Food tours and Food shopping in NI

Yesterday we blogged about the number of cookery schools springing up around NI, but let’s not forget about all the different food and drink tours, as well some fantastic places where you can buy our great local produce.

Bushmills Distillery, Co. Antrim, is Ireland’s oldest working distillery and the only one in Ireland to make triple-distilled malt whiskey. The distillery is open to the public with tours running each day.

Hilden Brewery, on the outskirts of Lisburn, is Ireland’s oldest independent brewery after being the first in Ireland to reintroduce real ales. Hilden Brewery run tours where you can discover the magic of beer brewing.

Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory in Belfast is nationally renowned as one of the finest purveyors of handmade chocolates, fudge and boiled sweets, made from 100 year old recipes. A visit to the shop is like taking a trip back in time and visitors can experience the production process of old-time candy-making.

Tayto Crisps has been enjoyed in Ireland for over 50 years. The crisps are produced at the Tayto Castle in Tandragee and tours take place Monday to Friday. You”ll meet Mr Tayto and taste the crisps at various stages of the process.

To get your hands on the best, fresh local produce directly from the supplier visit one of Northern Ireland many markets where you can explore, taste and purchase speciality foods and talk to the local producers.

At St George’s Market, Belfast you can enjoy some local produce, including beef from Armagh, award winning Irish Farmhouse Cheeses, free range eggs from Limavady, and local organic vegetables. The Friday Variety Market opens at 6.00am until 1.00pm, the City Food & Garden Market takes place every Saturday from 9.00am to 3.00pm and the Sunday Craft Market runs from 10am – 4pm.

The courthouse in Hillsborough, hosts a food and craft fair on the third Saturday of every month with a range of local produce such as bread, cakes and cheese. Explore the Ulster Farmers’ Market in Enniskillen, with a range of food and poultry. Tyrone Farmers’ Market, Dungannon, offers farm-fresh products including bakery goods, meat and organic vegetables on the first Saturday of every month in the car park of Tesco. The Newry Dundalk Farmers’ Market in Co. Down is a historical variety market that runs every Thursday and Saturday on Mary Street. Look out for rare breed pork, fresh seasonal fruit, continental style bakery products and local cheeses.

In Co. Londonderry the Walled City Market is held monthly on the first Saturday of every month selling a range of speciality food with over 30 stalls and the Causeway Speciality Market in Coleraine is one of the largest outdoor markets in Northern Ireland offering fabulous food from artisan producers.

To find out more on local produce, cookery schools and tours click on or visit your local tourist information centre. You can also keep up-to-date with the latest news, images, videos and competitions by visiting

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