I’ve gotten asked a number of my times what my favorite place we visited in Ireland was – no hesitation, it was Dingle. The Dingle Peninsula was a few hours’ drive from Galway – a few hours worth of fearing for our lives down narrow roads on the edge of cliffs that drop straight into the Atlantic. No big deal 😉 Aside from the fearing-for-our-lives bit, the drive was absolutely stunning. On our first night in Dingle, we took the scenic Slea Head Drive. Slea Head is the reason Dingle is our favorite spot in Ireland – nothing in the world compares to watching the sun over the ocean, the endless green fields, and hundreds of sheep. Maybe we got lucky with the weather, but it was beyond anything we had imagined. Besides the drive, we spent our days exploring the village, popping into the little shops (Dingle Candle, anyone!?), boating in the harbor with Fungie the dolphin (I mean, come on), and horseback riding in the hills. Even if Dingle didn’t have a bite of gluten free food and we had to survive on protein bars and Shamrock chips, it still would’ve been worth the visit – luckily, though, you won’t have that issue in Dingle 😊
Gluten Free Accommodation in Dingle, Ireland
O’Neill’s Bed and Breakfast: When in Dingle, stay at O’Neill’s! O’Neill’s was included in our vacation package, but it’s very affordable (and recommended by Rick Steves!). This was, in terms of the actual rooms and environment, the nicest place we stayed in Ireland. Everything seemed to be recently renovated, and our room was spotless. The window in our room had a water view. The bed and breakfast is right in the center of the village, so it was super walkable to everything you’d want to do (other than Slea Head, which of course you would drive). We emailed the owners prior to arriving to ask about gluten free food, and they were wonderfully accommodating. They had gluten free bread for toast with jam, and they served up my favorite breakfast of the whole trip – fresh eggs with smoked salmon. This was the best smoked salmon I’ve ever had – it was outstanding. I had this both mornings, but on the second morning, Dan ordered bacon instead (and he loved that too!). Highly recommend O’Neill’s for the gluten free traveler. One word of warning: there is no parking lot, so you’ll need to park on the street. While we were staying here, our rental got hit by a horse. Yes – hit by a horse. Beware – what looks like an alleyway might actually be a grumpy local’s horse path 😉.
Gluten Free Restaurants in Dingle, Ireland
The Boat Yard Restaurant:
Is there anything better than enjoying a giant plate of fish and chips while overlooking the harbor? In my opinion, the answer is no – so The Boat Yard Restaurant is a must visit while in Dingle! They serve up super tasty gluten free fish and chips (complete with tartar sauce and mushy peas!). Their menu notes a few other gluten free options, but they are standard gluten free fare (oysters, lobster, etc.). If you visit this restaurant, my recommendation is going with the fish and chips. They use separate fryers and I had no reaction at all to the meal. Best of all, they have a deck so you can enjoy the views if you have some nice weather!
Unfortunately, a Google search has revealed that the Pie Café has closed at its current location. However, their Facebook page indicates that they are simply moving, so I figured it was still worth a review (I’m optimistic that they will reopen in Dingle!). The Pie Café offers their sandwiches on gluten free bread, served with a side salad and gluten free ripple chips. We both got open-faced sweet corn tuna melts, and let me tell you, I still think about this sandwich regularly. The cheese-to-tuna ratio was perfection. The Pie Café also offers a number of gluten free baked goods, some of which we took to go to feast on later in our hotel room. Here’s hoping Pie Café reopens in Dingle (and against all odds, in the same location… because that roof deck was spot on 😉).
The Diner: Dan and I didn’t end up eating at the diner, but since Pie Café has closed down, I wanted to offer an alternative. The Diner was on our list of gluten free eateries to try, but we ended up being too full on the second night to go there. However, there are a number of rave reviews for them online and they supposedly offer a pretty wonderful gluten free pizza and an average gluten free burger. Dingle’s pretty small, so you’ll definitely come across the Diner – we actually popped in there to ask about gluten free options, and the teenager working there didn’t seem too confident about them – they acknowledged a risk of cross contamination, so ultimately, we ended up going to the Boat Yard. However, based on the reviews online, it seems like others have had a great experience dining there – so if you don’t feel like eating fish and chips for every meal, it might be worth taking a look!
Grey’s Lane Bistro: This is another one we almost tried – it’s a bit more expensive, but all menu items are labeled with allergens. Quite a few of the entrees are gluten free, and the outside is very attractive. If you’re willing to splurge a little bit, this would be worth a try!
Bonus! The Dingle Farmer's Market:
If you are in Dingle on a Friday, you must walk down and visit the Dingle Farmer's market. Not only do they have tons of cool crafts and gifts (we got an awesome driftwood sign for our living room), but they also have a couple of food vendors - I don't know if this varies week by week (we were only there the one Friday), but when we were there, I spotted some gluten free scones!
That’s it for gluten free Dingle! Again, Dingle is a very small village, so options are fairly limited. Trust me though – you do not want to miss the Dingle Peninsula! Even if it means hoping for sun and packing a picnic (I’m telling you, those Shamrock Chips are worth a try…) or surviving solely on seafood, Dingle should be on your Ireland List.
Tomorrow, we take on the “Prettiest Village in Ireland” – Adare! Gluten free afternoon tea, chocolate cake, and pizza – you don’t want to miss this!
Check out all of the Celiac Wanderlust Gluten Free Ireland Guides!
Gluten Free Dublin, Ireland
Gluten Free Galway, Ireland
Gluten Free Adare, Ireland
Gluten Free Kilkenny, Ireland