Limerick needs an introduction because every travel guide you buy about Ireland will tell you it is a town that should be skipped. However, Drew and I spent a lot of time in this town because of a concert series that he was performing, and the people are truly wonderful. The city is going through a lot of changes and growing very fast. And although parts of it look very suburban, it's still a great place to hear traditional Irish music or hang out at a family pub to watch a game without feeling like a tourist. If you plan on visiting the Cliffs of Moher, The Rock of Cashel or any other historic sites on lower West side of Ireland, Limerick is convenient, inexpensive and real.
One thing to remember in Ireland: The servers never bring your check to the table. They bring your food and leave you alone unless your glasses are empty. You are expected to go to the counter when you are ready to pay.
Dolan's Pub • Omnivorous • 3/4 Dock Road • Map
Dolan's Pub was one of the first places we visited when we got to Limerick and it ended up being one of our favorite memories about Ireland. We walked in to a group of about six or seven musicians of all ages sitting in one corner of the bar playing traditional Irish music to raise money for their organization.
The bar was filled with all kinds of people...singles, families with their children, teenagers hanging out. We sat by the bar and listened to the music for a couple of hours, and then went up the steps to the "restaurant" area. I saw that one of the specials was vegetarian Thai curry. I found out that it was actually the special from the night before, but they were happy to make it fresh for me that day anyway. I had heard that the Irish do not like spices, but this curry was spicy and satisfying.
Interestingly enough, as the days went on I found that most Irish restaurants that offer vegetarian options tend to offer vegetarian versions of Thai dishes. Weird. But tasty!
Meal Maza • Omnivorous • The Orchard, Castletroy
We didn't find a lot of veggie options In Limerick, but most places had vegetarian options. Meal Maza is an Indian/Pakistani restaurant where you can find very good food with more emphasis on ginger than American Indian restaurants. Everything we ate at Meal Maza was deliciously spicy which was a great change from the pub food. All the usual stuff is available, served family style. You never forget you are in Ireland though because even when you order vegetable vindaloo, you get a side of chips (french fries).
Kilmurry Lodge Hotel • Omnivorous • Dublin Road, Castletroy • Directions
Limerick has a lot of Bed and Breakfasts, and we ended up staying at this hotel, which turned out to be perfect because there were a lot of choices for vegetarian meals. Breakfasts included fruit, yogurt, muesli, potatoes, mushrooms, scones and breads. The Pub menu had quesadillas, salads, and veggie burgers. I was really impressed with the veggie burger. The patty was stuffed with vegetables, and kind of creamy (probably potatoes) inside a crispy breading. Of course it came with chips, which I couldn't even make a dent in because the burger was so filling.