Best Shops 2016: The top 100 are revealed
Thousands of nominations have been considered and we’ve whittled the competition down to a shortlist of 100 and sent our judges out on the road to shop
The Grass Roof cafe in Rossinver, Co Leitrim is nominated for Best Café/Teashop
Nominated in Best Craft/Gift Shop category – Betty, Drumshambo, Co Leitrim
Platinum Barbers in Swords, Co Dublin, is nominated for Best Salon. Photograph: Alan Betson
Castle Antiques in Clarecastle, Co Clare is nominated for Best Craft/Gift shop
Nominated for Best Family-run Shop: Mullaney Bros, Sligo
Phoenix Cafe, Ashtown Castle demesne, Phoenix Park, Dublin 7; Destination cafe with space for families and brilliant home baking.
The Firehouse Bakery, Delgany, Co Wicklow; Simple food done well. Divine daily bread.
Heron Gallery, cafe and garden, Ahakista, west Cork; Artistic space.
Orso, 8 Pembroke St, Cork; Compact eatery serving Lebanese and Moroccan dishes.
The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8; Cool community cafe selling ethically grown produce.
The Grass Roof Café at The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co Leitrim; Eccentric set-up, but wild and wonderful food – weekends only.
The Café at the end of the Ballymaloe Shop, Shanagarry, Co Cork; Delicious eats.
Root and Branch, 1B Jameson St, Belfast; Speciality coffee roasters and brew bar that pairs cakes and coffee.
Kate’s Kitchen, Castle Street, Sligo; Atmospheric buzz where the staff know your name.
Hazel Mountain Chocolate, Oughtmama, Co Clare; Charming cafe and state-of-the-art bean to bar factory.
Pudding Row, Easky House, Main Street, Easky, Co Sligo; Upstairs café serving hearty soups, sandwiches and home-baked cakes.
Brown Hound Bakery, Bryanstown Centre, Dublin Road, Drogheda, Co Louth; Previous winners, still worth a detour.
Miller & Cook, 50 Pearse St, Mullingar; Cafe where the pizza toppings are inspired by Joe Dolan’s lyrics.
Hodges Figgis, 56-58 Dawson St, Dublin 2; A window onto the world of words.
Ulysses Rare Books, 10 Duke St, Dublin 2; First for first editions and hard-to-find titles.
Books Upstairs, 17 D’Olier St, Dublin 2; New address, and new energy, with great literary periodicals to peruse.
The Kinsale Bookshop, 8 Main St, Kinsale, Co Cork; Traditional, easy-to-browse reading space.
O’Mahony’s Booksellers, 120 O’Connell St, Limerick; Four floors of food for thought .
No Alibis, 83 Botanic Avenue, Belfast; This innovative store specialises in crime books.
Bridge Street Books, Bridge St, Wicklow; Former winner, one of the prettiest shops in Ireland.
The Gutter Bookshop, 20 Railway Road, Dalkey; Cosy shop with a wood-burning stove
Charlie Byrne’s Siopa Leabhar, Middle Street, Galway; More an experience than a shop, go there to see writers hang out.
The Book Centre, 10 High St, Kilkenny; Bookshop with a great magazine section.
BEST SPECIALIST SHOP
Music Maker, 29 Exchequer St, Dublin 2; Musical instruments and equipment sold in a relaxed atmosphere with expert staff.
Mr Midleton, 58 Mary Street, Dublin 1; Shop-sized garden centre with informed advice for amateurs.
Parfumarija, Westbury Mall, Dublin 2; Olfactory heaven with rare finds.
Appassionata Flowers, 29 Drury St, Dublin 2; Fab flower arrangements and surprisingly good plant advice.
Anthony Peto, 14 Anne St S, Dublin 2; A hat maker that sells personality and panache.
Conn’s Cameras, 54 Clarendon St, Dublin 2; Experts in their field. They won’t try to upsell for the sake of it.
Pure Magic, 370 Clontarf Rd, Dublin 3; Kite surf and paddleboard specialists.
Cork Art Supplies, 28 Princes St, Cork; Stocks acrylics to watercolours.
Plugd, Triskell Arts Centre, Tobin St, Cork; It will open your ears to new music.
This Is Knit, First Floor, Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin 2; Nirvana for the needle set.
Spocket & Hubs, Adare, Co Limerick; Royal Enfield motorcycle shop for diehards.
Kinari Boutique, 1 Market Street, Kinsale, Co Cork; A stunning lingerie shop stocking practical pieces and fripperies.
Cloth, 5 Johnson’s Place, Dublin 2; Smartly merchandised fabric and haberdashers.
BEST FOOD AND DRINK
Country Choice, The Milk Market, Limerick; A winner last year, and off shoot of the popular Nenagh store.
Baggot Street Wines, 17 Baggot St Upr, Dublin 4; Interesting wines, terrifically informed staff.
Caviston’s Food Emporium, Glasthule, Co Dublin; Fine foods stocked to the rafters and a great fish counter.
Higgins Butchers, 2 Sutton Cross, Dublin 13; Sells Aberdeen Angus aged beef and its own charcuterie.
Celtic Whiskey Shop, 27-28 Dawson St, Dublin 2; A distilled collection of the world’s finest malts, wines and beer.
Fallon & Byrne, 11-17 Exchequer St, Dublin 2; Two-time winner in this competition, the city grocers is as popular as ever.
Ardkeen Quality Food Store, Passage East Road, Waterford; A supermarket selling the best of Irish artisan food and a winner in 2014.
Castlemaine Farm Shop, Circular Road, Roscommon; Aged lamb, beef and rare breed pork worth the journey.
The Little Cheese Shop, Gray’s Lane, Dingle, Co Kerry; A Swiss-trained cheesemaker and producer runs this superbly stinky spot.
Organico Bantry, 2 Glengarriff Rd, Bantry, Co Cork; A modern health food shop stocking its own bread, organic fruit and veg.
The Burren Smokehouse and Shop, Kincora Road, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare; Succulent fish and a great story for visitors.
BEST HOME/DESIGN MRCB
Paints & Papers, 10-13 Cornmarket, Dublin 8; Staff here really know their stuff.
Brian S Nolan, 102 George’s Street Upper, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin; Stately building, good range, and coffee upstairs.
Kevin Kelly Interiors, 105 Morehampton Road, Dublin 4; Forty years trading, this interior design shop is more for the business of buying than browsing.
Howbert & Mays, 27 Monkstown Crescent, Co Dublin; Boutique-sized gift and garden centre offering good advice.
Objekt, South Quay, Newcastlewest, Co Limerick; Refreshingly atypical store run by an interior architect.
Foxford Woollen Mills, Co Mayo; Impressive space for browsing bed linen and blankets.
Willie Duggan Lighting, Hebron Business Park, Hebron Rd, Kilkenny; Literally any kind of light you want.
Nordic Makers, George’s Street Lwr, Dun Laoghaire; A white cube space selling furniture, lighting, textiles and accessories.
BEST CRAFT/GIFT SHOP
Betty, Church St, Drumshambo, Co Leitrim; A shamrock and shillelagh-free gift shop.
Leitrim Design House, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim; Innovative ‘art wall’ and customers can sign up for learn-to-make days.
Old Mill Stores, Connonagh Village, Gortroe, Leap, Co Cork; Out of the ordinary homewares in the wilds of west Cork.
Irish Design Shop, Drury Street, Dublin 2; The mothership for innovative Irish design.
Nest, 22 Henry St, Kenmare, Co Cork. Contemporary home, children’s clothes and toys.
Real, 713a, Lisburn Road, Belfast; Cool concept store for men and women.
Kiln & Loom, 87 Ormeau Rd, Belfast; One of the city’s best places to shop for gifts.
Castle Antiques, Clarecastle, Co Clare; Some 40 antique dealers under one roof and not a dustball in sight.
Dylan Bradshaw, 56 South William Street, Dublin 2; Previous winner with a loyal, highly-polished following.
Hair by Mane @ The Grooming Rooms, 16 South William Street, Dublin 2; The place to go to reimagine your colour.
Nautilus Beauty & Holistic Therapies Centre, 11 Marino Mart, Fairview, Dublin 3; Float home after a massage from this tiny select salon.
Roller Blow Bar, 23 Forbes Quay, Dublin 4; Early-opening salon with a fab interior and Michael Leong-inspired treatments.
Ciarán Nevin, 6 Rathfarnham Rd, Terenure, Dublin 6; A first-class neighbourhood salon.
DaveyDavey, 24 Stephen St, Dublin 2; Smart men and women’s hair salon with barber.
Edvard & Pink, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14; Walk-in, welcoming, on-the-ball beauty salon on three floors.
Platinum Barbers, Main St, Swords, Co. Dublin; Grooms the guys from Kodaline and GAA footballer Paul Flynn.
The Confession Box, Dunmore Road, Waterford; A new his and hers salon run by stylist Marina Hayes with a barber onsite.
Zuni Hair Salon, 44 University St, Belfast; Session stylists that also work with top British fashion designers.
Fox & Bow, 16 Patrick St, Limerick; The emphasis here is on looking good.
Kieran O’Gorman, Hair & Beauty Day Spa, The Butterslip, Kilkenny; Highly-regarded one-stop shop with wig fitting service.
BEST FASHION STORE
Scout, 5 Smock Alley Court, Essex St West, Temple Bar, Dublin 8; Super browsable shop that also stocks vintage.
Havana, 2 Anglesea House, Donnybrook Road, Dublin 4; A temple to high fashion.
Heidi Higgins Studio & Boutique, 42 Grattan St, Portlaoise; Destination shop with hats, clothes, jewellery and a pretty courtyard.
Kimono, Newcastlewest, Co Limerick; A great range of labels here.
Samui, 17 Drawbridge St, Cork; Busy women love the labels and the warm service.
Olori, 131 Oliver Plunkett St, Cork; Small, nicely-stocked shop people are talking about.
Place, 4 Esmonde St, Gorey; Still the top spot in this Wexford shopping destination.
Muse, 92 The Quay, Waterford; Tightly edited collection that stands out.
Fabiani, 19-20 Main St, Longford; Former shoe shop. Now a fashion and lifestyle space.
Galvin Tullamore, Williams House, Patrick St, Tullamore, Co Offaly; Stylish buys for men.
BEST VISUAL MERCHANDISING
Coffeewerk + Press, 4 Quay St, Galway; Aesthetically-pleasing cafe cum reading room.
Optica, 6 Dawson St, Dublin 2; Eye-opening space from Donal and Deirdre MacNally.
Yes Flowers, 13 Upr. Cross St, Galway; A blooming amazing shop and pavement.
The Best of Buds, Winthrop Arcade, Winthrop St, Cork; Fragrant shop where flowers decorate every surface.
Designworks Studio, Cornmarket St, Cork; A light-filled atelier where you can observe goldsmiths at their benches.
Kid, Top Floor, Powerscourt Centre, Dublin 2; A beautiful, buggy-friendly shop with play area and baby feeding room.
Sugar Daddy, 2 Exchequer St, Dublin 2; Old-school skills, modern attitude.
Envoy, 4 Wellington St, Belfast; 2015 winner, one of the nation’s best-dressed boutiques.
The Store Yard, Kea-Lew Business & Retail Park, Mountrath Rd, Portlaoise; A winner last year, this warehouse of vintage and antique furniture is brilliant for browsing.
BEST FAMILY-RUN SHOP
Monaghan’s, Royal Hibernian Way, Dawson St, Dublin 2; Opened in 1960 by Tom Monaghan and still operated by him and his daughter Suzanne. Cashmere specialists.
Nolans Supermarket, Vernon Avenue, Dublin 3; In business since the 50s, this supermarket retains an old style feel.
Mullaney Bros, 9 O’Connell St, Sligo; Mini department store that opened in 1909. Run by grandson John Mullaney.
Nimble Fingers, 1 Old Dublin Road, Stillorgan, Co Dublin; Open since 1962 and operated by Pat Staunton and his son Garreth.
Burke’s, George’s St, Gort. Co Galway; Open since 1841, the preservation order shop run by third and fourth generation, Gerard Burke’s, sells vegetables and fuel.
CH Chemist, 31 The Mall, Tralee, Co Kerry; Brother and sister Peter and Claire Harty’s busy bustling pharmacy has all your beauty photo and script needs covered.
The winners of Best Shops 2016 will be announced on August 27th