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The Milk Market In Limerick: History + Our Favourite Spots To Eat

The Milk Market In Limerick: History + Our Favourite Spots To Eat

Ah, the Milk Market. Even the thought of it sends our bellies rumbling!

And, while there’s plenty of great restaurants in Limerick, we find ourselves heading for the city’s Milk Market whenever hunger arises.

In the guide below, you’ll find a bit about its history along with some of our favourite spots to eat. Dive on in!

Some quick need-to-knows before you visit the Milk Market

milk market

“Cornmarket Row” by William Murphy (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Although a visit to the Milk Market in Limerick is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

Limerick’s famous foodie market is situated in the city’s northeast corner, it is bordered by Carr St, Cornmarket Row, Mungret St, and Ellen St, which is also in the heart of Limerick’s Irishtown.

2. Opening hours

Opening on Friday at 10am with the stalls closing at 3pm, the market is also open over the weekend. Hours are limited, from 8am-3pm on Saturday, and 11am-3pm on Sunday. Entry is free, but as the market is very popular, it’s wise to arrive as early as possible.

3. Parking

There is ample parking on Robert St, at the Cornmarket Square Car Park. This is a multi-storey car park, with reasonable rates. There is also parking on Cornmarket Row, and open parking off Ellen St, which is a 1-3-minute walk back to The Milk Market.

4. A good mix of stalls

The Milk Market is one of Ireland’s biggest foodie markets. Under the single market roof, you’ll find stalls selling arts and crafts, a variety of beverages, dairy produce, fashion and accessories, bakery and confectionery goods, fish and seafood, health and beauty, specialty foods, meat, plants and horticulture, and of course fruits and vegetables.

About the Milk Market

One of Ireland’s oldest markets, The Milk Market in northeastern Limerick City dates back to at least the early 19th century.

There were various markets in the area before this, but they were brought together to form one larger market in the 1850s, under the care and management of the Limerick Market Trustees.

The former markets included The Butter Market, the Pig Market, and the Hay Market before they were incorporated into the expanded new market.

This would later become known as the Markets Fields stadium as a sports ground overtook the site. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that the market saw revitalisation.

With the horticultural market, and markets for other goods including Christmas turkeys that the Limerick Market Trustees began to break even – it had until this point been in receivership.

The market is now thriving and has proven to be extremely popular with tourists and foodies alike.

Places to eat at the Milk Market

Sunflower Bakery

Photos via Sunflower Bakery on FB

So, there’s heaps of places to eat in the Milk Market in Limerick. We’ll outline some of our favourite spots in the section below.

1. Ma’s Kitchen

Contemporary chic meets Irish hospitality with a Malaysian heart. It’s at Ma’s Kitchen that you’ll be able to get the widely popular cooked Full Irish breakfast (there is a vegetarian version available, too). Lunchtime sees sandwiches, burgers, rice dishes and curries amongst other delicious meals, all prepared by owner Jimmy Leong.

2. Bon-Appétit Crêperie

A little bit of France in the heart of Limerick City, Bon-Appétit Crêperie is a popular choice for authentic French crepes with a variety of fillings. You can also purchase a range of other Bretton foods, including Tartiflette, coq au vin, and boeuf Bourguignon to eat on the spot or take home to enjoy later.

3. Country Choice

Internationally renowned, the Country Choice store is more of a food emporium than just another stall. With attention to speciality foods, seasonality, and sourced from only the finest producers in the country, their selection of artisanal products is unparalleled. Choose from ready to eat items like breakfast baps, or bottles of sauces to enjoy at home.

4. The Little Top Café

With a focus on plant-based foods, this cafe is your go-to option for the best of the best vegan food in The Milk Market. All menu items are sold in biodegradable containers and you’ll find dishes like salads with black cabbage, kale, and raspberries, bean and saffron stew, and homemade pizzas.

5. Happy Food At Home

The sole proprietor, Ciara Brennan, has every right to be proud of her plant-based and homemade menus at the mighty Happy Food At Home. With a passion for meat-free eating, she aims to provide tasty and nutritious alternatives to showcase the variety of flavours available through combining vegetables and spices.

6. Bia At The Milk Market

A happy marriage of traditional Irish with classical Gallic cooking, this venue is a great choice for those seeking a quick and convenient takeaway lunch or something a little chicer for breakfast than just a bowl of porridge and toast. Popular choices are the pancakes, boxty, granola, and the Bia box.

7. The Soupermarket

It’s a real hero of a name, and it’s a super idea! This barebones venue doesn’t waste time with glitz and glam, instead, it’s all about the food – specifically soup. The soups are mainly made from ingredients sourced from other stallholders, so it’s fresh and local to within 100 metres.

Baked goods, sweet treats and drinks

Country Choice Limerick

Photos via Country Choice on FB

As you’ve probably gathered at this stage, there’s endless places to eat at the Milk Market in Limerick. Here are some more popular options!

1. Peter The Pie Man

Head here if you’re looking for the best pies in the Mid-West of Ireland. With well-earned fame for their steak and Guinness, chicken, ham and parsley, duck, and the festive special, wild game, you won’t go hungry. You can always opt for a quiche or sausage roll to takeaway too!

2. The Gourmet Tart Company

A Galway-based business, the Gourmet Tart Company is noted for selling cakes, speciality bread, loaves of regular bread, quiches, and of course you can also get your favourite tart. They use traditional and artisanal baking methods and some real homemade, hands-on techniques. The result? Quality goods that taste as good as they look.

3. Wilde Irish Chocolates

It wouldn’t be a foodie market without a chocolate stall, and Wilde Irish Chocolates doesn’t disappoint. Using Organic Fair trade cocoa bars, a range of 17 blends of handmade chocolates are available for you to sample and purchase. Also available is a range of 18 different fudges, and more chocolate treats.

4. Sunflower Bakery

With the largest range of organic bread around, all produced in the nearby bakery, you’ll find loaves of spelt, sourdough, multi-seed, granary, standard white, Italian ciabatta, and savoury breads like cheese and onion, tomato and olive, and a fantastic traditional Irish brown bread.

5. Killowen Orchard

Growers of apples for both fresh fruit and also for juice pressing, Killowen Orchard also grow daffodils and tulips for bulbs and fresh-cut floral displays. Bulbs are harvested every year in July, with over 20 varieties being available to purchase to the retail market.

6. Green Acres Cheese & Coffee

Does life get any better than cheese and coffee? Point your belly in the direction of this one-stop-shop for the best of both. The range of cheeses includes cows, goats, sheep, and even buffalo, all ready for you to take home and enjoy.

7. Rose Cottage Fruit Farm

A family-run farm, the Phelans grow both fruits and berries and produce some of the finest preserves in all of Ireland. Come to this stall to stock up your pantry with jams and jellies made from apple and strawberry, apple and rhubarb, and a perennial favourite, apple jelly.

Things to do near the Milk Market

One of the beauties of the Milk Market is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Limerick.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from the market.

1. St John’s Cathedral (5-minute walk)

John’s Cathedral

Photos via Shutterstock

Heading almost due east, St John’s Cathedral was built in the 1860s and features a spire 94 metres tall. It’s just opposite St John’s Hospital, and the cathedral is used for services, so you’re welcome to attend should you happen during those hours.

2. Museums and Galleries (5 to 10-minute walk)

Hunt Museum tour

Photos by Brian Morrison via Ireland’s Content Pool

A quick 10-minute walk from The Milk Market, and housed in the former customs house, a collection of 2,000 ancient and modern treasures are available to view by the general public at the Hunt Museum.
Head in the opposite direction from this museum, and only a 7-minute walk from the market, is the Limerick City Gallery of Art.

3. St Mary’s Cathedral (8-minute walk)

St Mary’s Cathedral

Photos via Shutterstock

A Church of Ireland site, it was originally founded in 1168 and it is the oldest building in Limerick still in use to this day. The church also houses the last complete set of misericords (carved wooden figures under folding seats) left in Ireland and should not be missed.

4. King John’s Castle (12-minute walk)

king john's castle

Photos via Shutterstock

A 13th-century medieval fortress, which has been restored to some of its former glory, King John’s Castle has a visitor’s centre with period costumes and interactive exhibits. Various invading forces, including Vikings in 922, have occupied the site.

FAQs about the Milk Market in Limerick

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where’s good to eat?’ to ‘Where can I get parking?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

What day is the Milk Market in Limerick?

It’s open on Friday from 10am to 3pm, o Saturday from 8am to 3pm and on Sunday from 11am to 3pm.

Where’s good to eat at the Milk Market?

The Little Top Café, Country Choice, Bon-Appétit Crêperie and Ma’s Kitchen are 4 of our favourites.

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