The pandemic prompted a nationwide resurrection of local shops and grocers in suburbs and villages across the country. Switching from their usual service to stocking shelves was a solution that made sense to restaurants and cafes; Many had a surplus of restaurant ingredients, extra space, and skilled staff at the ready.
People who hadn’t thought about having a shop since they played with their Fisher Price Post Office as a child became accidental grocers overnight, while other more established shopkeepers began experimenting more during this time too, sourcing Irish artisan products to keep housebound customers going.
While some resumed normal restaurant service once lockdown restrictions lifted, many others are still going strong as independent shops, offering a range of quality Irish and imported produce that has elevated the way we cook and eat at home.
Here are some of the best independent grocers for food shopping around Ireland, some new, some that have been going strong for decades.
Lotts & Co
Biggars Bush, Clontarf, Terenure, lottsandco.ie
Now with three Dublin locations, Lotts & Co have established themselves as the ideal modern grocer we all want on our doorstep. They showcase the best of Irish produce alongside a plethora of high-quality ingredients from around the world, with fish and meat counters in store.
Warehouse Food Market
Greenmount Avenue, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 12, warehousefoodmarket.ie
What began as an innovative home delivery idea Weeklie has recently expanded into a bricks and mortar shop just by Harold’s Cross. Full of brilliant produce along with gorgeous home-made sandwiches and treats, there’s also a demo space and workshop kitchen where they host events with experts and chefs.
4 Seafort Avenue, Dublin 4, instagram.com/strandfare
There’s often a queue outside this small and charming shop in Sandymount Village, where locals and visitors wait for takeaway coffee, sandwiches and treats to take to the nearby Sandymout Green or Strand for a picnic, but it’s also a great place to pick up fresh bread , meat and fish.
Dublin Food Co-Op
Kilmainham Square, Inchicore Road, Dublin 8, dublinfood.coop
This organic, vegetarian, wholefood focused co-op was set up in the 1980s by a group of friends who wanted to “shop in an ecologically sound way”. Now located in Kilmainham, they continue to offer an unrivalled selection of practical household products and dry goods, along with an excellent array of locally-grown vegetables and fruit.
Ballinteer Avenue, Dublin 16, instagram.com/freshavenueballinteer
There’s not a lot you won’t find in this well-stocked local Ballinteer shop, from your everyday fresh veg, breads, cheese and dry goods to spices galore and a great selection of favorite Irish artisan products. Fuel up after your shop with their takeaway Imbibe coffees and home-made treats.
Rosemount Shopping Centre, Marian Road, Dublin 16, get-fresh-fruit-and-vegetable-store.business.site
This a greengrocer with a difference. Outside is stacked with gorgeous crates of mostly Irish-grown fruits and vegetables, while inside you’ll find an Aladdin’s cave of a shop crammed with packets and jars of delicious goods from all around Ireland.
Swan Centre, Rathmines, Dublin 6, thehopsack.ie
One of Ireland’s oldest health stores, set up in 1979, is now one of the best places to shop for organic food and interesting Irish produce. Excellent for anyone into fermented foods, or shopping “free-from”.
336a/338a North Circular Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7, noms.ie
Bright purple-fronted Noms is a buzzy cafe and shop in Phibsborough where you can pick up fresh juices and kombucha, locally grown vegetables along with a great selection of some favorite Irish artisan products.
Marlowe & Co
9-11 Sandford Gardens, South Circular Road, Dublin 8, instagram.com/wearemarlowe
A corner shop in The Tenters, Dublin 8 that has garnered a loyal local following since opening in 2019. Head here for organic bread, fresh vegetables, jars of delicious Irish artisan goods, cheese, great coffee and a lovely selection of Irish gifts and books .
Ardkeen Quality Food Store
Dunmore Road, Waterford, ardkeen.com
Since opening in 1967 as a small grocery store with petrol pumps, Ardkeen has evolved into what could be the best-stocked food shop in Ireland, with an impressive and inspirational selection of Irish artisan products. There’s not a lot you won’t find here.
The Cheese Press
Ennistymon and Doolin, Co Clare, cheesepressennistymon.ie
Owned by cheesemaker Sinéad Ní Gháirbhith, you never know what you might find at The Cheese Press. The fridges are always stocked with Irish cheese and dairy of course, along with charcuterie, condiments, crackers and everything else you’ll need for a perfect cheese board. There’s also a selection of local vegetables, fresh bread, good wines and an eclectic mix of gifts and goodies.
Rua Deli & Siopa
Spencer Street, Castlebar, Co Mayo, caferua.com
A stalwart of the Irish deli and shop scene, Rua has stocked their shop and deli with impressive Irish produce since 2008.
Pudding Row the Grocer
Easkey Main Street, Co Sligo, puddingrow.ie
When the pandemic shuttered the much-loved Easkey cafe Pudding Row, Dervla James opened a grocery version just down the street in her hometown. The cafe closed, but the shop has remained thriving, offering seasonal home-made sandwiches and salads, breads and delicious cakes, alongside an array of wines, dry goods, cheeses, meats and locally grown organic vegetables.
The Blue Goat Ramelton
The Quay, Ramelton, Co Donegal, the-blue-goat-ramelton-artisan-food-store-and-cafe.business.site
Housed in a historical waterside building that was once the Ramelton Bottling, you’ll find this shop and deli full to the brim of delicious local and Irish offerings. Their cheese counter features some of the best farmhouse cheese from around the country.
6-8 Sea Road, Galway, instagram.com/ernies_shop
This delightful, traditional, family-owned greengrocer has been open on Sea Road in Galway for over 45 years, and still manages to be ahead of the game when it comes to new products. Take your time to browse local apples, eggs and honey, alongside all the condiments of the moment and stuff you didn’t know you needed, like Irish willow baskets or a home tortilla press.
Sullivan’s Country Grocer
Oughterard, Co Galway, sullivanscountryliving.com
Another great grocer that has been around a while that really excels when it comes to sourcing. Their freshly baked bread, salads and sweet treats made in-house, along with shelves stacked with fantastic Irish produce and gifts.
The Urban Co-op Limerick
8 Eastway Business Park, Ballysimon Road, Limerick, theurbanco-op.ie
A community grocer championing local growers and producers from Limerick and across the country. They also stock a wide range of certified organic fruit, vegetables and whole foods.
Urru Culinary Store
Mcswiney Quay, Bandon, Co Cork, urru.ie
It’s a joy to shop in Urru. Run by Ruth Healy who keeps on top of everything that happens in Irish food, you’ll not only find a great grocery selection, but also an excellent line-up of cookbooks, wine and cookware. Always bring an extra bag – you’ll need it.