We’re reliably informed that summer is just right round the corner - not that you'd know it lately - and we’re already making plans for those long evenings of BBQs and bottles in the great outdoors. It’s the time of year when the city really comes to life, no more so than in the food and drink scene, so here’s our rundown of some of the best events taking place over the summer months.
Cinco de Mayo (5th - 7th May)
This annual big bash as it’s come to be celebrated might be more of a Mexican-American invention than a strictly traditional thing, but we’ll take any excuse to indulge in a ton of tacos. Firebyrd in Ranelagh have a special two for €5 deal on the day itself with the same pricing on bottles of Corona, while across the river Kalabasa Market is throwing a free but ticketed big bash with karaoke, food and drink on Sunday night. There's also a party in All Good Wine Bar on Friday night with the talented folks from El Milagro dishing up the tacos.
Whiskey Live Dublin (19th - 20th May)
The Celtic Whiskey Shop’s celebration of all things Irish whiskey returns to the RDS in mid-May. Whiskey Live’s exhibitor list is a who’s-who of the Irish distillery scene, along with international appearances from as far afield as China and India. Taste the latest releases, tag along to a masterclass, or try out a whiskey cocktail at any of the dozens of stands. There are afternoon and evening session tickets available for both Friday and Saturday at €40 a head, and all samples as well as bottled water are included, so you can really do the rounds.
Moldova Uncorked (24th May)
A great opportunity to get a taste of some lesser-seen wines, Moldova Uncorked brings over 50 of the country’s diverse bottles to the Camden Court Hotel for this event. The Moldovan Embassy is on a mission to promote its native grape varieties and the sustainable viticulture practices gaining ground across the country, and at just €15 a ticket this might be one of the best-value tastings of the summer.
Best of the Summer Wine (1st and 15th June)
Need some inspiration for BBQ season drinks? Neighbourhood Wine will take care of that. Their summer tastings - June 1st in the Arnotts store and 15th in Churchtown - are a showcase of their favourite seasonal styles, from fizz right through to chilled reds. Tickets might seem a touch steep at €50 a head, but with the range and quality of wine in stock here, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get your money’s worth.
Taste of Dublin (15th - 18th June)
The capital’s flagship food festival Taste of Dublin is back in the Iveagh Gardens this June, with some of the city’s best restaurants setting up camp to cook a range of their signature dishes. Among those so far announced are Bahay, Bar Italia, Hakkahan and Dosa Dosa, while guest chefs giving demos in the masterclass kitchen include Jordan Bailey, Kevin Burke and Trisha Lewis. There’s four ticket tiers with a price range from €17 to €62, and yes you'll probably complain about it afterwards, but you're still going to go.
Summer Foraging Walk (16th July)
Just a short skip over the county boundary to Meath is Sonairte, the National Ecology Centre, whose visitor eco-centre with a walled organic garden and nature trail is a great spot for a day out any time of year. This July they’re offering a summer foraging walk, hosted by Rerooting the Future and focused on all the best natural seasonal produce to be found in the wild. Tickets are €20 and can be purchased here.
Eatyard Crisp Festival (20th - 23rd July)
Surely one of the more niche entries on the food festival calendar, Eatyard at the Bernard Shaw’s annual Crisp Festival is back at the end of July. With eccentric events including blind tastings and sandwich making contests, it’s an ideal day out for the crisp-obsessed among you for just €10 a ticket. Not a fan? Firstly, who hurt you; secondly, you can sample a lot more at the Eatyard Motel's “summer dining experience” every other weekend throughout the season.
The Big Grill (17th - 20th August)
We’re still a few weeks out from the announcement of the lineup for this year’s Big Grill, but on the strength of the last few years it’s worth grabbing an early bird ticket now. The annual event sees some major names in international cooking descend on D4 alongside plenty of local talent trying their hand at cooking over fire. Wander the stalls, drop by the “Bastecamp” demo stage, or test your mettle at an eating contest - either way, come hungry. Different ticket tiers available ranging from €20 to €40 are available here.
Rumbullion (2nd - 4th June) / Tequila Town (4th - 6th August)
Wigwam are paying tribute to two of their favourite spirits over the summer with their Rumbullion and Tequila Town festivals in June and August. The jam-packed schedules include events like drink-and-draw, drag brunches, cocktail competitions and mixing masterclasses, with Rumbullion offering a dining in the dark (& stormy) blind tasting menu that sounds like a messy blast. General admission tickets are €10 and include a cocktail to kick things off, and the blind tasting is €50.
Did we miss any great upcoming food events? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.