Adventure

Dublin Food by Foot Tour

My Dublin Food by Foot Tour convinced me that I didn’t understand Irish cuisine. Potatoes and Guinness. These were the two items that I thought made up the average Irish diet.

After I booked my Dublin Foot by Foot Tour during my recent trip to Ireland, I learned the error of my ways.

Organized by Kevin Adams, the Dublin Food by Foot Tour was held on Sunday morning at 10 am. When I looked out my window and saw snowflakes dancing on my window sill, I momentarily considered a no-show. But then I pulled on my snow boots and headed down Mercer Lane. I had already taken the James Joyce Centre neighborhood walking tour and the Christmas at the Castle tour, how could I cheat myself of the Dublin food tour?

St. Catherine’s Church

My destination was St. Catherine’s Church, where our host would meet his group. Kevin explained that we would stop for “five delicious street eats along the way.” Our Dublin Foot by Foot Tour tour covered breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert!

I was curious how Kevin conceived of his food and drink walking tours of Dublin. “My wife Aoife and I wanted to share the history and story of Dublin through good value street food,” explained Kevin. “Our tour was supposed to be a weekend only hobby but became my main job from April this year. Dublin is such a unique city with so much history. When most people think about Dublin, they focus on our famous drinks. We wanted to tell the story of the great quality food we have. For example, we have some of the best quality beef and dairy products in the world.”

Historic venues in Liberties neighborhood

We stood on the corner outside St. Catherine’s Church as Kevin explained about Liberties neighborhood. “The people in the Liberties are often referred to as the real dubs. Every corner, every cobblestone has a story to tell from Guinness, Irish Whiskey, St. Patrick to Ireland’s oldest Fish and Chip shop. You literally cannot take a step without being steeped in history,” explained Kevin.

And, in fact, Kevin’s Food on Foot Tour would take us to several establishments where we could indulge in breakfast sandwiches, fish and chips, and cheesecake.

Value For Money

What sets Kevin’s company apart from other food tours is the cost. He charges 25 euros for the two-hour Dublin Food by Foot Tour walking tour. (A typical walking food tour can cost between 75-90 euros.) Each participant is expected to purchase his own food at each stop. Since the typical item costs between 5 and 10 euros, the cost of the tour is a bargain!

“Brilliant tours and amazing value for money. Our guide Kevin immersed us in the great story and tastes of Dublin.”

James Creaney, Manchester, U.K.

Authentic Irish Food

As a former Guinness employee, Kevin is passionate about Dublin’s food and drink culture. He wants to see visitors experience authentic Irish food during their stay in Dublin. He advises visitors to “go where the locals go. To experience great quality authentic Irish food, you don’t need to focus only on five-star restaurants. The average price of food on our stops is €5 for example,” he explained.

Since his company’s Dublin Food by Foot Tour stops are not publicized on his website, you need to buy a ticket to find out his favorites. But Kevin was quite generous in sharing with me the Top 3 foods and drinks that a visitor must taste in Dublin. 

“1. Fish and chips from an old chipper; 2. A Beefo in Griolladh on Thomas Streed. It’s a great way to showcase 12-hour slowly cooked Irish beef; and, 3. Baileys Cheesecake,” dictated Kevin.

(Geographical Note: Thomas Street runs from Cornmarket to Saint James’ Gate Brewery. Guinness is brewed at the Storehouse. Thomas Street connects to James’ Street.)

While I didn’t get the opportunity to take Kevin’s Drinks on Foot Tour, he did say that no visit to Dublin is complete without enjoying “1. A pint of Guinness in a traditional pub; 2. A pint of Smithwicks in the cobblestones; and, 3. A 12-year-old Redbreast whiskey on a cold winters night in front of a warm fire.”

Liberties Neighborhood

Kevin shares his passion for the Liberties, a centuries-old neighborhood in Dublin. “The medieval Dublin had a city wall that surrounded the castle. They were allowed to live here and not pay taxes,” said Kevin.

Liberties neighborhood is famous for its traditional pubs, street eats, weekend markets, and historic venues. In fact, Dublin Castle is an easy ramble to see after the food on foot tour. Also not to be missed is Christ Church Cathedral. It has a medieval crypt.

Kevin described it as the “lawless part of Dublin” where you come to learn the “story of our whiskey and beer.” His 6,000-steps tour offers “fun, good value, connecting with the city like a local. In the Liberties, you can still spend 5 euros and get change for a pint of Guinness. It ranked as the 15th best place to live. It rates as the 1st best place to live by me,” added Kevin, joking.

Stop 1: Container Coffee

As Kevin tells us about the neighborhood, we walk toward Container Coffee. He wants us to taste a “sausage roll,” which is traditional Irish fare for breakfast on the go. We can choose between bacon with ballymaloe relish, pear and black pudding, leek and mustard, fennel and chile, and mushroom and pearl barley rolls. The staggering cheap price is 4.50 euros.

Home of Dublin’s best sausage rolls

Kevin said the sausage roll is an extension of the Irish breakfast. The farmers needed a protein-heavy meal. It was all pork-based, eggs and tomatoes. “We will always have white & black pudding. You should use it as complement. Put it on bread with butter.

Street food version – pork sandwich that you can hold in your hand,” said Kevin. “Black pudding & pepper – sprinkle between pastry.

Guinness Storehouse

After we finish our breakfast roll and a coffee, we meander up the road to Guinness Storehouse. Kevin stops us outside the gate to take photos.

Kevin outside the gates of Guinness Storehouse

“In 1759, Arthur Guinness opened his brewery. He had access to free water from the hill. People drank ale as it was safer than water. His wife (Livia Guinness) gave birth to 21,” explained Kevin. One has to wonder whether drinking Guinness daily didn’t make her more healthy than the typical Dubliner.

Visiting the “House of Guinness” is a must see for any beer pilgrimage in Ireland. Guinness Storehouse ranks as Ireland’s No. 1 visitor attraction, according to the brewery.

“Join us at the Guinness Storehouse to experience the history, heart and soul of Ireland’s most iconic beer. Explore the story of Guinness across the seven floors of our iconic building, before taking in the 360 views of Dublin city from Gravity Bar.”

Guinness Storehouse

This brewery museum is located in an old fermentation plant in the heart of St James’s Gate Brewery. The venue spans seven stories.  Guinness Storehouse attracts 1.7 million visitors a year. There are 1.5 Guinness billion pints consumed each year.

“Dublin is Guinness Town. Using Nitrogen (smaller bubble) invented here. The white foam is the gas. Stout is the roasted barley. You don’t drink. You pull your lip under the white and pull through,” explained Kevin, describing how you drink a pint of Guinness.

Stop 2: Griolladh

I didn’t take a photo of our second stop although my tour mates raved about the “Beefo. This sandwich features torn brisket, cooking jus, house pastrami spice, charred peppers, and a organic sour dough break (“toastie’). It costs a whopping 9 euros but it could feed a football team.”

Dubliners (nicknamed “Dubs”) love this type of meat sandwich. According to Kevin, “all the rain makes our grass green. It is illegal to feed them hormones. We make beef, local cheeses, and homemade mayo from the residue of beef.”

Kevin uses this stop-to-eat occasion tp to talk about the Irish flag and what the three primary colors constitute. “Green – independent like France (most likely Catholic). Orange – wanted to stay with British (most likely Anglican). White – everlasting peace between the two. In 1949, we became a republic,” he said.

Stop 3: Leo Burdock

Our third stop is a historic fish and chips shop. Oddly, it wasn’t an Irish institution, but rather Italian. According to Kevin, the Italians were coming over to repair the churches in the early 20th century. “They changed from being stonemasons to making food. The Italians brought fried fish and chips to Ireland,” said Kevin.

Our destination was Leo Burdock, which bills itself as “Famous Fish & Chips Since 1913.”

Fish and chips shoppe in the Liberties

He recommended a “chipper or a takeaway” as ideal street food. “Order the cod (white fish and no bones). Go with Scampi. Say no chips. It’ll cost you 6 euros,” said Keith.

After consuming a greasy bag of fish and chips, we headed toward Temple Bar. Kevin described it as “officially Dublin’s culture center. In the 1990s, it includes cinema, theater, book stores and live music.”

Stop 4: West End Temple Bar

After our fish and chips meal, it was a short walk to Temple Bar where we headed for The West End Temple Bar. This restaurant is home to crepes, waffles, dessert, breakfast, and lunch.

Home of Bailey’s Cheesecake

But we were instructed to order Bailey’s Cheesecake, a delectable combination combining cheesecake, cream, and whiskey. “We don’t bake our cheesecakes. They have delicious dessert,” claimed Kevin.

Stop 5: Murphy’s Ice Cream Store

Despite the fact that we had already consumed dessert, Kevin insisted that we next visit Murphy Ice Cream Store for our second delectable treat.

Murphy’s ice cream store

“Murphy Ice Cream Shop was founded by two Irish American brothers. The cream comes from the West Kerry cow,” said Kevin. Their slogan on their website: “Handmade in Dingle. Made in the heart of Kerry.”

The shop’s best-seller is the Irish brown bread flavor.

“Our Brown bread is supplied by McCambridge’s. Once we have our bread it goes into the oven with muscovado sugar for 8 hours to caramelise, only then is it ready for our ice cream.”

Murphy’s Ice Cream Store

It is salty, crunchy, and surprisingly delicious. I know. I asked for a sample.

Dublin Food by Foot Tour

Our tour ended with a group exhausted by eating but happy. Kevin chose to station us by the Molly Mallone statue. She is perhaps Ireland’s most famous fishmonger.

Molly Mallone statue in Dublin

This bronze statue features the buxom Molly at work. She is situated in the heart of Dublin’s Georgian quarter. As our group stood there, numerous tourists stopped to take their photos with Molly.

“In Dublin’s fair city
Where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying, ‘Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!’”

Vegan Options

For those vegetarians or vegans who might not take this Food by Foot tour, I suggest that the experience is still worthwhile. Most of the street food outlets offered alternatives, such as the vegetarian breakfast roll. I also quizzed Kevin on options in Dublin.

Cornucopia restaurant

“We have some excellent vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Ireland. It all comes down to our climate where we can grow lots of yummy vegetables. Take for example Cornucopia restaurant where everything is made for corn. All our stops have vegan and vegetarian options. We also make recommendations to other restaurants that specialize on visitor’s needs,” said Kevin.

Although our tour did not include St. Stephen Green, where I was residing, I can also add that Blazing Salads Cafe is a wonderful vegetarian option. The two sisters which run the café provide breakfast and lunch meals for vegetarians. I ate there every day and can recommend the quinoa black bean burgers, samosas, vegetable soup, and chocolate seed bars.

I highly recommend taking a food tour with Kevin’s company. His enthusiasm instantly drafts you as a Dubliner (see Instagram link). “It is a privilege and an honor to share the history and story of Dublin through street food. We don’t talk about lobster and champagne. Instead, we share the best street food the city has to offer. We make five stops along the way, two of which are desert stops,” said Kevin.

Happy camper

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Cristina
    January 7, 2023 at 8:22 am

    Great tour! It’s very nice that it’s done by local, so it’s not just a regurgitation of Trip Advisor’s recommendations.

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 7, 2023 at 9:27 am

      I agree. I always look for walking tours run by locals. It makes a huge difference in discovering what is new or different rather than just following all the other tourists to a place recommended by Trip Advisor.

  • Reply
    Hazel
    January 7, 2023 at 8:29 am

    Great post, Terri. Food production is a big deal in Ireland so great to do a tour showcasing this important industry. For such a small population, the output is vast – Ireland exports 90% of the food it produces. Plus the quality of food ingredients is so good. Thanks for sharing this informative post.

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 7, 2023 at 9:27 am

      Thank you Hazel! I credit Kevin with creating a food tour that specializes in locals who run great restaurants. He also shared so much about Ireland’s culture and history which I really appreciated. I am just bummed that I didn’t get to take his Drinks by Foot tour. But I will go back!

  • Reply
    Erin
    January 7, 2023 at 8:58 am

    Hi Terri! I love that you covered food in Temple Bar and some of the areas people normally associate with bars. I love Dublin, so this brought back fond memories. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 7, 2023 at 9:25 am

      I absolutely loved some of the places run by locals in Temple Bar. I know people go there to drink but this restaurant had the best DESSERTS. I had never heard of Bailey’s cheesecake until I ate it in Temple Bar. DELISH!

  • Reply
    Laureen Lund
    January 7, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    I sure would love to get back to Dublin. I was so jet-lagged when I was there my memories are blurry! LOL. But we also did a food tour, but yours looks better. I’ll save this for my next visit!

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 7, 2023 at 1:40 pm

      I hope you do get back to Dublin. I had 7 nights to stay in the city so I saw a lot. It is an incredible city.

  • Reply
    Mayi
    January 7, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    Great post. I have always wanted to visit Dublin, and adding a food tour and learning about the country’s cuisine is perfect. I will be sure to explore some of the suggestions when I do visit.

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 7, 2023 at 7:00 pm

      This was my first time in Dublin. I fell in love with the city and residents. I hope you ca visit one day soon!

  • Reply
    Carly
    January 7, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks for including a note about vegetarians and vegans – that’s always the deciding factor for me when choosing a food tour!

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 7, 2023 at 7:00 pm

      I switched to a plant base diet in August so how and what I ate in Dublin was a big concern when I traveled in December. I ate at Blazing Salads every day at lunch. I highly recommend – great value and delicious. And Kevin pointed me to options on his tour.

  • Reply
    Maggie
    January 7, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    I am actually going to Dublin later this year! I always try to book a food tour when exploring a new city, and this sounds like a perfect option for my trip. I’m a scotch/irish girl but I also have never understood garlic food lol.

    • Reply
      Maggie
      January 7, 2023 at 3:11 pm

      Gaelic food*** not garlic haha

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 7, 2023 at 6:58 pm

      Irish food is quite amazing due to rules about none use of hormones with animals and the quality of the cream. I can’t wait to travel to the west of Ireland to visit the small towns. You will have a blast!

  • Reply
    jeanine
    January 7, 2023 at 4:23 pm

    Sounds like an amazing Food tour, which we love doing in a new city…can’t wait to get to Dublin for this

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 7, 2023 at 6:56 pm

      I always go on a food walking tour in a new destination if it is run by a local. But it also has to be a good value. This tour was both.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    January 7, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    I loved Dublin and the food! When we were there it POURED rain, so we basically just went from pub to pub eating and drinking to avoid the rain. I’d love to actually go on a food tour next time.

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 7, 2023 at 6:55 pm

      I have heard other people say that it rained for their whole vacation. I guess it can be like visiting Portland or Seattle. I was lucky. It was freezing cold but it didn’t rain.

  • Reply
    Sue (PhilaTravelGirl)
    January 7, 2023 at 5:30 pm

    Dublin is a great city for a walking tour and to combine with food is even better! Look forward to trying this on my next visit

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 7, 2023 at 6:55 pm

      Definitely book the drink or food tour or BOTH with Kevin’s company. It was fabulous. Plus we had great food.

  • Reply
    Kim
    January 7, 2023 at 7:19 pm

    What a great tour made even better by two dessert stops! Great post.

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 8, 2023 at 7:12 am

      I agree! There is always room for dessert. Plus the restaurants in Temple Bar also served mulled wine! It was freezing out so it helped me warm up.

  • Reply
    Karen
    January 7, 2023 at 7:45 pm

    A very interesting post. I never realized there was a proper way to drink Guinness. I enjoyed hearing about all the foods and the history behind Dublin. I’ve been to Dublin a couple of times but next time I will look for this tour. It sounds excellent.

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 8, 2023 at 7:11 am

      I didn’t know that I drank Guinness the wrong way either lol!

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    January 7, 2023 at 7:52 pm

    WOW, I really need to go back to Dublin and check out this food tour!! I love that it blends fun food stops with a few sights too!

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 8, 2023 at 7:10 am

      I highly recommend you watch on an airfare desl to Dublin and visit. I had a blast. I already want to return.

  • Reply
    Heather
    January 7, 2023 at 7:52 pm

    The Guinness in Ireland is like no other! Well done on the food foot tour sounds amazing.

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 8, 2023 at 7:09 am

      Love their brew. I drank several Guinness during my stay. 🍺

  • Reply
    Jenn | By Land and Sea
    January 7, 2023 at 8:27 pm

    We are headed to Dublin in a few months, so this post is super helpful! I appreciate the recommendation of the tour and knowing what food to expect too.

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 8, 2023 at 7:09 am

      You are welcome! I ate so much delicious food. Everything is so fresh.

  • Reply
    Mary Grace Floresca
    January 8, 2023 at 2:39 am

    Walking food tours are one of our favorite activities! I don’t think we’ve had authentic Irish cuisine before, so this would be right up our alley to try!

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 8, 2023 at 7:08 am

      I hope you get to take this food tour if you visit Dublin. I highly recommend.

  • Reply
    Jen
    January 8, 2023 at 4:00 am

    I used to live down the road from Leo Burdock. This is the best place for fish and chips in Dublin!! That tour seems really great to find good spots to eat. Murphy’s is an institution for Ice cream but it is a bit expensive. Most local go to Gino’s!

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 8, 2023 at 7:07 am

      I can’t believe how lived in this cool neighborhood. I felt like I was walking through history. I also thought Murphy’s ice cream was a tad expensive. I wish I knew about Gino’s!

  • Reply
    simplyjolayne
    January 8, 2023 at 9:52 am

    Taking a food tour anywhere is definitely on my list of things I want to do next time I travel. You learn the history of an area and discover some pretty great finds.

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 8, 2023 at 12:58 pm

      I have taken food tours in New York City and Washington DC so I knew that I had to try a food tour in Dublin. I highly recommend.

  • Reply
    Dotti
    January 8, 2023 at 12:15 pm

    Baileys cheesecake?! Yes, please! This sounds like a delicious way to spend a day.

    • Reply
      Terri
      January 8, 2023 at 12:59 pm

      I know right? Who doesn’t love Baileys Cream? It was perfection.

  • Reply
    Denise
    January 9, 2023 at 7:37 pm

    This Dublin food tour is right up my alley! Saving in hopes of a trip in the near future!

  • Reply
    Emily
    January 10, 2023 at 11:12 am

    This looks like so much fun, I would love to see a vegetarian food for Dublin as well! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ada
    January 10, 2023 at 6:44 pm

    I love Ireland and I love food, so I’m shocked I haven’t been on food tour in Dublin yet. Definitely want to check this out the next time I visit! Also, kudos to you for going even with the snowy weather!

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