Eat Like A Local: Traditional Foods To Try In Northern Ireland

Whilst visiting Europe, and travelling amongst the UK, one cannot afford to miss the gorgeous land of Ireland. Filled with scenic beauties and ancient realms, Ireland – Northern, Southern and the Republic- has been a great tourist spot for ages. Northern Ireland holds a special rank in these, as we would be discussing it in the following sections.

If you are planning to find the perfect getaway from your busy lives and schedules, then Northern Ireland could be a great choice for you. Sitting at one of the corners of the Irish island, Northern Ireland has plenty of beaches, forests and trails that would set your mind to vacation mode. You could head out to HolidayUnder100 to get the best deals on your trip plans.

When visiting a new place, it is a great idea to get to know about that area by local means. You could try to eat like a local, in the not-so-fancy shops, and get acquainted with their customs and traditions. Speaking of traditions, the following article discusses a list of some of the local and traditional foods that one must not forget to try when in Northern Ireland:

1. Ulster Fry


Starting the list with one of the most known, common, yet most traditional dishes one could find in Northern Ireland, the Ulster fry. The perfect and the ultimate breakfast one needs to kick off their day, Ulster fry has the perfect ratio of carbs, fat, proteins and everything nice and comforting. It consists of soda bread, eggs, bacon, beans, and tomatoes, making it fulfilling, and soul-filling. Yes, you might have to work out a bit extra to counter the calorie intake, but hey, you only live once, right?

Ulster fry has been around since the Victorian age and has become a staple in the Northern Irish community. It gained momentum, and became famous during the 1950s and the 1960s, after the tourist industry expanded impromptu. Ever since Ulster fry has become one of the most associated cuisines in this part of the world.

2. Irish Stew

Irish stew has become one of the staple dishes that would help you get through a cold evening, and help your foodie soul to food heaven. Like almost every other stew, it is made with all things comforting – meat, potatoes, spices, and is best enjoyed when served hot. Some Irish communities might even go as far as to say that this is their remedy to get rid of the common and seasonal cold.

It is a dish that can be found on every menu, amongst all restaurants and eateries that you decide to visit in Northern Ireland, and is equally loved by the locals as by the tourists. If you could get your hands on it before it gets out of stock for the night, then you should consider yourselves lucky.

3. Yellowman


A child’s dream, and every dentist’s nightmare, Yellowman is a type of candy that is quite notorious for its taste. It is sugary, syrupy, and chewy, which makes it sticky. It is usually made in big batches around religious festivals, such as Lammas Day, which happens every year in August. If you are planning to explore Northern Ireland in August, then you should keep an eye out for this yellow and golden candy made with brown sugar. One little sweet treat should not hurt, right?

4. Barmbrack Cake

This is the companion for your tea. It does not matter if you love high tea, morning tea or if it is afternoon tea, this cake is there to make it even better. Commonly known as just the brack, this is filled with resins, cashews and other dried fruits. Sometimes, and very occasionally, fresh and seasonal fruits such as plums and peaches are also used to make this cake. It does not have much sugar, as these fruits and dried fruits are the major sources of sweetness. So you could enjoy this delicacy as much as you want without the maths of counting calories and being worried about your diet.

5. The Irish Sea Food Platter


One of the freshest and most delicious seafood you will ever have. Being located on the northern end of the Irish island, Northern Ireland gets a lot of sea coast, making it very convenient for people to catch fresh fish, oysters, shellfish and other delicacies. These are sold, cooked and served all within the very same day, making it all super fresh. The Irish oysters are one of the traditional dishes that one can find and can be consumed raw along with some Sherry or vinegar.

6. Champ

Just as the name suggests, this dish is indeed a champ. It is the Irish takeaway from the classic mashed potatoes, and they know how to do it. It has potatoes, milk and salt to make you feel hearty, along with pepper, scallions or chives to add extra flavour. It is also known as poundies in some parts of Northern Ireland and suddenly gained the world’s attention recently. This buttery delicacy simply melts in your mouth, and is one of the staples in the area. If you are visiting, you should try to look for it. You could also follow some recipes online to recreate it in the comfort of your home, but that might not give you the authentic feeling of having it whilst sitting in a local pub in Ireland.

7. Irish Beverages


Whilst talking about dishes, one cannot miss the soul of it all, the beverages. The Irish take their beverages very seriously, be it coffee or alcohol. Irish coffee is a name that all coffee lovers must be familiar with, for its rich taste and vibrant aroma.

Whiskey, though might be connected with the Scotts, is very significant with the Irish. Bushmills is one of the most famous brands of whiskey in Ireland and is often termed the “water of life” by the locals.


The local and traditional food of any place would give you an idea about the people, their culture, and hospitality. It is one of the best ways to learn about their struggles and daily lifestyles. Try to support the local food vendors when you are on your next trip.

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