Top Ten Shortlist for Foodie Destinations 2018, Sponsored by FBD Insurance, Announced!


Foodie Destinations 2018, an initiative by the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), recently launched this June and the top ten shortlisted entrants have now been announced. The ultimate winner of the competition will be a 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. Plans for future growth and investment in the food and hospitality industry at a local level will also be taken into consideration by the judges.


The Top Ten Shortlisted Finalist are:

  1. Armagh
  2. Boyne Valley
  3. Cavan
  4. Derry
  5. Galway Gastronomy
  6. Kilkenny
  7. Kinsale
  8. Mid & East Antrim Borough
  9. Monaghan and Glaslough
  10. Sligo


With Stage One of the competition now complete, the top ten shortlisted towns and destinations will now move on to the second and final stage of the competition. This will include a visit to their individual region by the esteemed the Foodie Destinations 2018 judges, along with a nationwide public vote. Entrants are encouraged to campaign within their local vicinity in order to encourage public involvement. The Foodie Destinations judging process will focus on seven key areas to establish a clear winner from the shortlisted finalists. The judges will be examining whether the entrant offers a unique visitor experience, local knowledge and participation, local producers, promotion, festivals and community events, the prospect of future projects, along with education and training.


The RAI highlight that the purpose of this project is to encourage food tourism initiatives across the country. The judges will look for evidence of an established food culture/identity of the destination and they will assess how the destination collaboratively utilises and promotes this identity. There are many ways destinations can achieve this – either through special dishes in restaurants that make use of local/unique ingredients to the area or a food festival/food trail. There must be evidence of a calendar of events in the area aimed at promoting local food and drink. Food festivals, gourmet trails, farmers markets and special dining experiences are some traditional events that are typically seen in a foodie destination. The Association notes that there must also be plans in place to continue to support and develop future food culture in an entrant’s chosen region.


Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland commented: “We are delighted to move forward into the next stage of Foodie Destinations 2018 and this year the standard of competition couldn’t be higher. Foodie Destinations is an excellent opportunity for regions across Ireland to promote what makes them unique and the judges can’t wait to see what the ten shortlisted finalists have to show them.”


John Reade, Head of Business at FBD Insurance said: “FBD Insurance is proud to sponsor the Foodie Destinations Award 2018. It is our second year being involved in this fantastic initiative and it is great to see the competition go from strength to strength. We are delighted to be associated with an event that supports the agri food industry, local businesses and community spirit. As Ireland’s only indigenous insurer and as we enter our 50th anniversary year, FBD Insurance is committed to supporting community initiatives in this sector. We will continue to offer support and protection in local communities with the expansion of our local office network, ensuring we are a local insurer for local businesses and communities.  We are delighted to see so many communities developing their food culture offerings in a fashion that makes them stand out from the crowd and wish all participants the very best of luck.

Online voting will commence nationwide next Wednesday 25th July, followed by finalist judges visits starting Thursday the 2nd of August and finishing on the 20th of August. Online voting for the 2018 competition will cease on Tuesday 21st of August. The overall winner of Foodie Destinations 2018 will be announced at an event at the end of August.




For further information contact:


Orla Connolly

Communications Executive

Telephone: +353 1 6779901

Fax: +353 1 6718414



Twitter: @foodiedest



Ready to become a member?

Find out more about the benefits of memberships
with the Association here.