Food Tour Galway (Ireland)

Irish Food

When I am travelling to a new city or country, I try to get to know their food. I did not know much about Irish food. I hoped it would be somehow similiar to the Scottish food that I tried and enjoyed last year. I knew that popular Irish dishes include hearty soups and stews which I both liked. The soups always came with their famous brown soda bread. Traditional stews are the Irish Stew (with lamb) and the Guiness Beef Stew with lots of vegetables. Of course, you should not forget about the hearty Full Irish Breakfast including baked beans, fried egg and a few meats such as bacon and black pudding (blood sausage).

However, besides those there are also a lot of local products including farmhouse cheeses, locally caught seafood, farm vegetables such as cabbage and kale and so on. In order to get a better picture, I participated in an Irish food tour. I have been on a food tour before, an American food tour in Seattle, WA - Seattle Bite Food Tour (see my post) - that took us to some nice places around Pike Place Market. I really enjoyed the experience.

Galway Food Tours

Of oyster shooters, shots of whiskey, oatmeal stout, pork belly and black pudding.... 

They challenged me and I accepted :)

What a fantastic experience and great inspiration to try new things!

For my Irish Food Tour, I chose Galway Food Tours and Gosia Letowska took us around Galway. She gave us a good overview of the local cuisine and local businesses, always including some history and details about the food and places. They work together with different places around Galway and they tailor the route to the group, so it always differs slightly. For our group she took us to about 7 different spots including local bakeries, markets, pubs and restaurants. We tried locally produced goods and spirits including fresh seafood and street food from the famous Saturday Market around St. Nicholas Church and even a Whiskey tasting.

And yes, while I neither like oysters nor whiskey, I did participate in everything on this food tour and tried both. I am really proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone during the food tour and trying something new! I actually enjoyed the salty meaty fresh oyster until someone told me I just ate a living thing.... The whiskey on the other side was actually quite smooth, way softer than the ones I tried in the US. However, it's still a bit too strong for my taste and I do not believe I will ever be a fan of whiskey :)

My favorite bites (and beverage) from this food tour where actually at the local pub Tigh Neachtain. We tried quite a few bites here including some salami cracker, deep fried goat cheese, vegetable and seafood sushi and drank an oatmeal stout. As I do not like dark beer (but I do love craft beer including IPAs and fruity beers), I was surprised how much I enjoyed the oatmeal stout. Also, the all wood pub was quite quaint, rusty and cozy with lots of nooks and niches to sit. There is also a fireplace and an outdoor seating area. They are proud of their presented art and the talented musicians and live music :) An Irish pub that I can really recommend.

Another place from our food tour that I really enjoyed was - of course - the Irish tea place Cupán Tae. I will devote the next post to it :)

Bites and drinks we enjoyed:

  • Griffin's Bakery: Small bites of a doughnut and a carrot cake (the carrot cake is one of their bestseller)
  • McCambridge's of Galway: A local cheese and meat board (including Kylemoore cheese, blue cheese, air drie Connemara lamb, salami from Meath) and a whiskey tasting (Slane Irish Whiskey ABV 40%, Micil Irish Poitin ABV 44%, Longueville House Irish Apple Brandy ABV 40%)
  • Saturday Market: Indian pea and potato curry with yoghurt from a food cart and fresh oysters
  • Tigh Neachtain: Oatmeal stout, deep fried goat cheese, cracker with basel humus and salami, turnip sushi and wild smoked makarel sushi
  • Hazel Mountain Chocolate: Different kinds of chocolates with different percentage of cacoa and some fresh hot chocolate to drink
  • Cupán Tea: Courgette and Lime muffin (zucchini muffin with avocado-lemon-matcha cream) from their Afternoon Tea menu (they also have slices of a full-seized cake available)
  • Merrow at the Pálás Cinema (modern restaurant on the ground floor of the movie theater): A delicate looking fine dining plate with pork belly, potatoes, black pudding (blood sausage), apple sauce, fresh apple, greens and pomegranate seeds

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