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Food and Drink

27th Apr 2018

Calling All Foodies – 15 Food and Drink Festivals You Need On Your Summer Bucket List


Irish people love their food. Fact. 

We also love any excuse to throw a party, and what better excuse is there than a celebration of food?

Absolutely none, I hear you say. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best food festivals for you this Summer. 

You’re welcome.

Connemara Mussel Festival

4th -6th May

Celebrating the community, food and culture of west of Ireland with cooking demos and activities, the festival is now in its 13th year and will be held in Tullys cross in the Renvyle Penninsula. This looks like a foodies dream but don’t take our word for it –  read how the festival came about…

“We were sitting in St Ann’s, in Paddy Coyne’s Pub, one evening in the spring. The fire was lit, and a few pints had been pulled. One of the local lads walked in with a bucket. He had been out on the strand at spring-tide that day, and had a feed of shellfish to show for it. ‘Any chance of a feed’, he said, presenting the pail of shellfish. So we threw on a feed in the kitchen and with a splash of garlic, olive oil, and cream, had a fine feast. A session started up and more joined in as the craic built. It was one of those nights where you don’t expect anything to happen, and next you know, the session is in full swing!”

Burren Slow Food Festival

11-13th May

Burren Slow Food Festival

Picture credit: Slow food Clare

The 11th Burren Slow Food Festival once again promises an interesting programme with this year’s festival motto, “Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey”.

There will be talks by Irish and International chefs and cookery demos given by chefs Niall Sabongi (The Klaw Café) and Trevis Gleason (Dingle Dinners cookbook). 

Also returning this year is the Salmon & Champagne picnic on a ferry boat under the Cliffs of Moher, and a banquet at the Burren Storehouse. 

Cork Vegfest

12th May

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We came from the future to tell you to go vegan…

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Lads, if you’re in Cork on the 12th of May you have to head to CorkVegfest. 

Even if you’re not vegan – the tickets are only €8.30 plus booking fee. So, for just over a tenner you get to hang out eating great food, try natural ethical products, learn about plant based health benefits or enjoy a talks about the vegan lifestyle. 


Belfast Craft Beer Festival

1st -2nd June

Craft beer lovers and gin fiends will delight in this dedication to the grain in Belfast’s Custom House Square.

Limerick International Food Truck Festival

1st-5th June

Located in the People’s Park, the Limerick International Food Truck Festival is perfect for the indecisive foodies amongst us because it will be bursting with over 60 food trucks from 14 countries. 

Now it’s just a question of how many trucks you can sample before you pass out in a food coma.


31st May – 5th June

Bloom showcases the best of horticulture, garden design and quality food in the beautiful surrounds of Phoenix Park. 

Taste of Dublin

15th -18th June

Over four indulgent days, Dublin restaurants will create exquisite signature dishes and then festival goers will be able to create their own dream tasting menu at the ultimate foodie festival. 

Queue the rumbling tummies..

The Irish Gin & Tonic Fest

25th – 30th June

Gin Festival

Photo credit: Great Irish Beverages

This nationwide celebration of Irish gin takes places in venues across the country. 

Any licensed bar, hotel or restaurant in the country can take part by showcasing one of the many Irish gins served with a tonic of their choice.

All of the venues details will be listed on The Great Irish Beverage website, and as soon as the festival starts, the public will be asked to vote for their favourite G&T on Facebook and Twitter using the #IrishGnT.

Previous winners include An Púcán in Galway and Davy Macs in Waterford.

Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival

12th-15th July 2018

25 minutes outside Wexford town lies the beautiful fishing village of Kilmore Quay, home of the Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival. 

Chow down on scumptious sea food platters, peruse the food court at the marina and take-part in the family friendly acitivites all the while knowing that the proceeds are going to fund developments in the community.

The Big Grill Festival

16th-19th August

The Big Grill is Europe’s largest BBQ festival…say whaaaat?

Now it its 5th year, the festival celebrates the art of cooking with fire and smoke. 

Smell, taste and learn about all kinds of barbecuing, grilling, smoking, vegetables, meats, delicacies and drinks.

A Taste of Donegal Food Festival

24th -26th of August.

This is the biggest foodie event in the Northwest with over 130 food exhibitors from Ireland and the UK.

Dalkey Lobster Fest

24th -26th August.

This low-key festival combines local seafood and jazz and it’s a stones throw away from Dublin city centre. Handy.

A Taste of West Cork Food Festival

7th -16th September

This festival brings you haapes of food markets, demos, dinner, banquets and tastings. Nuff said.

Waterford Harvest Festival

7-9th September

Three days full of foodie activities and giant furniture. That’s enough of a reason to go by itself.


14th Sep -1st October

Look, who are we to argue with the Germans when they invent a day-drinking festival?

In fact, we humbly bow down to the genius who came up with it. Sound.

If you’re still standing after making your way through that list, I salute you. 

READ NEXT: 24 Irish Festivals That Should Really Be On Your Summer Bucket List