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Tips for Dining in Ireland

Travcoa's Small Group Tours: Dine How and When You Like

When you visit Ireland and Northern Ireland with Travcoa, you’ll enjoy the comfort and convenience of traveling with just 18 like-minded individuals. That means flexibility, a relaxed pace and uncommon personal interactions. But perhaps the greatest reason to explore the Emerald Isle with Travcoa is most appreciated near dinner time. 


Image: Bartender at an Irish pub; Vratislav Darmek, Flickr

The Dine-Around Program is Travcoa’s exclusive dining perk that allows you, our guest, to dine at the places of your choosing. From Michelin-starred restaurants to corner pubs, local favorites to neighborhood markets, you determine where and when you’ll eat and are reimbursed upon your return. Best of all, the cost is included in your journey price, except for alcohol and caviar.

Since you’re sure to be in search of the local hotspots, here are our top tips for dining in Ireland.

1.  Most high-end restaurants book up a week or more in advance. Secure your reservations early, or come with a few options in mind.

2.  Most restaurants get busy after 8 pm. Try booking the early seating.

3.  Don’t be offended if you are shown to a table as soon as you arrive. You are not being rushed -- many finer establishments observe the old custom of seating you in a lounge to sip an aperitif and scan the menu. After discussing the choices with your waiter, you will then be called to your table as the first course is about to be served.

4.  Pubs in Ireland and Northern Ireland are more than just bars, they are the heart of social life. To begin with, you don’t have to drink alcohol to visit a pub and most have hearty menu selections. Also, keep in mind that “closing time” refers to the last serving of alcohol but the pub may stay open far beyond the last call.

5.  An Irish Breakfast is not a light affair. The traditional breakfast of the working class features sausage, bacon, eggs, beans, tomato and toasted brown bread.

6.  Visitors to Dublin should wander to the Temple Bar neighborhood to listen to the buskers play music and order up a hearty traditional Irish meal of shepherd's pie, corned beef or boxty.

7.  The English Market in Cork is one of Europe’s most popular food markets and the ideal spot to shop for local delicacies, sample traditional Irish fare or grab a coffee with the locals.

8.  St. Stephen’s Green, Ireland’s best-known Victorian park, is the ideal spot for a picnic lunch.

Travcoa’s The Castles & Countryside of Lore journey features the unique Dine-Around Program and is the ideal way for travelers to explore the flavors of the Emerald Isle. Travcoa is a luxury travel company offering small-group Escorted Journeys, Private Tours and Custom Travel throughout Europe and the world. To learn more, call your travel agent or a Travcoa Journey Consultant at 1-800-992-2003, or email

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Topics: Ireland, Northern Ireland