Mayo: there’s eating and drinking in it

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Mayo is a food lover’s paradise. Bounty from the sea, the harvest of the land and fruit from the hedgerows provides the best, freshest and most natural ingredients.

Food in Mayo is famously built around simple cooking, using those best ingredients, executed brilliantly.

Mayo is famous for hearty food, which is needed in a county of hills, mountains, and hard workers.

A long history

The long tradition of cooking in Mayo can be seen in the large number of fulachta fiadha (cooking sites) to be found all over the county.

In more recent times, the open hearth was the ‘all-in’ cooking apparatus – those who left these shores in the 1950s and 1960s and even before that will well remember the smell of food, wafting out through the chimney and onto the wind as it was cooked on the open fire.

A feast for the senses

Mayo’s finest local produce includes:

  • salmon and trout from our rivers
  • lobster, oysters and mackerel from the ocean
  • all sorts of cheeses made from local milk, such as Carrowholly, made locally from raw cow’s milk
  • the finest quality beef, pork and lamb, prepared in innumerable ways
  • the freshest milk and butter from our dairy pastures
  • fresh vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, onions and potatoes
  • sweeter things such as blackberries or gooseberries , apples and rhubarb
  • a wonderful array of jams made from the berries and fruits grown on both hedgerows and in gardens
  • baked goods – scones, cakes and delicious home-made breads
  • wild mushrooms – foraging for them has become something of an organised activity

Organic, small-scale

Mayo is experiencing an enormous growth in organic food production - and in small -scale, artisan producers. You will find their products all around the county in local shops and farmers markets. 

This tradition connects seamlessly to Mayo’s long-standing model of the small family farm, supporting families and producing fine food through the generations.

Farmers’ markets and artisan shops are multiplying. Check out some of our farmers’ markets here

And a little drop of something…

Of course, Mayo has a rich tradition in brewing and distilling – stout, beer and whiskeys have been produced in Mayo for centuries. That tradition of craft-brewing has burst forth again in recent years. Try something local when you’re around.

  • West Mayo Brewery which makes Clifford’s Connacht Champion, Clew Bay Sunset and Paddy’s Pilgrim’s Porter in Islandeady
  • Mescan makes Westport Blond, Westport White and Westporter Stout
  • Reel Deel which makes Irish Blond in Crossmolina

Places to eat and drink

The variety and number of places to eat and drink in Mayo has literally mushroomed over the last decade. If it has been a while since you last visited, this change will perhaps surprise you as much as any other. Top-end restaurants, hearty and tasty pub food, tea and hot scones in comfy cafes – Mayo has it all.

Some highlights for food in Mayo:

In addition to these successes, and all across the county, Mayo restaurants, cafes and bars are winning awards and bringing smiles– drop into one when next you’re home.

Supporting producers – growing potential

The Mayo Local Enterprise Board is supporting local food producers and suppliers to develop their businesses. Check out some information about some of their resources and programmes here

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