Top 10 places for the best lunch in Cork

Whether you’re planning an afternoon catchup with friends or need a quick bite to get you through your day at work, there are many fantastic spots to find the best lunch in Cork.

Known as Ireland’s culinary capital, the Rebel City of Cork is home to many great places to enjoy a delicious bite to eat that offer stunning panoramic views.

There are plenty of great options in Ireland’s original food city, from fine-dining restaurants to takeaways, casual cafes, etc.

So, if you’re salivating at the thought of all this exciting food, read on to learn more about the best places to find the authentic Irish cultural experience when it comes to its dining scene. Here are ten unique places to find the best lunch in Cork.

10. Gallagher’s Gastro Pub – for delicious gastro-pub grub with a twist

In tenth place on our list of the top ten places for the best lunch in Cork is Gallagher's Gastro Pub.
Credit: Facebook /@GallaghersPubCork

Gallagher’s Gastro Pub is a contemporary restaurant serving traditional gastro pub grub with a modern twist.    

Set on the corner of Bridge Street and MacCurtain Street at the city’s heart, this contemporary style restaurant is one not to be missed on the Cork bistro food scene.

Address: 32 MacCurtain Street, Victorian Quarter, Cork, T23 Y07X, Ireland

9. Orso Kitchen and Bar – for fresh, bold flavours and some of the best lunch in Cork

In ninth place on our list of the top ten places for the best lunch in Cork is the Orso Kitchen and Bar.
Credit: Facebook / @OrsoKitchen

Serving delicious Eastern Meditteranean style dishes, Orso Kitchen and Bar is one of the essential restaurants to include on your Cork foodie bucket list.

Known for its fresh and bold flavours, Orso is the sister restaurant of many of Cork’s most popular spots, including Market Lane, Castle Café, and Elbow Lane.

Address: 8 Pembroke Street, Centre, Cork, T12 YY90, Ireland

8. Cornstore – one of Cork’s must-visit eateries for delicious European foods

In eighth place on our list of the top ten places for the best lunch in Cork is the Cornstore.
Credit: Facebook /@cornstore.cork

Known for its seafood, steaks, and vibrant cocktail menu, Cornstore is the perfect place for lunch in the city if you’re celebrating a special occasion.

This modern European restaurant has an upscale atmosphere, making it a special spot for a delightful meal. Their outdoor terrace is also a great place to soak up the sun!

Address: 41-43 Cornmarket Street, Centre, Cork, T12 R886, Ireland

7. The SpitJack – one of Cork’s most beloved restaurants

In seventh place on our list of the top ten places for the best lunch in Cork is the SpitJack.
Credit: Facebook / @thespitjackcork

First opened in 2017, The SpitJack has grown to become one of Cork’s most popular all-day eateries. Having won numerous awards, they have firmly cemented their place on the Cork food scene.

This award-winning dining establishment specialises in Irish food. Their lunch menu features everything from sandwiches to small plates, roast meats, and more. They also have plenty of vegetarian options included in their daily specials!

Address: 34 Washington St, Centre, Cork, T12 RY96, Ireland

6. Ballymaloe House – for delicious food and natural wine

In sixth place on our list of the top ten places for the best lunch in Cork is Ballymaloe House.
Credit: Facebook /@ballymaloe

Ballymaloe House Hotel and Restaurant can be found in Midleton, East Cork. Set on 300 acres of farmland, this family-run hotel and restaurant undoubtedly serve some of the best lunch in Cork.

Their lunch menu focuses on local, seasonal produce, and their selection of natural wines is truly to die for.

Address: Shanagarry, Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland

5. Izz Café – for some of the best lunch in Cork

In fifth place on our list of the top ten places for the best lunch in Cork is the Izz Café.
Credit: Facebook /@www.izz.ie

Izz Café is a marvellous Palestinian Café located at the heart of Cork City. With its impressive lunch menu, this is undoubtedly one of our favourite places for the best lunch in Cork.

Serving up delicious dishes, including their own speciality Manaeesh, a delicious Palestinian flatbread, complete with toppings of your choice.

Address: 14 George’s Quay, Ballintemple, Cork, T12 EY24, Ireland

4. Bocelli Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar – for fantastic Italian food in the city

In fourth place on our list of the top ten places for the best lunch in Cork is the Bocelli Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar.
Credit: Facebook /@bocellicork

This excellent Italian restaurant, located in Cork City Centre, is one of the most popular on the city’s streets.

Mixing local Irish produce with fantastic Italian recipes, the food here is truly exquisite. Once you visit, we can bet you’ll be coming back for more.

Address: 1, 2, 3 Maylor St, Centre, Cork, T12 DX23, Ireland

3. Greenes Restaurant – for an upscale lunch in the city

In third place on our list of the top ten places for the best lunch in Cork is the Greenes Restaurant.
Credit: Facebook /@GreenesRestaurant

This upscale eatery can be found in a renovated warehouse in Cork’s Victorian Quarter. Open for lunch from Saturday to Tuesday, lunch here is the perfect weekend treat.

Offering a truly remarkable dining experience, head chef Bryan McCarthy shares his passion for all the dishes he makes.

This is a fantastic restaurant with excellent food and a comprehensive wine list.

Address: Greenes Restaurant, 48 MacCurtain Street, Victorian Quarter, Cork, T23 F6EK, Ireland

2. Ichigo Ichie – for authentic Japanese food

In second place on our list of the top ten places for the best lunch in Cork is Ichigo Ichie.
Credit: Facebook /@IchigoIchie

This fantastic Japanese restaurant is one of the unique eateries in Cork.

The Japanese chef Takashi Miyazaki travelled across Japan and completed extensive training in many of the country’s top establishments. This experience allows him to offer some of the most authentic Japanese dishes in the city.

Address: No5 Sheares St, Centre, Cork, T12 RY7Y, Ireland

1. The Farmgate Café – at the heart of Cork’s English Market

In first place on our list of the top ten places for the best lunch in Cork is the Farmgate Café.
Credit: Facebook / @FarmgateCafeCork

Farmgate Café is located inside Cork’s bustling English Market. With attentive, good-humoured staff serving Irish dishes and continental food regularly.

Serving lunch in the gallery, the food here is hearty and delicious, making it home to some of the very best lunches in Cork.

Address: The English Market, Princes St, Centre, Cork, T12 NC8Y, Ireland

Notable mentions

There are many great places for the best lunch in Cork which will see you satisfied.
Credit: Facebook /@MarketLaneCork

Jacobs on the Mall: With plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, Jacobs on the Mall is undoubtedly home to some of the best dishes in the city.

Customs House Baltimore: Located in the West Cork town of Baltimore, Dede Restaurant at Customs House takes inspiration from Turkish cuisine using local Irish ingredients.

Quinlan’s Seafood Bar: Quinlan’s Seafood Bar Cork food is exquisite. If you’re a fan of fresh, local seafood, we highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat here.

Liberty Grill: For New England inspired dishes, you need to visit Liberty Grill. As one of the most popular eateries in Cork, this spot is a firm favourite among locals and tourists alike.

Market Lane: This award-winning two-storey city centre venue specialises in modern European and Irish dishes. We’d highly recommend stopping for lunch while in Cork. This smart restaurant offers a 5-star experience with a contemporary twist.

Umi Falafel: Serving delightful Middle Eastern sandwiches, this vegetarian café is the perfect place for a quick and tasty lunch in the city.

Elbow Lane Brew and Smoke House: No visit to County Cork is complete without trying the fantastic Elbow Lane Brew and Smoke House. They aren’t, in fact, open at lunchtime. However, their delicious evening menu meant we had to mention them.

FAQs about places for the best lunch in Cork

What are the best restaurants in Cork City?

Some of the most popular restaurants in Cork City are Paradiso, The SpitJack, Elbow Lane, Electric, and Liberty Grill.

What are the best places to eat in Cork City for a fancy meal?

Greenes Restaurant, Paradiso, Orchids Restaurant, and Perrotts Garden Bistro are some great places for fine dining in Cork.

What Cork restaurants are great for a cheap, tasty bite?

Cafe Spresso, Shake Dog, and Izz Café are some of our favourite cheap eats in the city for a great casual dining experience.

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