Especially in Germany, there is still the strong rumor that food in Ireland would be extremely expensive. This seems to be mainly instigated by people who have been on vacation here during the Celtic Tiger or before. In short, it’s not true and utter bolloggs.
What is true however is that the average quality of food here is much higher. Especially if you are a meat eater, you will notice the high quality of beef products and naturally lamb. Both are also much cheaper then in Germany.
Milk can and some milk derived products can be a bit more expensive, but these are extremely subsidized in Germany by the state and therefore by the taxpayer. Milk, in general, is not healthy, but due to some intensive lobby campaigns in the 60s and 70s of the last century, it is seen as such.
However, your shopping expenses will be not much higher compared to continental ones.
It will mainly depend if you go to the high-end markets or if you utilize Lidl and Aldi as well as the many smaller foreign shops like the famous Polonez markets (Polish food markets but if you are a German you will get almost everything there you know from home – there are a lot of similarities between Polish and German kitchen, you’ll also get decently prized polish vodka there (for Ireland)). If you go all the time and buy the premium products at Tesco, Dunnes, and the High Street shops, it will be obviously more expensive, but that would be the same in Germany.
You will also get a better and cheaper selection off vegetables and fruit here. Mainly because of Ireland being close to the U.K. If you are a vegetarian and like pseudo meat products you will be ok here as well. The few things you can’t get here can be easily ordered from one of the many online shops.
There are also some German specialties Online shops delivering here.
Nowadays you can even get decent Sourdough bread; again we have the polish to thank for. 3-4 Euro for a large loaf of bread is probably cheaper than anything similar in Germany. Also, Lidl will sell you the industrial bread as well including pretzels you are used to from Germany.
Besides shopping and cooking, Ireland has a young and thriving foodie scene. So you won’t have to suffer a British kitchen. Depending on where you are you’ll have a scene of French-inspired restaurants and cooks, or African and Asian. This is not only in Dublin but anywhere. However, you will usually end up paying at least 12 euros for a decent main meal but again for a meal fo similar quality you’d pay the same in Germany.
Mcdonalds and all the other Fastfood chains are here as well, actually, more then you’d have in Germany, and the prices are similar, so if you want to poison yourself, you can do that as well for the same price.
In conclusion, you can eat actually for the same cost higher quality food in Ireland then compared to Germany and the continent.