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.
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.
Jacob's on the MallCuisine: 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.
The Ivory TowerCuisine: 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.
Café ParadisoCuisine: 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.
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
Orso Kitchen and BarCuisine: 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.
14aCuisine: 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.
Farmgate CaféCuisine: 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.
Market LaneCuisine: 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.