Gluten Free Dining Throughout Ireland
Before we left for Ireland, I had researched a bit about gluten free dining options in the towns we planned to visit. I was happy to read that Ireland is a very "gluten-free friendly" country, with many, if not most, restaurants offering gluten free options. We found that to be absolutely true. Some restaurants that we visited had a separate gluten free menu, some had the Celiac-friendly logo next to gluten free items, and others told us personally which dishes were gluten free and how the food was prepared. Unlike home, where sometimes I am limited to one or two restaurants in a particular town with some options, we frequently had many choices of where to dine in each location. It was very easy to eat gluten free in Ireland. A few places even do gluten free fish & chips! (I did not get a chance to try them, as we ran out of time in Dublin.) Only one time did we find that a restaurant that claimed to have gluten free options really did not have much; it was an Italian restaurant that did not have gluten free pasta. I think I had a chicken dish with no side.
We were in Ireland for seven days and ate two meals per day, usually breakfast and dinner, as breakfast has more gluten free options than lunch. (One great find, however, was a French creperie in Dingle that made delicious gluten free crepes from buckwheat -- more in my review below!) All of the hotels had a full breakfast spread with eggs and gluten free toast, but we didn’t often eat at the hotel for breakfast. In addition, the hotels all had restaurants with gluten free options that we probably would have dined at if there weren’t other great options in town. That is what was so nice about Ireland: choices! We also were able to eat different cuisines, from steak to pizza to Thai food. Other than many egg breakfasts, I wasn’t eating the same foods each day.
Creperie Ti Koz (2 John Street, Dingle 83261, Co. Kerry, Ireland): Happened upon this place while strolling through Dingle. Menu on window said all crepes could be made with buckwheat flour, which was true. They were made fresh to order and outstanding. If we had been in Dingle for more than a few hours, we would have eaten here multiple times. Owner is a French couple, and although I have not been to France, it seems like the food is authentic.
The Cornstore Restaurant (19 Thomas Street, Limerick, Ireland): This restaurant was recommended to us for the outstanding food, not knowing we were gluten free. Menu indicated plenty of gluten free items (denoted by g), so we went. It was outstanding--perhaps the finest meal we enjoyed on our vacation. The service was excellent, despite the large crowds (we did not even have a reservation and they accommodated us). We enjoyed the 3-course value menu, which had ample gluten free options, including a Sirloin aged in house and delicious flourless chocolate cake for dessert. If you are in Limerick, this is definitely worth a visit.
DeLacy's Steak & Seafood (Scotch Hall Shopping Center -- d Hotel, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland): We had just arrived and were extremely jet lagged so did not feel like looking around for a restaurant. We were staying at the hotel and saw several gluten free options on the menu so decided to try it. It was great--the staff was excellent--and they would even bring gluten free bread instead of the typical bread basket. It was a great, satisfying surprise!
To read ALL of Holly's reviews from Ireland (there are a total of 7), see her page on GlutenFreeTravelSite. Also, if you would like help planning and booking a gluten free trip to Ireland, you may want to contact travel agent Lesley Hayden Hock from Travel Leaders. She has become a specialist in gluten free travel planning and has arranged trips to Ireland for many of her gluten free clients. There is no charge for her services, and she finds the best deals for her clients. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-487-6110.
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Karen Broussard is the Founder and President of GlutenFreeTravelSite. Karen launched GlutenFreeTravelSite in 2008 after her son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at a very young age. She and her family found that dining out and traveling could be a real challenge for people following gluten free diets, and she wanted to provide a place where the gluten free community could go to share their experiences first-hand with others.
In addition to heading up GlutenFreeTravelSite, the DINE GLUTEN FREE Mobile App, and the Gluten Free Travel Blog Karen is an Associate Editor of Simply Gluten Free Magazine and volunteers each summer at Camp Celiac in Rhode Island. A graduate of Georgetown University with a degree and career in Marketing, Karen resides with her husband and two sons in the Washington, DC area.