Carlow may be a small country but when it comes to the quality and range of food both grown and produced there, it packs a powerful punch. With its undulating countryside and rich tapestry of family farms you can just sense it’s the perfect place to produce food. And you’d be right. Whether it’s free range produce fresh from the farm, artisan cheese, local apples or home bakery, Carlow has it all.
Now the Carlow Food Trail catalogue brings this great food story together. Not alone has it information on artisan and organic producers, it also details large food manufacturers in the county whose products are available countrywide. It lists the farmers’ markets and farm shops and supermarkets where you can buy delicious award winning cheeses, wholesome free range and organic meat and poultry along with locally grown seasonal fruit and vegetables.
And not forgetting the booming drinks sector with two Carlow brands – Walsh Whiskey and the Carlow Brewing Company – now exporting around the world. The Carlow Food Trail catalogue also highlights the many restaurants that have built their reputations on using the best ingredients. Restaurants of all types who make it their business to feature fresh, seasonal and local food on their menus.
So go sample the delights awaiting you on the Carlow Food Trail – you’ll be so happy you did.
Mairead Lavery – Editor, Irish Country Living
Browse Carlow Food Trail
Carlow Brewing Company
The Carlow Brewing Company, established by the O’Hara family in 1996, is considered a pioneer in the Irish craft brewing movement aiming to revive a local brewing tradition lost for over 150 years. Now Ireland’s leading Craft Brewery, the O’Hara’s range is exported to over 25 countries.
Carlow Farmers Market
Carlow Farmers’ Market, founded in 2004, is one of the largest farmers’ markets in the South East and prides itself as one of the few authentic farmers’ markets where the producers are all local, produce their own goods and sell mainly their own produce.
Chocolate Garden of Ireland
The Chocolate Garden of Ireland, based just outside Tullow, is a working chocolate and ice cream factory producing a range of luxury artisan chocolates, a varied selection of confectionery, chocolate spread and premium organic ice cream.
Clashganny House Restaurant
The magnificent Barrow Valley is the setting for the Clashganny House Restaurant. Only yards from the picturesque Clashganny Lock, the restaurant is housed in a handsome granite 19th century building, perfectly placed to enjoy a short stroll along the banks of the River Barrow before dinner.
Lennon’s @ VISUAL
VISUAL is one of Ireland’s largest and most spectacular venues for contemporary art. Downstairs from the entrance lobby, the award winning Lennon’s Restaurant echoes the sleek modern feel of the building’s exterior with its unfussy, open plan layout and original art hanging on the walls. There is a sheltered terrace for al fresco dining with lovely views of the historic St. Patrick’s College and Carlow Cathedral.
Malone’s Fruit Farm | Farm Store
Malone Fruit Farm and Farm Shop is a family run business located just outside Ballon Village. The Malone family have been growing fruit since 1988 and the business has grown considerably since then. It now comprises 12 acres, both outdoor and under tunnels, which provide a wide variety of soft fruits to the general public, retail, hotel and restaurant trade.
Rachel’s Garden Café
The award-winning Rachel’s Garden Café at Arboretum is a self- and assisted-service restaurant which champions Irish and preferably locally sourced produce; a particular favourite is the beef braised in O’Hara’s Stout which is brewed by the Carlow Brewing Company only 5 km down the road. Enjoy breakfast (including ‘the full Irish’) from 9 a.m. and lunch including soups (gluten free), salads, daily specials and a roast of the day from 12 noon.
Sha-Roe Bistro is situated between Huntington Castle and Osborne’s Pub in the centre of Clonegal, winner of Ireland’s Tidiest Village in 2014 and 2015. The restaurant, originally an 18th century inn, has been sympathetically restored and retains many old features which add to the welcoming ambience, including a large open stone fireplace and a tiny cottage window that reveals a glimpse into the kitchen.
South East Food Stories
Start your day with a luscious journey through Carlow, hear local tales, getting the low down on how the locals produce such tasty produce. Forage for your lunch picking up great tips along the way with Blackstairs Eco Trails and get a taste of the land. Stories that will stay with you
The Carlow Cookbook
Delicious, accessible recipes accompanied by mouth-watering photography. Includes a wide range of recipes from breakfast to supper, plus cocktails from local distilleries.
The Lord Bagenal Inn
The Lord Bagenal Inn is a multiple award-winning family run hotel and restaurant featuring 39 spacious, elegant bedrooms decorated in a classic boutique style, providing a haven of peace and calm. Contemporary Irish and international cuisine is a strong offering of this property where there is a strong emphasis on using the finest local products along with daily specials from locally sourced suppliers.
The Step House Hotel
The Step House Hotel is a four-star family-run boutique hotel located in the picturesque south Carlow village of Borris at the foot of Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs Mountains.