February 5, 2024
Lauren Platero

A Taste of Ireland: Traditional St. Patrick's Day Food

St. Patrick’s Day is all about Irish heritage and tradition. Creating a St. Patrick’s Day menu that includes traditional St. Patrick's Day food items is the key for a festive and memorable holiday. Sure, many party hosts and restaurant staff members gravitate towards green food for St. Patrick’s Day. And while these dishes are appropriate in moderation, there’s nothing like more authentic Irish recipes for the occasion. 

In this blog post, we’re going to go over ten traditional St. Patrick's Day food ideas. From the appetizer list to the dessert menu, we’ll cover enough to make a complete selection. But first, we’ll quickly discuss why you should add traditional St. Patrick’s Day food to your catering services this March. Now, let the festivities begin!

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The Importance of Adding Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Food to Your Catering Menu

St. Patrick’s Day festivities revolve around food and drinks. As the business owner of a bar or restaurant, you can easily accelerate sales in the month of March by adding traditional St. Patrick’s Day food to the menu. Or, at least by having a limited edition menu on the seventeenth or St. Patrick’s weekend. But why switch up the catering menu?

Many people opt for at-home parties for St. Patrick’s Day. Meanwhile, there are companies that host work events for the holidays. By creating a menu where people can order St. Patrick’s Day party food in bulk, you can increase the eatery’s visibility as well as food and beverage sales. 

Don’t forget about the digital menus, too! Connect your POS system to online ordering solutions to simplify order management. Then, you’ll be able to obtain revenue boosts from both internal and off-premise transactions. 

Are you hoping to have online ordering solutions in place before St. Patrick's Day? If so, schedule a demo with us to get started! Shortly after you select a time, we’ll be in touch with all the details you need to determine which tools are best for your business!

The 10 Most Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Food and Drink Ideas

Add to the festivities this St. Patrick’s Day with a variety of traditional menu items. Even if your goal is to run one of the best bars for St. Patrick's Day, you can accomplish this by switching up your menu. Below, you’ll find ten great options.

1. Corned Beef and Cabbage

You can't get any more traditional on St. Patrick's Day than when you serve corned beef and cabbage. This dish is heavily associated with St. Patrick's Day by the Irish, Americans, and many other nations spanning the globe. It comprises quite a balance, too. The beef is prepared like a brisket, alongside boiled potatoes and cabbage. It's also common to find carrots and other vegetables within the recipes.

2. Irish Stew

Lamb or mutton are the meat products that are in a traditional Irish stew. Carrots, onions, and of course, potatoes accompany the meat in a broth. Most types of chefs and those of Irish descent prepare this dish in slow-cookers or crock-pots. So, it's easy to throw together and forget while you prepare other dishes. Plus, it's a simple recipe to make in bulk.

3. Shepherd’s Pie

After corned beef and cabbage, one of the more popular traditional St. Patrick's Day food items is shepherd's pie. Minced lamb and mashed potatoes baked to perfection is the perfect entree food for those who aren't in the mood for beef. Or, for those who don't consume beef for religious or cultural reasons.

4. Dublin Coddle

With robust flavors from bacon, sausage, and onions, you'll have one of the most mouthwatering dishes when you serve Dublin coddle. It's quite different from the other St. Patrick's Day food specials you'll find in most restaurants. Plus, you can make it in a single pot, eliminating a lot of the kitchen clean-up.

5. Colcannon

Any side dish that contains potatoes will be perfect to pair with traditional St. Patrick's Day food. Consider preparing colcannon--mashed potatoes blended with a variety of veggies, like kale and cabbage. Other ingredients go into the mixture like milk, butter, and scallions. It's a flavorful combo that's common within Irish cuisine. Plus, it's super easy to prepare!

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6. Boxty

Irish potatoes are a must on St. Patrick's Day. So, that's why you should add boxty to the traditional St. Patrick's Day menu. To bring this recipe to life, you use grated raw potatoes and mashed potatoes to make pancakes. You can either bake them or fry them, depending on your taste preferences. It's a side dish that's fairly easy to make in large quantities. So, it's ideal for any restaurant's catering menu, considering the different tastes across St. Patrick's Day snacks. This will be one that complements everything.

7. Soda Bread

With just a handful of simple ingredients, any chef can whip up one of the most delicious baked goods this St. Patrick's Day. Instead of supplying your guests with dinner rolls and butter, replace the typical starter with soda bread. Or, you can wait until dessert time to serve it with tea or coffee.

8. Irish Whiskey

Jameson and other Irish whiskey brands are essential for your St. Patrick’s Day menu. Whether you’re creating mixed drink recipes with whiskey or serving it by the shot (which you’ll be doing a lot of), it’ll be a massive seller on the Irish holiday. Plus, all types of alcohol already have a massive markup to begin with. So, price these drinks accordingly, and you can maximize profits to a major extent in just one day alone.

9. Beer - Lots of Beer

You can’t have a festive St. Patrick’s Day without Irish beer brands. From lagers to stouts, they’re all must-haves on your holiday menu. Beer will surely pair with all your St. Patrick's Day food ideas, even the more healthy St. Patrick’s Day snacks. Just a heads up–Guinness will likely be your best-seller on St. Patrick’s Day!

10. Irish Coffee

It's quite common to end a meal with coffee. So, give it an Irish twist on St. Patrick's Day. After you brew your favorite ground coffee, add a splash of cream, sweetener, and a shot (or two) of Irish whiskey. The intense flavor of the whiskey will give the coffee a kick, making the cup a lot stronger than it would be otherwise.

Frequently Asked Questions About Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Food

Tradition is always a meaningful aspect of holidays. One of the most prominent ways that people of various nationalities share their culture is through food and drink recipes. As a result, there are countless ideas to learn from anyone who celebrates a particular holiday. In the FAQ section below, we’ll briefly touch on the traditions associated with St. Patrick’s Day food. Read on!

What Is the Most Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Food?

The most traditional St. Patrick’s Day food is corned beef and cabbage. However, shepherd’s pie often comes in as a close second.

What Is a Traditional Irish Meal?

A traditional Irish meal is one that contains meat, potatoes, vegetables, and minimal spices. Dishes like corned beef and cabbage, as well as shepherd’s pie, are common go-to options.

Are Irish Recipes In the United States Different Than In Ireland?

Yes, just like with any nationality, there are differences in American-made recipes compared to those of the dish’s origin. For example, corned beef and cabbage has been Americanized a bit over the decades. Meanwhile, there are things made in the United States, like green beer, that you probably won’t find in Ireland.

What Is the Most Famous Irish Dish?

The most famous Irish dish is probably shepherd’s pie. While you might have been thinking that corned beef and cabbage would take the top spot, that’s more of a St. Patrick’s Day tradition. Meanwhile, shepherd’s pie is popular all year round.

What Do People Have for Dinner On St. Patrick’s Day?

Most people who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day enjoy a hearty plate of corned beef and cabbage for dinner. With it, they might have something like Irish potatoes on the side.  It’s delicious, filling, and a classic for a reason!

Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Food for Traditional Celebrations

Successful holiday festivities always implement some level of tradition. After all, traditions are the sole reasons why festive holidays are celebrated to begin with! With this guide teaching you all about traditional St. Patrick’s Day food ideas, you should be equipped with ideas to create your party food selection or restaurant menu. Either way, you’ll surely feel the luck of the Irish with the help of their authentic recipes!