15 of Ireland’s Best Artisan Food Stores
Over the past few decades, Ireland’s wealth of producers, makers, and growers have been the foundation on which Ireland’s food industry has blossomed. These artisans have become household names, regular fixtures on menus across the country, and staples in our kitchens.
An integral ingredient in the transition from little known producers to artisinal heroes are the stores that choose to source, stock and showcase them – supporting them in more ways than by simply propping them up on their shelves
From Ardkeen in Waterford to Urru in Bandon, we’ve listed alphabetically 15 of the best artisan food stores that keep our pantries stocked with the finest Irish fare; bring us the best of the rest from beyond our shores; and are at the heart of Ireland’s food revolution.
[su_note note_color=”#eeede9″]Ardkeen Quality Foodstore[/su_note]
49 years in business, the Jephson family’s ‘independent supermarket’ in Waterford city boasts a mind boggling range of both Irish and International speciality foods, and hosts regular in-store tastings to promote them. Not entirely the preserve of the Déise however, their online store will deliver artisan foods straight to your door, and again this year they will be provisioning the ingredients for Theatre of Food at Electric Picnic.
Dunmore Road, Waterford
Try to exercise budgetary restraint in the food markets within any of the ten Avoca stores and you most definitely will struggle. You will find it hard not to splurge on Avoca’s award winning ready-to-go meals, salads, and fresh baking, or raid the handsome selection of Ireland’s leading artisan food producers. Further temptation can be found in the bigger stores that house favourites like James Whelan Craft Butchers, Poulet Bonne Femme rotisseries, Michie Sushi bars, and Mitchell & Sons Wine stores.
For the full list of Avoca Stores visit: www.avoca.com/explore/stores
[su_note note_color=”#eeede9″]The Best of Italy[/su_note]
For over three decades, The Best of Italy has been an essential destination for the Irish-Italian community, and Italian food and wine lovers of all nationalities too. The Dublin 6 shop’s offering includes Italian meat, cheese, antipasti, and Italian staples like De Cecco pasta, Mulino Bianco biscotti, San Pellegrino and Baci Chocolate. Seasonal food is a specialty; panettone, pandoro and panforte can be found at Christmas and colomba at Easter.
37 Dunville Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin
[su_note note_color=”#eeede9″]Caviston’s Food Emporium[/su_note]
This Glasthule gem has come a long way from its modest fish-shop origins in the mid 1940s. The fish counter still holds pride of place, but every other available space is now used to stock the finest artisan foods from across the globe, as well as cheeses, salads, breads, cakes and cold meats. Hungry from shopping? Sample seafood straight off the boat in their award winning seafood restaurant.
58 Glasthule Rd, Glenageary, Sandycove, Co. Dublin
[su_note note_color=”#eeede9″]Country Choice[/su_note]
Founded by Peter and Mary Ward in 1982, Country Choice has been sourcing local foods and promoting the work of the best of Irish artisan producers ever since. From the main store in Nenagh, their daughters, Eliza and Evie, help out and also run their own businesses: Country Choice on Tour, which travels around to festivals serving tasty organic burgers and steak, and NutShed, a raw vegan treats specialist based in in The Milk Market, Limerick, where an offshoot of Country Store can also be found.
25 Kenyon St, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
[su_note note_color=”#eeede9″]Fallon & Byrne[/su_note]
No artisan food store roundup would be complete without mentioning the one that regularly tops lists and scoops national awards; Fallon & Byrne. Get lost in the aisles of it’s food hall, brimming with the creme de la creme of fish, meats, artisan foods, every type of fruit and vegetable you could imagine; linger a while at their deli and coffee counter; take a diversion to the upstairs restaurant, or down to the wine cellar, which in itself has a reputation as one of the best in Dublin.
11 -17 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
Iago found a place in the people of Cork’s hearts selling specialist cheeses, pasta and cured meats from it’s stall in The English Market. Iago still continues to be one of the market’s finest purveyors, but they now have a stand alone shop too, just outside the entrance to the market on Prince’s Street. Fresh pasta is made everyday at Iago, as well as foccacia, Scicilian Caponata stew, Hummous, Tzatziki, and an almond lovers dream cake; Torta de Santiago.
9 Princes Street, Cork
Since opening in 2000, Liston’s has been a food mecca on Camden Street for locals and office workers alike. The length of the lunchtime queue at this Camden Street shop is testament to quality and taste of the sandwiches, hot pots, and soups served at it’s deli. While queuing, check out the grocery shelves heaving with over four thousand lines, carefully handpicked from from local producers and specialist importers.
25/26, Lower Camden St, Dublin 2
Situated on the coastal road between Bantry and Glengarriff, Manning’s Emporium is a must-visit destination for any foodie travelling along Ireland’s Atlantic coast. An institution in the West Cork food scene, over 70 years Manning’s has evolved from a post office and convenience store to what it is today: a gourmet deli and café renowned for high quality local produce, fine wines and excellent service.
Ballylickey, Bantry, Co. Cork
In 1922, George McCambridge opened McCambridges as a “high class grocery, provision, wine and spirit establishment” on Shop Street, Galway. In it’s 104 year history, the store has expanded to include Galway’s first off-licence, a deli, sandwich bar and an upstairs restaurant. The foodhall remains at the core of this family run business however, stocking a choice selection of artisan foods, specialty coffee and organic fruit and veg.
On the same street as The Best of Italy, Morton’s has been serving the people of Ranelagh a superb selection of fruit and vegetables, meats, fish, and cheeses since the 1930’s. City centre dwellers can also sample Morton’s fine fare and renowned service at their second shop on Hatch Street, which sells a range of soups, meats, salads, dinners, and cakes that are all made in the upstairs kitchen of the main store.
15-21 Dunville Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin 6
This Bantry health hub prides itself as much on the infectious enthusiasm of the staff and it’s vibrant atmosphere, as it does the marvelous mix of merchandise it sells from its shop, café and bakery. They have an online store too, so while you might not be able to sample their fresh organic veg, house-made breads and cakes, organic wines, cheeses, or olives, you can get their full range of health foods and supplements delivered to your door.
2 Glengarriff Rd, Bantry, Co. Cork
[su_note note_color=”#eeede9″]Rua Deli[/su_note]
Rua deli and it’s upstairs café on Spencer Street, Castlebar, is a offshoot of the famous and award winning Café Rua in the Mayo town. Proud owners Aran and Colleen McMahon offer fresh bread, baked twice daily, scones, cheeses, produce from their favourite suppliers, and a ‘cake away’ business that includes roulades, sticky toffee, lemon drizzle and apple pies. A destination for home cooks, the shelves hold a range of baking essentials and accessories, locally made chopping boards, and a formidable cookbook collection.
Spencer Street, Castlebar, Mayo
Brothers Seamus and Kevin started selling Irish farmhouse cheeses at their Galway market shop in 1995. Two years later they opened their South Anne Street, just off Dublin’s Grafton Street, and they now have a store next to their warehouse in Meath, and a cheese and olive counter run by their own staff in Ardkeen Quality Food Store in Waterford too. The Irish artisan cheeses now sell alongside the best continental cheeses available, and there’s also a huge range of other artisan foods sourced during their travels in Europe, including olive oils, cured meats, condiments and pasta.
11 South Anne Street, Dublin 2 / Church Yard Street, Galway / Virginia Road Station, Pottlereagh, Kells, Co Meath
Merging the words ‘Urban’ and ‘Rural’, Urru culinary store in Bandon was established by Ruth Healy in 2003. Since then, Ruth has become an ambassador for over 100 Irish food producers, and a source of culinary advice and inspiration, stocking a wide range of authentic world foods, independent wines, and over 1000 cookery books. Check out the in-store ‘Snack Café’ for a taste of the region’s foods.
Mcswiney Quay, Cloghmacsimon, Bandon, Co. Cork
[su_note note_color=”#eeede9″]ARTICLE BY ERICA BRACKEN[/su_note]
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 a brief dalliance with law, she completed a Masters degree 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.
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