This summer, ‘staycationing’ has replaced ‘the new normal’ as the phrase de jour and while we are still lamenting the warm summer breeze of the Greek isles or the mouth-watering waft of a seafood laden Paella, this summer is the perfect opportunity to be tourists at home and discover the abundance of extraordinary food this island has to offer. When paired with our jaw dropping scenery, these on-the-go dining experiences become even more special. Whether it’s a day trip with a culinary reward at the end or indeed an afternoon out while on holiday this summer, these six food trucks make any journey worthwhile.
Misunderstood Heron, Killary Fjord, Lennane, Co Galway
Misunderstood Heron is perhaps the most talked about food truck in Ireland, and with good reason. The location in itself is magical and working up an appetite by taking a walk along the wildly beautiful coastal path is an experience not to be missed. Your reward could be anything from Connemara lamb chops with chilli mole and chickpea salad or green beans on sourdough toast with ricotta, sunflower seeds and pesto. Voted as one of the top 100 food trucks in the world by Lonely Planet, it’s easy to see why. The menu changes weekly: www.misunderstoodheron.com.
Mini Maegden, Causeway Road, Bushmills, Co Antrim
If my trip to The Giants Causeway as a child had ended up with a cheese toastie at Mini Maegden, then perhaps I would not have spent all my time on that particular trip complaining to my mother. Sadly, (for her sake) this was not the case but in today’s world, visitors to this stunning part of the world will be sated and happy after a gloriously cheesy toasted sandwich full to the brim with a selection of cheeses from Sheridan’s, Toonsbridge Dairy, Mike’s Fancy Cheese in Belfast and Neal’s Yard Dairy, London. The ever important bread for these legendary sandwiches is from master artisan baker, Ricky Hay, at Zac’s Bakehouse. www.cheesemaegden.com
The Hatch, Castlewellan, Co Down
Located along the Mourne Coastal Route, The Hatch has garnered quite the reputation for its excellent burgers made with 38-day aged local shorthorn beef, triple fried chips and Kilkeel sourced fresh fish. Parmesan and truffle fries are on the menu and if you happen to be around at lunchtime the fish tacos are reputed to be worth a pit stop too. With quite a few awards to their name for their excellent burgers, the stunning Mourne scenery vies with The Hatch for reasons to visit this part of the world. www.thehatch2016.com
Salty Buoy, various locations
The latest venture from Niall Sabongi, (Klaw and Sustainable Seafood Ireland) Salty Buoy seafood truck will kick off on August 1 at Avon Ri in Blessington every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm, and at Baste BBQ Clanbrassil Street on Wednesdays from 5pm to 8pm. As expected, dishes will be seafood heavy with fresh lobster rolls, shucked oysters, crab, fresh fried fish, creamy chowder, zingy pok? bowls among others. There will be new locations announced in the future. www.klaw.ie
The Garden Café Truck, Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Co Cork
A food truck located on the grounds of the enduringly popular Ballymaloe is bound to be a good idea, you know the food will be delicious and on a sunny day, it makes for the perfect end to an afternoon taking in the gardens surrounding it. For a small fee, the staff at Ballymaloe will take you on a guided tour of the gardens allowing you to admire the Ornamental Fruit Garden, The Old Pleasure Garden or The Kitchen Potager to name but a few. Finish your afternoon with a sinfully delicious cake with a dollop of jersey cream, some homemade lemonade or something more substantial. Whatever you choose, you will no doubt be happy in your decision.
Julia’s Lobster Truck, Co Clare
Another one for the seafood lovers, Julia’s Lobster Truck keeps it simple with fresh barbecued lobster served with chilli lime butter, organic leaves and real chips. Too much? Then a lobster roll could be the one for you. If lobster doesn’t tickle your fancy then perhaps the beer battered hake will or the mussels in a spiced coconut broth. This summer, you will find Julia at Moher Cottage (by the Cliffs of Moher) on Thursdays and Fridays from 12pm – 4pm and on Saturdays and Sundays at Bellharbour (between Ballyvaughan and New Quay). Rumour has it there are some spectacular walks in the area too. www.facebook.com/juliaslobstertruck
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