You are here: HomeSupports & Training
  • Food tourism
  • Ireland's food story toolkit
  • Food experiences for visitors Print Page
  • In this section

    Food experiences for visitors

    We've focused on six target markets – three Irish, and three international – that have the most growth potential for Ireland’s tourism. Here we’ve summed up each type, and then suggested some food experiences they would enjoy. 

    Use the food experience ideas below to compile your own list of businesses near you that you’d be happy to recommend. Create suggested itineraries – ways a visitor can spend a half day or a day in your area, featuring your business but others too. Perhaps you can work together with other businesses that appeal to the same market, to offer visitors a really special experience they can only get if they come to you? 

    Domestic target markets

    • Domestic 1: Connected Families
    • Banner image of families enjoying food in Ireland

      Connected Families are...

      Food experiences for Connected Families...

      Age group 25 - 44

      Eat fish and chips at the seaside  tastes even better in the salty fresh air after a fun day out together

      Looking for memorable family holidays together

      Catch a fish for your supper  off a pier or on a boat trip  and the local restaurant will cook it for you

      Plan carefully to get it right

      Take a guided expedition rockpooling for shellfish and foraging for sea veg  then cook it over a campfire on the beach

      Interested in gentle, relaxing activities

      Stay on a farm  collect your own eggs, pick your own greens and help bake scones for your tea

      Likely to book ahead, want local specialities

      Plan your holiday around a food festival  for tastings, barbeques, cooking competitions and fun with food


      Try your hand making real ice cream at Murphy's of Dingle  with cream from Kerry cows


      Cycle the Greenway and call into Yvonne's tea shop for homemade cakes fresh from the oven

    • Domestic 2: Footloose Socialisers
    • Banner image of groups of friends in their 20s and 30s enjoying food in Ireland

      Footloose Socialisers are...

      Food experiences for Footloose Socialisers...

      Groups of friends looking to spend time together and meet new people

      Get sociable while learning creative takes on Irish classics at a Cookery School like famous Ballymaloe, or Howth’s Kitchen in the Castle

      Retired, single, recently divorced – independent and confident

      Spend a few days at a lively food festival like Taste of Donegal, or Westport Festival of Music & Food

      Want to break out, relax and enjoy themselves

      Visit a town – like Kenmare – on market day, when things are in full swing and restaurants and pubs are buzzing

      Looking for activities and
      new experiences

      Book a group trip out to sea to catch fish your supper – the skipper will provide the rods and bait, and arrange for a local restaurant to cook it for you


      Visit the atmospheric English Market at Cork, stop for brunch at the mezzanine, enjoy the buzz and people-watching potential


      Try your hand at chocolate-making (and eating!) at one of Ireland’s artisan chocolate producers


      Enjoy the chat and casual, informal dining at one of Dublin’s new gastro pubs


      Pick a traditional music and dancing séisun at a pub with rooms – way off the beaten track

    • Domestic 3: Indulgent Romantics
    • Banner image showing Irish food and couples eating

      Indulgent Romantics are...

      Food experiences for Indulgent Romantics...

      All ages but typically 25-34 or 55-64

      Take breakfast in bed – with home bakes and organic local fare – in a city-smart boutique hotel

      Looking for the perfect romantic hub

      Back at your country house hotel after  a winter walk, sit by the log fire, and enjoy scones straight from the oven

      Interested in quality hotels, spending time together, being indulged

      Enjoy sea views and sunsets, the freshest fish and foraged sea veg in restaurants and pubs around the coast

      Interested & knowledgeable about travel, food & wine

      Watch the fishermen land the catch, then enjoy the freshest fish for lunch in a restaurant at the harbour’s edge 


      Homemade food, home-baked bread, plus the local craft beer: a quiet, relaxing lunch for two by a turf fire in a rural pub


      Stay in castles and historic houses set in parkland and enjoy luxury candlelit dinners  fine wines plus the finest Irish produce


      On a city break, choose a restaurant run by one of the new wave of inspired Irish chefs – for creative takes that celebrate Irish cuisine

    International target markets

    • International 1: Culturally Curious
    • Banner image of adults eating oysters, catching fish, baking and chatting

      Culturally curious are... 

      Food experiences for Culturally Curious...

      Over 45s looking for culture, history and natural beauty

      Fresh off-the-boat seafood on Howth pier  it's a foodies delight to watch fishermen offload their catch then pick a restaurant and settle down for the freshest fish dinner 

      Like to explore the cities and countryside

      Spend the morning learning to bake bread, and stay for a five-course lunch and Ireland's famous Ballymaloe Cookery School

      Wants interesting, inspiring and special experiences

      Find out why Dingle is a foodie town  stay for a few days and take in the beauty and the heritage of the Peninsula  picnic on local produce from the little cheese shop, try a sea salt ice cream made from the cream of Kerry cows and Atlantic salt, and sample the local Tom Crean lager and Dingle Gin

      Food very important - specialities, provenance, special places, good service, knowledgeable staff

      In Cork, eat upstairs in the Farmgate Cafe, overlooking the hustle and bustle of the famous English Market


      Visit a food festival or take in a food trail to sample produce and meet the producers


      Stop for lunch by the fire in Maeve Binchy’s favourite pub – Finnegan’s in Dalkey village

    • International 2: Social Energisers
    • Banner image of young people chatting, at the food market and eating on the street

      Social Energisers are...

      Food experiences for Social Energisers...

      Young couples/adult groups

      Check out the numerous trendy artisan cocktail lists and innovative whiskey menus

      Looking for excitement, new experiences, fun, socialising

      Graze your way around the city hanging out in restaurants and bars that are buzzing

      Vibrant city life and activities nearby

      Treat your inner coffee connoisseur in one of the many great coffee pit stops around Dublin 

      Casual eating but good food, fashionable, buzzy places, something different from home

      Try some great modern Irish cooking where the new wave of inspired chefs are producing mouth-watering treats 


      Craft beers and ciders abound. Just ask the barman about their own favourites – they love talking about them


      Buy a steaming hot takeaway chowder from the Chowder Tram at Howth, and eat it sitting on the harbourside …


      Try ‘Le Drunch’ a cross between lunch and dinner. It’s a perfect way to chat about all the weekend activities, share delicious dishes, and maybe even grab a Bloody Mary (or two!)

    • International 3: Great Escapers
    • Banner image of a women by the sea, a waitress with fresh baked bread, friends chatting over tea

      Great Escapers are...

      Food experiences for Great Escapers...

      Young couples around 30 – some with small children

      Buy takeaway fish & chips to eat in the fresh salty air, sitting on the harbour wall, watching the sun go down

      Rural holidays – active or relaxing

      Catch a fish – off a pier or on a boat trip – ask the local restaurant to cook it for you

      Attracted by ‘slow travel’ & remote places

      Eat the view – make a picnic from local specialities, then find a picnic spot with views across the ‘natural larder’

      Authentic restaurants & pubs with good local food

      Stay on a farm – collect your own eggs & pick your own greens

      Flexible options – picnics, take-aways

      Go on a dive, and try the exquisite taste of your own oyster, just plucked from the ocean, eaten sitting on the edge of a dive boat


      Try visiting food festivals and walking or cycling food trails like the Greenway – to meet producers and sample local produce