When I was growing up a staple meal in Ireland was either a bowl of stew or a plate of bacon and cabbage, with a bit of Donegal Catch on a Friday. To even suggest you might turn vegetarian (vegan wasn’t even a thing!) was enough to get a look only an Irish mother can give and told to “eat your dinner!”
How things have changed for the better. No more lumpy mash and watery veg for us. With organic ingredients from our lush green fields, some of the best farmers on the planet and creative flair from Ireland’s finest chefs, we have become a nation of food lovers.
And where better to try out some of the countries most mouthwatering dishes than Cork? A city crammed with quality restaurants and warm welcomes. It wasn’t an easy list to compile but here are our top five places for foodies in Cork City. Bon Appetite!
If ambience is high on your agenda Jacques will tick the box. It is an ideal spot for foodies to gather around a plateful of tasty tapas and a bottle of house white.
Lunch is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the variety of delicious food products this city has to offer. From traditional ham to spiced rhubarb, the menu offers a vast range of tempting options. Dinner is equally delectable with the fresh fish served delightfully simple.
Set in a prime location to take in the city at its best Jacques is a super restaurant to catch up with friends, share food and watch the world go by.
Address: 23 Oliver Plunkett St, Centre, Cork, Ireland
4. Market Lane
The English Market in Cork City is arguably the best-roofed food market in Ireland and Britain. It is a historical hub heaving with traders of the finest local produce and freshest ingredients. So a restaurant that uses it as the main source for their menu is going to be up there with the best of them.
Market Lane is a busy spot on Oliver Plunkett Street in the heart of the community. It is a great meeting point and I would say the perfect place for visitors to kick-start a weekend in Cork.
The three-course early bird option is delicious, not to mention a lunch offer starting at an amazing 12 Euros. (You won’t find anything as tasty for 12 Euros in Ireland!) Kind to not only your wallet but your waistline too, a bit of downtime at this restaurant is a must.
Address: 5-6 Oliver Plunkett St, Centre, Cork, T12 T959, Ireland
3. Café Paradiso
This heavenly vegetarian restaurant is a perfect example of how far we have travelled down the culinary road in Ireland. Nibbles on arrival really get the taste buds going before choosing from a menu bursting with deliciousness to suit any pallet.
The couscous cake with lemon chickpeas is to die for and the wine compliments the food perfectly. Those with a sweet tooth will be in Paradise when they sample what is on offer for dessert.
The founder of Café Paradiso, Denis Cotter, is the author of four award-winning cookbooks so you can continue your journey at home. Paradiso Seasons strongly reflects the restaurant’s creative use of seasonal vegetables …. a great addition to any food lovers kitchen!
Address: 16 Lancaster Quay, Mardyke, Cork, Ireland
Nothing less than a foodie’s paradise! Greene’s is delectable in both menu and location. Every course is uniquely presented, taking you on a journey of gastronomic discovery.
From a pleasantly affordable early bird option to an extravagant nine-course degustation menu there is something to suit every pocket. Where classic favourites are fused with modern melodies of flavours, you will be spoilt for choice.
Set in the Victorian Quarter of the city centre, you can enjoy your meal al fresco by the calming waterfall or stay inside the bright restaurant. Either way, an evening at Greene is more than just fine dining … it is an experience to savour.
Address: Greenes Restaurant, 48 MacCurtain Street, Cork City, Co. Cork, Ireland
1. Les Gourmandise
For dinner in style, this chic French restaurant on Cook Street offers a certain je ne sais quoi. Winners of not only the Best Restaurant in Munster but also the Best Restaurant and the Best Chef in Cork is it any wonder this charming little place is so popular?
Order the tasting platter to start and you won’t look back. All ingredients are locally sourced and each dish is exquisitely presented. The house wine is top notch and the deserts? … ooh, la, la!
Not ideal for those on a budget but if it is a treat you deserve then why not throw caution to the wind at LG’s. You won’t be disappointed with our number one foodie favourite in Cork City!
Address: 17 Cook St, Centre, Cork, Ireland