From the full Irish to curry chips, what Irish comfort foods do you crave?
When you think of the Irish diet you probably think of meat and potatoes, right? Well, I’m here to tell you yes, of course, but there’s much more. Our diet also consists of a lot of dairy as well!
And the Irish diet is evolving daily – new cuisines are making their mark in Ireland with restaurants popping up right and left. Yet, despite these changes, some traditional comfort foods will always be found among our favorites.
Full Irish breakfast
If you want a meal that will fill you up for the whole day an Irish fry is the way to go. Crispy bacon, juicy sausages, baked beans, black and white pudding, and potatoes are just a few of the items you can expect on your plate. This is the ultimate comfort dish when you need to be filled up and completely satisfied.
(Irish) Chinese Food
Like many places across the world, Ireland’s Chinese food is nowhere near authentic. But that doesn’t mean it is any less delicious. Actually, Chinese food in Ireland is 100% better than it is in the U.S. With dishes like “The Spice Bag,” “Curry chips,” “Chicken curry with rice and chips” and of course the trusty bag of “Prawn crackers,” how could you not be satisfied?
Fish and Chips
There’s nothing better than fish and chips after a day out with the family. Going out to a nearby chipper and ordering fish and chips, maybe a battered sausage, is sure to provide great comfort.
Shepherd's Pie / Cottage Pie
Meat, potatoes, and veggies all in one dish? Yes, and it’s deliciously buttery, crispy and filling. Shepherd's pie is the perfect meal and a comfort food that never disappoints after a long day at work.
Traditional Irish stew
Whose mum makes the best stew? I’ll let you all argue that out while I eat my portion. Stew is perfect on a cold winter night and is sure to comfort you.
Bangers and Mash (Irish Sausage and Mash)
Prepare to be satisfied with some sausage and mash. It’s always nice to add some baked beans to the dish to make it even more comforting.
A flaky pastry stuffed with sausage? Ketchup and brown sauce? It’s an on-the-go meal that never disappoints.
Baked ham is good for anything at any time of the day. At a roast dinner, in a buttered sandwich, cold out of the fridge – it doesn't matter. Baked ham will always comfort you.
Mashed Carrot and Parsnip
You could also have carrot and turnip, but I say parsnips are the way to go. Whatever your preference this side dish is perfect with your roast dinner, with a slab of butter of course.
Cabbage for many people is plain and boring, but for a lot of Irish people it’s a staple. If you’ve boiled up too much cabbage for a dinner bring it to the next level and fry it up in the pan to crisp it up to give you that comfort you need.
Mashed potatoes are an obvious contender for comfort food. Buttery, creamy potatoes seasoned to perfection provide comfort in minutes. Colcannon is mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage mixed in, while champ has spring onions mixed in. You’ve got an abundance of choices for your mash. Which one’s your favorite?
Soda Bread with the goods (butter, jam etc)
Soda bread is another obvious choice, but it’s here for a reason. Slice a couple of slabs of homemade soda bread and cover it with butter or jam and you’re set.
Did we leave anything out from your favorite Irish comfort food? Let us know in the comments.
* Originally published in July 2017. Updated in 2023.