Seven Tralee Culinary ‘Institutions’

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If you were asked what foods you’d associate with Tralee (past or present) what would you pick?  Dermot Crean makes his choices

rsz_barrys_bread1. Barry’s Pan Loaf – Aah, the smell of the fresh bread. Aah, the combination of the hard crust and the fluffy dough. Aah, the way you’d actually eat the whole loaf with a pound of Kerrygold and half a pig. Aah…the way your doctor would tell you that you’ve butter for blood. Aah…oh you get the picture!

2. Jimmy Casey’s Crubeens – To most people, the thought of tucking into a feed of pigs’ feet is akin to sucking a glass of soft lard through a straw (and one suspects the nutritional value may be the same), but some quare souls went for that sort of thing in the Pembroke Street institution. I blame drink.

3. Der Sullivan’s Coleslaw – It shouldn’t work. Loads of  shredded cabbage and carrot and only slightly wet with…uh…mayonnaise? It’s not your typical coleslaw but it tastes great (see also Charlie Nelligan’s coleslaw across the road).

A crubeen, yesterday.

A crubeen, yesterday.

4. Chicken Croquettes – Ok, it’s hardly unique to Tralee considering it’s a staple of the Dutch diet. But back in the 80s, when a Dutchman from Farmers Bridge took inspiration from his footballing countrymen and started making his brand of ‘Total Fast Food’ for Tralee chippers, the post-pub ‘foodies’ were in awe. I’ve no idea what’s in them though.

5. Green Rooster Chips – Back to Jimmy Casey’s we go then. Again, real chips are not unique to the town, but when every other chipper in town abandoned the spud in favour of the thinner, frozen variety back in the 80s, Jimmy stuck to his guns to great success. He was playing the long game was our Jimmy.

6. Bruschetta In Bella Bia – If you can get a table in this Italian restaurant, have this Ferrari of a starter for a Fiat 127 of a price. Lovers of Italian food agree it’s the best around…and not just in Tralee!

7. Der Sullivan’s Mutton Pies – Yeah, we’re back to The Mall again where I could have picked his home cooked ham or the distinctive prawn salad, but I’ll go with the cholesterol-worrying pies. Note: Can only be eaten with oxtail soup.

Agree? Disagree? Am I forgetting some culinary masterpiece? Let us know in the comment section below…



  1. Aisling O'Brien says:

    Chips, pink sauce and stuffing from New Yorkers. Not very high brow but a cracker after a night out. Also O’Mahony’s bakery in Boherbee makes the tastiest buns and cakes. And while I’m at it – a pizza from Pizza Time is pretty good too. 🙂

  2. eileen shanahan says:

    best burger and pizza in town is from new yorkers and not just after a night out.

  3. The Burger Shack breakfast is a notable absentee

  4. Ann Sheehan says:

    the Burger shack for a meat pie, chips and their yummy curry sauce, also il poma dora for their chicken and pesto pasta. the new restaurant near the court house, christophe a little french a great place for a steak and chips or one of his specials smoked haddock with a poached egg, very good.

  5. Patricia Dennehy says:

    Has to be Barry’s vanilla buns. They were a treat on a Friday!!!!

  6. Sinead Hussey says:

    Quinlan’s Fish & Chip shop is a nice new and tasty addition to the town also.

  7. The Snackery fry up is legendary