Food & Drink Festival Guide 2018

Groove Festival, food festival guide, i love cooking

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Here’s our guide to some of the best food festivals taking place around Ireland in 2018. Mark your calendars, people – you will not want to miss out on these fab foodie festivals.

February 2018

TBC 2018: Dine In Dublin

Location: Over 70 restaurants throughout Dublin

Dine in Dublin is back again for its 10th year, but dates are yet to be confirmed. However, if previous years are anything to go by, you should get ready for a dream food-laden week with events, demonstrations, and great offers all around the city to tantalise your taste buds.

March 2018

8th – 10th March 2018: Alltech brew festival 

Location: The Convention Centre, Co Dublin

The Fair will feature a host of local & international craft beverages as well as local culinary delights. Musical entertainment will be provided by a range of pop and rock acts from around the country and further afield. Food experts will be on hand throughout the whole Fair to help educate palates with unique food pairing to excite our taste buds.

17th – 19th March 2018: Dublin Bay Prawn Festival

Location: Howth Village, Co Dublin

How do you like your prawns – barbecued, whole, shelled, fried, skewered, marinated, sauced? The many award-winning restaurants in Howth will serve your favourite prawn dishes in bite sized portions at the Harbour Festival Food Village during this year’s Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, as well as a variety of other miniature dishes. This is a fantastic day out for the family and this year see the festival link in again with the St. Patrick’s Day Festival.

Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, Food Festival Guide 2018

29th March – 2nd April 2018: Galway Food Festival

Location: Various locations around Galway

Over the Easter weekend you can enjoy five festive days of open-air markets, food trails and family fun. Last year, over 70,000 people attended Galway Food Festival events including the festival food village at Spanish Arch; the Galway, Moycullen and Woodquay Country Markets and a packed programme of talks, tours, tastings, demonstrations and workshops involving over 100 restaurants, food outlets and food producers located across the city and County.

April 2018

6th – 7th April: The Gin Experience

Location: Printworks Dublin Castle, Dublin

The Gin Experience is a tasting and education event created exclusively for ginthusiasts. At this event some of the best gin producers from both Ireland and abroad will gather for two special evenings of learning and sipping.

20th – 22nd April 2018: West Waterford Festival of Food

Location: Dungarvan, Co Waterford

West Waterford Festival of Food centred in Dungarvan is a mecca for food lovers and fun seekers with a programme that has proven to be the perfect mix of free events and ticketed ones and an equally perfect mix of high-end dining opportunities and casual bistro experiences. It certainly offers something for all ages and tastes. The festival revolves around local seasonal produce. This year is the festival’s 11th anniversary, and it’s set to be even bigger and better than before with lots of new and exciting activities joining many old favourites on the programme for the weekend.

Food Festival Guide 2018, I Love Cooking


22nd April 2018: 8th Annual All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off

Location: Kinsale, Co Cork

A must for seafood lovers. The All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off is hosted by the Kinsale’s Good Food Circle and will see professional chefs from over 30 restaurants from all over Ireland compete to become “All-Ireland Chowder Champion”.

23rd – 29th April: High Spirits Festival

Location: Across Ireland

The High Spirits Fest celebrates all things whiskey, gin, rum, vodka, and a whole lot more.

May 2018

3rd – 7th May 2018: Roscommon Lamb Festival

Location: Gleesons Town House, Co Roscommon

Roscommon is known for its quality lamb and has the highest output of lamb in the country. This festival celebrates the tradition of sheep farming as well as celebrating local produce and craftwork. With lots of fun and exciting activities for families to take part in with a programme that include heritage, sport, music and educational events.

4th – 6th May 2018: Connemara Mussel Festival

Location: Tully Cross, Renvyle Penninsula, Co Galway

This is the 12th year of the Connemara Mussel Festival and this year there is plenty to look forward to in beautiful Connemara over the May bank holiday weekend including cooking demos, an artisan market and a Gala Dinner. The festival is a true celebration of the local people, food, culture and heritage as well as being a premier food event for Connemara.

Connemara Mussel Festival, Food Festival Guide 2018

11th – 13th May 2018: The Annual Burren Slow Food Festival 

Location: The Burren, Co Clare

Now in its 12th year, this year’s Burren Slow Food Festival will feature an Artisan Producers and Farmer’s Market with delicacies from all over County Clare and beyond. Another highlight to expect this year is a celebration of Ireland’s best gins and raw cheeses.

26th – 27th May: Wexford Food Festival

Location: Wexford town

During this weekend, you can expect a tasty schedule of mouth-watering events for adults and children including cookery demos, wine and beer tasting as well as foraging events and an open air local food producers’ market.

27th May 2018: Sheridans Food Festival 2018

Location: Virginia Road Station headquarters, Co Meath.

Sheridans Cheesemongers will host its 8th Irish Food Festival on Sunday 28th May 2018. There will be over 100 Irish food producers there as well as workshops and entertainment for all the family.

Sheridans Cheese Festoval, Food Festival Guide 2018

31st May – 4th June: Limerick International Food Truck Festival 

Limerick city’s People Park will play host to the largest food truck festival in Europe. The festival will showcase international cuisine with more than 60 food trucks from 14 countries taking part as well as the best Irish food trucks too.

June 2018

31st – 4th June 2018: Bloom in the Park

Location: Phoenix Park

Bloom offers something for everyone, a fantastic family event. Visitors to Bloom will enjoy cookery and craft demonstrations, free gardening advice from the experts, Irish food produce, live entertainment and gardening workshops. Kids attend Bloom for free. Bloom is set over 70 acres in the heart of the Phoenix Park.

Bloom in the Park, Food Festival Guide 2018

10th June 2018: Street Feast

Location: Nationwide

Street Feast is an initiative to get you and your local community together  There are lots of good reasons to have a Street Feast, but it’s really just a great excuse to eat great food, celebrate your local community and meet new people who live near you.

14th – 17th June 2018: Taste of Dublin 2018

Location: Iveagh Gardens, Co Dublin

The Iveagh Gardens will be transformed into Taste of Dublin for four delicious days. This is a summer delight of eating, drinking and entertainment. More than 20 of the city’s latest, greatest and hottest restaurants will be dishing up their finest in an unbeatable alfresco gourmet feast, while 100 producers provide a bounty of the best food and beverages, ensuring that guests sample and shop for a range of produce in the laid-back atmosphere of a boutique food market.

Taste Of Dublin 2018, Food Festival Guie, I Love Cooking

15th – 18th June 2018: Bia Lover 

Location: Athenry, Co. Galway

Bia Lover is a family friendly festival that celebrates all that is great about Irish food. This year’s event promises a great mix of food markets, demonstrations, art trails, special dinners, brunches and banquets, food-tasting and talks and much more.

22nd – 24th June: Body and Soul

Location: Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath

So much more than just a music festival. Body & Soul is a wonderland for food lovers. The vendors offer a vast variety of cuisines and there is a huge choice of organic and sustainable trucks, stalls, tents and trailers. You can wash down fresh foraged food with freshly-shaken cocktails from passionate producers from across Ireland.

Body & Soul

22nd June – 1st July: Indie Beer Week

Location: Various breweries across the country

The week-long event celebrates the great and good of independent Irish beer brewing. Local breweries from across the county will open their doors for tours, tastings and a terrific time.

23rd – 24th June 2018: Flavours of Fingal

Location: Newbridge House & Farm, Donabate, Co Dublin

Experience family fun at the farm and mouth-watering locally produced food, all in the rustic setting of Newbridge House and Farm at the Flavours of Fingal Show. There is a wide range of activities for the family including doggie shows, livestock competitions, arts and crafts activities, cooking exhibitions and cake bake-offs as well as a special kids zone with bouncy castle.

25th – 30th June: Irish Gin and Tonic Fest 

Location: Various locations across Ireland

Gin is so hot right now and there is a whole week celebrating the wonderful gins and tonics produced in Ireland. Be sure to sample the creative cocktails on offer at bars, restaurants and hotels across the country and then vote for your favourite one. The winner will be crowned Best Gin and Tonic in the country.

July 2018

TBC July 2018: Duagh Festival

Location: Duagh, Co Kerry

Duagh Festival celebrates produce and people. It’s a weekend of food, fire and good friends with national and international BBQ aficionados who cook and share their insights during this weekend festival. Featuring Asado, Hangi and good old “Low ‘n Slow” this weekend is a BBQ lover’s dream.

TBC July 2018: Féile na Mara / Achill Island Festival of the Sea

Location: Achill Island, Co Mayo

Féile na Mara takes place each July and is a culinary celebration of Achill’s rich heritage with the sea and it showcases the bountiful harvest of the Atlantic Ocean.

TBC July 2018: Flavour of Killorglin 

Location: Killorglin, Co Kerry

The Flavour of Killorglin food festival is all about celebrating diversity in food, local food producers, restaurants and the community. It is a fantastic weekend with various events taking place each day for families and foodies alike.

7th – 8th July 2018: Groove Festival

Location: Kilruddery House & Gardens, Bray, Co Wicklow

Groove Festival will be returning for its 6th year to the stunning, world-renowned surrounds of Killruddery House & Gardens. The space offers an oasis of calm, open space for well-being, fun and creativity, and is the perfect setting for a summer festival escape for all the family.

Groove Festival, food festival guide, i love cooking

11th – 15th July 2018: Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival

Location: Kilmore Quay Harbour, Co Wexford

Each July, Kilmore Quay, a charming and picturesque fishing village, on the south-east coast of Ireland, celebrates summer with delicious seafood platters, fishing and lots of fun activities for all the family.

August 2018

3rd- 5th August 2018: The Beatyard

Location: Dun Laoighaire Harbour, Dublin

The Beatyard Festival is a celebration of good music and of course good food. This year The Jackson’s will be playing their first ever Irish gig which is reason enough to attend in our book. There will be an array of food stalls for revellers to choose from. This is a fantastic event for families.

3rd – 6th August 2018: Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival

Location: Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

The festival aims to offer everything we all love about Summer in one big fun filled weekend while highlighting both the Rock N’ Roll and Food scene in Enniscorthy. So whether you love to swing through the streets or munch through the treats, it’s assured to be the ultimate jam packed, family fun festival this Summer, not to be missed.

10th – 11th August 2018: Taste of Cavan 2018

Location: Food Marquee, Catheral Road, Cavan

The Taste of Cavan, now in its 6th year, is a two-day festival of food guaranteeing a sumptuous foodie and family experience. The event showcases extraordinary and diverse local food producers, chefs and restaurants in County Cavan. The event gives visitors an opportunity to sample and purchase the finest of Cavan fare from award winning cheeses, handmade chocolate, ice cream and organic sausages to boxty, breads, muffins, mushrooms, liquors, honey, meats and local jams. Enjoy food demonstrations on both days by top Irish chefs.

16th – 19th August 2018: The Big Grill Festival

Location: Herbert Park, Dublin

The Big Grill Festival is the ultimate BBQ festival and a meat lover’s dream come true. This year there will be over 25 pitmasters and restaurants, over 50 food stalls and producers, eating competitions, demos and talks, live music, whiskey and gin bars as well as a low and slow barbecue cooking competition.

big grill

23rd – 26th August 2018: Dalkey Lobster Festival

Location: Dalkey, Dublin

A fabulous fusion of food, traditional music and craic is what you can expect from this festival by the sea in Dalkey. Last year’s event was a great success and there is a terrific atmosphere as well a delicious lobster to be enjoyed.

24th – 26th August 2018: A Taste of Donegal

Location: Donegal Town

Over 120 food producers from all over the UK and Ireland will bring a variety of cuisines and tastes to Donegal Pier for this year’s festival. Expect demos from celebraty chefs and plenty of food, wine and beer tastings too.

24th – 26th August 2018: Doolin Craft Beer and Roots Festival 

Location: Hotel Doolin, Fitz’s Cross, Doolin, Co. Clare

The Doolin Craft Beer Festival is back for the 7th year running with the same winning ingredients – great beers from craft brewers all around Ireland, some of Clare’s best musicians, and food from local artisan producers. This year there will be more than fifty varieties of Irish Craft Beer on tap and an artisan BBQ with open-pit cooking. This Festival is the ultimate end of summer hooley.

31st August – 2nd September 2018: Electric Picnic

Location: Stradbally, Co Laois

For those of you who love good music and good food. Electric Picnic has everything to offer. This year the Theatre of Food will be returning to the ultimate end of summer Irish festival with its delicious smorgasbord of cutting-edge food demos, wired-up mixology, inspired culinary workshops, and far-out foodie tastings.

Electric Picnic Theatre of Food 2015

September 2018

TBC September 2018: Irish Craft Beer Festival

Location: RDS, Co Dublin

Ireland’s largest celebrations of craft brewing returns to the RDS again this year with over 300 craft beers, ciders, whiskies and cocktails too as well as artisan food producers and great music.

7th – 8th September 2018: Waterford Harvest Festival 

Location: The Mall, Co Waterford

Three days of fun foodie activities for all with a local food market, wellness and healthy food area, cookery demos, and a Blaa eating competition.

7th – 16th September 2018: A Taste of West Cork

Location: Skibbereen, West Cork

A Taste of West Cork Food Festival brings together a unique mix of food markets and demonstrations, cookery competitions, special dinners, brunches and banquets, food-tastings, talks, exhibitions, children’s events and more.

18th – 20th September 2018: National Ploughing Championships

Location: Screggan, Co Offaly

This massive festival celebrates not only ploughing and all things agricultural but showcases some of the best Irish food too. There are plenty of food samples to nibble on throughout the weekend as well as cookery demos and a huge food market too.

20th – 23rd September 2018: Macroom Food Festival

Macroom Food Festival will celebrate the wonderful artisan food producers from the area and Munster from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd September 2018. The programme includes a Vintage Tea Dance, a Masquerade dinner, Kids Zone, a Taste Trail, an International Flavours Marquee, a live performance by Crystal Swing and support bands, Schools Cook-Off and a massive outdoor food market. This will be a weekend to remember!

28th – 30th September: Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival 

Location: Galway City

Galway City will come alive with seafood and oysters as it celebrates the 64th Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival. It is Ireland’s oldest food festival and the world’s longest running oyster festival. Since it started, the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival has welcomed over half a million visitors, consumed more than 3 million oysters – washed down with champagne and stout whilst listening to some of the best musicians in Ireland.

October 2018

TBC October 2018: Clarenbridge Oyster Festival 

Location: Clarenbridge, Galway

This festival marks the beginning of oyster season and celebrates the native oyster and all that the community of Clarenbridge has to offer. It has been running for over 60 years and there is plenty of craic, music and oysters to be enjoyed.

5th – 7th October 2018: Dingle Food Festival

Location: Dingle, Co Kerry

The Dingle Food Festival takes place each year on the first weekend of October, and it turns the picturesque Kerry town into a gustatory capital. The festival includes cookery demonstrations and workshops, over 50 market stalls, wine, gin, and whiskey tastings, a cider and beer trail and a farmer’s forum, as well as street entertainment and children’s events. There’s also a fabulous Taste Trail around the Dingle peninsula. 

13th – 14th October 2018: Kinsale Gourmet Festival 

Location: Kinsale, Co Cork

The 42nd Kinsale Gourmet Festival is a celebration of all the culinary delights that Kinsale has to offer. Visitors come from far and wide to attend the sell-out weekend and are never disappointed by the mixture of great food and superb fun on offer. Other exciting events over the weekend include a celebrity chef cook-off; and an eight course Degustation black tie dinner showcasing the best of West Cork Produce and champagnes from the festival sponsors. 

22nd – 23rd October 2018: Food On The Edge

Location: Galway City

The brainchild of JP McMahon, Food on the Edge is a coming-together of top international chefs for a two-day Food Symposium in Galway city on the Wild Atlantic Way. It takes place over two days every year in October. Food on the Edge is a not-for-profit conference seeking to make good food accessible for everyone.


15th – 20th October 2018: Irish Cocktail Festival

Location: Various bars across the country

This is the 3rd annual Irish Cocktail Fest which is a celebration of cocktails made with Irish spirits! It is a 32 county event and the public can vote for their favourite cocktail which will be crowned Best Irish Cocktail at the end of the festival.

26th – 29th October 2018 Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food

Location: Kilkenny town, Co Kilkenny

Now in its 12th year, Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food is truly a festival for all food lovers. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful medieval city of Kilkenny, in Ireland’s South East, Savour brings together local top quality food produce, well known talented Chefs, a mix of exciting, tasty food choices in our markets, and plenty more for everybody out there to enjoy. Over the course of the four-day festival, there will be an extensive selection of both free and ticketed events including; food markets, cookery demonstrations, pop-up School of Food courses, foodie debates and discussions, plenty of dining events in local hotels, restaurants, cafés and bars and much more.

inside 2

November 2018

23rd – 24th November 2018: Whiskey Live

Location: Dublin Castle, Dublin

Whiskey Live Dublin is Ireland’s premier whiskey tasting event, showcasing both the long established and new arrivals to the Irish whiskey scene. The event also offers wonderful food pairings and cocktails provided by some of Dublin’s most esteemed bars and restaurants.

December 2018

TBC: A Taste of Cavan at Christmas

Location: Cavan Town

This Christmas market showcases the best of what Cavan has to offer in terms of food, drink and crafts.


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Written by Melanie May

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