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Northern Ireland: Food and Drink

  • Ulster fry breakfast in Northern Ireland
  • Ulster Irish Stew
  • Ulster Irish Stew
  • Steak and Guinness Pie
  • Steak and Guinness Pie

When thinking about Ireland, traditional comfort food comes to mind, rather than world-class cuisine. The world views the British as a meat and potatoes culture, which they were for a long time, However, the food culture in Northern Ireland is changing. There is a new emphasis on local and fresh foods, and in Northern Ireland's larger cities, every type of ethnic food is available.   

Popular dishes in Northern Ireland include:

Champ: This is the definition of comfort food that consists of mashed potatoes made with butter, warm milk and spring onions. 

Irish Stew: This is a staple of many Irish households and contains lamb meat, potatoes, carrots and onions.  The Ulster version uses steak pieces instead of lamb. 

Lough Neagh Eel: This dish is made up of fried pieces of eel cooked in a white wine onion sauce.  It can also be smoked and served as a starter.  Traditionally, in Northern Ireland, this dish is eaten on Halloween. 

Drinks: Naturally, Guinness is a popular drink in Northern Ireland as is Bushmills Irish whiskey from


Things to know:

A service charge of between 10-15% may be added to bills in restaurants.  If this is the case, a further tip is not necessary.  However, if no service charge has been added, than a tip for good service is appreciated.

Drinking age:

People aged 16 and 17 can drink beer, wine or cider with a meal if an adult accompanies them.  They cannot buy alcohol until they are 18.

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