Thanks to flights from Orlando to Dublin, Ireland, spending a long weekend on the Emerald Isle isn’t out of the question for Central Florida residents. However, you could also take a much shorter trip to Disney Springs and enjoy a meal at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, arguably America’s most Irish pub.
Raglan Road is truly an Irish pub. Using aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches, the interior was built in Ireland and shipped overseas before being rebuilt in Orlando. Irish chefs, barmen, servers, musicians, and dancers as well as food, drink, song, and laughter fill its four walls. Plus, it’s decorated with Irish furniture, antiques, and art. Not to mention, Irish partners John Cooke and Paul Nolan are the proud owners and operators. That’s as Irish as Irish could be.
The History of Raglan Road
Raglan Road is one of the most famous streets in Dublin. As the story goes, one day at The Bailey pub, a group of musicians and poets were performing. In attendance were one of Ireland’s greatest poets, Patrick Kavanagh, and one of the country’s best singers, Luke Kelly. Patrick encouraged Luke to sing his song “On Raglan Road,” a beautiful and haunting piece about unrequited love. And the rest is history.
“It’s sometimes difficult to say precisely what it means to be Irish,” said Paul in a 2015 interview with Edible Orlando. “But ‘On Raglan Road’ helps you to talk about the Irish identity. It combines poetry, music, grief, longing, and belief.” According to the pub’s website, Patrick’s words “inspire us to enjoy our time here with good friends and to be happy for every moment.”
“Our cuisine is full authentic Irish, and we like to do a lot of twists on traditional Irish dishes,” Executive Chef Mark O’Neill explained in a 2020 interview with us. “Some of our most popular dishes are the beer-battered fish and chips and [our take]on shepherd’s pie — we’re calling it Shepherd’s To Die For Pie.”
Can’t make it to the Irish pub? Give some of these recipes a try, all from Raglan Road:
In order to maintain safe practices regarding COVID-19, social distancing is in place. Patrons should reserve a table in advance.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Edible Orlando.