Twelve inspirational Irish food shops

What are the best food shops in Ireland? Stephen Conmy examines some inspirational Irish 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.  

stephen conmy great irish food shops

Manning’s Emporium

Where: Ballylickey, West Cork.

Who: The business has been family-run for over 70 years.

What’s good? Everything, it has long been a treasure trove for food lovers everywhere.

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.


Where: Galway.

Who: The McCambridge family. The shop was established 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. 

Scally’s SuperValu of Clonakilty

Where: Faxbridge, Clonakilty, Co. Cork. 

Who: The Scally family.

What’s good? Everything. The store won the prestigious ‘Most Creative Retailer’ in Ireland award at the annual Checkout ‘Best in Fresh’ awards in 2017.

great irish food shops by stephen conmy

Nolan’s of Kilcullen

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

Who: The Nolans.

What’s good? The meat. It is foremost a butcher shop with prizewinning products from sausages, to spiced beef to the incredible puddings. 

Foodstore Claremorris

Where: Ballyhaunis Road, Claremorris, Co. Mayo. 

Who: Niall Heffernan.

What’s good? The deli meats and the organic fruit and veg. 

great irish food shops

The English Market

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

Who: Many different but brilliant retailers. 

What’s good? The fresh fish. Nothing like it. 

Cosgrove and Son Delicatessen

Where: 32 Market Street, Sligo. 

WhoCosgrove’s is one of Sligo’s oldest shops and was first opened as a restaurant/shop in 1898 by Michael Cosgrove senior. It’s now run by his grandson Michael Cosgrove. 

What’s good? Where would you start? This is a must-see for good food fans. 

stephen conmys great irish food shops

Kelly’s Butchers

Where: Newport, Co. Mayo. 

Who: The Kellys.

What’s good? It’s an award-winning artisan butcher specialising in black and white pudding.


Are you interested in setting up a food store? Then read this

Related Resource

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.

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