The best Irish food festivals in 2018

Get your calendar out, it’s time to start planning all of the great food festivals taking place in Ireland this year

  • The Dublin Bay Prawn Festival takes place in March 2018

Food festivals are a great way to discover new foods, support local businesses and explore different parts of Ireland, and nearly every place in the country has one of its own at this stage. We love them all, and while there are loads of foodie events taking place this year, we’ve whittled it down to help you pencil in a few of the key dates throughout 2018.

Dublin Bay Prawn Festival

Lovers of seafood will enjoy this event which takes place every year around the St Patrick’s Day weekend in the idyllic setting of Howth. Each of the village’s eateries gets involved, cooking up seafood specials, with the big emphasis of course being on the tasty Dublin Bay Prawn. Dates for 2018 haven’t been confirmed but it will likely take place between 16th – 18th of March. dublinbayprawnfestival.ie

Galway Food Festival

Showcasing Galway’s best restaurants and producers, this is a wonderful foodie weekend every year in the City of Tribes. Taking place over five days from the 29th of March - 2nd of April (Easter Weekend), there’s loads of demos, workshops, food trails, music, arts and family fun to discover. www.galwayfoodfestival.com

West Waterford Festival of Food

This is the tenth anniversary of this lovely festival, which takes place in Dungarvan and West Waterford. There’s a good mix of activities each year, with top chefs doing demos, fun food trails that take you around the local restaurants, and really enjoyable workshops. Plus there’s plenty of family-friendly fun. This year it takes place from 20th – 22nd April. www.westwaterfordfestivaloffood.com

LitFest

The dates for LitFest 2018 haven’t been confirmed yet – last year it took place between 19th – 21st May – but this is definitely the one for you if you work in the food industry or like to keep an eye on food trends and forecasts. With interesting panel discussions, workshops and demos each year, there’s lots of food for thought at this event. www.litfest.ie

Bloom

Bloom is Ireland’s largest gardening festival but over the years the food section has grown to be as big as the shows gardens themselves. Last year, there were hundreds of Irish food producers showcasing their food and drinks at the festival’s Food Village, and a highlight each year is the Bloom Inn where you can try lots of different Irish-made beer, gin and spirits. It takes place over the June bank holiday weekend, 31st May – 4th June. bloominthepark.com

Kilmore Quay Seafood festival

Another great weekend for the seafood lovers, this festival in the charming village of Kilmore Quay has lots of fun for families and foodies alike. The exact dates for 2018 haven’t been confirmed, but it took place from 6th – 9th of July last year so expect dates to be similar this year. www.kilmorequayseafoodfestival.com

Taste of Cavan

This large foodie event takes place indoors in the Cavan Equestrian Centre, where hundreds of food producers take up stalls to showcase their produce. It’s a great place to discover new products and ingredients and meet the people behind them. Dates for this year aren’t confirmed, but it took place on the 11th & 12th of August last year. www.thisiscavan.ie

A Taste of West Cork Food Festival

West Cork was named Ireland’s Top Foodie Destination 2017 and it’s no surprise given its wonderful array of eateries, chefs and food producers. The food festival is one of the largest in the country each year, with highlights including the outdoor food and craft market, expert talks, organised dinners and family entertainment. This year it takes place from 7th – 16th September. www.atasteofwestcork.com

Dingle Food Festival

Locals call it the best weekend of the year and we can understand why. Crowds descend on the beautiful seaside town for a brilliant weekend of food, music, culture and fun. The big draw is the festival’s food trail which takes in over 70 venues in the town – from bars to fashion boutiques – that all offer quality food and drinks in exchange for trail tickets. It’s always the first weekend of October, this year that falls from the 5th – 7th October. www.dinglefood.com

Savour Kilkenny

Usually the last weekend in October, the city of Kilkenny comes alive each year for the Savour festival. With meals, taste trails, wine tastings, workshops and more taking place of three days, there’s loads to enjoy each year. www.savourkilkenny.com

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