Galway hailed the ‘gourmet capital of Ireland’

The first Galway Food Festival attracted an estimated 25,000 visitors during the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend. The festival held over 70 individual events at the Festival Village, Fishmarket Square, Spanish Arch and in restaurants and food outlets throughout the city and its environs.

Over 50 restaurants, food outlets and food producers participated in the inaugural Festival and were delighted with the crowds who attended their individual events. The Cookery Demonstrations at the Festival Village were a huge success and full to capacity as were the Children’s Cookery Events and individual in-premise events.

Many businesses reported a significant incresase in turnover during the weekend and some were up 80 to 100 per cent on Good Friday compared to last year as a result of participating in the festival. Many food outlets and restuarants were full to capacity throughout the festival.

There were 21 food producers and vendors present at the Festival Village at the Spanish Arch plus the Demo Tent which hosted hourly Cookery Demonstrations on Satuday and Sunday. A lot of the vendors reported running out of food early in the day and had to restock to accommodate the enthusiastic crowds.

The Bridgestone Guide’s Sally McKenna, who officially opened the festival last Friday hailed the city’s food culture in Galway saying, “Galway city is now the Gourmet Capital of Ireland.”

Commenting on the success of the first food festival in Galway, Chairman Jp McManus added, “We are overwhelmed by the huge turnout of people to the festival and not just for the festival but for the participating food outlets, food producers and restaurants too. Events like the Foraging Trail, Cookery Demonstrations, Children and Family Events, Wine Tastings, Meet the Producer Talks and Meet the Brewers of Galway Hooker saw huge crowd attendances.

People really wanted to learn more about and engage with cooking and there was a lot of goodwill from people.”

To see highlights in photos of the festival Find it on Facebook or visit


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