Top 10 Foodie Destinations

Voting opens Tuesday 25th July at 12pm

The Restaurants Association of Ireland is pleased to announce the top ten finalists in the ‘Foodie Destinations’ competition 2017.  The competition aims to celebrate Ireland’s unique and wonderful food offerings and to encourage local food tourism initiatives across the country.

Applications for the competition were received from all corners of the country. During the first stage of judging, applications were thoroughly assessed by an independent panel of judges. Though there was tough competition, the top ten ‘Foodie Destinations’ of Ireland for 2017 have been selected and are as follows:

  • Boyne Valley
  • Cong
  • Galway’s Westend
  • Kilkenny
  • Kinsale
  • Loop Head Peninsula
  • Monaghan
  • Sligo
  • West Cork
  • West Waterford


Each of these ten finalists will now receive a pre-arranged visit from a pair of independent assessors in the coming weeks. This assessment will be combined with a national public voting campaign where the public can choose their winning foodie destination out of the ten finalists – this can be done through Both components will carry equal weight in the overall score. The winning destination will be crowned ‘Foodie Destination of Ireland 2017’ on the 29th of August.

The Foodie Destination of Ireland’ award recognises 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. The winning Irish 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.

A number of 2016’s finalists, including last year’s winner Boyne Valley have made the top ten list for Foodie Destinations again this year. New entries to this year’s finalist list include Galway’s Westend, West Cork, West Waterford and Kinsale.

Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said “Winning the title of ‘Foodie Destination of Ireland 2017’ will provide a competitive edge to towns and regions wishing to promote their areas to incoming tourists. The rich landscape of the Irish culinary scene has provided us with an interesting battleground for the competition. This is an exciting time to be involved in the food and tourism industry in Ireland, and for local businesses to show the pride they have in their communities to the nation.

“The quality of submissions this year was once again excellent, all ten of the ‘Foodie Destination’ finalists have something to be proud of for reaching the penultimate stage of the competition.”

The Public Voting Process

  • A national public voting campaign begins today with each of the ten finalists canvassing the country to vote for them.
  • Online voting will take place via from Tuesday 25th July at 12 noon and will end at 12 noon on Thursday 10th August.
  • Posters will be sent to each of the ten finalists to help them canvass in their localities for support.
  • The final decision will be made by combining the judges’ votes with the public vote, each of these components account for 50% of the overall mark a destination receives.
  • The ultimate ‘Foodie Destination of Ireland 2017’ will be announced on Tuesday 29th August.

For further information please see or contact the RAI at

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