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Festivals

F&W's 2019 Guide to Ireland's Food Festivals

Updated with festivals happening all over the country.

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Food festivals are popping up in every corner of Ireland these days. To help you figure out which ones you should head along to, check out our guide to Ireland's food festivals.

All Ireland Chowder Cook-off, Kinsale

7th April.

Who doesn’t love chowder? Head to this cook-off at Kinsale's Actons Hotel to see representatives from all over Ireland compete for the title of Chowder Champion. Find out more here.

Irish Vegan Festival, Belfast

14th April. Tickets: VIP £15/Standard Tickets £3, under-16s go free.

The event is organised by Fairplace Animal Rescue and all the profits will go directly to help animals. The festival will have talks about veganism and delicious food stalls. Get more info here.

Gin Experience, Dublin

12th-13th April. Tickets cost €40 with €10 donated to DEBRA Ireland.

Held in the stunning surroundings of Dublin Castle, this festival will be an exploration of gin. Your ticket will allow you to attend a masterclass or foraging lesson with some of Ireland's most recognisable restaurants, plus there will be lots of gin tasting too. Find out more here. 

Galway’s West End Festival, Galway

April 22nd and June 3rd, free entry.

Some of Galway’s finest restaurants, including Kai, Dela, Handsome Burger, will come together for a celebration of street food. With great food, live music and face painting for the kids, this will be an unmissable event. Click here for more.

West Waterford Festival of Food, Dungarvan

26th-28th April, entry is free but some ticketed events available.

This annual food festival showcases the best produce that West Waterford has to offer. Currently going into its 12th year, this festival has grown to be one of the country's favourites. With a variety of events on offer, including a food treasure hunt and a mixology masterclass, there is something at this festival for the whole family. Get more info here.

Cork VegFest, Cork

27th April, tickets €11.20.

This festival is a celebration of vegan food, highlighting vegan-friendly businesses and vegan culture. Not just for vegans, it will be a celebration of healthy whole foods with some indulgent treats like cake and chocolate also on offer, creating a happy medium for all to enjoy. Find out more here.

Rye River Rising Craft Beer Festival, Kildare

27th April, tickets from €31.50.

This festival will host 25 Irish and international craft breweries, plus there will be live music and great food served all day. Ticket price includes five drink tokens and a commemorative glass. Head to the festival's website for more info.

Grainne Ale Craft Beer Festival, Westport House, Mayo

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May

Westport House will host the 7th annual Grainne Ale Craft Beer Festival this weekend, which will highlight all things craft beer, as well as showcasing Loch Measc's vodka and gin. There will be music, food and more available throughout the weekend, so it sounds like great fun altogether. Click here for more info.

Connemara Mussel Festival, Galway

3rd-5th May, free entry.

Running for the past 13 years, this festival promises a weekend packed full of activities that will highlight Connemara's amazing produce. Find out more here.

Burren Slow Food Festival, Clare

10th-12th May, tickets cost €5 per day or €7 for two days.

This festival looks to be jam-packed full of culinary talks and cookery demonstrations. The Burren Slow Food Banquet will take place on Saturday evening, showcasing artisan food with a local farmers market. Check out the details here.

Wellfest, Dublin

11th and 12th May, tickets cost €49 for one day or €79 for a weekend ticket

This two-day wellness festival in Merrion Square will host a variety of chefs and cooks, including Ella Mills and James Kavanagh, alongside its line-up of fitness classes, food stalls and workshops. Details here.

The Real Wine Fair Ireland, The Chocolate Factory, Dublin 1

May 15th, tickets €20

This one-day wine fair celebrates organic and biodynamic wine. Around 28 growers and winemakers will be pouring and presenting their wines to consumers, trade visitors and press during the fair, while Irish artisan food stalls, including Fumbally Café and Loose Cannon, will be on display too. Get tickets here.

Design POP, Cork

May 17th-19th

Six designers and six food producers are coming together for Design POP's first ever festival in Cork this year. Each producer will pair with a designer to create bespoke installations that will pop up all across the city in a new free food and design trail. Get more info here

Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, Howth

17th-19th May, free event.

The festival will host an incredible selection of the freshest seafood that Ireland has to offer in the idyllic village of Howth. There be lots of cooking demonstrations, as well as lots of activities for all the family. Get more information here.

The Old Butter Roads Food Festival 2019, Watergrasshill and North Cork

May 24th-June 1st

Returning for its third year, the Old Butter Roads Food Festival will take place over two days in the award-winning O’Mahony’s Gastropub & Courtyard, in Watergrasshill. Food writer Joe McNamee’s Grub Circus will hold a family-friendly programme of fun food-related events for all ages, as well as assembling a range of top guest speakers and contributors, including Irish food legend Darina Allen, for the Old Butter Roads Food Symposium. More info here.

Belfast Craft Beer Festival, Belfast

31st May-1st June. Tickets TBC.

Explore beer from all over Ireland at this festival. Your ticket includes an eco-cup to help you be environmentally friendly while you drink – winning! While you're enjoying a beverage or two, local street vendors will be at the ready, offering everything from pizza and burgers to Mexican and more. Click here for details.

Bloom in the Park, Dublin

30th May–3rd June, early bird tickets cost €16.

Bloom in the park, which was first held in 2007, is Ireland's largest garden festival. It attracts over 100,000 visitors each year, showcasing horticulture and garden design as well as Ireland’s top food and beverage producers. More info here.

Bushmills Salmon & Whiskey Festival 

The Salmon & Whiskey festival, which celebrates the local heritage and fine produce in Antrim, returns on Friday, June 7th with the Bushmills Banquet. The rest of the weekend will see lots of entertainment and activities spread across Bushmills Main Street, Milliennium Park, Bushmills Distillery and The Salmon Fisheries, all highlighting local restaurants, produce and whiskey. Click here for more info. 

Seafest, Galway

7th-9th June, free entry.

Seafest is Ireland’s national maritime festival where you can learn all about seafood from Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). Bord Bia Seafood Experience will be onsite to explain how seafood is sustainably caught and farmed and top chefs will hold delicious seafood demonstrations. Find out more here.

Galway Gin Fest

6th-9th June

A four-day celebration of gin, perfectly timed with World Gin Day, will take place in Galway this year. All your favourite gin brands will be on offer at the festival, with heaps of Galway's best locations taking part, including Cava Spanish Restaurant and Tapas Bar, Tigh Nora and more. There will be heaps of gin events taking place too, including gin giveaways, gin afternoon tea and gin cruises. For more information, email [email protected]

Taste of Dublin, Dublin

13th-16th June, standard tickets €17.50 and VIP tickets €47.50.

This four-day food festival will be held at the Iveagh Gardens for the 16th year in a row. Visitors will see samples from Ireland's leading restaurants and food businesses, while top chefs will host demonstrations and tastings throughout the whole weekend. Highlights for this year include The Exchequer Terrazza Peroni which will offer an hour-long €12 package that includes food and drinks, a Lindt stand showcasing master chocolatiers at work and moreFind out more here.

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Very cool photo by @akoterbay thanks a million!

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Westport Food Festival, Mayo

14th-16th June, event tickets priced individually.

This festival highlights the best of Mayo’s food, drink and cookery. Starting off with a banquet on Friday, followed by a food village, demonstrations and foraging and gin masterclasses on Saturday. On Sunday, head along to a kayaking picnic in Clew Bay or a mussel and oyster farm tour. Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? Find out more here.

Body & Soul, Westmeath

21st-23rd June, tickets €189.50.

Body & Soul is celebrating 10 years of festivities this year and it looks set to be the biggest year yet. This independent festival is primarily recognised for music but is now known for fantastic food too. Find out more here.

Taste of Wicklow 2019, Wicklow

29th-30th June, tickets €10.

This festival will feature a collection of artisan food and craft stalls, as well as food demonstrations, workshops, live music and dance performances. A line-up of great chefs are set to appear, so this will certainly be one to put in your diary. Get more info here.

Flavours of Fingal County Show, Dublin

29th-30th June

The two-day family event combines the sights and sounds of an agricultural show with unforgettable food and family fun experience. The festival, which is in its eighth year, is completely free of charge for visitors who arrive on foot, use public transport or the free shuttle bus service. For those who opt to drive, parking tickets should be booked in advance online. Find out more here.

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens Food Festival

5th-7th July

Along with street food and artisan producers to whet the appetite, visitors to this festival will also be able to sample fresh local produce of the Castle gardens in the newly opened café. Adult festival tickets including access to the gardens and a 45-minute guided tour of the Hillsborough Castle rooms start at £17.50, while adult festival tickets with gardens only access start at £13.90. Find out more here.

Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival, Wexford

3rd-7th July, free entry.

Going into their 34th year, this annual festival of seafood will have something on offer for the whole family, including freshly caught fish, cookery demonstrations and more. Find out more here.

Wings Food Fest, Bray, Wicklow

19th-21st July, free entry.

This festival will showcase the best wings around, including Wing It, Moodley Manor, Platform Pizza and more. As well as chicken wing eating competitions and music, there will be food and craft vendors set up for the whole weekend on Bray's iconic seafront. Click here for more info.

Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival, Wexford

2nd-5th August, free entry but some gigs are ticketed.

This festival will include an artisan food market highlighting over 80 local producers, as well as free outdoor gigs and culinary workshops. Get more info here.

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Memories of our press photo shoot a few weeks back. A taste of what to come - roll on #rockinfood2018  Huge thank you to @wallflower_lenniewall for the floral design (Lennie grows all the flowers in her own flower farm in Wexford), @riverside_park_hotel_ for the tables, chairs and crockery, @edwardentertains for providing the fun and entertainment as always, our amazing producers for your support @beanandgoose @jackfordspirits @naturallycordial @wild.about @isleofcrackers @jubby_leigh21 @ballycrossapplefarm @reganorganicproduce @gallivanting_tours and to our partners and sponsors @jackfordspirits @treacyshotelenniscorthy @riverside_park_hotel_ and Creane and Creane Insurance. ☂ #festival #irelandancienteast #enniscorthy #visitwexford #tastewexford #rockinfood2018 #rockinfood #slaneyvalley #summertime #southeast #sunnysoutheast

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Beat Yard 2019, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

3rd- 4th August, two-day tickets €99 or €59 for one day.

Hosted in Dun Laoghaire harbour, the August bank holiday weekend will be filled with great music and great food. With Gamesyard, Eatyard and Kidyard all taking place over the weekend, there will be something for the whole family. Get tickets here.

All Together Now, Waterford

2nd-4th August, weekend tickets cost €207.

After great success last year, All Together Now is quickly becoming one of Ireland's favourite festivals. With great food trucks dotted around, there will be delicious food on offer for foodies of all types. Find out more here.

Eatyard Wine & Cheese Festival, Dublin

8th-11th August, tickets €16

Over the four day festival, there will be a range of boutique wine and cheese vendors showcasing their wares, as well as craft drinks, cocktails, beers and low/no-alcohol options. The Wineyard line-up includes winner of ‘Best Wine Experience’ in Ireland 2019 Green Man Wines, wine-on-tap experts Wine Lab, Cork’s L’Atitude 51, Wines Direct, Quintessential Wines, The Winehouse, Irish producers Kinsale Mead and Graham Nortons latest release wines. In terms of cheese, Sheridans will be bringing some of the finest artisan,  farmhouse Irish and international selections cheeses to the festival. The award-winning Corleggy Cheese will have an awesome lineup of raw cow, goat and sheep milk cheeses, while Cáis, the Irish farmhouse cheesemakers will be showcasing their excellent wares all weekend including Coolatin Cheddar, Cashel Blue and Hegartys. Tickets are on sale now from €16, plus booking fee, so get yours before they sell out. For more info, click here.

Moira Food & Drink Festival, Moira

15th-18th August

The first-ever Moira Food & Drink Festival will take place this August, with both free and ticketed events set to take place, including a producers dinner at Wine and Brine. There will be fun for the whole family at this festival, including pub quizzes, comedy shows, masterclasses and more. Click here for more info.

The Big Grill Festival, Dublin

15th-18th August, day tickets from €11 and weekend tickets from €30.

This festival is a celebration of BBQ food and craft beer. Learn how to master the BBQ with cookery demonstrations, plus there will be lots of entertainment and activities on offer. Click here for details.

River Cottage Festival

24th-25th August, £25 for a day ticket or £95 for weekend camping tickets

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, a special River Cottage Festival will be held in August, featuring a mix of delicious food, live music and special guests. This year's discussions and presentations will focus on conservation, sustainability and well-being. More details here

A Taste of Donegal Festival, Donegal

23rd-25th August, day tickets from €7.

With talks from chefs such as Neven Maguire, Kevin Dundon, Catherine Fulvio and many more, you will pick up great cooking tips and produce at this Donegal festival. Get details here.

Dalkey Lobster Festival, Dublin

23rd-25th August, free event.

This festival is a fusion of seafood and jazz in the picturesque seaside village of Dalkey. You will find great local seafood, culinary talks, food demonstrations and more on offer throughout the weekend. Find out more here.

Taste of Cavan, Cavan

Date and tickets TBC.

Cavan was voted Ireland's best Foodie Destination in 2018 and this festival will certainly let you know why. Throughout the festival, there will be great demonstrations and talks from some of the best chefs in Ireland, as well as tastings and more. Click here for more info.

A Taste of West Cork, Cork

6th-15th September, tickets TBC.

This ten-day event is full of culinary delights. Cork is recognised as one of the best counties in Ireland for food and this festival will highlight the best of the West. A Taste of West Cork will be hosted in over 41 towns and villages and over eight islands, so there will be plenty to see. Get more info here.

Airfield Festival of Food & Zero Waste

7th and 8th September

This family-focused weekend will take place at Airfield’s food and farm destination and is designed with sustainability in-mind encouraging patrons to use public transport and reduce plastic consumption. All food vendors will use compostable or recyclable food containers and festival-goers are encouraged to bring their own lunch boxes and keep-cups to further reduce the festival's waste. Click here for more info.

Waterford Harvest Festival, Waterford

6th-8th September

Now in its 11th year, the Waterford Harvest Festival will highlight the great food producers of the sunny south-east this September. There will be communal dining events, chef demos, bake-offs and more taking place over the whole weekend, so there will plenty to see and do. Click here for more info.

Guinness 232°C, Dublin

19th-21st September, 27th-29th September, 3rd-5th October

Some of Irelands best chefs will be heading to Dublin this September and October to man the grills in pubs across the capital. The series of three-day beer and food experiences will take up residency in Bonobo, Jam Park and The Bernard Shaw. Curated by Ali Dunworth, this festival will see Grálinn, Bia Rebel and La Cocina Cuevas popping up at Bonobo, Jam Park and The Bernard Shaw, respectively. Tickets cost €10, which includes a complimentary pint of Guinness or Pure Brew non-alcoholic lager and two signature dishes, and can be purchased here

Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, Galway

27th- 29th September, ticket prices range from free to €120, depending on event type.

This year will be their 65th Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, making it one of the oldest festivals in Ireland. You will find the World Oyster Opening Championships, seafood trails and food talks at this festival. Check out the website here.

Smithfield Stoneybatter Food Festival

13th-15th September

Throughout the weekend shops, pubs, restaurants and more will be offering discounted dishes for visitors to try. There will also a gastronomy fare on Smithfield Square in partnership with the Busker Fleadh and Dublin City Council which will host a wide range of musicians and street performers throughout the area. Click here for more information.

Dublin Vegfest

28th-29th September

Dublin Vegfest is Ireland's biggest celebration of the vegan lifestyle. With a vegan food village, speakers music, demos and more, this sounds like it will be fun for the whole family. Get more info here or click here for tickets. 

Dingle Food Festival, Kerry

4th-6th October, free entry with tickets only required for the Taste Trail.

Located in the stunning fishing town of Dingle, this festival will play host to over 50 workshops and entertainment, along with wine tasting and more. Get more info here.

DublinTown Food and Drink Festival, Dublin 

14th-20th October

DublinTown Food and Drink Festival is returning to the capital this October to highlight the city centre's amazing restaurants, bars, cafés, hotels and more. Expect to take part in a range of experiences, talks, workshops and more. Click here for more info.

Food on the Edge, Galway

21st-22nd October, tickets €400.

Over 50 chefs will come together at FOTE, which is organised by Michelin-starred chef JP McMahon, to talk about the future of food and the impact it can have on our planet. Get tickets here.

Savour Kilkenny Food Festival, Kilkenny

24th-28th October, free to attend with some ticketed events.

Savour Kilkenny is a great festival that highlights the medieval city. This year the focus will be on healthy eating and wellness while promoting local food and drinks. There will be a range of food stalls on offer, as well as demonstrations and talks. Find out more here.

Burren Food Fayre, Clare

 27th October, free entry.

This festival has it all: foraging walks, children's upcycling workshops, food demonstrations, delicious eats and more. Get more details here.

Whiskey Live, Dublin

22nd–23rd November, tickets €47.83.

With over 60 exhibitors, this festival will explore all aspects of whiskey over the weekend. With tastings, demos and more on offer, this is perfect for whiskey lovers. Get more details here.

Listowel Food Fair, Kerry

Dates and tickets TBC.

The Listowel Food Fair, which started back in 1994, showcases the best food producers that Kerry has to offer. There will be demonstrations, tastings and workshops on offer at this great festival. Get details here.

Gifted Fair, RDS, Dublin

4th-8th December, tickets available in August.

This craft and design fair features a Christmas food emporium highlighting lots of great food producers and craftworkers. Find out more here.

Yulefest, Kilkenny

Dates and tickets TBC.

A fantastic Christmas festival for all the family, there will be seasonal activities including ice skating, choirs and more on offer. Food stalls will be dotted around the city, making it the perfect place to get you in the Christmas mood. Details here.

Which festivals will you be heading along to? Let us know in the comments below.