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Guide to local foods of Northern Ireland

Whilst you’re over for The Open, it’s important to indulge in our local delicacies. “When in Rome…”

So we’ve put together a small guide on what you need to try before you leave our shores


TAYTO CRISPS | The Taste of Northern Ireland

If you meet anyone from NI overseas and utter one word: “Tayto” you’ll see their eyes glaze over with fond childhood memories. You will instantly bond as they will know that ‘you know’. On the flipside, never say a bad word about Tayto, particularly Cheese & Onion which we grew up on. It’s very important to us. And it’s the best crisp in the world. Bar none. Fact. :O)

TRAY BAKES | Fifteen

We are proud to be the ‘Traybake capital of the world”. Traybakes are cakes you make in a tray that don’t require cooking, often ones that harden in the fridge. You may call them other names, but we call them traybakes here. Wherever you go the law states that you should be offered a traybake with your cup of tea. Shown above is the fifteen – called because it has fifteen ingredients. And it tastes of heaven. Try one at your earliest opportunity.

RECIPE: a fab Fifteen recipe here for you to make at home

CLICK HERE to see a load more NI traybakes and how to make them


Every family has a recipe and there is nothing like the taste of fresh wheaten or soda, warm from the oven. Throw a poached egg on one in the morning, smoked salmon on a slice for lunch, jam at tea time and dipped into soup or Irish stew for dinner … versatile and perfect for every occasion. A key part of our famous Ulster Fry for breakfast, otherwise found at any local baker. Explain that you’re a visitor to our shores and ask what local varieties they can recommend you.

Wheaten recipe

Soda recipe

Irish Stew

Best eaten in a pub in front of a roaring peat fire, accompanied by a pint of Guinness with the rain lashing down outside. Hopefully this won’t be your experience during The Open – we’d love you to eat yours sat in the glorious sunshine overlooking a beach somewhere satisfied after a brilliant day’s golf! Everyone has their own recipe, but we haven’t come across a bad one yet. Normally served up with fresh wheaten. Champion!

Local recipe from the Belfast Telegraph so you can make it back at home


You might have had soup before. But, similar to traybakes on our world ranking, we are a ‘Soup capital of the World’. Do you have a favourite soup? Maybe 1, 2 at a push? Ask any local and you’ll get an encyclopedic knowledge of every soup they have ever had, including ancient family recipes along with a ranking and review. Soup will sometimes be served in the business environment (along with sandwiches) and ‘Soup and a sandwich’ will often be seen on menus along with the Soup of the Day. Why are we mad about soup here? Probably because the weather is generally pretty bad throughout the year – when its wet and cold it’s properly wet and cold – so soup is a good revitaliser. The Irish Sea prevents too much importing, so your soup is likely to be made from local ingredients. Fresh and tasty. You’ll also be supporting local farmers and producers, so it’s a great one to eat.

Irish potato soup recipe if you fancy a crack when you’re back…

Ulster Fry

The Ulster Fry is our version of the ‘fry up’ / cooked breakfast. Local sausages, bacon, eggs (usually fried – or poached/scrambled), soda, potato bread and tomatoes. Hotels, B&B’s and cafes will have their own versions, which may also include beans, black pudding, hash browns, mushrooms, chips … with tea and toast on the side. With a splash of red sauce (tomato ketchup) and brown sauce (savoury/tangy sauce – give it a try!) on the side, salt and pepper to taste – one of these in the morning will set you up nicely and give you the energy for a full day watching The Open!

Best Ulster Fry near near Portrush (Tripadvisor post)

Best Ulster Fry in Belfast


Other useful / Causeway Coast Guides



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