Eating & drinking in Cork
Cork City Pub Crawl
If you're in Cork City on a Friday night and you want to go out and enjoy the city's pub culture then a great way to do it is by going on the Cork City Pub Crawl. It's a pub crawl/tour/party organised by local energetic youths, with the aim of creating a buzz or a bit of craic amongst the tourists and locals of Cork City. They run it every Friday, starting at 8PM outside the GPO on Oliver Plunkett St. and take the group to 4 really cool pubs and the most fun club in Cork. There's a €10 charge but that saves you money because it includes at least one shot of jaegermeister, one shot of whiskey / tequila, two shots of apple sourz and entry into the club. The group is a fun blend of locals and backpackers, all up for the craic. Definitely a highlight night of any trip to Ireland and certainly Cork City.
Image: Outside of An Bróg
Cork English Market, Grand Parade, South Mall (enter via Grand Parade or Princes Street). 9AM - 5.30PM. This is an old covered market in the centre of the city with an abundance of excellent food to suit all tastes and a pleasant cafe, often with live piano music. It also includes an excellent cafe: "The Farmgate".
Uncle Pete's Pizzeria, 31 Pope's Quay. A pizza delivery place in Cork City, which places an emphasis on gourmet pizzas.
Captain Americas Cookhouse and Bar, 4-5 South Main Street. A very popular restaurant with young, friendly and fun staff. Take a walk around the restaurant and look at the collection of music and celeb memorabilia.
Bana Thai. Maylor Street (Behind Brown Thomas). Mediocre Thai food, really relaxed atmosphere.
Liberty Grill. Washington Street. This American-style cafe offers excellent food, especially their burgers.
The Bodega, Coal Quay. This is actually a cafe/bar set in a very large old industrial space. Very beautifully refurbished. As a place for a drink in the evening it has become less appealing over the years. However they do a very nice brunch menu on a Saturdays and Sundays. Also very nice lunch menu. The crowd is a very diverse mix of young people, professionals and families.
Café Paradiso, 16 Lancaster Quay. Fantastic vegetarian restaurant, one that even the most hardened meat eaters flock to. At the upper end of the budget but worth it for the gourmet vegetarian delights. The Bridgestone Vegetarian Guide says "…I now firmly believe that Cork's Café Paradiso is the only vegetarian restaurant – maybe in the whole of Europe – where the actual enjoyment of the food is paramount."
Scoozis, Off Winthrop Street. One of the most popular restaurants in Cork, always busy for lunch and dinner. Booking is advisable, but people also often just turn up and queue. Staff are young and friendly, menu is varied, cheap and full of very tasty food. Perfect for big parties, small groups of friends and even a romantic meal for two.
Clanceys. A traditional Irish pub restaurant, That offers average food with an Irish atmosphere.
The Ivory Tower, Oliver Plunkett St. This restaurant is a Cork institution. Very eclectic and eccentric food. Cheap it is not, but prices have come down slightly in the last year. An intimate and unusual small room with very friendly staff and award winning food. The famous dish from here is Swordfish with banana ketchup. For the less adventurous there is a good selection of high quality quite game-y food. A great wine list.
Fenns Quay, No. 5 Fenns Quay, parallel to Washington St. Quite a modern looking restaurant, a step down price wise from the ivory tower. Contemporary continental cuisine with an excellent wine list in a nicely renovated old house.
Luigi Malones, Emmet Place. Famous for the teenagers usually snogging out front, Luigi Malones sits across for Cork Opera House.
Jacobs on the Mall, South Mall. Award-winning restaurant with incredibly delicious gourmet food. Expensive but worth it, it's easily one of Cork's finest restaurants.
Quay CoOp, 24 Sullivans Quay, Cork (Just over the river across the footbridge from the Grand Parade). 9AM-9PM. The Quay Co-op Restaurant is renowned by diners in Cork and beyond for the quality and variety of its menu and the ambience of its brightly decorated dining rooms. The restaurant is vegetarian and also provides an extensive range of vegan, yeast-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes from around the world.
Elizabeth Fort Market Festival, Elizabeth Fort, Barrack Street, Cork (Barrack Street, Cork City). 11PM. The Elizabeth Fort Market features gourmet food on Sundays including french crepes, halal bbq, sushi, vegetarian cuisine, cupcakes, coffees, refreshments and more.
Ambassador Chinese Restaurant, 3 Cooks Street, Cork (Next to Specsavers). Chinese food "par excellence". If you are only used to cheap takeaways then you are in for a pleasant surprise. Traditional Western Chinese food but done very well. Try the aromatic duck. Prices are moderate to high.
Panda Mama Restaurant, 14 Parnell Place (Between the Bus Station and city hall). The place is worth visiting for the decor alone; traditional chinese wood and marble. Menu shows innovation for a chinese restuarant outside Dublin. Food is good. Prices are Moderate.
Market Lane, 5 Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork, Ireland. This bustling two-storey restaurant and bar near the English Market is a friendly and welcoming place with a lively atmosphere. Where possible they source locally produced foods and artisan products at a reasonable price.
The Idaho Cafe, The Corner of Maylor Street and Margaret Street. 12-4. An excellent restaurant with locally sourced food. Traditional Irish dishes; everything on the menu is top notch. It is a tiny cafe, but the wait is never long and it's well worth it. All of the main courses are gluten-free, as well.
Dashi Deli. 10, cook street. One of a few sushi bars in cork, offers wide variety of traditional and modern pieces. Also offers hot food and noodle dishes. Quality of food is very high with a moderately high price (much higher than Sakura in quality and price), staff are helpful and warm. The sushi bar is small and therefore unable to serve in busy days, ask for food to go if in such a situation. Great for a bite to eat or even as a treat when shopping in town. Closed on Sundays because all fish is sourced from the English market.
Sakura 38, MacCurtain street. Good quality and affordable Japanese food. Intimate setting, atmosphere, and friendly staff. Advisable if you want a change from the bustle of the many Asian street food takeaway's throughout Cork. Prices moderate.
Image: English Market, Cork
Barrack Street' is known in Cork for its amount and variety of bars. The Barrack St. Challenge challenge is to drink one pint in each bar starting in Nancy Spain's and still be able to walk by the time you reach the Brewery. Cork is also well known for its live music scene.
An Bróg, Oliver Plunkett St. off Grand Parade. Diverse patrons and music make this a favourite among all groups. A late bar open until 2AM. Expect to queue during the student year.
An Spailpín Fánach. Irish for 'the migrant labourer' has traditional Irish music most nights, is a traditional Irish pub and has a great atmosphere after 9PM. Located on South Main Street, across the road from the Brewery.
The Bierhaus, Popes Quay (at Shandon footbridge). Claims the best selection of beers in Cork, with over 50 on offer and new beers on tap monthly.
Costigans, Washington St. Great atmosphere at weekends, Always a good place to start when doing a pub crawl of the lively Washington St.
Franciscan Well, On the riverside north of the Gate Cinema. Has a large beer garden. Brews its own range of beers and has a fine section of foreign bottled beers. This pub organises beer festivals twice yearly.
FreakScene, South Main Street. Great Student night every Thursday. Upstairs has alternative and indie, downstairs disco and soul and is the gay section of freakscene. Running for many years, it has outlasted all competitors in a fickle Cork scene. Casual Dress, in fact wear whatever you want.
An Realt Dearg, next to Elizabeth Fort & the Elizabeth Fort Sunday Market, and is the oldest pub in Cork. It was established in 1698 and the Dukes of Wellington and Marlborough were among its patrons. It is possibly the oldest pub in Ireland. That title is being claimed by a few pubs in the country. The Brazen Head in Dublin was a pub before The Gateway, but didn't hold a continuous license. An Realt Dearg used to be called The Gateway.
The Hi-B, Oliver Plunkett St. off Grand Parade. (Upstairs). This pub is owned by the grumpiest man in cork. It is a tiny room up old creaking stairs. It has a nice mixture of old guys and a young crowd very friendly and welcoming to newcomers despite its intimidating aesthetic. On a Wednesday evening an ole fella plays jazz piano and takes requests. This place is not for everyone, but if you like the kind of intimate place where a stranger sits to tell you his life story then the hi b is great. Be warned, the owner does not tolerate mobile phones in his bar (among numerous other things). Like a stranger sat at my table once told me "you are no-one in Cork until you have been kicked out the hi-b"
Long Valley, Winthrop St. Busy pub with constant turnover of clientele. Sandwiches are not to be missed! Classical and jazz music in the background. A bit expensive, but not overly so given its city center location.
MvM - Movies vs Music, Everyman Palace, McCurtain St. This is the place to be on a Saturday night. Playing all the hits from 60s,70s,80s,90s and modern day. They also have a comfy couch cinema showing the best in cult movie titles, such as 'Batman the TV movie', 'Whitnail and I', 'Planet of the Apes', to mention but a few. If that's not enough they have playstation, connect 4, draughts and electro buzz in their games room or chill out with a lovely cocktail! The latest club in Cork. 11:45PM-2:30AM. Check it out, you'll love it!
Mutton Lane Inn, Mutton Lane. off Patricks St (first turn after Burger King). This is owned by the same people that run Sin é and it shows. Dark and very comfortable with candle lit tables and trad sessions every Monday night. Get in early this place gets packed. Nice selection of beers both foreign and local.
Savoy Theatre. St Patrick's Street. Home to "Bang" student night on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the college year, "Goldsounds" on Friday Nights and Rapture every Saturday Night Savoy is a must for under 20s visiting and at €10 for entry its very reasonable. Opens at 11PM.
Sin é, Coburg St. Dark, small and welcoming. Good for traditional music. One of Cork's more atmospheric pubs.
The Oval Bar, South Main Street. Best Music policy in Cork, if you prefer alternative, electronica or a little bit of rock. Pints are great too. Punters are relaxed. For genuine drinkers only.
Boardwalk Bar & Grill, Lapps Quay (Across from the City Hall). M-Fr 5-7pm/Saturday 5-6pm. An 8,000 square foot Bar and Grill with rich wood and leather panelling tinged with traditional liscaner stone.
The Long Island Bar, 11 Washington Street. The Long Island Bar is an award winning cocktail bar in the heart of the city. They have an extensive menu with loads of variety so there is something to suit everyone. The staff are friendly and helpful and the drinks look and taste great. The resident dj's have the place rocking at night and the atmosphere is the best in the city.
Bar Pigalle, Barrack Street (Opposite The Offie off licence). "Ze" ultimate french style cafe-bar experience in Cork. Friendliest french staff ever, great selections of french wines and belgium/german beers.
Thomond Bar, 2, Marlboro Street (Between Patricks St and Oliver Plunkett St). One of Cork's premier rugby and sports pubs, offering food Monday to Saturday 12 until late and a guaranteed great atmosphere to watch any major sporting event.
The Horseshoe Bar. Located in the Turners Cross area. This cosy establishment offers an excellant variety of beers and spirits with an excellant and tasty a la carte menu.