There are nearly seventeen food based tours registered with DiscoverNI (and What’s On NI) – there has to be a reason for that, right?

Well there most certainly is. Our food, our chefs and bakers are among the best in the world right now – from old fashioned scones and whiskeys, to modern free range charcuterie and artisan bread; grass fed beef to Lough Neagh eels and Gleanarm Organic Salmon; freshly griddled soda to award winning cheeses, gins, beers, preserves… I could keep going, you know.

Any local market you go to (and there are so many good ones now) is bursting with fabulous ingredients. Every good restaurant you hear about has delicious dishes, amazing drinks – all made with local produce. In such a burgeoning foodie world, where on earth do you begin?

Well, that’s where food tours come in – for both locals looking to find new foods, different combinations, interesting eateries, or simply experience a really enjoyable morning with friends, to international visitors looking to experience all NI has to offer.

Each town in Northern Ireland has its own unique microcosm of food and drink, of eateries and culture as well as history and interesting architecture. It’s only when you take the time to taste all of this, to savour this individuality, that you begin to really appreciate it.

Ballycastle, for example, has an Économusée bake house, many award winning butchers and bakeries, as well as famous chip shops – not to mention a gluten free hotel and an old fashioned sweetie shop – all wrapped up in thousands of years of history.

Bushmills boasts a world renowned whiskey heritage,  as well as being famous for its salmon, mills, and now fine dining eateries and cosy cafes hidden away in more than 80 listed buildings in the shadow of the Giant’s Causeway.

Even Rathlin Island offers many more places to eat than people realise, boosted by its beautiful scenery, lighthouses,  wildlife and a welcoming atmosphere.

Each village, town, area, county, and region of Northern Ireland has awe inspiring views, amazing foods, inspirational eateries – we just have to remind ourselves and educate visitors.

Add in a knowledgeable, fun foodie guide and it becomes a winning combination for a memory making experience you won’t forget – have I persuaded you to join your local food tour yet..?