Best Shops in Ireland: The Shortlist

Almost 3,000 shops have been nominated for awards. Now, we’ve whittled the competition down to a shortlist of 100 and sent our judges out on the road to shop

The Shortlist for Ireland's Best Shops is now out, but what does it take to impress the judges? And what sets great shops apart in 2015?

a
 

The shortlist is out. We’ve whittled down your nominations to 100 shops around the country. Now it’s all down to the judges to pick winners in 10 different categories.

Check below to see if your favourites have made the cut.

Click on a category to skip the shortlist of shops in that area, or scroll down to read the whole list.

Best food/drink shop Best shop window/ display 
Best specialist shop Best gifts/crafts/design/interiors 
Best fashion store Best online shop 
Best café/teashop Best market stall or pop-up shop 
Best salon  Best newcomer 

 

Best food/drink shop

Fallon & Byrne, 11-17 Exchequer Street, D2. Definitive food hall with savvy staff.

Select Stores, 1 Railway Rod, Dalkey, Co Dublin. Healthy hang-out and trad grocery.

Blackrock Cellar, 23 Rock Hill, Blackrock, Co Dublin. Amazing craft beer selection.

Ardkeen Quality Food, Dunmore Road, Waterford, Co Waterford. Former winner; impressive range of Irish produce.

64 Wine, 64 Glasthule Road, Glenageary, Co Dublin . Former winner; customers still loving it

Wines Direct, 9 Lough Sheever Park, Mullingar. Garnered lots of votes for its great staff and special offers.

Toons Bridge Dairy Shop, Toons Bridge, Co Cork. Take a detour to try the made-on-site mozzarella and pecorino.

Caviston’s Glasthule Road, Co Dublin. Classy food store for fish, cheese and chats.

James Whelan Butcher, Various locations. Pioneering way with meat.

George’s Fish Shop, Monkstown Farm, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Great selection and attitude.

Sheridans Cheese, 11 South Anne St, D2 . Superb, if stinky, selection. Staff you can trust.

Gusto d’Italia , 30 William Street, Limerick. Homemade gelato with local milk

Roy Fox, 49 A Main Street, Donnybrook, D 4. Much-loved family run vegetable, fruit and food store.

 

Best specialist shop

Knobs & Knockers, 19 Nassau Street, D2. Expert advice on how to furnish doors and more.

Hang Tough, 7b South Richmond Street, D8. Hip little framers, nice ideas.

Amphibian King, Raven Hall, Upper Dargle Road, Bray, Co Wicklow . Former winner. Serious about running? Start your shoe search here.

Cloon Keen Atelier, 21a High Street, Galway. Subtle Irish-made candles and fragrances.

The Rathgar Bookshop, 100 Rathgar Road, Rathgar, D6. Read, talk, relax in this shop/cafe.

Right Click, 70 Camden Street, D2. Jargon- free help for your broken tech.

Susan Hunter Lingerie, 13 Westbury Mall, Grafton Street, D2. Customers love the one-on-one service.

The Rock Shop, Derreen, Liscannor, Co Clare. Emo heaven with its crystals, fossils and wands

Big Bang Comics, Sandyford Road, Dundrum, D14. Grown-up kid merchandise in industrial-style surroundings. C+D Shoes, 41 Charlemont Street, D2. Revives posh handbags and shoes.

 

Best fashion store

Samui Fashions, 17 Drawbridge Street, Cork. Leeside designer label HQ.

Muse, 92 The Quay, Waterford. Quirky labels and very browsable.

Gallery 9, 2 Poplar House, Sallins Road, Naas, Co Kildare. Carefully edited investment pieces here.

Style Ikon, 18a The Crescent, Monkstown, Co Dublin. Discreet place to pick up some great dresses.

Nowhere, 64 Aungier Street, Dublin 2. Menswear store with great accessories that women also love.

Envoy of Belfast, 4 Wellington Street, Belfast, Co Antrim . Happy to post whole outfits down south.

Vanilla Fermoy, Co Cork. Popular with the Best Dressed set.

EJ Menswear, 11 Grattan Street, Sligo. Nice setting, with super attentive staff.

Edward Donnellan & Co, Main Street, Roscommon, Co Roscommon. Its old-school service sets it apart.

Frewen & Aylward, 44 George’s Street Lower, Dún Laoghaire. One-stop shop for southsiders.

Folkster, 27 Patrick Street, Kilkenny . Vintage and new finds in an old bank.

Om Diva, 27 Drury Street, D2 Championing new Irish labels with studios upstairs.

 

Best café/teashop

Shells Café and Little Shop, The Seafront, Strandhill, Co Sligo. Destination cafe that draws weekend crowds.

Nick’s Coffee, Main Street, Ranelagh, D6. More shack than shop, free coffee to OAPs.

Firehouse Bakery, Old Delgany Inn, Delgany, Co Wicklow. Plenty to see and eat at this great refurb.

Glebe Gardens and Cafe, Baltimore, Co Cork . Georgian house and five-acre garden setting by the sea.

Hazel Mountain Chocolate, Oughtmama, Co Clare. Little bean-to-bar factory and cafe in the middle of nowhere.

Queen of Tarts , Cow’s Lane, D2. Delicious cakes and first-class people watching.

Pudding Row, Main Street, Easkey, Co Sligo. Homely food, fantastic views.

Clement & Pekoe, 50 South William St, D2. Great place to watch the world go by.

The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane, D8. Atmosphere and attitude in spades.

Cupán Tae, 8 Quay Lane, Galway. Seriously quaint tearoom serving home-made cakes and tea, Irish-style

 

Best salon 

Kazumi, 36 Molesworth Street, D2 . Precision cuts with on-site nail bar.

Lloyds, 89 the Quay and 45 Patrick Street, Waterford, Co Waterford Sleek, pristine salon, super staff.

Grooming Rooms, 16 William St, Dublin 2. Georgian townhouse-based barber offering first class treatments for men and women. 

Nuala Woulfe Beauty Salon, 4 Glasthule Road, Glasthule, Co Dublin. Calm, reliable, and great expertise here. 

Mink, Hand and Foot Spa, The Oval, Shelbourne Road, Donnybrook, D4. Speedy service in a handy location. 

Sugar Cubed, 1a Westbury Mall, Clarendon Street, D2. Brown Sugar’s little sister with same service and attention to detail.

Dylan Bradshaw, 56 South William St, D2. Former winner; makes you feel like a celebrity. 

Voya Seaweed Bath, Seafront, Strandhill, Co Sligo. Seaweedy seaside salon. 

Tropical Popical, 28 South William St, D2. A nail bar with definite zing. 

The Lads Lounge, Westpark Fitness, Greenhills Rd, Tallaght, D24. Lively set-up in a gym that caters for kids, hipsters and dads. 

Aviary Lane, 24 South Anne St, D2. Stylish- looking space with a first-rate colourist. 

Barbiere, 23 Camden Street Lower, D2. Old-school service, cool surroundings.

 

Best market stall or pop-up shop

Country Choice, Milk Market, Limerick. The best draw at the fabulous food market with a spin-off stall we love.

ABC Bread, English Market, Grand Parade, Cork. Handmade traditional and ethnic breads.

Thru The Green Drive-thru coffee stall, Windy Arbour, D14. A container in a car park with terrific coffee

Gourmet Kitchen, Seriously good barbecue street food. Numerous locations see irishvillagemarkets.ie

Wild About, People’s Park, Dún Laoghaire, every Sunday. Tastebud-tickling nettle pesto and much, much more.

Frank Hederman, English Market, Grand Parade, Cork. Top-notch smoked goods.

Arbutus Bread, English Market, Grand Parade, Cork. Michelin-quality bread. Also at markets in Macroom, Mahon and Midleton.

The Truffle Fairy, Chapel Lane, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny. Brilliant chocolates made by lovely people.

Forgotten China, The People’s Park, Dún Laoghaire (also at Marlay Park) Spearing granny’s china into new cake stands. Takes commissions.

Jarleth Tolan Butcher, Bridge Street, Crossmolina, Co Mayo. Mobile butchers shops criss-crossing the county.

 

Best newcomer

Scrumdiddlys, Crofton Road, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. There’s a constant queue for its multi-topped ice-creams.

Castle & Drury, 6 Castle Market, D2. Divine designer menswear.

Sister Sadie, 45 Harrington Street, D8. Epic breakfast and brunch.

Finn McCool Surf Shop, Rossknowlagh, Co Donegal, Surf central both on the waves and for off-duty tees and shorts.

Lotts & Co, 7 South Lotts Road, D4. Cool new mini-market in Google land.

Camerino, 158 Capel Street, D1. Save room after the fab sambos for the lovely cakes.

Kiln & Loom, 287 Ormeau Road, Belfast, Co Antrim. Books, crafts, coffee.

RunLogic, Smock Alley Court, Essex Street West, Temple Bar D2. Shop, club and cafe.

Whelehan’s Wines, Silver Tassie, Bray Road, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin. Cool cafe and wine shop in unexpected location.

 

Best gifts/crafts/ design/interiors 

Maven, Reid Memorial Hall, 4a Maryville Ave, Belfast, Co Antrim. Cool home finds in a historic wooden beamed building. 

Jane Carroll Design, Blackrock Shopping Centre, Co Dublin. Oh so cute homespun and charming.

The Coach House, Green Street, Dingle, Co Kerry. Not just for tourists, great gifts. 

Leitrim Design House, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co Leitrim Irish design and craft hub. 

Ginger Brown Designs, 39 Clarendon St, D2. Joss-stick free ethnic mix. 

Industry, 41 a/b Drury Street, D2. A place you can’t leave without buying something. 

Ardmore Pottery and Craft Shop, Cliff Road, Ardmore, Co Waterford. Gorgeous space with welcoming open fire. 

Foxford Woollen Mills, Providence Road, Foxford, Co Mayo. A working mill with lots of covetable linen and wool accessories. 

26 Eclectic Mix, 26 Kenyon Street, Nenagh, Co Tipperary. Annie Sloan central plus pretty gifts and the best bags featuring owner’s mother as a girl. 

The Store Yard, Kea-Lew Business and Retail Park, Mountrath Road, Portlaoise, Co Laois. The place for taxidermy, ephemera and one-off furniture finds. 

RJ Barber, O’Connell Street, Birr, Co Offaly. Distinguished gift and jewellery shop where you get great service. 

Article, Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin 2 . Former winner, full of things you didn’t know you wanted, but really do.

A la Campagne, 31 Main Street, Gorey, Wexford. French-inspired home accessories, well-priced. 

J+B Hope, Bridge Street, Cavan. Little House on the Prairie home wares. 

 

Best shop window/ display 

No 38, Dunville Avenue, D6. High-end, second-hand, beautifully displayed. 

Rowell Design, 1 The Crescent, Donnybrook Rd, D4. Uses the green as a shop window. 

The Gourmet Tart Company, 7 Lower Abbeygate Street, Galway. Dolls house style windows have delighted passers-by. 

Optica, 51C Dawson Street, D2. The smartest eyewear shop in town. 

Bud Garden Centre, Bunratty, Co Clare. Gorgeous, small scale operation with an urban feel. 

 

Best online shop

April and The Bear aprilandthebear.com Cool homewares and affordable art. 

Kennys.ie Shipping Irish classics, out of print books, maps and everything else all over the world. 

Micks Garage micksgarage.com Everything for the car at the click of a mouse. 

GrandGrand.ie Feck it, sure it’s fabulous. 

Makers and Brothers makersandbrothers.com The best of Irish and international design and craft. 

McElhinneys McElhinneys. com . One-stop-shop for the entire wedding party 

 

Winners will be announced on August 29th

a
The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.