What to eat in CORK: Top 10 LOCAL FOODS to try here 

From tasty savoury snacks to hearty meals and delicious sweet treats to artisan meats and cheeses, these are all the delicious delights you need to try during a visit to Cork.

What to Eat in CORK: Top 10 LOCAL FOODS to try here 

Known as the food capital of Ireland, Cork is home to a vast array of delicious local produce, top-quality restaurants and eateries, and unique and flavourful dishes. 

Today, we’re revealing ten local foods you must try when visiting the area.

Offering classic Irish flavours showcasing the best local produce, you can expect nothing short of excellence when eating out in Cork. 

From comfort food to fine dining and everything in between, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Are you keen to learn about the Irish county’s food culture? Read on to discover ten incredible local foods you need to eat when you’re in Cork.

10. Spiced Beef – a delicious meaty treat

Typically enjoyed around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, spiced beef is one of the most popular and delicious local foods from County Cork.

However, to make this tasty treat, a joint of rump or silverside beef is salted and marinated in spices for up to a few weeks. Once the curing process is complete, the meat is cooked in water or stout before being roasted.

9. Ór Real Irish Butter – proper Irish butter

Image of Ór Real Irish Butter, a creamy and rich dairy product, symbolizing the authentic taste of Ireland. Local foods to try here in Cork include this delectable butter, renowned for its superior quality and flavor.
Credit: Ór Real Irish Butter

Crafted by North Cork Creameries, Ór Real Irish Butter is an excellent addition to your morning toast or afternoon scone. Creamy, salty, and delicious, you can taste the quality of this Cork butter.

It contains only natural ingredients and is made with over 80 years of manufacturing experience. Thus giving It a unique smooth, creamy texture makes it an absolute delight for the senses.

8. Drisheen / Crubeens – dishes for the adventurous eaters

Drisheen is a popular Cork dish that might take an acquired taste to enjoy. 

It is made from the blood of cows, sheep, and pigs combined with milk, salt, fat, and breadcrumbs. It is sieved and cooked in the intestine of a sheep or pig.

Similarly interesting, crubeens are boiled pigs’ trotters that are often eaten by hand. Certainly not a dish for the fainthearted! 

7. Franciscan Well Ale – a classic Cork ale

A pint (left) and a can (right) of Franciscan Well Ale, a popular local beer in Cork. Enjoy this refreshing brew among other local foods to try here in Cork.
Credit: Facebook / @FranciscanWell

Ireland is known for its vast selection of beers, ales, and other alcoholic beverages. When in Cork, you need to try the local Franciscan Well Ale.

Brewed in a microbrewery and pub located on a medieval monastery’s site, Franciscan Well Ale is known for its distinctive, balanced flavour.

6. Skirts and Kidneys – a hearty twist on classic Irish stew

A hearty stew made from pork ‘skirts’, trimmings from the backbone and ribs, combined with kidneys, potatoes, onions, and water, skirts and kidneys is perfect for warming up after a day of being subjected to the cold Irish elements.

Best served with crusty bread on the side, this is a popular lunch or evening meal in homes across Cork. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s worth trying at least once when you visit the county. 

5. Gubbeen Smoked Cheese – a favourite among cheese lovers

Image of Gubbeen Smoked Cheese, a local delicacy to try here in Cork, representing the diverse range of local foods to try here in Cork.
Credit: Instagram / come_to_cheesus

A farmhouse creation hailing from a 250-acre coastal farm in West Cork, Gubbeen Smoked Cheese is a local favourite among cheese lovers.


Certainly, one of the best local foods in Cork you should try: this cheese stands out for its distinctive dense yet creamy texture and delicious smokey flavour.

4. Scúp Ice Cream – for delicious Irish chocolate

A delicious scoop of Scúp Ice Cream, a must-try local treat here in Cork, showcasing the best of local foods to try here in Cork
Credit: Instagram / scupgelato

If you’re looking for the perfect dessert or sweet treat, you cannot miss out on locally-made Ó Conaill Chocolate. 

With a store in the city centre where you can enjoy a vast selection of sweet treats, including real hot chocolate, brownies, and various baked treats, this is the perfect spot for anyone with a sweet tooth. 

Alternatively, you can enjoy their grab-and-go chocolate bars, which make for the perfect sweet snack or afternoon pick-me-up.

3. Toons Bridge Mozzarella – yes, you really can get Irish mozzarella

An image showcasing a platter of Toonsbridge Mozzarella, displaying creamy white rounds of fresh cheese nestled on a wooden board.
Credit: Facebook/ Toons Bridge Dairy

Created at The Old Creamery in Toonsbridge, County Cork, Toonsbridge Mozzarella is a local delicacy that rivals the creamy Italian mozzarella we all know and love.

What makes this cheese so unique is the old folk technique, which cleans it without stripping away its delicate flavours to create an intense and delicious flavour that can only be made by hand.

2. Ballymaloe Relish – a simple mix of tomatoes, sultanas, and spices

The famous Ballymaloe House, kitchen, and cooking school in Midleton are among the highlights of the county’s thriving food scene. 

It is worth visiting while in the area. You can also enjoy some delicious, locally made products and learn how to cook classic Irish meals. 

However, if you’re short on time, we highly recommend grabbing a jar of their delicious Ballymaloe Relish, the perfect addition to a sandwich or cheese board.

1. Clonakilty Black Pudding – one of the most iconic local foods you need to try in Cork

A close-up photo of a Clonakilty Black Pudding, a traditional Irish delicacy. Local foods to try here in Cork.
Credit: Instagram / clonakilty_blackpudding

The island adores Clonakilty Black Pudding for its high-quality, unique flavour dating back to the 1880s; the Twomey family passed down the secret recipe through generations.

The recipe contains a secret spice mix that gives the black pudding its unique flavour, winning it numerous awards. Thus, it’s a must-try while you’re in the area.

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