Located on the banks of the River Lee, Cork is the second-largest city in the Republic of Ireland. It is also known as the Food Capital of Ireland. The restaurants within this city are outstanding, featuring flavourful food made from local produce and celebrating a long culinary tradition.
A getaway here is the perfect break for a foodie, as the city has such a diverse and high-quality culinary selection. Cork offers visitors everything from vegetarian to traditional Irish dishes. The following are some suggestions for digging in to the finest culinary attractions of this city. When planning one of the premier food holidays Ireland has to offer, consider Cork.
How to Get Around
One great thing about Cork is that it has a small city centre, which makes it possible to walk between all of the main restaurants, shops and bars. Most of the time, you will be able to walk from your hotel in Cork to a pub or restaurant without having to take public transit.
The English Market
The first stop on a foodie tour of Cork is the famous English Market, which has been around since 1788. It has survived throughout the centuries as an Irish icon.
The English Market is said to be one of the best covered market attractions in Europe. Its fish section has been called the best of Ireland and Britain by television chef Rick Stein. The market sells everything from handmade sausages and farmhouse cheeses to organic vegetables and fresh seafood.
After checking out the market, you can stop for lunch at the Farmgate Cafe, which is a Cork institution and a must-see in your culinary exploration. This restaurant overlooks the market and offers fresh and creative regional Irish dishes.
Midleton Farmer’s Market
This popular market has a selection of locally made food and was the epitome of the “slow food” and “local” movements before they become trendy. The tradition began over a decade ago when some local farmers set up their stalls and started selling their goods. The public loved it and since then, it has become a beloved part of every Saturday morning in Cork.
The market brings together fruits and vegetables, sold directly by the local growers, as well as seafood and Irish farmhouse cheeses. You can buy everything from wood-fired pizza to fresh herbs. You can even buy locally foraged foods, such as elderberries and wild damsons.
More Tips for Finding Great Cork Food
After a day of wandering the city, you will likely be in the mood to sit down and enjoy a great meal. Cork has many excellent restaurants for nearly every food preference. If you are looking for classic fish and chips, there is nowhere better than Jackie Lennox’s Chip Shop on the Bandon Road, which is located just outside of Cork. You will find chunky, fresh and crispy proper chips served in huge portions and wrapped in paper.
For the small and informal restaurant atmosphere, try the Strasbourg Goose. They offer a three-course menu for €20. This is a great value, as you get to choose from a selection of delicious options. The food is well-cooked and presented, and the ambiance of the restaurant is cosy.
If you happen to hit the pubs on Barrack Street during your visit to Cork and are feeling a bit worse for wear the next morning, you might be craving a full Irish breakfast. Head over to The Flying Enterprise, where they serve a truly lovely one that’s guaranteed to get you back on your feet again and ready for another day of foodie adventures around Cork.
About the Author: Mark Connelly is a contributing writer and amateur chef from Kerry. He often comes up with new recipes from local ingredients.