Best shops in Ireland - the shortlist

Sat, Aug 11, 2012, 01:00

INDEPENDENT RETAILERS form the backbone of Irish life – in both rural and urban communities. They are, first and foremost, enthusiasts and fans. They welcome you in, share their passions and their favourite finds with you – and they keep you there, asking how your mother is doing after her fall, whether your sister is coming back from America any time soon, and telling you about how Mary-down-the-road interrupted a burglar trying to make off with her new laptop.

These shops champion local craftspeople, food producers, artists and services and offer more than just a point of sale: they help you to the car with your briquettes and always put your favourite magazine aside (they know you’ll be in for it eventually).

Theirs is a David-vs-Goliath struggle against huge chains with more resources and more cost-effective buying platforms, yet these shops lure us in, time and again. What every customer get is enthusiasm and expertise, a desire to share knowledge and an understanding that you, the customer, is also knowledgeable. Browsers are as welcome as buyers.

Time spent in these shops is time well spent. You walk away feeling enriched by the conversation, the goods you saw and maybe bought. And you also know that you can ring them afterwards and get great after-sales service.

Our streets and communities need these individuals to keep doing what they do. That is why The Irish Times asked you to share your favourites. The nominations – via Facebook, letter and email – have run to thousands. Whittling these down to a shortlist of 50 was no mean feat.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know what you love about your local shops and, more importantly, for supporting your local businesses.

On August 25th, we’ll share our 12 favourites; for now, this is your top 50.

The shortlist


Tosca (designer swap shop), Newbridge, Co Kildare

Susan Hunter Lingerie, Westbury Shopping Mall, Dublin 2

Put A Bow On It, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

Pebbles, Schull, Co Cork

Oh! by Gum, Clifden, Co Galway

Muse Boutique, The Quay, Waterford

Eden Boutique, Clanbrassil St, Dundalk, Co Louth

Juniper Boutique, Parnell Street, Ennis, Co Clare

Artisan food Greengrocers

Fallon Byrne, Exchequer St, Dublin 2

Eco-Logic, Dundrum Road, Dublin 14

Glasraí Goodies, Gowran, Co Kilkenny

Nick’s Fish, Ashbourne, Co Wicklow, and Newbridge, Co Kildare

The Farm Shop, Tinahely, Co Wicklow

George’s Fish Shop, Monkstown Farm, Co Dublin

Lilliput Stores, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7

Mrs Mooney’s Sweetshop, Greystones, Co Wicklow

JC Stewart, Magherafelt, Co Derry

Cafe Tea Rooms

Enjoy . . . from White Gables, Moycullen Village, Co Galway

Treat Deli and Gift Shop, Cabra, Dublin 7

Quin Tea Rooms, Main Street, Quin, Co Clare

Bake my Day, Drimnagh Road, Dublin 12

Hart’s Coffee Shop, Clonakilty, Co Cork

The Bake House, Bachelor’s Walk, Dublin 1

Hickey’s Bakery, Clonmel, Co Tipperary

Galleries Design

Etain Hickey Collections, Clonakilty, West Cork

Stone Mad Gallery, Kinsale, Co Cork

Ardmore Pottery and Craft Shop, Ardmore, Co Waterford

Cork Flower Studio, Douglas Street, Co Cork

Designist, Georges St, Dublin 2


Burke’s General Store, Gort, Co Galway

Anvil, Bray, Co Wicklow

Churchstown Stores, Braemor Rd, Dublin 14

Thornhill Hardware, Skibbereen, Co Cork


O’Reilly and Turpin, Westport, Co Mayo

Barry Doyle Design Jewellers, Georges Street, Dublin


Alchemist Earth, Sarsfield Street, Limerick

Green Angel Trading, Rosbercon, Co Wexford


The Gutter Bookshop, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

O’ Mahoney’s Bookshop, O’Connell Street, Limerick

Athletics Outdoors

The Amphibian King, Bray, Co Wicklow

Base2race, Ballymount, Dublin 24

Wild Side Sports, Bandon, Co Cork

Hobby Craft

BDI Beads, Bray, Co Wicklow

The Constant Knitter, Francis Street, Dublin 8


Soundz of Muzic, Kenmare, Co Kerry

Rollcoaster Records, Kieran Street, Kilkenny

Gift Shops

Guinness Gallery, Foxrock, Dublin

Forget Me Not Gifts, Clonmel, Co Tipperary

The Butterslip, Rose Inn St, Kilkenny

Moss Cottage, Dundrum, Dublin

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