Here in the Midlands, we take great pride in our food and drink industry and our unique heritage in grain milling, malting, distilling, brewing and baking. Along with our diverse landscapes and waterways, we have a vast amount of scrumptiously delicious food and drink.
Whether you’re after the best in fine dining, a cosy pub with a roaring fire or barista coffee in an independent café, there is a rich variety of food and drink producers in the region, from Michelin Guide to Blue Book and the Irish Restaurant Awards to Blas na hEireann, we have award-winning food and produce to suit you.
Key to the food and drink of the Midlands is the quality produce of the region. A proud history of producing food and drink can be traced to a countryside location where high-quality produce is grown and reared.
An unspoiled landscape has led to the region being home to a thriving network of Organic food and drink producers. From award-winning cheeses and dairy products, to meats, fruits and vegetables, the Midlands region is home to an array of organic producers, with many available from our bustling Farmer’s Markets.
Bustling markets in the region are home to the best in locally made artisan and organic produce. In the Midlands we’re lucky to have so many thriving farmer’s markets, each with their own specialities and unique producers.
The Michelin Guide is known internationally for highlighting the best in food across the globe. Here in the region, three of our restaurants are included in the Guide.
Ireland’s Blue Book is a romantic collection of Irish Country House Hotels, Manor Houses, Castles and Restaurants. Four properties with restaurants are included in the Guide.
The Irish Restaurants Awards is one of the biggest events in Irish Food, and the recent Leinster event saw the best in food and drink from the Midlands celebrated at a big annual event for the industry in association with The Irish Times. The quality of food and drink in the Midlands region continues to go from strength to strength, and the list of winners is a stunning snapshot of just how many fantastic restaurants, cafes, chefs and food heroes are right here on our doorstep.
|John Coffey, Thyme, Athlone|
Siobhan MacDonagh, Viewmount House, Longford
Kenan Pehlavin, The Blue Apron, Tullamore
|Tom Comerford, The Heritage, Killenard |
|John Coffey, Thyme, Athlone|
|Siobhan MacDonagh, Viewmount House, Longford|
|Kenan Pehlavin, The Blue Apron, Tullamore|
|Tom Comerford, The Heritage, Killenard
There are also many award-winning eateries which have been commended by food critics such as the McKennas Guides, Georgina Campbell and the Food Writers Guild.
The Midlands has a long and proud history in distilling and brewing. Internationally renowned and historic labels such as Tullamore Dew, and Kilbeggan Whiskey , have been joined in recent years by a thriving craft renaissance with Lough Ree Distillery, Brennan’s Old Yard Gin, Mór Gin , Slingshot Gin, Dead Centre Brewing, Ballykilcavan Craft Beer, St Mel’s and 12 Acres becoming household names over the last decade. Many offer excellent tours and visitor experiences to learn more about the craft.
Whether you’re looking for a place to break the journey, sit in front of an open fire in a cosy corner or enjoy a comedy night, immerse yourself in a food and drink experience whether it be a night out or a quiet creamy pint.
If you like a Traditional setting, you won’t find an older pub in Ireland than ‘Sean’s Bar’ www.seansbar.ie in Athlone. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the pub on the banks of the Shannon is the longest established bar in Ireland and perhaps the world, with a history going back as far as 900AD.
The Midlands received many nods in the Irish Bar of the Year Awards. Nominations included Peadar’s Bar in Moate, leading the way with 3 nominations for Traditional Bar of the Year, Best Dog Friendly Bar and Best Outdoor Space Awards . The Fisherman’s Thatched Inn in Ballybrittas received 2 nominations for Best Traditional Bar, and Tourist Bar of the Year. Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery is nominated for the Visitor Attraction Award. Lilly’s Bar and Kitchen, Portlaoise is listed in the ‘Late Bar/Nightclub’ Award. Gertie Browne’s Bar and Bistro and Dead Centre Brewing in Athlone received award nominations, while Kavanagh’s in Portlaoise is shortlisted in the highly competitive ‘Best Live Entertainment’ category.
Discover more about the food and drink offerings across the Midlands on the links below, for full listings on the food and drink providers across the region.