Following the an entire month of sheer indulgence in December, where every tea break is celebrated with a mince pie, though it isn’t long before the hunger pangs kick in again and 2017’s food and drink events scene comes to life.
Summer has always been peak events season, and rain, sun, or snow (it has happened) you can fill your weekends criss-crossing the country to make the most of foodie favourites like Ballymaloe LitFest, Taste of Dublin and The Irish G&T Fest.
The festival fever doesn’t come close to cooling down going into Autumn, in fact September is the busiest month of the foodie calendar, and there are plenty of boozy events such as Oktoberfest and Whiskey Live to warm the soul and the belly as the end of year draws near.
Get in the know with this list of food festivals and events in Ireland in 2017. Then, get the diary out (or google calendar for those so inclined) and plan your year accordingly.
Cask Ales & Strange Brew Festival 26th-28th
Taking place in Cork’s Franciscan Well Brew Pub this unique festival will celebrate cask conditioned ales from a variety of Irish brewers, and ‘strange brews’; a range of special brews using curious and interesting ingredients. There will also be a Beoir Cask Compeition between participating breweries. Admission is free, and the festival is open from 5pm Thursday and 1pm on Friday and Saturday.
Cork Burger Festival January 30th – February 5th
Following the success of Cork Whiskey Festival and Taste Cork Week, Festival Cork have teamed up with Ballymaloe Relish to launch Cork Burger Festival. Running in venues across the city and county. Venues are encouraged to create and showcase Corks best burger over the week, host pop up nights, tasting events or run daily burger specials.
Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair 23-25th
Returning to Dublin’s Convention Centre for a fifth year, Ireland’s largest craft beer and cider festival is the place to savour, sip and enjoy a range of international craft beers and taste and discover delicious food from local artisan food companies. You can buy tickets here.
Dublin Bay Prawn Festival 17th – 19th
Linking in again this year with the St. Patrick’s Day festival, during the weekend you can taste your way around Howth’s many award winning restaurants who will be serving your favourite prawn dishes in bite sized portions at the food village, in addition to a variety of other miniature dishes. Lined up also is a packed schedule of cooking demos, street entertainment, and music.
Galway Food Festival 13th-17th
As it has done over the past five years, this year’s Galway Food Festival will celebrate Galway as a great food destination. With a strong community focus on artisan, seasonal and local produce, over five days the festival showcases the best that the city and county has to offer packed programme of talks, tours, tastings, demonstrations and workshops.
Cork Whiskey Festival 14th – 17th
As home of the best selling Irish whiskey in the world, it only seemed right that Cork had it’s very own Whiskey Festival. To celebrate whiskeys from Ireland and across the world, the team behind Festival Cork will be working alongside some of the cities best know bars and restaurants to bring you tastings, talks, tours and treats. Collaboration from Irish Distillers, West Cork Distillers and Hyde, but to name a few, ensures a great weekend for all.
West Waterford Festival of Food 21st-23rd
Centered in Dubgarvan, Co. Waterford, West Waterford Festival of Food is a mecca for food lovers every year. Now in its 10th year, in a beautiful coastal setting you can visit over 100 artisan food and craft producers, get hands on at workshops, dine on sumptuous menus, join a food trail, or book a seat at the pop-up restaurant.
All Ireland Chowder Cook Off Date TBC
At this Kinsale extravaganza you can taste over 30 different chowders from Ireland’s best restaurants all competing for the title of All Ireland Chowder Champion 2017. The winner will be invited to attend ‘The Great Chowder Cookoff’ in Rhode Island as a guest chef!
Connemara Mussel Festival 28th-30th
Originally established to promote the excellence of the mussels of Killary Harbour, the festival has since grown to become a celebration of local people, food, culture and heritage, and is recognised as the premier food event for Connemara. The celebrations include mussel cooking competitions, a country market, and a mussel eating championship.
Belfast Craft Beer Festival Date TBC
Taking over Custom House Square for the first time last year, this year the festival will once again showcase the best Irish craft beer, cider makers and distillers over three days. With great music, exclusive brewers talks, street food trucks, and, of course, the best of booze, there’s something for everyone.
LitFest – A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe 19th-21st
With a refreshed focus this year, Litfest will centre less on food and drinks writing in particular, and more on the broader concept of food and drinks literacy. You can still expect a weekend filled with fascinating facts, inspirational stories, intriguing discussions, incredible knowledge, fantastic music, fabulous dancing and of course, delicious food and drinks.
While Bloom was launched by Bord Bia in 2007 primarily as a showcase for garden plants and design, in the past ten years it has bloomed to include one the best food festivals of the year. At the Food Village visitors can purchase a wide range of locally produced food and drink, taste the best in season fruit and vegetables, and meet some of Ireland’s best known chefs.
Listowel Food Fair 15th-18th
Established in 1994, the Listowel Food Fair is the longest running food festival in Ireland and aims to showcase the food producers of Kerry through a range of demonstrations, tastings, competitions and workshops. Other popular events include Literary and Food Taste Trails, Wild Food Walks and there are a number of awards, like the Kerry Food Hero award, presented during the fair too.
Taste of Dublin 16th-19th
Over four indulgent days Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens transform into the ultimate foodie destination. Sample a range of exquisite signature dishes from the city’s hottest restaurants and create your dream tasting menu, all while mingling with award-winning chefs and like-minded foodies as you browse through hand-picked premium food and drink producers.
Westport Food Festival 23rd-25th
The Westport Food Festival will once again host a spectacular feast of events, including a Bike Buffet, Mushroom Foraging and a Banquet celebrating the best of Mayo food. The 7th edition of the festival will continue to centre around the Food Village, showcasing the very best in local and national foodies and food producers.
The Irish G&T Fest June 25th-July 1st
With the explosion of craft gins on the market it is only right there is an entire week long festival to celebrate them. There will be plenty of ginspiration again this year with unique cocktails on offer at bars, restaurants and hotels all using the huge array of Irish gins.
Cork – Kerry Food Forum Date TBC
Munster’s largest artisan food market will takeover Cork’s City Hall, showcasing more than 70 local food producers from the region all under one roof. You can expect an incredible variety of tastings and demonstrations as well as cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs.
Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival 6th-9th
The 31st annual festival of seafood in Kilmore Quay, just 25 minutes drives from Wexford town, will continue to use the proceed to help fund the many developments afoot within the community. There will be delicious seafood platters available for all to feast throughout the festival, a Food Court in the marquee at the marina, as well as a host of other family friendly festivities.
Féile na Mara – Achill Island Festival of the Sea Date TBC
Taking place throughout the month of July on Achill Island, Féile na Mara is a culinary celebration of Achill’s rich heritage with the sea and it showcases the bountiful harvest of the Atlantic Ocean
Along with over 80 music acts and performers, Eatyard, the permanent street food yard on South Richmond Street, will again be popping up at Beatyard in Dun Laoghaire, with over 100 food vendors, demos, food competitions, cooks and stands. Craft beer fans can get in the carnival spirit at Brewtonic Carnivale, and 10 cocktail and wine bars will also roll into Tippletown for the weekend.
The Big Grill Festival 10th -13th
Following the success of Ireland’s first ever international BBQ festival last year, The Big Grill Festival comes to the leafy surrounds of Herbert Park again this year in celebration of the art of cooking with fire and smoke, all washed down with a choice craft beer or cider. There will be demos and workshops from well known chefs, chilli eating challenge, and a grand BBQ cook-off and loads more.
Taste of Cavan 11th-12th
Going into its third year, Taste of Cavan has already built a reputation as one of the best regional festival. Local heroes and top Irish chefs like Neven Maguire, Gearoid Lynch and Shane Smith will join over a hundred producers and exhibitors in this Cavan culinary celebration.
Food Fleadh Ballina 26th-27th
Now in its fourth year, the Food Fleadh Ballina takes place alongside the French Mayo festival. The Fleadh, located under cover in the historic Military Quarter in Ballina town centre showcases locally produced artisan foods, cookery demonstrations, tasting and live music – all with a distinct French flavour. Food businesses in attendance will include some of the fine dining businesses in the region as well as local foragers and artisan producers.
A Taste of Donegal 25th-27th
A Taste of Donegal is a three day event which takes place at the end of August each year, attracting over 25,000 visitors to Donegal Town. For its 9th year, the festival promises to be even bigger and better and you can expect all the top Irish celebrity chefs, over 120 food and drink exhibitors, food tastings, demonstrations, music and much more.
Dalkey Lobster Fest Date TBC
Promoting the heritage town of Dalkey as a great place to wine, dine and entertain, this festival is a fusion of great local seafood and the best of global jazz musicians, making the festival a fantastic weekend for all the family with lots of free events to take part in.
Theatre of Food, Electric Picnic 1st-3rd
2016’s Theatre of Food put the Picnic in Electric Picnic. In 2017 you can expect more cutting-edge food demos, wired-up mixology, inspired culinary workshops, and far-out foodie tastings at both the Main Stage, and the hands-on Workshop Area.
Irish Craft Beer & Cider Festival 7th-9th
At Ireland’s largest celebration of Irish craft brewing you can look forward to over 300 craft beers, ciders, whiskeys, and even a few cocktails. To keep all the revellers fed of course the RDS will also have a great selection of artisan food producers to pair with your tipple, or two, of choice.
A Taste of West Cork 8th-17th
Often hailed as the capital of food in Ireland, West Cork is where much of the best food being grown and produced in Ireland comes from. The festival brings together a unique mix of food markets, demonstrations, competitions, dinners, brunches and banquets, food-tastings, talks, exhibitions, children’s events and more.
Waterford Harvest Festival 8th-10th
A weekend of fun foodie activities for all in Waterford, and chance for the rest of the country to visit and check out what this corner of Ireland has to offer. There will markets, barbecues, picnics, feasts, gigs, street parties, cookery demonstrations, taste workshops, craft villages and much much more!
Food, Retail & Hospitality Ireland Expo 14th
A must-attend for anyone working in the food and drinks industry, this action packed conference in City West will bring together 2000 delegates, 200 speakers and 150 exhibitors. It’s not all business though, attendees also have the Artisan & Fine Foods Fair to look forward.
Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival 22nd-24th
This celebration of seafood will celebrate its 63rd Birthday in September 2017. Kicking off the three day event is The National Oyster Opening Championships, followed the next day by World Oyster Opening Championships. The final day of festivities is a family day catering for adults and children alike with a host of activities in the festival marquee on Nimmo’s Pier, Galway City.
Oktoberfest Dublin 14th September– October 1st
When would you get the chance to sing and dance along to an authentic Bavarian Brass Band on your lunch break? During Oktoberfest of course! if you can’t nip out midday, wind down after a busy day with traditional Bavarian bands, excellent Erdinger Weiss Beer and some German sausages from the charcoal barbecue.
Clarenbridge Oyster Festival Date TBC
It’s no wonder this is one of Ireland’s longest running festivals, as the town of Clarenbridge has been involved in oyster farming since Roman times. Since 1954 the town has paid hommage to this magnificent mollusic, the heritage of Clarenbridge, and its famous seafood industry.
Dingle Food Festival Date TBC
Held annually on the first weekend of October, this local festival is organised by a volunteer group and any proceeds go to charity. As well as food markets and events, the festival has unique Taste Trail covering over 60 outlets, where festival goers can sample local delights in locations that vary from pubs and galleries to shop and restaurants.
Food on the Edge 9th-10th
The third annual Food on the Edge hopes to get this year’s theme #foodstories and #actionreaction trending, and with an list exciting speakers already confirmed, added to the momentum gathered over the last two years, the symposium is set to make an impact on a global scale this year.
Irish Cocktail Fest 9th-14th
Expanding on 2015’s Dublin Cocktail Fest, in 2016 Great Irish Beverages and Fáilte Ireland helped us celebrate cocktails all over the country. This years once again bars, restaurants and hotels will offer great tasting, great value cocktails made from Irish spirits throughout the week; continuing the search for the #BestIrishCocktail.
Savour Kilkenny 26th–30th
Held annually on the October Bank Holiday weekend, Savour Kilkenny is the perfect excuse for a weekend getaway for foodies and families. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful medieval city, Savour brings together local and national top quality food produce, well known talented Chefs, a mix of exciting, tasty food options in our markets, and plenty more for everybody to enjoy.
Taste Cork Week Date TBC
The inaugural Taste Cork Week took place in 2016 the with participating venues creating dishes, menus and events inspired by Cork produce, history and culture. In 2017, the week will once again be a countywide celebration of the best food Cork has to offer – with an extra helping of rebel spirit.
Kinsale Gourmet Festival Date TBC
Hosted by Kinsale’s ten Good Food Circle restaurants, last year’s 40th Kinsale Gourmet Festival was a sell out. The weekend of fine food and wine in a fun atmosphere features the ever popular champagne reception, black tie gala, foodie walking tour, and closes with a charity auction to benefit local charities.
BBC Good Food Show Northern Ireland Date TBC
The BBC Good Food Shows have a long standing history in the UK bringing the best chefs and experts, brands, and carefully selected independent food producers on tour all over the region. This year it will cross the waters for the second time taking over Belfast’s Waterfront with more live entertainment, cooking inspiration, shopping and tasting.
Whiskey Live Date TBC
Ireland’s premier whiskey tasting events, Whiskey Live is etched into the calendar of every whiskey lover, who can take part in either the day-time or evening session of tastings. Also, in The Printworks, Dublin Castle, there will be wonderful food pairings and cocktails provided by some of Dublin’s most esteemed bars and restaurants.
Bite Food Festival Date TBC
Over 20,000 food lovers hit the RDS last year for the second Bite Food Festival. Take a bite of the festival for yourself this year, which features top chefs and food experts as well as a huge range of producers, who are there to sell, sample and educate people about their unique products.
National Crafts and Design Fair Date TBC
The country’s largest celebration of crafts showcases not only showcases the work of designers and artists but that of artisan food producers too. The dedicated Food Emporium, in the RDS, will feature over 100 artisan food producers showcasing the best of the season’s bounty.
If you have an Irish food festival or event you would like to be included in our Food Festival Calendar please send the details to email@example.com
Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father, and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after completing a law degree, she went on to do a Masters in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.Erica Bracken Erica Bracken