pancakes.

freeskyline/Getty ImagesBoxty is traditionally cooked on a griddle.

Boxty is often eaten as part of a traditional Irish breakfast. The starchy item is made with finely-grated raw potatoes and served fried.


Colcannon is a twist on traditional mashed potatoes that’s made with butter and cream, as well as kale, cabbage, or scallions.

vm2002/ShutterstockThis filling side dish is chock-full of leafy greens.

Most colcannon recipes recommend making a well in the center of the mashed potatoes and filling the indent with butter before you serve the dish.


Champ is another Irish variation on classic mashed potatoes.

Lyudmila Mikhailovskaya/ShutterstockThis rendition of mashed potatoes is made with scallions or green onions.

While colcannon is made with kale, cabbage, or scallions, champ recipes call for the addition of spring onions or scallions.

Like colcannon, champ is also typically served with a generous helping of butter in the middle of the dish.


Since Ireland and Northern Ireland are surrounded by water, there’s an abundance of fresh shellfish and seafood.

Joerg Beuge/ShutterstockEnjoy fresh oysters on the Emerald Isle.

Oysters, prawns, scallops, and lobsters are just some of the shellfish varieties you can find. There are even festivals throughout the year to celebrate plentiful seafood hauls.


Boiled bacon and cabbage is the traditional Irish dish that corned beef and cabbage is based on.

Fanfo/ShutterstockThis isn’t the breakfast-style bacon you’re probably used to.

Thick cuts of salted pork are boiled alongside heaps of cabbage to produce this delicious Irish meal.

This dish is such a classic, in fact, that Irish-Americans have turned it into their own St. Patrick’s Day staple of corned beef and cabbage.


Irish cuisine typically includes two types of sausage: white and black pudding.

Joerg Beuge/SjutterstockWhite pudding is a common part of a traditional Irish breakfast.

Typically made with pig’s blood, pork fat, and a cereal, black pudding is a popular meat item in many parts of Europe.

White pudding is made with almost everything black pudding is, except it swaps out pig’s blood for liver.


Barmbrack is an Irish fruitcake typically served with afternoon tea.

D. Pimborough/ShutterstockMany Irish people shorten the name of this treat to ‘brack.’

Barmbrack, or brack for short, is an Irish dessert bread. Filled with raisins and spices and then soaked in tea and whiskey, this delicious treat is a staple for Halloween.

Following tradition, the Irish fill their barmbrack with coins and other trinkets. Whatever you end up biting into – be it a coin, ring, pea, rag, or stick – is said to reveal what your year will bring.


Many pubs and restaurants serve carvery dinners.

Casco222/ShutterstockThis is a must-try for meat lovers.

Many eateries across Ireland and Northern Ireland are famous for their carvery dinners, where diners can get roasted meat to order. The meal also typically includes mashed or roasted potatoes, vegetables, and gravy.


Traditional Irish stew is a staple you’ll find everywhere on the Emerald Isle.

Shutterstock/Robyn MackenzieMeat and potatoes comprise the bulk of this dish.

Traditionally made with mutton, this signature Irish dish is now commonly made with lamb.

Irish stew is a fairly standard comfort meal, complete with meat, potatoes, onions, and carrots. However, some chefs have been known to add Guinness to mix things up.


Shepherd’s pie has made its way stateside, but the hearty meal is a classic across the pond.

hlphoto/ShutterstockTraditional shepherd’s pie uses ground lamb instead of beef.

This filling but delectable meal features mashed potatoes layered on top of ground meat.

Traditional Irish recipes include ground lamb as the base, but Americans often use ground beef as a substitute.

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