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Kilkenny, winner of Ireland’s Foodie Destination Award 2018

Kilkenny is known nationwide for its vibrant food and hospitality offering, from local producers to food festivals, farmers markets and trails, cookery schools and gastro pubs, to the Michelin star dining experiences that regularly receive critical acclaim and national attention.

It’s official! Kilkenny is Ireland’s Top Foodie Destination 2018, as selected by the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI).

For food lovers, Kilkenny offers a vibrant and thriving artisan food and beverage scene, populated by champion organic producers, bakers, craft brewers, Michelin star eateries, gastro pubs and everything in between.

In August 2018, Kilkenny was officially announced as Ireland’s Top Foodie Destination in the National ‘Foodie Destination’ competition held by the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI). 

The adjudication process is intense and demands a collaborative approach engaging stakeholders from Taste Kilkenny, Kilkenny Tourism, Kilkenny LEO, Kilkenny County Council, Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce and KLP to restaurants, cookery schools, retailers, accommodation and activity providers, media partners and festival organisers across the county. 

The initiative was supported by Kilkenny Tourism in collaboration with #tastekilkenny and its members. The showcase of local food producers, the quality of product, the innovation displayed by brewers and distillers, together with the diverse ever evolving foodie scene is a testament to the food sector in Kilkenny. Kilkenny convinced the judges that the city and county listens, adapts and evolves, earning the well-deserved crown of Ireland’s Top Foodie Destination 2018. 


Organic Champions

Following rigorous judging of over 200 entries, six organic food companies were selected as overall category winners. The event marked a true celebration of the best of Irish organic food as a wide selection of produce from all over the country was represented on the winning stage.

Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, awarded Highbank Orchards from Cuffesgrange with the top direct selling award for their ‘Distillery Sack No 3 Pommeau 2016.’ The husband and wife team, Rod and Julie Calder-Potts, have been developing a range of products that add value to their apples, exploiting their exceptional properties of taste and flavour, which they call “Pip to Sip”.

Vincent O’Shea and Riversfield Farm in Callan were announced as Chef’s Choice winners in the National Organic Awards in 2018. Riversfield Farm is a certified organic vegetable farm, providing a fresh, quality selection of locally-grown organic vegetables and salad leaves – delivered weekly, from the farm direct to your door.


With tales from a global award winning author running a diversifying trout farm, to an enterprising and innovative veal producer evolving next generation farming, the food stories and visitor experiences in Kilkenny continue to grow.