Ireland has become noted for its simplicity in both cooking and style. Lobster, mussels and crab feature alongside other daily specials fresh off the boat in many restaurants today. While seafood is often the highlight of menus along the coast, other restaurants use local produce to serve up an array of traditional and modern dishes.
The results are often memorable and complimented with a good selection of fine wines. In the West of Ireland, Connemara Lamb is often a speciality while wild salmon is offered during peak summer months. Most menus now include a vegetarian selection of a more imaginative variety than previously found.
Pubs in Ireland are very much the centre of social life and a visit to Ireland without experiencing a few would be to miss out on an essential aspect of cultural life. The pub is a great place to meet other travellers, hear traditional music and sample the local brew.
Pubs with sessions of traditional music are never hard to find. Note however, the Irish enjoy a late night and sessions do not usually begin before 10pm. To mix with locals and enjoy a good conversation you will find that you will need to seek out the quieter pubs to which the regulars retreat during summer months. Many pubs also serve food and very often the quality and choice on the pub menu is as good as in smaller restaurants. The price is usually cheaper than restaurants because of its more basic service.