According to Dictionary.com, a foodie is “a person keenly interested in food, especially in eating or cooking.” Seeing this, I realize that Marty and I fit a part of that definition. You see, we are definitely interested in eating, but not so interested in cooking. Again, it does use the word “or” so I say we fit the definition of a foodie! Well then, what better way for a couple of foodies to spend a day in a new city than on a food tour?
After reading A Luxurious Afternoon Tea Experience at Ashford Castle, I was itching to go to a tea. Realizing that Marty probably wouldn’t go for this, I starting researching food tours in Dublin instead and booked us on a Secret Food Tour. I mean, it has a secret-how fun is that?! After loving our Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh so much, Marty and I were really looking forward to our Secret Food Tour in Dublin. I assure you we were not disappointed! Keep reading to see the reasons that we loved our Secret Food Tour.
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History From a Local
Making our way across the Ha’penny Bridge from our Airbnb, it was a quick walk to meet our guide right outside of Trinity College. (Haven’t tried Airbnb? Then click here for $40 off of your first booking!) Honestly, at this point in the trip, I am just loving the fact that it is June and I’m walking in the 70-degree sunshine instead of being back home in Texas where it is probably 105-degrees. LOL!
Finding our guide, Cal was so easy. We immediately noticed him with his red umbrella, just like he noted in the e-mail he sent to us the day before. Once our group assembled, Cal began giving us an overview of the city, as well as some wonderful history of Dublin. Describing to us not only the history associated with the food but also a fun story about the college. I giggled a little when he shared that the college students believe that if you walk under the bell tower while the bell is ringing then you will fail your degree!
Being the history lovers that we are, Marty and I really enjoyed hearing Cal’s stories. I could easily see that all of the guests were entertained as well, but I think we were all ready to get to the food! I felt like Cal could read the group as well, and knew just when to stop the stories and move on to the next place and get everyone to the star of the tour, the food!
Great Food Venues
Obviously, one of the reasons you take a food tour is to be introduced to new places. This is the reason that we took the Bishop Arts Food Tour in our hometown of Dallas even. So often, we get stuck in a food rut and don’t venture out to try new places.
Well, I can definitely say that Cal introduced us to several places that we probably would not have visited on our own. The first of which, was Kilkenny Design. Honestly, I would have never had even known to eat here. If you’re just walking by looking through the downstairs windows, Kilkenny Design appears to be a fun little shop full of handmade artisan crafts, but don’t be fooled, there is way more to this store. Upstairs, you will find a charming cafe decorated with shabby chic furniture that serves up one of the best breakfasts in Dublin according to Cal.
It is at Kilkenny Design that we were introduced to the full Irish breakfast, complete with potato cakes, brasher (bacon for my American friends), white pudding, and fried tomatoes. We knew there were several unusual things to do in Dublin, but we probably would not have assumed there was a great restaurant on top of Kilkenny Design.
**Here is my first warning-PACE YOURSELF! There is so much food on this tour that you might want to just taste a little of each thing. That’s what I did and I was still stuffed by the end of the tour!
Of course, Kilkenny Design wasn’t our only interesting stop. After leaving Kilkenny Design, we went to the Celtic Whiskey Shop where we had the opportunity to taste three different Irish whiskeys while learning about some of the history of whiskey in Dublin.
Out of the five places we visited on the tour, Marty and I had actually only heard of two, so this was truly an introduction to new places for us.
- Blarney Castle and Cork Day Trip from Dublin
- Price: $75.78
- Belfast Titanic and Giants Causeway Tour from Dublin
- Price: $75.78
Eat Some Amazing Irish Food
Of course on any food tour, the main reason you are there is for the food! I could not believe all of the food that we had on this tour. Trust me when I tell you that you better wear your stretchy pants!
I've already mentioned the Irish breakfast and the whiskey tasting, but that's only a small sampling of our day. After leaving Celtic Whiskey, we made our way to a historic Irish pub, The Hairy Lemon. (Just saying the name of this place makes me giggle.) Side note-be sure and ask your guide how they came up with the name of the pub, it's a fun story. The atmosphere of The Hairy Lemon was exactly what I expected a Dublin pub to be. Surrounded by wood paneling with random decor all over the walls, televisions broadcasting sports, and cozy tables strategically placed to maximize the space, you can't help but to smile and feel like a local in this fun setting.
After we settled in, Cal offered us the choice of Guinness pie, Irish stew, veggie pie, or Irish coddle. Marty ordered the Guinness pie with a Guinness (our first one ever) and I ordered the stew with a Baileys and coffee. I know, weird combination but I wasn't sure if I would like the Guinness. LOL!
When our food arrived, not only was it incredible, but the portions were huge. I was not expecting a full-size portion, but that's exactly what we received! I honestly loved Marty's meal, the Guinness beer included! So my recommendation at the Hairy Lemon would be the Guinness pie. It was loaded with flavor and was absolutely delicious. My lamb stew was tender and flavorful, there was just a spice in there that I didn't particularly care for.
After The Hairy Lemon, we made our way to Murphy's Ice Cream. Murphy's ice cream is made with natural ingredients and always starts with fresh cream, so you know you're getting a quality product. I actually had Murphy's sea salt ice cream while we were in Kilkenny, so I knew what a fabulous treat this was. Murphy's will let you sample until your heart is content, just ask! This time I chose the Irish Coffee flavor, and yes it contains whiskey, while Marty went for the chocolate. Both were fabulous!
Leaving Murphy's, we make our way to our last stop of the day, Leo Burdocks for some famous fish and chips. Cal explained to us that Leo's usually has a line around the corner, but it's worth the wait. This "fast food" style fish and chips joint is no joke. Celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, U2, and Naomi Campbell have all graced this establishment! Here Cal treated us to smoked haddock and chips, explaining that all of the fish is freshly caught that day, except for the smoke haddock because it needs time to smoke. Personally, Marty and I didn't care for the smoked fish. I think we would hav preferred the original fish, but we were so full that we weren't too worried about it. LOL!
At this point, I was stuffed, but Cal wasn't finished with us yet. One last sampling to finish the day, delicious Irish cheese. See why you need your stretchy pants?!
Of course, somewhere in the tour is the "secret food" but that would just be wrong of me to tell you what it is!!
Opportunity to Make New Friends!
I love how food unites people and this is absolutely true during a Secret Food Tour! We had so much fun getting to know our fellow foodies!
Our tour consisted of people from all over the world. We met some outgoing fellow Texans as well as some ladies from Scotland and Galway, Ireland. Marty and I spent most of our time with a delightful lady from Australia, Anne, and a fabulous lady from Denver, Colorado, Sara. Anne was on holiday researching a book about her grandfather. Not only was her story fascinating to me, she was just so much fun to be around! Sara, who is on a world tour for a year, was so insightful and intriguing. I loved talking with her about Denver and hearing about all of the places she was planning to visit on her world tour!
We enjoyed the tour so much with these fun ladies that we wound up spending the rest of the afternoon with them visiting the Teeling Whiskey Distillery and a couple of the historic churches in Dublin.
Should You Book a Tour
We truly loved our Secret Food Tour. I say, if you love a great day filled with history, food, fun, and fabulous new friends, then you should absolutely book a Secret Food Tour. They offer tours all over the world including Europe, the United States, Canada, and Asia! I know we will definitely book with Secret Food Tours again!
*This is a sponsored post. Mary and I were hosted by Secret Food Tours, however, as always, all opinions are our own.