The west coast of Ireland provides plenty of appeal to both local and international tourists, with the popular Wild Atlantic Way putting this part of Ireland on many a travel bucket list since its launch back in 2014. The route has proved to be a huge success with both domestic and international tourists, but one county struggling to see the visitor numbers of other western counties is Sligo, which is the least-visited county along the Wild Atlantic Way. Those visitors who do decide to head north-west are in for a treat, as the county is home to some of the most stunning scenery along the route, while the recently launched Sligo Food Trail lies in wait, ready to tantalise your tastebuds.

Stunning Landscape and Great Food in Equal Measure

With the coastal town of Strandhill a popular haven for surfing enthusiasts, and Mullaghmore Head in the village of Mullaghmore a signature point along the Wild Atlantic Way, there’s plenty to see and do as you drive through Sligo. Mullaghmore is one of the highlights of any trip to Sligo, with the village providing great views of the majestic Ben Bulben, and the 4km looped walk proving popular with hikers visiting the area. Set in the Darty Mountains, Ben Bulben is an iconic part of Sligo’s coastal landscape, while the Dartry Mountain range itself also offers many great walking routes just waiting to be explored.

Known as Yeat’s County, the village of Rosses Point is another popular area to visit, with the 2km blue flag beach and golden dunes just waiting to be explored. Sligo is also home to a number of ancient megalithic sites, the most famous of which lies at Carrowmore, Ireland’s largest cemetery of megalithic tombs. With plenty to see and do along Sligo’s coast, and inland in the many towns and villages, it’s easy to work up an appetite as you explore Yeat’s County, and the Sligo Food Trail provides plenty of variety, enabling you to plan out your own culinary trek as you explore everything Sligo has to offer.

Highlights of the Sligo Food Trail

With over 50 foodie jaunts to explore, including restaurants, cafes, gastro pubs and local markets, the Sligo Food Trail has done a lot in a short period of time to put Sligo on Ireland’s foodie map. The Sligo Food Trail takes you across the length and breadth of the county, serving up something for everyone, including lobster from Mullaghmore, oysters from Lissadell and venison at Coopershill Farm.

The local produce on offer is spectacular, while the seafood of the wild Atlantic is a particular speciality of this part of Ireland. So, if you’re planning a trip to Sligo over the coming months, here are just a few places to visit as you explore the Sligo Food Trail. Remember though, the beauty of the trail is that you plan your own culinary adventure, but take the time to embrace the passion of the land, and the producers who take pride in what it throws up.

Sweet Beat Cafe:

Recently listed in the McKenna Guide to the top 100 places to eat in Ireland, Sweet Beat Cafe’s top-quality, local, fresh produce has firmly put Sligo on Ireland’s culinary map. This vegetarian restaurant was named the best in Ireland in 2016 by the Irish Times, and the great produce on offer at Sweet Beat really champions the work of local food producers in Sligo. If you want a taste of what this part of Ireland has to offer, look no further than Sweet Beat.

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Hargadon Bros:

Recently listed as one of our recommended places to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Ireland, Hargadon Bros is a grocer and gastro pub serving up some of the finest food in the whole of Sligo. Another restaurant that showcases the fine local produce, with the Lissadell Seafood Chowder, Irish Oak Smoked Salmon and Coopershill Venison, Hargadon’s is one of three Sligo restaurants on the 2017 Michelin Guide (Luna and Montmarte the others). Food provenance is a big part of the Hargadon Bros offering, and for the ultimate Sligo foodie experience, be sure to check them out.

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Shells Cafe:

From Strandhill, Sligo via South Africa and Dublin, Shells is a popular cafe for locals and visitors to the popular coastal town of Strandhill. Shells Cafe is a great stopping point for a fine cup of coffee and some freshly baked treats. Jane and Myles Lamberth, the owners, take real pride in the food served up at Shells, and with amazing views of the Atlantic, there are very few places along Ireland’s west coast that will make you feel so at home. The guys have even released their own cookbook, allowing you to recreate some of the dishes that have made this cafe a hit with so many. Shells was another Sligo representative on the 2017 McKenna 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland.

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Sligo’s markets

The Sligo Food Trail has several food markets that take place over the weekend, each with something different to grab your appeal. The Beltra Country Market is great for picking up some local preserves and baked goods, while the Rathcormac Craft Market has over 40 local artisan food and craft producers on show, once again providing you with great insight into Sligo’s rich food heritage.

Sligo’s Farmer’s Market at Sligo IT takes place every Saturday and is one of the more popular markets, while Strandhill’s People’s Market is a lively market that takes place every Sunday, with local food, crafts and textiles on offer. These markets are a great way to get to meet the many characters of the food trail, and also get a real sense of the pride that the producers have in the food they harvest. You can find out more about Sligo’s various food and craft markets here.

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The White Hag Brewery

If craft beer is your thing, then look no further than The White Head Microbrewery in the town of Ballymote. With 12 beers currently on offer from The White Hag Brewery, you’ll find this craft beer in many local pubs in Sligo, and if you get in touch with the team, you may even be lucky enough to get a tour of the brewery to watch the guys in action.

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Coopershill Farm

With over 500 acres to explore, a trip to Coopershill Farm will certainly keep you occupied for a few hours as you explore Sligo. The stunning estate has an award-winning restaurant on the grounds and serves up some of the finest venison in the whole of Ireland, so be sure to get some before you continue on your journey. The team at Coopershill Farm are just one of the many fantastic producers that are helping to really showcase the fine food heritage on offer in Yeats Country.

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Eala Bhán

Multi-award-winning Eala Bhán opened in Sligo Town in 2011 and has firmly established itself as one of the finest restaurants in the county, picking up the best restaurant in Sligo award in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 at the Irish Restaurant Awards. The restaurant prides itself on fine Irish dining using the best local and organic produce where possible – another restaurant to check out as you explore the rejuvenated food scene in county Sligo.

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Plan Your Sligo Food Adventure Today

With such a rich history, and a rugged landscape just waiting to be explored, there’s never been a better time to head west and make Sligo the destination for your next weekend break. Food, culture and history await you in equal measure, while adventure sports like surfing, coasteering and kayaking throw up plenty of activity options to ensure you are kept busy during your stay. Check out the latest Sligo hotel deals here and plan your Sligo break today.

For more information on things to do in Sligo, visit Sligo Tourism, and plan your Sligo Food Trail route.

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