28th Jun 2019
This charming Kerry seaside town is one of the most sought out destinations in Ireland for locals and tourists alike. Acting as a gateway to the rugged, beautiful Slea Head, full of stunning scenery and sandy beaches, it’s well known for its warm welcomes and charming pubs.
But Dingle has also become one of the top food destinations in the South-West thanks to an abundance of excellent local produce and plenty of fresh fish (mixed with that famous Dingle charm, of course)
Here are some of the highlights you should try to fit in your next visit.
Related: Five great gastropubs
Breakfast, brunch & Coffee
Let’s get coffee sorted first.
Dingle has a few good options, but Bean in Dingle tops them all. A cheery family-run coffee shop, they roast their own beans in town and use it for the constant stream of flat whites and filters they serve in their cool, cosy cafe. Baked good and sweet treats line the counter but get snapped up fast, especially the cinnamon scrolls and their Ashe’s Annascaul Pork and Black Pudding Sausage Rolls.
If you need brunch with your coffee, seek out My Boy Blue a delightful cafe serving 3FE coffee and Instagram-worthy egg dishes that taste as good as they look.
For the best breakfast selection head to Pantrí Cafe Their extensive menu is peppered with fantastic Irish food names – O’Mahony’s smoked salmon, Gubbeen bacon, Ballyhoura mushrooms, McCarthy’s black pudding and almost everything comes with locally baked Bácús sourdough. Lunch is great too, with marvellous salads, sandwiches, cheese boards and a great line up of natural wines from the wonderful Le Caveau wine merchants.
Lunch, picnics, snacking
If the weather permits, gather your lunch around the town and head out the road to one of the many picturesque Penisula destinations. Start at the unmissable local bakery Bácús Bhréanainn for sourdough, soda bread, scones, cakes, brownies and divine pastries.
Around the corner, you’ll find The Little Cheese Shop, packed with glorious artisan cheese and plenty of other local treats. If you hit the town on a Friday, look out for the Farmers Market where you’ll find all manner of local options. On The Wild Side is particularly good for picnic fare. Otherwise, the local Super Valu Garvey’s is your best bet for essentials with a surprising amount of local goods stocked here too.
“Inventive and heavenly flavours may include caramelised brown bread, Irish rainwater, Dingle gin and apple balsamic”.
If fish and chips are on the agenda, (and it should be) Reel Dingle Fish is a must. It’s a grab and go sort of spot, serving only the freshest fish landed that day – the monkfish and chips come highly recommended. For a sit-down fish feed, Fish Box won’t disappoint. It’s perfect for lunch, takeaway or a casual dinner and they offer a large menu of local fish much of which comes from their own family trawler.
I feel as if I barely need to mention Murphys Ice Cream but just in case you didn’t know, this is the original home of what feels like Ireland most loved ice-cream. Inventive and heavenly flavours include caramelised brown bread, Irish rainwater, Dingle gin and apple balsamic.
There are plenty of options in town, but if you’re there during the busy season, make sure to book ahead. Global Village is one of my all-time favourites, a classic, a la carte restaurant with a menu focused on local ingredients. West Kerry lamb, Dingle Bay prawns, Castlegregory chorizo, Glenbeigh oysters and plenty more.
The Chart House is probably Dingle’s most accoladed restaurant and worth booking ahead for high-end, rustic cooking packed with seasonal and local gems.
Out of the Blue is a must for any fish fans. This seafood only restaurant serves the best of what was landed in Dingle that day and, famously, no chips. The newish Solas Tapas & Wine Bar has been making a name for itself serving tapas and sharing plates, of course with plenty of local ingredients. It is worth seeking out their divine croquettes.
For more casual feeds there are lots of good options too, the aforementioned Reel in Dingle and Fish Box provide great fuel for a more pub-focused evening. Out the back of Dick Mac’s pub, you’ll find Chewy and The Beast, a street food truck dolling out excellent, thin-base, wood-fired pizza and magnificent cheeseburgers.
The pubs, of course, in Dingle are plentiful and well worth exploring. You won’t need to much help to find somewhere great but a few of the must-visits are the famous Dick Macs a historic pub that was once half leather shop, half bar. They now have their own brewery on site also.
Foxy Johns is half hardware store half pub and you can still shop here while you grab a pint. Head to Currans for hats, snugs and plenty of character and Kennedys for a cosy pint. With around 30 pubs in the town, there are literally too many to mention. The Dingle Distillery also needs to be on any gin or whiskey fans list.
Dingle Cookery School also offers some wonderful classes including their Catch & Cook experience where you fish and then cook with your catch.
Read more: 10 of my most recommended restaurants in Dublin
Read more: Where to eat and drink in Galway city
Read more: Why we love Cork city
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