What are the best Irish food shops? Stephen Conmy examines some inspirational food stores that are worth a visit.

Country Choice

Where: Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

Who: Peter and Mary Ward’s country store is an intriguing treasure trove of high quality, and mostly local, produce. Peter, a big fan of the slow food movement, is a vocal champion of Irish artisan foods.

What’s good? The terrine made from the family’s Saddleback pigs and any of Mary’s delicious jams.  

great irish food shops

Manning’s Emporium

Where: Ballylickey, West Cork.

Who: Val Manning, his niece, Laura Manning, and Laura’s husband, Andrew Heath. The business has been family-run for over 70 years.

What’s good? Everything, ask Val to make you something ‘special.’

Ardkeen Stores

Where: Dunmore Road, Waterford.

Who: Colin Jephson. He was also a former sponsor of The Theatre of Food at the Electric Picnic.

What’s good? A vast range of smoked fish, but this is a proper artisan food supermarket. You can also shop online and have your goods delivered.

great irish food shops

James Whelan Butchers 

Where: Clonmel.

Who: James Whelan.

What’s good? The meat – reared, slaughtered and dry-aged by the man himself. He recently won the top prize at the UK’s Great Taste Awards for his beef dripping. James is also a Twitter star in Ireland. 


Where: Galway.

Who: The McCambridge family. The shop was founded in 1925.

What’s good? The cold meats from the deli. Plus, an excellent selection of wines & spirits. The company also runs a catering business.


Where: Bandon, Co Cork.

Who: Ruth Healy.

What’s good? Hampers, especially the ‘Made in Cork’ collection.

great irish food shops

Fallon & Byrne

Where: Wicklow St., Dublin.

Who: Paul Byrne and Fiona McHugh.

What’s good? The sourdough baguette and the soft cheeses. 

If you want to start a food business or open a food shop, please begin with a GREAT BUSINESS PLAN and a GREAT MARKETING PLAN before applying for finance. 

Also, Bord Bia has developed a guide for artisan food producers who wish to understand and enter the Irish retail landscape. This Guide to Retail for Small Food Producers is part of a series of publications from Bord Bia that includes the Guide to Distribution for Food & Drink Producers and the Guide to Farmer’s Markets for Small Food Producers.

Images – Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock.com.

Inspirational Irish food stores – The ThinkBusiness readers’ choice

We received some great reader feedback when we published the list above. Thanks for contributing. The nine more suggested stores from ThinkBusiness readers are: 

Castleisland Meats

The Meat Centre, 127 Main Street Castleisland, Co. Kerry

Scally’s SuperValu of Clonakilty

Scally’s SuperValu Clonakilty, Faxbridge, Clonakilty, Co. Cork 

Nolan’s of Kilcullen

Main St Kilcullen, Co.Kildare, Ireland (open since 1886) 

Foodstore Claremorris

Ballyhaunis Road, Claremorris, Co. Mayo 

The English Market

The English Market (a gathering of great food shops), Cork City

Cannon and Cole

Main Street, Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath

Cosgrove and Son Delicatessen

32 Market Street, Sligo 

Kelly’s Butchers

Newport, Co. Mayo 

Pat Smith, Butcher

Auburn Moate Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath

Interested in setting up a food business or a food store? Then read this