Neighbourhood grocers and delis have been one of the good things to come out of the pandemic – we’re always looking for a silver lining here – with restaurants adapting to include them as part of their business, and many opening in the suburbs, doing their own part to bring us closer to the 15-minute city where everything is on our doorstep.
So we’ve put together this guide to new and long-established grocers and delis where you can browse, shop and buy great food. (In many cases these businesses also sell online, so it is well worth checking out their websites.) We explore the best places to go food shopping in south Dublin, north Dublin, Cork, Galway, Clare, Sligo and in the rest of the country.
25 of the best places to go food shopping in south Dublin
16 of the best places to go food shopping in north Dublin
11 of the best places to go food shopping in Cork
10 of the best places to go food shopping in Galway, Clare and Sligo
10 of the best places to go food shopping in the rest of Ireland
A Taste of Spain
60 Camden Street Lower, Dublin 2, and 16 Capel Street, Dublin 1; instagram.com
All the products we've come to know and love from our travels to Spain are housed under one roof – well, two actually – as you will find in this emporium of jamon, chorizo, morcilla, Manchego, olives and olive oil, turron, Spanish wines and Vermut on Capel Street and, more recently, Camden Street. The takeaway tapas are a great idea, and their hampers are the sort of thing you would love to see land on your doorstep.
Merrywell Business Park, Ballymount Road Lower, Dublin 12; 18 Drury Street, Dublin 2; asiamarket.ie
Everyone heads to the Asia Market on Drury Street, but the Ballymount outpost has free parking, so you'll be able to load up your car. It is a bazaar that has everything from hard-to-find fresh Chinese vegetables and mushrooms to a tantalising selection of frozen seafood, dumplings and other specialities, as well as every type of noodle and sauce you could imagine. You'll also find Chinese plates, tableware and cooking utensils if you want to add to your at-home dining experience.
11-13 Suffolk Street, Dublin 2; avoca.com
Head downstairs at this mini emporium to find an extensive selection of food gifts, chutneys, preserves and olive oil, as well as an in-house butcher and an extensive selection of ready-made meals and salads.
58 Glasthule Road, Glenageary, Sandycove, Co Dublin; cavistons.com
Synonymous with good fish, the Caviston family are a bit of an institution in Glasthule. Their shop is very much a speciality food store as well as the place to pick up your catch of the day (plus live crab and lobsters). There's an organic vegetable market, more than 100 types of Irish and international cheeses, a deli, a bakery and rows of wooden shelves packed with delicious larder items.
Dundrum Town Centre, Sandyford Road, Dundrum, Dublin 16; donnybrookfair.ie
Running over two floors, Donnybrook Fair's new flagship store in the Pembroke Square quarter of Dundrum Town Centre opens at the end of November. It's on a big scale. The ground floor houses a food hall with a butcher's and seafood counter, speciality counters with cheese, Irish and Continental charcuterie, salads, pastas, pies and fresh prepared dishes. The first floor is home to a restaurant and bar.
34 Wexford Street, Dublin 2; facebook.com
Michelle and Damien Madden's greengrocer is the place to head if you're looking for truly seasonal fruit and vegetables. You'll find gooseberries, plums and greengages as they come into season, Irish asparagus, tender-stem broccoli, new-season potatoes and an impressive selection of organic Irish mushrooms. It's a good place to pick up spices, and there are quite a few vegan options here too.
Fallon & Byrne
11-17 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2; fallonandbyrne.com
You'll find smoked salmon in many food stores and gourmet shops, but this is one of the few places where you'll get Sally Barnes' Woodcock Smokery salmon, which, being wild, is in very limited supply. One of the originals, this food hall is the place to come for all of those hard-to-find items, as well as more everyday luxury items, such as sourdough bread. The selection of fresh fruit and vegetables is impressive, and the cheese, charcuterie and butcher's counters are particularly good. A great place for gift and novelty food items – and if you can't make up your mind there's always its wine range to choose from.
FXB Victualler & Grocer
1 Pembroke Street Lower, Dublin 2; thebuckleycollection.ie
In a part of Dublin that until now was severely lacking in food shops, this is not just a premium butcher but also a gourmet food store where you'll find cheese, charcuterie, foie gras and speciality food items, as well as an impressive selection of ready-made meals and wine.
Green Man Wines
3 Terenure Road North, Terenure, Dublin 6W; greenmanwines.ie
This is one of Dublin's best wine shops. Its owner, David Gallagher, added a "larder" during lockdown that stocks everything you might like to go with something special in your glass. Cheese is from Sheridans, with charcuterie from On the Pig's Back and Gubbeen Smokehouse; there's also a good range of Spanish and Italian olive oils, almonds and olives.
Blackpitts, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8; hensteethstore.com
Hen's Teeth is a contemporary cultural space where art, music, food and culture come together. With their cafe closed during lockdown, they added the "Treats" grocer section in 2020, stocking products from new brands and small Irish producers, and unique, independent products from around the world.
Irish Food Emporium
18-19 Duke Street, Dublin 2; clickandcollection.com
William Despard, owner of the Bretzel Bakery, brought his award-winning sourdough to the city centre when he opened his Duke Street store in the summer, but apart from bread and great sandwiches you'll also find an impressive selection of products from small-batch artisan food makers. They specialise in gifts and hampers.
38 Lennox Street, Portobello, Dublin 8; lennoxstreet.ie
This small neighbourhood grocer is all about quality suppliers. Vegetables are from Beechlawn Organic, Ballymakenny and Market Gnomes, who are operating a market-garden farm using regenerative agricultural practices to produce high-quality organic vegetables. Other products stocked include Sheridans cheeses, Pastificio Mancini pasta and low-intervention wines.
25/26 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2; listonsfoodstore.ie
Listons opened in 2000 with the aim of being a local grocer where cooks would love to shop – and immediately became a popular lunchtime spot, with queues for their sandwiches, salads and sausage rolls. Among the many grocery items, you'll find Irish-roasted coffees, organic olive oil from Greece, Tartine and Firehouse bread, and a selected range of wines from small, quality-driven winemakers.
Marlowe & Co
9-11 Sandford Gardens, South Circular Road, Dublin 8; instagram.com
Patrick Fagan and Danielle and Lisa Farrelly describe their shop, which opened in December 2019, as a sort of weird grocer/coffee shop hybrid that sells a few nice things for presents and homeware. They view it as a community hub. Most of the products stocked are organic and come from top suppliers such as Lilliput Trading Co, Sheridans, Simply Wild and IIHF. You'll also find products from White Mausu, the UpCycle Farm, Harry's Nut Butter, Mossfield Organic Farm, Chimac, the Garden, Hopeless Botanics and their new kimchi supplier, Seoul Kitchen. They also have a wide range of vegan options, from treats and sandwiches to sausages and cheese.
15-17 Dunville Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin 6; mortons.ie
A stalwart in Ranelagh, Morton's is a family-run business that started out as a traditional grocer in 1934. As well as a comprehensive selection of fruit and vegetables, you'll find Lawlor's meat at the butcher's counter; there are also counters for fish and cheese, plus an enormous choice of top-quality prepared meals and wines.
Picado Mexican Pantry
44a Richmond Street South, Dublin 2; picadomexican.com
What started as an online store is now a fully fledged food shop and cookery school, with a window that will always grab your attention as you pass by. There is no better place to get tortillas in Ireland, as Lily Ramirez-Foran, an Irish-Mexican woman from a family of tortilla makers, has them made to her own recipe. This is a magical one-stop shop where you can browse at your leisure and shop for all things Mexican, from chillies, sauces and tinned and dry goods to cute little cosies to keep your tortillas warm.
202 Harold's Cross Road, Harold's Cross, Dublin 6W; provider.ie
Maeve and Ciaran Donoghue opened their gourmet food store and delicatessen a year ago, stocking cheese, charcuterie and antipasti from Lilliput and Sheridans, bread and cakes from Bretzel Bakery and Mud Bakery, and wines from Le Caveau and Vinostinto. If you're in the burbs, it will certainly save you a trip to the city centre. There's so much here from small producers, including White Mausu, Harry's Nut Butter, Jaru's Kimchi, Taste Joy peanut butter, the Proper Chocolate Company, Sean Cotter's Savage Sauces, Abernethy Butter, Assassination Custard and Crossogue jams.
97 Terenure Road East, Terenure, Dublin 6; saltwatergrocery.ie
The pandemic decimated Niall Sabongi's wholesale Sustainable Seafood business, which relied on restaurants for much of its trade, so as well as taking to the road with his Salty Buoy food truck, he teamed up with his mate and fellow chef Karl Whelan to open a fishmonger, grocer and bottle shop in Terenure. An impressive display of seafood includes lobsters and oysters, shelves are lined with tinned and larder products, a rotisserie at the back is used to cook chickens, and, with a few tables outside, you can enjoy 3fe coffee and pastries from the hatch after shopping.
63 Clanbrassil Street Lower, Dublin 8; facebook.com
On this little strip of Clanbrassil Street, where you'll also find some top kebab shops, this Middle Eastern store is not just great for buying ground spices and chickpeas: you'll also find very reasonably priced bunches of fresh coriander, mint and parsley, perfect if you're making tabbouleh. Watch out for the Alphonso mangos when they come into season, in late spring.
120 Emmet Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8, and 40 Drumcondra Road Lower, Drumcondra, Dublin 9; smallchanges.ie
The bartering system has been revived at Peadar Rice's zero-waste food shops. Over the summer, people who found themselves with excess fruit and vegetables from their allotment or garden could exchange the produce for store credit. All of the food in the shop is loose – grains, beans, pasta, nuts and household cleaners – so that customers can buy as much or as little as they like.
Forest Avenue Gastronomic Grocers & Deli
8 Sussex Terrace, Sussex Road, Dublin 4; forestavenuegreengrocers.ie
John and Sandy Wyer were the first to adapt their premises to become a grocer and deli, stocking produce from their suppliers for their restaurant business. It has been so successful that it's here to stay, with the restaurant moving to the Forest & Marcy premises around the corner. The sourdough here is a bit legendary, as is the focaccia, so check out the daily sandwich. There is also everything you need for a gourmet dinner at home – oysters, cooked whole lobster, cheese and charcuterie, foie-gras pithivier, rib-eye of beef and a selection of desserts. With an impressive wine shop upstairs, it is no surprise that there are plans to open as a wine bar in the evening.
The Best of Italy
37 Dunville Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin 6; instagram.com
With an array of fresh vegetables displayed outside, you feel as if you're in an Italian deli as soon as you venture inside. Staples such as pasta and tinned tomatoes plus an impressive selection of Italian wines line the shelves, and there are also Italian charcuterie, cheeses and antipasti. It's a one-stop shop for dinner or entertaining.
Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8; thefumbally.ie
Walking down the few steps into the Fumbally has always had a bit of a showcase feel, and now, with the grocery area to the left and the relaxed cafe to the right, it feels even more inviting. Wooden shelves groan with delicious-looking seasonal produce from top producers such as McNally Farm. You'll also find their own bread, focaccia and ferments, and as well as nut butters and store-cupboard items, they now have a carefully selected range of low-intervention wines from small producers.
The Good Neighbour
Unit 8, Dundrum Village, Main Street, Dublin 14; thegoodneighbour.ie
Leading the way in sustainability, Jess Dollinger aims to make shopping for food as affordable and package-free as possible in her zero-waste food store in the old Dundrum shopping centre. She sells more than 300 package-free products, including grains, pastas, cereals, nuts, spices, eggs, baking ingredients, fruit and vegetables, and you'll also find Giselle Makinde's wonderful Cream of the Crop gelato. If you're a student with a valid ID, be sure to shop there on Tuesdays, when you will get 10 per cent off your bill.
Toonsbridge Dairy + Shop
24 South Great George's Street, Dublin 2; instagram.com
You may not have been planning it, but as soon as you walk into this deli you'll realise that of course you need to have an Italian spread for dinner. You can pick up Toonsbridge fresh buffalo mozzarella, made from their own herd in Cork, charcuterie, salted almonds, and breads from Tartine. They also carry fresh pasta, Irish honeys, prepared lasagne dinners and their much-loved cannoli.
30 Capel Street, Dublin 1; ayla.ie
Capel Street has grown into one of Dublin's more interesting food corners – and it's hard to pass the window of Erol Basak's Turkish food shop, filled with borek (savoury flaky pastries), baklava and other Turkish specialities. Inside, there are jewelled trays of Turkish delight, olives, stuffed grape leaves and a range of spices and canned goods.
59a Leinster Street North, Phibsborough, Dublin 7; bangbang.ie
"We look for signs that Dublin's heart's still beating" is emblazoned across the cool exterior of this deli, which was opened by siblings Grace and Daniel Lambert in 2016. You'll find crates of fresh produce, bowls of olives, baskets of free-range eggs, and shelves of oils, sauces and condiments such as Achill Island sea salt and bacon jam, alongside a few rails of vintage clothing. They serve soups, sandwiches and coffee, and there's a small outside seating area.
Country Crest Farm Shop
Jones Garden Centre, Swords Road, Donabate, Co Dublin; countrycrestfarmshop.ie
As well as a huge selection of meat, this farm shop sells seasonal fruit and vegetables from Clonanny Farm, fresh breads and cakes, Irish artisan foods, such as Velvet Cloud, White Mausu, Berna's handmade dressings and prepared meals from their own business, Ballymaguire Foods.
Nolan's of Clontarf
49 Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 3; nolans.ie
A Clontarf establishment, this family-run supermarket, which has been operating since 1954, has everything under one roof. As well as a greengrocer, a butchery, a fish and seafood counter and standard larder items, it stocks a comprehensive range of organic and artisan foods, which includes top Irish producers.
Rosemount Terrace, 5 Arbour Hill, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7; lilliputstores.com
Perhaps one of the most beautiful food shops in Dublin, this atmospheric greengrocer, deli and coffee shop is packed to the gills with quality cheese, charcuterie, breads, olive oil and specialised food items. One of the best places for hampers.
139a North King Street, Dublin 7; littleitalyltd.com
This little corner of Italy, a wholesale and retail shop, has been hiding in plain sight in Stoneybatter since 1976. Cheese, charcuterie, tinned and dry goods are imported directly from Italy, as is a selection of Italian wines. Pick up one of their fresh dough-ball kits and tiramisu DIY kits while you're there.
Lotts & Co
46 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3; 7 South Lotts Road, Beggar's Bush, Dublin 4; and 12 Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, Dublin 6W; lottsandco.ie
The original Lotts & Co is the one in Beggar's Bush, but the Clontarf branch, which opened a year ago, is the largest, with a delicatessen, rotisserie, greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger. You'll get quiche, salads, sausage rolls and sandwiches at the deli counter, FXB meats, fish from Sustainable Seafood, a great coffee selection, and wine and 1661 cocktails. A shiny new branch recently opened in Terenure.
Margadh Food & Wine
Harbour Road, Howth, Co Dublin; margadhfoodandwine.ie
Jess D'Arcy and Killian Durkin, owners of Mamó restaurant in Howth, added a neighbourhood food and wine shop to their business in October 2020, and it's here to stay. It offers a range of restaurant-quality ready meals, sandwiches and coffee, and the morning bakes, brownies and sausage rolls, have attracted plenty of fans. Cheese is from Sheridans and Lilliput Stores, and you'll find local Howth honey, fermented products from Four Hands Food Studio, and a selection of sustainably produced wines.
McNally Family Farm Shop
Balrickard, Ring Commons, Co Dublin; mcnallyfamilyfarm.ie
A trip to McNally's farm shop, which is open from Wednesday to Saturday, is the perfect escape from urban living. Everything is grown organically either outdoors or in polytunnels, so you won't find the likes of tomatoes and carrots in stock all year round. But as they grow more than 50 kinds of vegetables and salads, there is always plenty of interesting seasonal produce. They also stock some small artisan producers, cheese from Corleggy in Co Cavan, crackers from Isle of Crackers in Co Wexford, and flour from Dunany Flour in Co Louth. Most of their vegetables are sold loose but, for quality reasons, the salads and greens are in plastic bags. This is soon changing, as they will be moving to compostable bags in the new year.
1 Manor Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7; mooz.ie
Head to this Italian delicatessen for San Marzano tomatoes, guanciale, 'nduja di Spilinga, cheese, dried pasta, passata, polenta flour, pesto, tapenade and all sorts of other things Italian, as well as sweet treats. Party platters can be ordered online.
Mr Green Fresh Food
Strand Road, Burrow, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin; mrgreenfreshfood.ie
Mr Green is all about fruit and vegetables, and here the shelves are loaded with beautiful-looking seasonal produce. You'll also find Tartine breads, plus fridges filled with meats, Sheridans cheese, kombuchas and vegan alternatives, and products from small Irish producers such as White Mausu.
Nimra Asian Foods
89-90 Parnell Street, Dublin 1; facebook.com
Fruit and vegetables are piled high in this well-stocked shop (you'll find an impressive selection of fresh chillies). There's a halal meat counter and shelves are filled with hard-to-get spices, sauces, ghee and canned and dried goods.
336a-338a North Circular Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7; noms.ie
Noms stands for Natural, Organic, Mindful and Sustainable, and the aim at this food store is to close the loop as much as possible, and provide nutritious, delicious, sustainable food and lifestyle products that are mindfully sourced. Its range of locally sourced products includes organic fruit and vegetables from Beechlawn Organic Farm and Spring Cottage Organic Farm. They also stock small Irish artisan suppliers – chutneys and jams from the Big Red Kitchen, sourdough from Tartine bakery, vegan mayonnaise from Savage Mayo, fermented kimchi from Cork's MyGoodness, and White Mausu rayu.
86 Strand Street, Skerries, Co Dublin; olive.ie
Very much at the heart of the community in Skerries, Peter Dorrity and his wife, Deirdre Fahy, have been running this deli and cafe for 16 years. They stock a wide range of products, including local eggs, Sheridans cheese, Gubbeen Smokehouse charcuterie and breads from Tartine, as well as olives, dips and salads. They use this produce for their sandwiches, plus McNally's vegetables for their soups; cakes are from Mud Bakery. There are four covered outside seating areas for coffees, breakfast and lunch.
Pinoy Sari Sari Store
25-26 Little Mary Street, Dublin 1; facebook.com
You'll find all the ingredients you need to make pinakbet, a Filipino vegetable stew, or malunggay soup in this specialised store, which brings a taste of home to the Filipino community in Dublin. Noodles, coconut milk and sauces fill the shelves, and the chilled section includes frozen bangus bangus (milk fish), maya-maya (red snapper) and tuna.
Rongs Asian Market
157 Parnell Street, Dublin 1; facebook.com
Razor clams wriggle out of the top of their shells in this Chinese food shop, where fish and seafood are specialities. It also has a substantial meat counter, and you'll find Chinese vegetables, noodles, spices, sauces and just about everything you'll need to cook something interesting at home.
Ballylickey, Bantry, Co Cork; manningsemporium.ie
You're in for a treat, as you drive the coastal road from Bantry towards Glengarriff, when you get to this gourmet food store, deli and cafe, which has been in the Mannings family for more than 70 years. It's a good place to stock up on local cheeses, charcuterie and a good selection of wines. There is also plenty on the cafe and takeaway menu, from cheese toasties made with Arbutus bread to sausage rolls, salads, prepared meals and wood-fired pizza.
Urru Culinary Store
The Mill, McSwiney Quay, Bandon, Co Cork; urru.ie
Ruth Healy, who opened her culinary store in 2003, says that people describe it as unexpected, abundant and beautiful; a food lover's dream. It's a cafe and shop that stocks foods from more than 100 producers, including Gubbeen, Ummera and On the Pigs Back. With the exception of Parmesan, all of the cheese is Irish, including the lesser-known Dart Mountain and Lost Valley. Fresh produce comes primarily from Garryhankard, Innishannon, and Food for Humans, Ballinhassig. You will also find Valentia Vermouth, made by Anna and Orla Snook O'Carroll.
The Stuffed Olive
2a Bridge Street, Carrignagat, Bantry, Co Cork; wordpress.com
This food, bakery and wine store is run by Patricia Messom with the help of her daughters. With an extensive range of ready meals, soups, quiches, salads, cakes and desserts, you can pick up everything you need for lunch, dinner or even, in finer weather, a picnic.
9 Princes Street, Cork city; the English Market, Cork city; iago.ie
This is the place to come for fresh pasta and ravioli, with fillings such as roast butternut squash and sage. It's a treasure trove, with all of the produce and ingredients you'll need for a special dinner. Salami, chorizo, 'nduja, saucisson sec, prosciutto and Serrano ham are among the cured meats you'll get, as well as a good selection of Ortiz tinned fish, Valencia smoked almonds, tapenade, olives, cheeses, anchovies and jars of Spanish white asparagus.
Fields of Skibbereen
Main Street, Gortnaclohy, Skibbereen, Co Cork; fieldsofskibbereen.ie
This is not your usual SuperValu. Yes, you will get the usual stock-cupboard items, but when it comes to meat, suppliers include Caherbeg free-range pork and Skeaghanore duck, and fish is from Glenmar and Shellfish de la Mer. Owner John Field makes a point of supporting local producers, so as well as Gubbeen cheese and charcuterie, you'll find Union Hall smoked fish and pâté, smoked fish from Woodcock Smokery, the Ummera Smokehouse Range, and pies and soups from Blue Haven.
2 Glengarriff Road, Bantry, Co Cork; organico.ie
Run by sisters Rachel and Hannah Dare, this is a sizeable health-food shop with a deli and bakery. There is an impressive set-up for dispensing dry goods such as lentils, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, which are sold loose, a greengrocer section is well stocked with produce, and there are freezers filled with prepared meals. A long wooden counter has a tempting array from the bakery, as well as sandwiches, vegetarian sausage rolls, dhal, salad bowls and pastries. The cafe is currently closed, so seating is outdoor only.
On the Pigs Back
Stall 11, English Market, Cork city; Unit 26, St Patrick's Mills, Douglas West; onthepigsback.ie
Isabelle Sheridan started selling farmhouse cheeses, charcuterie, fresh breads and Irish artisan food in the English Market in 1972 and now has a thriving business that also includes a cafe in Douglas. She has won awards for her Pig's Back pâtés and terrines, which are also stocked by a number of retailers around the country.
2-3 Wellington Road, St Luke's Cross, Cork city; okeeffes-shop.ie
Donal O'Keeffe, the owner of this long-established shop, has a commitment to supporting small and local producers, which include Arbutus breads, Gubbeen, Durrus and Gortnamona cheeses, Belvelly Smokehouse fish, Ummera smoked chicken and bacon, shellfish from De la Mer, Caherbeg free-range pork and Murphy's ice cream.
Farmgate Restaurant and Country Store
Broderick Street, Coolbawn, Midleton, Co Cork; farmgate.ie
Máróg O'Brien first opened her small farm shop, just a 25-minute drive east of Cork city, in 1983. A few years later she expanded it into a restaurant and bakery. The shop is stocked with local organic produce, dried pasta and speciality goods, cheese, soda bread, cakes and prepared soups and meals.
Hudson's Wholefoods – Deli & Café
18 Main Street, Ballydehob, Co Cork; hudsonswholefoods.com
Free-standing wire shelves are filled with tahini, ras el hanout, vinegars, oils, sauces and speciality ingredients; wooden shelves are filled with pulses and grains; and the origin of the organic vegetables is chalked up on a blackboard. The cafe, with a large communal table, has a vegetarian focus, including a number of vegan options.
Market Street, Kinsale, Co Cork; gourmetpantry.ie
Padraig O'Sullivan and chef Sabrina Levis Morley opened this deli at the end of 2016. It is now a haven for grab-and-go meals, offering a selection of soups, salads, fresh and frozen meals, baked goods and cakes.
38-39 Shop Street, Galway city; mccambridges.com
Very much part of Galway city, this store opened as a "high-class grocery, provision, wine and spirit establishment" in 1925, and although it has evolved into more of a food hall it has all the elements it started out with all those years ago. There's a full grocery, with organic fruit and vegetables, a good range of local artisan food, and a well-stocked selection of wine, Irish whiskey, single malt Scotch and other spirits.
Morton's of Galway
148 Salthill Road Lower, Galway; instagram.com
Old-school values and great produce are the cornerstones of this deli and grocer, which has been operating for 30 years. It has the usual supermarket pantry items, as well as organic vegetables from the local growers An Garraí Glas and Uncle Matt's Farm, plus a butcher's and fish counter, freshly baked bread, cakes and savoury items, and a good selection of wines.
Churchyard Street, Galway city; sheridanscheesemongers.com
Brothers Kevin and Seamus Sheridan started out selling Irish farmhouse cheese and olives in the Saturday market in Galway in 1995. They soon opened a shop nearby, with cheeses stacked from the floor to the ceiling. The shop is now a deli as well as a cheese shop, with international as well as Irish cheeses, plus a huge range of charcuterie, olive oils, condiments and pasta. There's a wine shop upstairs, and a very cosy wine bar. Sheridans also has a shop on South Anne Street, in Dublin, and in Kells, Co Meath.
Sullivan's Country Grocer
Main Street, Oughterard, Co Galway; sullivanscountryliving.com
Among the many things we love about this wonderful grocer and bakery is the fact that, on the way out, you can pick up yesterday's baking free of charge. It sums up the approach here, where it's all about good-quality organic produce and sustainability. This is as charming as food shops get, with delicious cakes and pastries as well as sourdough bread. The wooden shelves are piled with goods from small artisan producers and hand-crafted homeware items.
Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare; burrensmokehouse.ie
The small smokehouse that Birgitta and Peter Curtin opened in 1989 has grown into something considerably bigger, with a visitor centre dedicated to the art of smoking fish. Burren Smokehouse stocks its own cold-smoked and hot-smoked Irish organic salmon, as well as award-winning cheeses, including St Tola goat's cheese, Aillwee Caves Burren Gold Gouda, Gubbeen and Cooleeney.
Main Street, Ennistymon, Co Clare; cheesepressennistymon.ie
Sinéad Ní Gháirbhith started out selling Irish farmhouse cheeses at farmers' markets and decided to go for a bricks-and-mortar home for her business in Ennistymon, in 2017. Having learned the craft of cheese-making with her sister Siobhán, of St Tola goat's cheese, it seemed like a natural progression. She also stocks a number of small artisan food brands – and makes formidable cheese toasties.
Cosgrove & Son
32 Market Street, Abbeyquarter North, Sligo; cosgroveandson.ie
Cheeses, cured meats, duck confit, Portuguese olive oil, Italian artichokes, Spanish haricot beans, dried pasta and chutneys are just some of the specialities you will find on the tightly packed shelves in this fine-food shop, which dates back to 1898. Michael Cosgrove now runs the shop, which still has its traditional storefront, plus wooden-faced countertops and slightly leaning shelves that add to its charm and character. Many of the dry goods are sold loose, including dried-fruit products, cereals, flour, nuts and fresh fruit. Meats are cooked in-house and sliced fresh for each customer, and nothing from the cold counter is prepackaged.
From the Ground Up
Tobercurry, Co Sligo; instagram.com
Jenny French started out in the food business by putting an honesty box and some of her hen's eggs at the bottom of her lane. Soon she was selling produce from her smallholding at Anchrony farmers' market, and in 2020 she opened a food shop. With sustainability at its core, it has Sligo's first refill station, where people bring their own containers to buy just the amount of dry goods they need. She also stocks a range of artisan food products, including Sheridans cheeses, bread from Shells in Strandhill and bottles of raw milk.
3 Castle Street, Abbeyquarter North, Sligo; kateskitchen.ie
Kate, Beth and Jane O'Hara run this independent grocery, which also specialises in gifts and homewares. Cheeses are from Sheridans, meat is from Clarke's Butchers in Sligo, their free-range eggs are local, and the milk and butter are from Connacht Gold. They carry gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan products, and offer heat-and-eat dinners that you can order each week.
Main Street, Easkey, Co Sligo; puddingrow.ie
The oven goes on early each morning at Dervla James and Johny Conlon's adorable deli, where they make white and brown loaves, focaccia, bagels, baps and gluten-free bread for their phenomenal sandwiches, as well as croissants, pains au chocolat, sausage rolls, tarts and a range of homemade cakes. Before the pandemic they ran a cafe with a small retail shelf by the till. Now they have a totally separate retail space and are selling online and shipping nationwide. They buy directly from local farmers and growers and other small Irish suppliers, so you'll get all the top names, such as White Mausu, Harry's Nut Butter, Nutshed, Chimac, Savage Sauces, Achill Island Sea Salt, All About Kombucha, Ballyhoura Mushrooms and Kilbeggan oats.
REST OF IRELAND
Ardkeen Quality Food Store
Dunmore Road, Waterford; ardkeen.com
This may look like a supermarket, but the Jephson family have small-scale producers at the core of what they do. So you'll find heritage potatoes from Ballymakenny Farm, organic apple juice from Highbank Orchard, Abernethy butter, Comeragh Mountain lamb and chickens from Glenmore Organic Farm. There's an impressive selection of craft beer, wine and spirits, including locally made whiskey and gin from Blackwater Distillery.
Kenyon Street, Nenagh, Co Tipperary; Milk Market, Limerick; facebook.com
Looking through the window of Peter and Mary Ward's food emporium, you will see shelves packed to the ceiling with the finest produce you can get in Ireland and specialist pastas and olive oils from Italy. Ward's intention has always been to stock only the best. The best butter and buttermilk and homemade black puddings from the old kitchens of Tipperary, organic eggs and poultry, and farmhouse cheese that is ripened and matured in-house. At the heart of their business is the large kitchen where all foods are made from scratch. All soups, breads, pies, meats and pâtés are made on a daily basis, you'll get ham cooked on the bone, and Mary Ward still makes all the jams, preserves and dressings each day in the shop.
Burnaby Buildings, Church Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow; Killiney Stores, Killiney Hill Road, Killiney, Co Dublin; elevendeli.ie
Barry Hargadon, who spent four years working at the Greenhouse restaurant in Dublin, decided in 2018 that it was time to get out of working late nights and weekends and opened this Greystones deli with his wife, Shelly. Sandwiches are a speciality, and sauces, pestos, relishes, salads and ready meals are all made in-house. Cheese is from Sheridans, fresh fruit and vegetables are from Nicky's Village Market in Killcoole, bread and pastries are from Firehouse Bakery in Delgany, and you'll find products from top artisan producers and a good selection of organic and biodynamic wines.
Glasraí & Goodies
Main Street, Gowran, Co Kilkenny; facebook.com
At this gem of a food shop Gemma Lawlor has the shelves packed to the gills with locally grown vegetables, cheeses, free range eggs, charcuterie, olives and olive oil, as well as a good selection of Irish artisan producers. Salads, sandwiches and home bakes are stocked on the deli counter.
30 Castle Street, Comber, Co Down; indiefude.com
Indie Füde is a deli, but not like any other, according to Laura Anne Bradley and Johnny McDowell, who opened their store in 2014. The name originates from their two main philosophies: indigenous and independent. They only stock Irish small-batch artisan products – 700 is their count so far. They have recently opened an Indie Füde cheese shop on Ormeau Road in Belfast.
4 Bridge Street, Cootehill, Co Cavan; facebook.com
With baskets of sourdough and breads from Matilda's bakery on the counter and tables, and shelves stacked with olive oil, preserves and chutneys, this charming speciality shop stocks everything from cheese, salads, quiches, pestos and wine to breakfast bowls, homemade granola, and daily buns and tarts.
Kilcullen Road, Naas, Co Kildare; refillz.ie
Martin and Sinéad Wisely opened Kildare's first zero-waste store in September this year, sourcing locally where possible, or else from sustainable suppliers overseas. Organic eggs, fruit and vegetables come from local farms, but their main business is dried goods, such as cereals, rice, pastas, baking ingredients, pulses, nuts and seeds, which are available from a dispensing station, cutting down on the need for packaging. They also have a nut-butter mill, so you can grind a selection of nuts to make your own nut butter.
Spencer Street, Castlebar, Co Mayo; caferua.com
Siblings Colleen and Aran McMahon opened Rua in 2008, after increasing requests and orders for the brown soda, apple pies, cakes, salad dressings and chutneys that are served in Rua Café, and still sell their pâté, pickles, bread and salad dressing made to their mum's original recipe. It is a trove of good food, with sourdough, seasonal vegetables from the local Glasraí Farm and Stephen Gould, products from artisan producers, and ready-made meals, as well as a good wine, including the highly rated Burgundy made by Mayo native Roisin Curley.
The Blue Goat
The Quay, Rossreagh, Ramelton, Co Donegal; facebook.com
In the picturesque town of Ramelton, this equally picturesque artisan food shop is the loveliest place to browse and pick up some speciality goods. Cheese from Corleggy and raw-milk cheeses are in excellent condition, you'll find all sorts of olives, chutneys, condiments and vinegar, an impressive selection of cakes and pastries, and some well-chosen bottles of natural wine.
Main Street, Borris, Co Carlow; thefermentary.ie
This small bakery, shop and cafe opened in June this year, and has all the positive vibes of a collective and community hub. The people behind it are Seamus Jordan and Jenna Black of Plúr Bakery, and the kombucha and fermentation specialists James Vine-Chatterton and Janine Ludlow. Jordan, who worked at Firehouse Bakery and trained with Chad Robertson at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, will be familiar to people who queued for their sourdough bread, laminated croissants and vegan pastries at Allta's Saturday bakery pop-ups and the food market in Kilkenny. Kombucha is on tap, and you can pick up in-house miso- and koji-based ferments, as well as local organic vegetables, local cheese, Irish-grown and -milled grains, and wild food.