The best food festivals this summer

Food fairs will spring up across the country over the next three months. Ciara McDonnell whets the appetite by looking ahead.

JUNE

Bloom 30th May – 3rd June

This weekend sees the Phoenix Park in Dublin transform into the most beautiful garden in Ireland as Bloom rolls into town.

Not just a garden-lover’s paradise, one of the great draws of the festival is its food village.

There’ll be food demonstrations, markets showcasing the best of Irish food and drinks.

The Bloom Farmyard has become a huge fixture of the Food Village — it’s a great opportunity for families who meet some of Ireland’s most popular animal herds.

Tickets are €20 per adults and children under 16 go free.

https://bloominthepark.com


Seafest Cork, 7th- 9th June

Ireland’s largest free maritime festival celebrates all things seafaring this weekend, when Cork embraces its waterways.

There’ll be over 100 free events for the whole family to enjoy at the Port of Cork for the weekend, with activities ranging from kayaking, boat tours to shucking oysters.

Foodies will be able to sample the finest seafood Cork has to offer, and learn to cook it, thanks to demonstrations from some of Ireland’s best chefs.

https://www.seafest.ie

Taste of Dublin, June 13 - 16

An institution on every food lover’s calendar, Taste of Dublin takes a small area of the city and transforms it into a buzzy, delicious excuse to spend a day in the sun, eating yummy things with your friends.

There will be demos from chefs like Kevin Dundon and Sunil Ghai, and a huge array of the country’s best restaurants will be doling out small plates of their signature dishes.

Ticket’s cost from €17.50 for a 3-hour visit to Taste of Dublin.

https://dublin.tastefestivals.com

Clonakilty Street Carnival, June 15

Clonakilty is strewn with bunting and lots to do for the annual Street Carnival. Foodies in the know book their place at the Street Carnival Dinner Party as early as possible, where tables run the length of the main street for a night of delicious local food.

Food starts at a family friendly 3pm; adult meals cost €15 and children eat for €7.

This year a children’s meal area has been added on Astna Square.

https://www.facebook.com/clonakiltystreetcarnival/


Cork Summer Show - A showcase of great food and where you can learn more about growing your own food

From Bloom, Bord Bia and Taste Cork, there is definitely a real emphasis at this year's CorkSummer Show on Food, Grow It Yourself and Horticulture.

Cork Summer Show is the largest food market in Munster, with approximately 70 food stands at the event, which draws 60,000 people each year over 2 days on 15 & 16 June at the Showgrounds Curraheen.

The indoor food market will give visitors a real feel for the produce of the Cork region. From BlueBell Falls Goats Cheese from North Cork to Clonakilty Chocolate in West Cork, from Rock Steady Rock Fiery Sauces to Sweet Jams, the indoor food market will showcase local food producers while outdoors, more than 70 food stands of all varieties, shapes and sizes will delight everyone.

There will be talks and demonstrations throughout the Cork Summer Show weekend on Grow It Yourself, as well as sessions on Bee Keeping, Gardening, Horticulture and Flower Arranging.

This event really is a wonderful celebration of Munster's agricultural and food heritage, and a great day out for every age. Children go free with adult tickets at €15. All the talks and demonstrations are free of charge, and all are welcome. See www.corksummershow.com for more information.

Bia Lover, June 22 - 23

Now in its fifth year, the Bia Lover Food festival is a fantastic platform for the town of Athenry to show off all the amazing food coming from all over Ireland, as well as the very distinctive food culture that is emerging from our island.

Last year, over fifty businesses took part in the Producer Market, ranging from food trucks to condiment makers and the atmosphere was electric.

https://www.bialover.ie/

July


Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival, 3rd to 7th July

Celebrating 34 years of showcasing Ireland’s best seafood this year, Kilmore Quay Seafood is a haven for families who love food.

The seaside town transforms into a foodie paradise.

There are boat rides and fishing lessons and face painters, but the most delicious draw of the whole festival is the incredible seafood platters for sale throughout the weekend.

http://kilmorequayseafoodfestival.com/

Guinness X Meatopia.
Guinness X Meatopia.

Guinness X Meatopia, 5th – 7th July

A fantastic mix of international and local chefs will come together with the brewers of Guinness to create signature dishes and beers especially for the third edition of Guinness X Meatopia.

The Meatopia Cutting Room Stage will be packed with beer tastings and butchery and food ‘edible demos’.

At night, live music will fill the air and take the party into the wee hours.

https://www.guinnessopengate.com


Galway International Food & Craft Festival, 5-7th July

Salthill is the place to be on the first weekend of July this year for a festival which highlights the incredible food that the region is famous for.

There’ll be demonstrations from celebrity chefs like Neven Maguire, Gary O’Hanlon and JP MacManus, as well as lots to eat, a dedicated kids zone and live music.

https://galwayfoodandcraft.com/

Off the Street Food Festival, 27th and 28th July

Cited as Letterkenny’s most delicious summer event, Off The Street sure packs a punch with what it has to offer.

From master classes to food demonstrations by celebrity chefs to a family food quiz, Donegal’s biggest food celebration has something for everyone.

Admission is €4 per adult and kids go free.

https://www.offthestreetfoodfest.com

Valentia Island King Scallop Festival, date TBC

This annual family-friendly festival takes place on the gorgeous island of Valentia, where the entire island comes alive with music, entertainment competitions for children and of course, lots and lots of delicious scallops.

The festival culminates in one cook being crowned Mr or Mrs Scallop for the year.

http://www.valentiaisland.ie

August

All Together Now, 2nd-4th August

Hailed by anyone who attended its inaugural festival last year as the best thing since the first year of Electric Picnic, All Together Now has a lot to live up to in its second incarnation.

The food was one of the most lauded parts of last year’s festival and this year they are upping the ante even more, returning the Farmers Market and secret long table dinner parties and adding an even more high-end food offering from some of the country’s top producers.

https://www.alltogethernow.ie

Eatyard at Beatyard, 3rd and 4th August

Cool, laid back and family friendly, Beatyard in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin has mastered a killer line up, with Groove Armada and Fleetwood Mac heading up the roster.

The thing they are arguably better at though, is food. Eatyard, the food area of the festival, is so lauded, that it became its very own entity in the city a few years ago.

This year though, it returns home, and promises food trucks galore, and enough finger lickin’ food to make you question whether you want to venture out into the festival proper at all.

https://www.the-beatyard.com


Taste of Cavan, 9th & 10th August

Cavan Equestrian Centre is the hub for this year’s Taste of Cavan.

Boasting a fantastic line up of chefs, including Neven Maguire, Simon Delaney, Richard Corrigan, this festival is fast becoming one of the most prominent in the culinary calendar.

There’ll be workshops and master classes and lots of opportunities for children to hone their junior tastebuds!

http://www.tasteofcavan.ie

The Big Grill, 15th to 18th August

Celebrating the art of fire and smoke, The Big Grill attracts pit masters from all over the world.

Over twenty restaurants will be exhibiting at this year’s festival, the only rule being that they have to cook with live fire using natural charcoal and wood only - no gas or electrics.

This year’s line up has a street food feel, so expect lots of theatrics, lots of delicious bites and loads of fun.

Tickets cost €20 per day and under twelve’s go free.

https://www.biggrillfestival.com

Food @ Electric Picnic

Electric Picnic is a foodie paradise.

There are stalls from food trucks with food so good that you would chase around the country to taste again.

You’ll find a wealth of knowledge and high-spirited discussion from experts at the Theatre of Food and an artisan food market selling delicious things from the local area.

Mostly, there are lots and lots of places to sit down and drink a decent cup of coffee. Essential.

https://www.electricpicnic.ie

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