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Discover Food Experiences

taste the island

When it comes to a food destination in Ireland, the Medieval City of Kilkenny is hard to beat! It is no surprise that Kilkenny is famous for its exquisite culinary delights with its wide array of restaurants and thriving food community. What makes Kilkenny unique is its variety; from top quality gastro pub food, a wide range of Irish and international food offerings to two Michelin star restaurants.

Food Festivals – Savour Kilkenny Food Festival

One of Ireland’s largest and most popular food festivals, Savour Kilkenny celebrates the very best of Kilkenny’s vibrant food culture with a core commitment to supporting local growers, producers and local cafes and restaurants. Now in its 13th year Savour Kilkenny welcomes a host of the most innovative celebrities and opinion makers in the world of food, to the medieval city in Ireland’s Ancient East. This year’s festival will include international and Irish celebrity chef demonstrations and talks, a food and fitness bootcamp with Kathryn Thomas in Kilkenny Castle, a Wellness Stage, a bustling food market with over 100 delicious stalls, an Australian Beach BBQ,  a Vegan Night, a Medieval Banquet in the Medieval Mile Musuem, the Culinary Ability Awards Gala Dinner, Organic Wines Talk and Tasting and a programme of activities for families and young foodies. See savourkilkenny.com

Lady Helen Restaurant Mount Juliet

Michelin Star Dining Experiences

Kilkenny is proud to offer visitors the chance to sample the most delectable and mouth watering menus from its two Michelin Star restaurants. The Lady Helen Restaurant in Mount Juliet Estate has been awarded 1 Michelin Star & 3 AA Rosettes for its internationally-themed menu consisting of dishes made using local ingredients, including many from their own kitchen garden, herb garden and farm. The atmosphere of opulence within the Lady Helen Restaurant complements the pastoral views out over the pastures to the River Nore, racing its way south from Thomastown to Inistioge. Campagne is a Michelin Star restaurant located in the heart of medieval Kilkenny. Guided by the seasons and its produce, their inspiration comes from regional France and its cuisine. The restaurant has gained many accolades on a national and international level most notably one Michelin star status in September 2013. 

Farmers Market

Farmers Market

Kilkenny Farmers Market is located in front of Kilkenny Castle and runs every Thursday from 9.30am-2.30pm. Hosting stalls selling a wide variety of produce including farmhouse cheese, goats cheese, fruit, vegetables, honey, organic meat, preserves, home-baked breads and cakes, fruit juice, salads and much more this market gives a taste of the fine produce and homemade goodies that the artisan producers of Kilkenny have to offer.

Edward Hayden Celebrity Chef

Cookery Schools

Foodies can’t go past mouth-watering treats, cookery demonstrations, hands on tuition, private dining functions and workshops with Kilkenny’s array of Cookery schools including Ryeland House Cookery School, Eden Hall, a traditional old Irish house in the heartland of County Kilkenny with demonstrations based on creating quick and easy dishes using fresh and local ingredients, The School of Food in Thomastown, a food hub for discourse, innovation and learning and of course celebrity Chef Edward Hayden at the helm of his new Cookery School in Graiguenamanagh.

Goatsbridge Trout

Kilkenny Food Trails

Kilkenny is known for its food culture and this is celebrated on the Trail Kilkenny Food and Craft Experience Trail! For the foodies and craft lovers, the Food & Craft trail offers a showcase of Kilkenny’s best food producers and artisans. Watch highly skilled, master crafters at work, join a guided tour, get an exciting hands-on experience and sample delicious food and drink, check out the Autumn apple harvest at Highbank Orchard or a visit to Goatsbridge Trout as you discover the history and culture with some of Kilkenny’s most renown craft and food providers. Our food and craft trails are an experience of how ‘local’ produce can be nurtured and created into something unique! Visit: www.trailkilkenny.ie

Local Food Producers

The local food producers of Kilkenny excel at offering the highest quality home grown products that when brought together are helping create the diverse and ever evolving foodie scene that is a testament to the food sector in Kilkenny. Artisan producers like Goatsbridge Trout Farm; Kilkenny Rose Veal; Dizzy Goat Farm; Mooncoin Beetroot, Aran Artisan Bakery and organic vegetable producers Riversfield Organic Farm are among the line-up of Kilkenny’s bespoke food producers who are blazing a trail in the food industry both domestically and abroad.

Ireland's Best Vodka Award

Distillers & Brewers

80,000 people come to Ireland each year for distillery tours, Kilkenny has three award winning distilleries, Highbank Orchards & Distillery, Costelloes Brewery, Ballykeefe Distillery, Sullivan’s Brewing Company and Walsh Whiskey Distillery producing critically acclaimed product. Highbank Orchards & Distillery produces delicious apples and apple juice organically, and these artisan producers have been doing so since the first apple orchards were planted in 1969. Take a personalised distillery tour and enjoy some samples of organic, wholesome, and award-winning ciders, juices, and syrups all available from the Farm Shop. Costellos Brewery is the new wave of Kilkenny brewers and they are on a mission to ensure Kilkenny’s rich brewing heritage flourishes. Ballykeefe Distillery offers tours the origins of Irish Whiskey where you can educate and entertain yourself on the intricacies of whiskey as an expert tour guide takes you back through the ages of Irish whiskey to where it all began. Sullivan’s Brewing Company which was established in 1702 is bringing artisan brewing back to Kilkenny with ale brewed by local experts, by hand, in small batches, with enormous heart and the finest locally sourced ingredients. 

Visit Kytelers Kilkenny bar right on the Medieval Mile

Gastro Pubs

Kilkenny not only has an abundance of rich cultural spots it also has an amazing nightlife and thriving gastro pub scene. Several times winner of National ‘Pub of the Year’ and a bit of a National Treasure, Langton’s is always worth a visit. Always buzzing you can enjoy authentic traditional Irish food in relaxed, comfortable and stylish surroundings. Billy Byrnes, one of Kilkenny’s most famous public houses located in the heart of this medieval city is a popular meeting place for locals young and old with a reputation for good beer, good food and a warm welcome. Matt the Millers is an energetic bar featuring four floors with a bar on each. Customers are spoilt for choice with great food, a lively bar and music venue in a pub that has maintained its true Medieval Character. Rafter Dempsey’s is an award winning bar just two minutes from Kilkenny Castle. Offering great food with an extensive menu, they combine old world charm with a modern elegance. Kyteler’s Inn is a truly historic Kilkenny bar and venue dating back to 1324 with an intriguing background – but you will have to visit to hear the whole story of witches & poisoned husbands! The Menu in Kyteler’s reflects local, Irish produce and fare served with local beers – Kilkenny, Smithwicks Ale & Pale Ale among others. 

Matt the Millers

Restaurant Week

Kilkenny is a foodie city, with a reputation for good food served in classy surroundings. This year local restaurants are giving you a chance to find out just why so many people flock to Kilkenny to get their foodie fix during Kilkenny Restaurant Week!

By Kilkenny standards the end of January is a relatively quiet time when the locals come out to play, and we want you to “live like a tourist” for the Kilkenny Restaurant Week. Visit Kilkenny’s eclectic range of restaurants and explore our award winning venues – from fine dining to the best of pub food – at a fixed price which won’t break the piggy bank.

Why not arrange a special night out in Kilkenny over the week starting on the 22nd January 2020, and make a date with your favourite restaurant?  Ask your favourite restaurant what they are doing for Restaurant Week, and maybe try a new place to find out why Kilkenny is Ireland’s No 1 foodie paradise.

See our restaurant week offers here