It’s no secret the rebel county’s city is one of our favourite spots in Ireland. Full of fun, culture and history, it has all the draws of a major city without being a total tourist trap.
But one of the real stars of Cork? The amazing food and drink scene. Often award-winning, but still low key, their restaurants are all about local, quality ingredients and their pubs are all about atmosphere. We’ve picked out our favourite spots to hit up for brunch, evening drinks, dinner and everything in between in a food tour-de-force of the city!
If you’re looking for something sleek and upmarket, Market Lane is where it’s at. Elegant and featuring European and Irish style cuisine, its locally sourced and quality ingredients make for an incredible and varied menu, all inspired by the English Market down the road. Couple its extensive drinks list with sophisticated and beautiful surroundings and you’ve got yourself the perfect spot for a special occasion lunch or dinner.
A great one for whiskey enthusiasts, this spot is great for a little old world glamour and evening drinks. Awarded best tourist pub of 2018, its glittering walls full of international and Irish whiskeys are a big draw. They also serve locally sourced, seasonal food that is truly show stopping – and great if you in the mood for a few tapas style bites – and is also a fabulous brunch spot. And they don’t just sell whiskey despite their name – they have also won awards for their beer and gin collections, meaning you’ll be spoiled for top quality choice here
A stunning Italian spot in the heart of the city, Prince’s street’s Rossini’s is some of the best food you’ll find in Cork. This summer the little street is buzzing with activity as the many restaurants along it take advantage of its recent pedestrianisation with outdoor dining – but if you want an outdoor table, I’d advise booking! With authentic Italian recipes have been handed down from generation to generation and their ingredients are freshly sourced form the English Market just across the road, their reputation for fine Italian cuisine is second to none.
If you’re looking for a gorgeous lunch/brunch spot, this is the place! Bright, airy and open, Liberty Grill is exactly where you want to be after a night on the town with everything from light bites to heart lunches to get you going again. Another place that you should definitely book in advance, it’s popularity means there’s always a queue out the door. Their New-England inspired menu means brunch features everything from Eggs Benedict to French Toast while their lunch menu boasts delicious vegan salads and sumptuous steaks.
One of Cork’s best kept secrets, Mutton Lane is the perfect intimate date spot hidden in plain sight. The teeny pub is just off of the city’s main street, Patrick street, but it’s position down a windy alleyway makes it a little harder to locate. It’s strictly over 23s, so its an older, more exclusive crowd that tend to find its way into its candlelit alcoves. Small, covered in fairy lights and serving up traditional pub favourites, this drinks-only spot is the perfect stop off for an evening drink or two.
Amore child-friendly spot would be Franwell’s beer garden. Like pizza? Like beer? Then the Franwell is absolutely the place for you. An iconic Cork pub, this is known for its onsite brewery serving up delicious craft beers – but don’t worry, they also serve ciders and wines and soft drinks! But the major star of the show here is their pizza oven out in the funky and welcoming beer garden. Made with local ingredients, the pizzas are the perfect pair to your Franciscan Well beer, making for a gorgeous afternoon or evening chilling in their garden!