The Burren named top food destination for 2015

The Burren, named Foodie Towns 2015 winner. Photo: @foodietowns/Twitter
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Monday evening saw the top Foodie Town in Ireland for 2015 announced at a reception in Fallon & Byrne, Dublin.

From a shortlist that included Boyne Valley, Derry, Dungarvan, Howth, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Loop Head Peninsula, Sligo, The Burren and West Cork, The Burren has emerged as the judges and public choice.

Derry had been named as runner up earlier in the evening.

Last year’s winners, Dingle, had not been included in the final shortlist for 2015 but for my own hometown of Kilkenny it was two years on the trot in the final ten.

The finalists were announced on 11 September before pre-arranged visits and public voting took place over the past few weeks.

What were they all about?

Via the Restaurant Association of Ireland…

The ‘Foodie Town of Ireland’ award will recognise a town/destination that actively promotes itself through joint promotional activities such as food festivals, gourmet trails or farmers’ markets as well as great dining experiences for locals and visitors alike. The winning Irish town/destination will have established a local producer/supplier network which is utilised and promoted by local businesses. Plans for future growth and investment into the food and hospitality industry at a local level will also be taken into consideration by judges. Education, training, development and employment will be key components of the ultimate foodie destination.

And what about The Burren?

There’s very much a growing and bustling food scene over The Burren direction, as they say themselves…

28 food enterprises participate in ‘The Burren Food Trail’ initiative, seeing eachother no longer as competitors but instead collaborators. The extensive list includes Ballyvaughan Farmers Market, Burren Brewery, Burren Fine Wine & Food, Burren Free Range Pork Farm, Burren Gold Cheese @ Alliwee Cave, Burren Smokehouse, Burren Nature Sanctuary, Clareville House Kitchen Garden, Doolin Cave Café, Galway Bay Bakery, Gleninagh Lamb, Gregan’s Castle Hotel, Gus O’Connors Pub, Hazel Mountain Chocolate, Hotel Doolin, Hyland’s Burren Hotel, Kieran’s Kitchen, Kilshanny House, Kinvara Farmer’s Market, Linnalla Pure Irish Ice Cream, Linnane’s Lobster Bar, Neil Hawes Craft Butcher, Sheedy’s Hotel & Restaurant, Stonecutter’s Kitchen, St. Tola Goat Farm, Vasco, Wild Honey Inn and Wild Kitchen.

Sample fine wine and local cheese in The Burren

Sample fine wine and local cheese in The Burren

You can read more on Burren.ie but if you’re heading west, that’s a great bunch of names to stick in your diary to seek out and try.

Follow the highlights by reading back through the @foodietowns Twitter account.

Pic details: The Burren, named Foodie Towns 2015 winner, picture at Fallon & Byrne on Monday 12 October 2015. Photo: @foodietowns/Twitter

Written by Ken McGuire
Writes and talks a lot about food, spending way too much time in the kitchen or behind the lens taking photos. Digital Media Specialist by day, broadcaster by night, living in Kilkenny with Mrs. Any Given Food and two crazy rescue hounds.