With fertile farmland and easy access to the Irish Sea, Ireland's east coast is a haven for visiting foodies. Wherever you choose to stay in East Ireland's 15 counties, you will never be far from the diversity of restaurants, markets and food festivals that make today's Irish cuisine so celebrated.
The historic towns across Kildare, Carlow and the rest of East Ireland are known for having some of the best restaurants in Ireland. This is a fact that isn't well known by visitors to Ireland as the majority of towns in the East of Ireland tend to be overlooked by people planning their Ireland tours, meaning you shouldn't have too much of an issue with finding a table, even in the busier summer months. The fertile land of East Ireland, as well as the abundance of fresh fish from its rivers and coastline, means that local restaurants are in fresh supply of delicious produce all year round.
Like the rest of Ireland, the towns and villages of the East of Ireland are well supplied with pubs and bars, usually frequented by the locals of the area. From our own personal experience, these are very welcoming to outsiders and, for the most part, offer some type of food, from soup & sandwiches to full kitchen options. In Kilkenny City you will find nightclubs and 'super pubs' that stay open until about 2pm, as well as the smaller local establishments.
There is no shortage of fish and chip shops in the East of Ireland. The majority of towns will have at least one. If you are looking for high-quality fresh fish, the safest bet is to head for the coast of County Wicklow. During the summer months there are mobile chippers, essentially a container that is transported on the back of a jeep, set up along the beaches to supply the hungry crowds during the day. Some of these can look a bit unappealing but the majority are taking the catch of the day from local fishermen and serving it within hours, mixed with some chunky chips, there is no better way to relax by the seaside.