The Milk Market

By: Erin O’Sullivan

The Milk Market is Ireland’s largest covered outdoor market which runs all weekend, rain or shine. Located in the heart of Limerick City Centre, it is only a 30-minute walk to get there from my accommodation. It has become a weekly tradition on Saturday mornings to walk into town with my roommates, where we are bound to bump into other international students and locals. Saturdays are home to the famous food market, where you can find a range of fresh produce, bakeries & confectionery, stalls, shops, arts & crafts, and cafes. This market has been a part of the community since the early 19th century and is truly a great way to bring people together.

When I turn the corner to this street, I can truly feel the energy radiating from the market. Once you enter under the canopy, there are people wrapping fresh flowers in newspaper that are to be sold. The smell of them welcomes you into the world of The Milk Market. Our first stop is always the crepe stand, “Bon Appétit”. One of my favorite things to eat since studying abroad I find at this vendor. My usual order is the Juliette crepe filled with Nutella and strawberries, with tartiflette.

Once we get our food, we make our way upstairs to the seating placed just above on a balcony. This multipurpose area serves as a great spot to enjoy food and coffee, with a bird’s eye view to the market below. It is especially heartwarming to see the little kid’s look down in amazement, watching all the activity below them. Another highlight of this market is that it’s dog friendly, including a vendor who sells homemade dog biscuits. The owners dog sits beside the table and is very friendly. All the dogs here make me think of my dog at home, so being able to buy treats to send home to her warmed my heart. On my most recent visit to the milk market, I saw a bulldog wearing a Limerick Jersey. The spirit of Ireland truly can be found everywhere here.

The holidays I’ve been in Ireland for have also been celebrated by the milk market. The weekend of St. Patrick’s Day, there was a clown blowing up animal balloons for kids. He spoke Irish and was very excited when he found people who could keep a conversation, though was equally excited to teach a few words to those who didn’t know Gaelic. The week of Easter, I bought our centerpiece flowers for our Easter brunch from the market.

Nestled between a café and chocolate shop, young musicians play for those passing by. There are two girls that play the harp, as well as two boys who play the fiddle. As a musician myself, it is lovely to stand and listen, and experience such beautiful music from aspiring artists. This location is truly a wonderful outlet for local artists, as it gives them the spotlight they deserve. This extends to all aspects of the arts, as I have seen incredibly unique pieces of art ranging from paintings, wax melts, soap, jewelry, crystals, and woodwork.

Located around the edge of this market, you can find another of my favorite stops, the thrift and vintage shops. I have purchased many unique pieces of clothing and jewelry from here, and it makes me happy to know I will be able to take these items back home with me knowing the story behind them. Supporting local businesses is so important, and The Milk Market gives space for these small businesses to grow.

Before leaving for my study abroad trip in Ireland, I remember researching events to do in the area I would be living in. The Milk Market was something I was curious and excited to discover prior to my departure, so having it become such a regular part of my routine here feels like a blessing. Whether we spend a few hours here, or it’s a quick stop before we get on a bus for a weekend trip, it never disappoints. Since living in Ireland, I find myself surrounded by beautiful new friends from around the world and delicious crepes. I truly can’t ask for more.

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