Fancy swapping out chasing tunes to chasing edibles this year for festival season? There's a rousing food events calendar worth looking into, with events of all types and sizes happening countrywide. Here’s a smorgasbord of Irish food festivals that should keep hungry revellers happy, enlightened and well fed. Get that diary ready...
Galway's West End Festival, April 22 and June 3
Local restaurants Kai, Dela, Handsome Burger, Tartare and many more join forces for a brilliant street food celebration this year in April and June. Both are family friendly days full of food, live music and face painting.
West Waterford Festival of Food, April 26-28
The beautiful Dungarvan always hosts a fun, food-focused festival. Expect pop up dinners from well know chefs, masterclasses, food safaris, farmers markets and entertainment across the weekend.
Eatyard Wine & Cheese Festival, May 16-19
Eatyard promises all the fun of wine and cheese without the intimidation. Happening across Eatyard & The Bernard Shaw, expect a stellar selection of boutique wine and cheese vendors selling stuff you'll want to drink and buy.
Street Feast, May 5
Street Feast is a day of local lunches across Ireland hosted by anyone and anywhere, out on the street, in a local park or in your front garden. Get involved and host one yourself or head to their website to see if your neighbours are up to anything.
Burren Slow Food Festival, May 10-12
Showcasing the best of the Burren and Slow Food Clare, the theme for 2019 is ‘Taste the Atlantic’, with a focus on seaweed. Expect seafood-focused demos and talks, plenty of local producers and don’t miss the excellent Burren Slow Food Banquet, taking place on Saturday night in the Burren Storehouse.
Details are yet to be announced, but expect a showcase of the very best in local food and some great local and Irish craft drinks events.
Bloom in The Park, May 30-June 3
Primarily a garden festival full of plants, flowers and seeds but increasing every year is the food area. Bord Bia host a producer showcase full of great Irish food, there are hands-on masterclasses, farm demonstrations, cooking demonstrations and plenty more. And the gardens are always worth a visit.
Bushmills Salmon & Whiskey Festival, June 7-9
Sumptuous tastings of salmon, live cookery demonstrations and an abundance of themed dishes in the local restaurants, along with whiskey tastings in the distillery, tours of the salmon station, artisan stalls, heritage talks, craft workshops, live traditional music, dance and street performers.
Taste of Dublin, June 13-19
This well-established festival takes place in the beautiful Iveagh Gardens, with four days full of eating, drinking and entertainment right in the city. Cocktails galore, demos from famous names and of course dancing make this a bit more of a party than a feast, but what’s wrong with that?
Stoneybatter Festival, June 21-22
A 3-day neighbourhood & street festival in the heart of Dublin 7 celebrating music, culture, community and, of course, food. There will be farmers markets, food and drink trails, tea parties and a long table Sunday roast from L. Mulligans. There are plenty of great pubs in the vicinity too.
Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival, July 3-7
The Annual Kilmore Quay Seafood is a local festival now in it’s 34th year. Head to this picturesque town to celebrate summer with delicious seafood platters, fishing and lots of family fun activities.
Guinness X Meatopia, July 5-7
Off The Street Food Festival Letterkenny, July 28-29
This fun street food-focused festival is now in its third year. Expect feeds from over 30 Donegal streetfood vendors, chef demonstrations, producer stories, a wellness corner, a Donegal food quiz and all to the bustling backdrop of live local music.
Taste of Cavan, August 9-10
Taking place in Cavan Equestrian centre on August 9 and 10, Taste of Cavan returns for its eighth year of regional food and crafts, family fun and cooking demos from well-known chefs like Neven Maguire and Richard Corrigan.
Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival, August 2-5
The eclectic Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival is a weekend of eating, dancing and history — the result of three local events joining forces to come up with something decidedly unique. There is always an abundance of local suppliers, open-air food markets, pop-up dinners and The Food Marquee hosting talks, workshops, demos with well known and local chefs.
The Big Grill, August 15-18
As you may expect from the name, the main focus here is barbeque and lots of it. Around 20 restaurants pop-up over four days in leafy Herbert Park, building pits to cook from, with the rules stating chefs can only cook with live fire, using natural charcoal and wood only; no gas or electricity allowed. There’s plenty of craft drinks on offer and lively entertainment over the weekend.
A Taste of Donegal, 23-25 August
Festival of Food Airfield Estate, September 7-8
The working farm and gardens on Airfield Estate host a Festival of Food — a free, two-day extravaganza of artisan food, cookery, gardening, workshops, wellness, live music and kids play. There will be family favourites from egg collecting to cow milking, lawn games to action adventure trails across 38 acres and a Food Village with over 50 local producers.
A Taste of West Cork, September 6-15
Ten epic days celebrating the best of West Cork food, producers, landscape and people. It takes place across 41 local towns, villages, eight islands and there are about 250 events. And with West Cork being home to more than a few well-known food names and producers, expect an exciting lineup.
Galway Oyster & Seafood Festival, September 27-29
Ireland’s longest running food festival celebrating Galway’s rich annual oyster harvest. There are seafood trails, oyster shucking championships including the Oyster ‘Olympics’ or World Oyster Opening Championship, foodie talks & tasting events in some of Galway’s best restaurants, The Festival Marquee, a Mardi Gras style Gala Event along with family activities, live music and cooking demonstrations.
Pigtown, September, date TBC
Inspired by the history of Limerick’s famous bacon industry, the Pigtown Culture and Food Series is a programme of food events focusing on Limerick’s unique heritage. Last year they hosted a Pigtown Tasting Menu, cookery demos at the Milk Market, talks, tours and art exhibitions.
Dingle Food Festival, October 4-6
As if you’d ever need an excuse to visit Dingle, but if you do, seek out their food festival in October. The exceptional ‘Taste Trail’ includes over 70 venues around from pubs, galleries, shops to the restaurant favourites. Expect plenty of local ingredients farmed, foraged and fished from the surrounding peninsula, cookery demonstrations peppered across the weekend and street entertainment galore.
Food on the Edge, October 21-22
Definitely one for the more serious food fan, Food on the Edge is an International Symposium for chefs & food enthusiasts with talk & debate on the future of food. Speakers already announced include Alex Atala, Ben Shewry, Leonor Espinosa and Daniel Giusti.
Savour Kilkenny, October 24-28
Now in its 13th year, this festival in Medieval Kilkenny food festival has over 100 events and 100 stallholders with demonstrations by some of Ireland’s best known and loved chefs.