WHEN YOU’RE OUT for a few drinks and you start to feel peckish, there is nothing better than a handy snack right there for you at the bar.
So, we thought we would rank the very best of them available in Irish pubs. Note that in this case bar snacks refer only to those that come readily available and don’t need to be cooked. No fancy toasties here:
11. The small Pringles tube
If these are the only crisps on offer, the pub needs to take a long, hard look at itself. Objectively speaking, of course, Pringles are delicious but as a bar snack they just fall short of what is needed to truly excel.
Starting to become more prominent in some pubs around the country, there is nothing necessarily wrong with popcorn but it might be better to save it for the cinema. A truly great bar snack needs way more flavour.
Kudos to any pub that make it fresh on site, though. That’s commitment to the bar snack that is always welcome.
A favourite of so many across our nation, Meanies also divides opinion like no other corn snack. Some can’t stand the distinctive pickled onion smell, but throw a load down on the table and they will invariably get hoovered up by the hungry crowd of drinkers in your group.
8. Keogh’s Salt & Vinegar crisps
Keogh’s crisps are new enough to the pub scene – but they’ve already made a serious impact. Some people love them because they are gluten free and Irish made, but their real triumph lies in the powerful flavours that go down well with a pint. None better than their Atlantic Sea Salt & Irish Cider Vinegar variety.
7. Roasted peanuts
Nuts are, of course, a staple of Irish pub snacks – and deservedly so. However, roasted peanuts don’t pack the same punch as their salty brethren, so just miss out on the top five.
6. Hot Nuts
Scandalously priced, but just tasty enough to get away with it. Beware of the sneaky recessed bottom in the tub though.
5. King Cheese & Onion
The ever-present Irish pub crisp brand along with you know what – King’s Cheese & Onion is a favourite pint accompaniment of many around the country. It’s all a matter of taste, but there aren’t many who would turn down a pack when supping away on a pint – and it deservedly makes it towards the summit of this list.
4. Scampi Fries
Always a controversial topic of conversation, non Scampi Fries aficionados can get turned off by the strong fish odour that comes from the small pack when opened. But, once you get past that initial sensation you will encounter one of the top bar snacks – its lemony-fish-dust combination going perfectly with whatever drink you’re having.
3. KP salted peanuts
All peanuts are good – as noted earlier – but the salted variety wins out on flavour alone. You will have some competition for them if you open up a bag in the vicinity of anyone in the pub.
2. Tayto Cheese & Onion
The classic Irish pub crisp. It might take a few hours to get the taste out of your mouth, but that’s what the drinks are there for. The unique taste goes extremely well with pretty much any type of beverage you’ll be having. The people’s choice.
1. Bacon Fries
The ultimate in bar snack deliciousness. Sure, there is no actual bacon in them, but that beautiful salty meat taste gets replicated in this crunchy treat. If you’ve seen them perched behind a bar and never tried them, do it. You won’t regret it.
What is your go-to snack when having a few drinks? Have we missed any of Ireland’s finest bar snacks? Let us know in the comments.