‘Buying local’ has become second nature to Irish consumers over the past few years, and with that shift Irish farmers’ markets have become the bedrock of local community life and a vital stepping stone to many a fledgling start-up food and drink producers.
Now, most towns in Ireland support a thriving farmers’ market, and among the diverse selection of stalls you won’t just find chefs bartering for fresh ingredients, or locals catching up with the producers they meet every week, but also visitors looking to dive headfirst into the best food a region has to offer.
So, grab a basket and stock up on local produce and culinary inspiration at our pick of the 15 of the best and farmer’s markets in Ireland.
Kilkenny Farmer’s Market operates from the Parade, just in front of the Castle in Kilkenny City. The 233 farms and rural families that supply produce to the market sell everything from organic fruit and vegetables and fresh bread, to falafels and locally made chocolates.
Mayors Walk, The Parade, Kilkenny
Thursday: 9.30am – 2.30pm
Cork’s largest farmer’s market with over fifty stalls of high quality foods from small producers across the county like Aherns Raw Jersey Milk, Woodside Farm, Bean Brownie Co, My Goodness, Mealagulla Orchards, and Boeuf A Lolo.
West entrance, Mahon Point shopping Centre, Mahon, Cork
Thursday: 10am – 3pm
This market is committed to only selling produce from within County Clare or a 30-mile radius of the market. Visitors can find local/organic/free range produce, freshly baked goods, country butter, terrines, fresh wheatgrass and wild garlic pesto – all grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked, smoked or processed by the stall holder.
Roslevan Shopping Centre, Tulla Road, Ennis
Friday: 8am to 2pm
Voted Best Market in the UK last year by The Guardian readers, St. George’s Market is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. The market is home to some of the finest local produce, and the fish section alone contains twenty three fish stalls and holds the reputation for being the leading retail fish market in Ireland.
12-20 East Bridge Street
Friday: 6am – 3pm, Saturday: 9am – 3pm, Sunday: 10am – 4pm
Big names at this charming market include The Friendly Farmer Pop Up Shop, Gannet Fishmongers. Other food traders at the market include BoyChik Doughnut, falafel stall The Gourmet Offensive, and Kappa-ya Sushi. While not a market trader, a special mention goes to Sheridans Cheesemongers located within the market.
Church Lane, Beside St Nicholas Church, Galway
Saturday & Bank Holidays: 8.00am – 6pm, Sunday: 12 – 6pm
A springboard for many now successful food producers, like Homespun Quinoa Crunch, along with a great selection of meat, vegetables, fish, and baked goods sold in this natural food market there’s also an unusual collection of natural wine, imported mainly from Spain and Italy. Grab yourself a treat (and a cheeky wine sample), take a seat in the cafe, and absorb the atmosphere.
Slaney Close Dublin Industrial Estate, Glasnevin, Dublin 9
Saturday: 9.30am – 4pm
Despite a recent makeover this Asian foods specialist in Dublin city centre still has an authentic market feel to it, but now new features make the mind boggling display of 4500 products, organised by cuisine, easier to navigate. Read our interview with Director Eva Pau to find out more about this family business. To pick up your Asian cookery essentials outside the city check out their larger market in Ballymount.
Drury Street, Dublin 2
Monday – Sunday: 10am – 7pm
Located indoors at Newmarket, near the Liberties area of the city, from Tuesday to Friday you’ll find regulars like Nurney Farm Organics and the Green Door Pantry selling their wares, who from the end of the week and into the weekend are joined by other traders like Christy Stapleton’s Orgnaic fruit and veg, Fitzsimons Fish, Tartine Organic Bakery, and The Wooded Pig, selling their Irish charcuterie.
18 Newmarket, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8
Tuesday-Friday: 12pm – 7pm, Saturday: 9.30am – 4pm, Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Also located in Newmarket is Ireland’s leading member-owned cooperative, the Dublin Food Co-op. You’ll find a vegetarian cafe, wholefoods store, fresh fruit and vegetables here from Wednesday, and various other artisan food producers set up stall during the main market day on Saturday. Each Sunday a different themed market pops up but the main foodie one is Fusion Sundays, on the second Sunday of each month, adding an eclectic mix of cuisines like Korean and Egyptian.
12 Newmarket, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8
Wednesday: 10am -7pm, Thursday: 10am – 8pm, Friday: 10am – 7pm, Saturday 9:30am – 5pm, Sunday: 11am – 5pm
The most famous covered food market in Ireland, The English Market has been serving Cork City since 1788. Longtime stallholders like Tom Durcan Meats, and O’Connell Seafood sit alongside fledgling foodie ventures at the ‘Start Up Stall’. Enjoy lunch in the renowned Farmgate cafe, or grab to go from The Sandwich Stall, O’Flynns Gourmet Sausage sandwiches, or Maki Sushi Rolls.
Entrances on Princes St & Grand Parade, Cork
Monday – Saturday: 8am – 6pm
This is the original farmers market in Ireland which was formed by Darina Allen and local farmers to provide an outlet for their produce. The Ballymaloe stall is still at the heart of the market, manned by the Ballymaloe Cookery School students and Darina and Rory O’Connell themselves, who are most often mingling with traders and customers. Don’t leave without a ‘dough kit’ from Volcano Woodfired Pizza – Saturday night dinner sorted.
Hospital Road, Midelton, Cork
Saturday: 9am – 1.30pm
One of the oldest markets in Ireland, in recent years the Milk Market was redeveloped as an all-weather, all year round market space, accommodating major markets on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; and a new Food Pavilion now home to stallholders including Green Saffron Spices, and The Mushroom Man, and Country Choice, the offshoot of the much-loved artisan food store in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.
The Milk Market, Limerick
Friday: 10am – 3pm, Saturday: 8am – 3pm, Sunday: 11am – 3pm
At Dún Laoghaire People’s Park Market you can stock up organic veg from the McNally Family Farm and innovative seasonal preserves from WILD About, or pick up a weekend treat from truffles from the Truffle Fairy, and Man of Aran’s Handmade fudge. On a sunny day there’s no where better to lounge on the grass with a choice of cuisines like vegetarian Indian Food, sushi, and falafel.
The Peoples Park, Queen’s Road, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin Dublin
Sunday: 11am – 4pm
Open for almost 15 years, the market at Meeting House Square presents a wonderful variety of small Irish food producers, like Corleggy Cheese and Broughgammon, giant cakes and bakes from Piece of Cake, and tasty street food from Karuna’s Kitchen, Mero Mero Mexican and The Market Kitchen – there’s an Oyster Bar too if you’re feeling fancy.
Meeting House Square, Dublin 2
Saturday: 9am – 5pm
Visiting the grounds, gallery, Boathouse Restaurant, and house at Farmleigh makes for a great family day out, but there’s no better day to visit the grounds than on Sunday when you can taste your way around the farmer’s market stalls like Heart and Soul Bakery, Crepes in the City, and Delish Melish, for light and fluffy marshmallows and messy, melty s’mores.
Farmleigh, White’s Rd, Dublin 15
Sunday: 10am – 4pm
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.