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Restaurants in Cork

There’s a strong emphasis on local, artisan produce in Cork’s wide variety of restaurants, but the city also absorbs some exciting influences from all over the world. Cork is for the culinary curious and foodies can eat anywhere from Michelin-starred restaurants to farmers market nibbles.

The restaurants have been grouped in three different price categories:
Expensive (over €50)
Moderate (€25 to €50)
Cheap (under €25)

A discretionary tip of around 10% of the total bill is the norm, although a service charge is often included in the bill.

Expensive

Greenes

Cuisine: French

Foodies can spend a balmy evening in the romantic courtyard setting of Greenes restaurant under the ripple of its beautiful floodlit waterfall, or hidden away in the cosy indoor seating area in more inclement weather. Either way, the French-influenced menu and extensive wine list is the stuff of dining dreams offering delicately designed dishes like seared wild North Cork venison parsnip puree, chorizo, beluga lentils, Nameko mushrooms, mulled wine and elderberry jus.

Address: , MacCurtain Street, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 455 2279.
Website: http://www.greenesrestaurant.com

Jacob's on the Mall

Cuisine: Modern European

Jacob's is a modern, 130-seat restaurant in Cork's financial district. Located in the city's old Turkish baths, it has an unusual, intriguing atmosphere. The cuisine is modern European, and the food is characterised by imaginative cooking and the blending of fresh, local and organic ingredients. Fill up on the Jacob's steak sandwich with caramelised onions and Portobello mushrooms.

Address: , 30A South Mall, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 425 1530.
Website: http://www.jacobsonthemall.com

The Ivory Tower

Cuisine: Modern Japanese, Mexican, French, Irish

Run by Seamus O'Connell, one of Ireland's most famous chefs, The Ivory Tower borrows from his time in Mexico and Japan and creates beautiful trans-ethnic fusion food. As the high-quality ingredients are fresh and local, the menu changes daily but expect anything from blackened swordfish with banana ketchup and mango salsa to asparagus and squash tempura with white truffle rocket and aged Mossfield cheese.

Address: , 35 Princes Street, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 427 4665.
Website: http://www.ivorytower.ie

Moderate

Café Paradiso

Cuisine: Vegetarian

This is the best vegetarian restaurant in Cork (and possibly in Ireland). On offer is award-winning and highly original vegetarian fusion food based on local and seasonal ingredients. Meals include spiced feta and pistachio couscous cake, smoked pepperonata with wilted greens along with carrot, almond and feta terrine, cucumber-mango salsa and fennel crispbreads. Critics and other guests have been singing the restaurant's praises for many years, and with good reason. Vegetarian cuisine doesn't get much better than this.

Address: , 16 Lancaster Quay, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 427 7939.
Website: http://www.cafeparadiso.ie

Jacques

Cuisine: Irish

If you really want a taste of Cork, look no further than Jacques, a city centre eatery that has been plating up local food for more than 30 years. The idea is to take simple, fresh ingredients such as Cork cheese, beef, lamb, fish and wild game (when in season) and turn them into meals you'll be talking about for years. Keep returning for the pulled slow braised short ribs, parmesan gnocchi and roast celeriac or go healthy with beetroot and quinoa cakes, served beetroot relish and hummus. The plonk here also comes from independent wine makers.

Address: , 23 Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 427 7387
Website: http://www.jacquesrestaurant.ie

Orso Kitchen and Bar

Cuisine: Mediterranean

This small, bustling restaurant opens for breakfast and then serves exquisitely cooked, Mediterranean-influenced food all day long. Popular and often packed, it's pot luck as to whether you'll get a table as they can't be reserved, so cosy up instead on the long, wooden tables and enjoy fresh plates like whole spiced quail with roast saffron veg and dipping sauce. Don't miss the giant rosewater and pistachio meringues with fruit and cream.

Address: , Pembroke Street, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 243 8000.
Website: http://www.orso.ie

Cheap

14a

Cuisine: Irish, Mediterranean

14a is an intimate, modern space with a bright interior, but its walls are adorned with black and white photos, myriad mirrored shapes and traditional veneer furniture. It's that mixture of the new and the old which defines the menu too. Proud of serving uncomplicated food, using locally sourced, organic ingredients, it's just as likely you'll come across a hearty slice of decent steak as you will a bowl of refreshingly juicy green olives and grapefruit. 14a is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Address: , French Church Street, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 427 6457.
Website: http://www.restaurant14a.ie

Farmgate Café

Cuisine: Irish

It doesn't matter if you're hungry for breakfast or lunch, the long bar at Farmgate Café, which overlooks the covered English Market, is the best spot for door-stopper sandwiches, hearty soups and stews, and people watching. The menu is dictated by the food stalls below, so it changes daily, but strong, hot coffee and devilish cakes are always available. The service is excellent, the staff are super-friendly and once you're done, you can go downstairs and shop for dinner.

Address: , English Market, Princes Street, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 427 8134.
Website: http://www.farmgate.ie

Market Lane

Cuisine: Irish, Mediterranean

Market Lane is an award-winning restaurant and bar that sits over two floors in the city centre. The chefs use ingredients from local artisan producers, including the English Market, and meals major on meat, fish and game, though the salads and sandwiches are great too. Forever frenetic with locals, this is one of Cork's most popular eating houses and no matter how busy the staff, they'll always try to get you a space, even if it's up at the bar near the delightful white, exposed brickwork.

Address: , Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 427 4710.
Website: http://www.marketlane.ie
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Fota Island Hotel

It may be a little bit out of town, but it would be hard for you to swing a golf club anywhere near this 5-star retreat if it were any closer to Cork. The greens on its Championship-standard courses are as fine as the sheets in its ample, luxurious rooms. It has a gym, tennis courts and yoga, if you want to keep fit, plus a fine dining restaurant, complete with terrace, if you don't. Stylish, sophisticated and truly welcoming, Fota Island Hotel is worth blowing the budget.

Castlemartyr Resort

It may be 30 minutes out of Cork, but if you book a room at Castlemartyr Resort, you couldn't have truly envisioned leaving its grounds. This vast country manor dates back from the 17th-century and has the formal gardens to prove it. They, though, don't quite do its elegance justice. Its grace is admired from up close: it's found in the ruins of its 800-year-old castle, in the soothing splendours of its spa, around the 18 holes of its challenging golf course and in the unforgettable dining experience of its Bell Tower restaurant. Rooms, as you may have guessed, are worthy of the most magnanimous guest too.

Clarion Hotel Cork

Down on the promenade, next to the River Lee, the Clarion Hotel Cork is a stylish accommodation choice that isn't shy of stepping into world of avant-garde design. Its sleek rooms are generous and ultramodern, with clean lines and munificent king-size beds, while its fitness centre (including swimming pool and spa) squeezes in everything from aerobics to yoga. Step into its imaginative atrium though, and it's a world of fake grass, flaky croissants, fluffy sofas and strange, egg-shaped seating coves.

Vienna Woods Hotel

If you're after the charm of countryside living, you'll find it behind the yolk-coloured walls of Vienna Woods Hotel. Surrounded by some 9 hectares (22 acres) of woodland, this 18th century rural retreat is a charismatic and comfortable mid-range choice that mixes vintage furniture with modern facilities. There's free Wi-Fi, beds to lose weekends in and an onsite restaurant that does hearty Emerald Isle grub .

Hotel Isaacs

Most people come to Hotel Isaacs for its infamous Greenes restaurant, which serves up fine Irish dining and excellent wines on a charming little patio. Its rooms don't quite compete with the foodie flamboyance downstairs, but they're clean, spacious and practical, with a price tag that won't melt the credit card. Pick from 47 rooms, which come with en-suite bathrooms, complementary Wi-Fi, cable TV and one of the best locations in the city.

Crawford House

Just a 10 minute walk from the city centre, this smart, modern guesthouse is excellent value for money. Amalgamating three traditional houses, all rooms come with its king-size beds, huge baths and excellent traditional Irish breakfasts, served up in the conservatory. The staff here are lovely too. The quieter rooms are found at the back of the hotel.