The best restaurants in Cork City

photo by Andrew Wood

Cork has always been a bit of a rebel city, and not only when it comes to history. One might say that Cork dances to its own tune, and there’s even some good-natured rivalry between Cork and the Irish capital, Dublin. The city has a distinct atmosphere, and a budding cultural and nightlife scene that makes it a great tourist destination for those on the lookout for fun and entertainment. There are countless historical attractions in Cork, and even a short walk around the city will reveal lots of interesting places. But walking around Cork takes a lot of energy, and you will often be tempted to stop for a bite. Luckily, there are plenty of great restaurants where you can gorge on delicious Irish food and international cuisines. Here are some of the best restaurants in Cork.

Scoozi, Winthrop Street

Scoozi is currently one of the most popular restaurants in Cork, and its fame has been soaring for more than two decades. The restaurant is always crowded for lunch and dinner, so you should probably book a table, but many people often stand in line until a table opens – which is always a good sign when it comes to the quality of a restaurant. The decor is quirky, and the menu is full of interesting hand-crafted pizzas, hamburgers and pasts, plus a nice selection of home-baked cakes and pastries.

The Ivory Tower, Princess Street

photo by mozzercork on Flickr

The Ivory Tower is nothing less than a Cork institution, opened by a famous American-born Irish chef. The menu is centered around traditional Irish and Japanese-inspired dishes, and all sorts of eccentric but delicious dishes. The Ivory Tower is not a cheap restaurant, but every bite is worth its price. There’s a great Traditional Irish Food Tasting Menu, for those who want an introduction to Irish cuisine.

The Idaho Cafe, Caroline Street

This cafe is tiny and has many customers, but the wait is never long, and always rewarding. The Idaho Cafe is the perfect stop for a bite when you’re out walking or shopping in the city center, and the wholesome food will fill you with energy. Most of the main dishes are gluten-free but mouth-watering, made with fresh local ingredients. The menu is also very vegetarian-friendly, and many of the other dishes can be adapted for vegetarian needs.

Quay CoOp, Sullivans Quay

photo by LWY on Flickr

Quay CoOp is a vegetarian paradise in a colorful and bright setting, and its menus are acclaimed for their unique and fresh flavors. The menu changes daily, but you can always find a couple of hearty soups, and creative main dishes (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc), plus a selection of pizzas, burgers and delicious tarts. The ingredients are organic, so eco-conscious travelers can eat their fill without any remorse.

Jacobs on the Mall, South Mall

Jacobs on the Mall is definitely one of the best restaurants in Cork City, serving gourmet food that will satisfy even the  most refined palates. Sure, the dishes are not cheap, but the meals are so carefully concocted and perfectly prepared that you won’t regret splurging a bit.


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