In search of the best brunch Cork has to offer? This guide will make your belly happy!
If you think that Irish food is largely based around spuds then you are in for a rude awakening. Or a tasty one, at least!
Cork City has long been dubbed the “food capital” of Ireland, partly due to having one of the world’s largest natural harbours and partly thanks to it’s very long history of trading exports and imports.
Brunch in Cork City is a thing of beauty, if you know where to look! In the guide below you’ll discover some delicious Cork brunch spots to explore in 2021.
Our favourite spots for brunch in Cork City
The first section of this guide tackles the places that we think boast the best brunch Cork has to offer in 2021.
Below, you’ll find the brilliant (and very popular) SALT along with the onnnnnnllllllyyyyy gorgeous SpitJack. Dive on in!
1. Good Day Deli
This casual cafe is committed to sustainability throughout their food chain, serving up an excellent mix of local, seasonal, organic and fair trade food!
The tasty breakfast and brunch on the menu has subtle South Pacific influences from New Zealand, where one of the co-owners of the cafe is from! They also specialise in coffee with a luxurious selection to choose from.
One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the salmon benny; the fish is fresh, served on a soft sourdough with poached eggs and a generous dollop of hollandaise sauce.
The food quality is superb and with good sized portions. While a little pricier than some of the Cork brunch spots below, this place packs a mouth-watering punch!
Related read: Check out our guide to the best things to do in Cork City (walks, museums, tours and more)
2. The SpitJack Cork
Owned and operated by husband and wife team, Richard and Laura, SpitJack is one of the newer places for brunch Cork City has to offer, having only opened back in 2017.
The couple moved to Cork after they had spent many years working in high end hospitality, with a vision of serving up only the best quality locally sourced produce, expertly prepared and served in a beautiful dining space.
The multi-award winning restaurant is predominantly meat focused though they do have vegetarian options as well. The gourmet burgers, steaks and ribs are particularly popular though the crepes are heavenly if you fancy a treat!
Related read: Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Cork (from fine dining to tasty, pocket-friendly eats)
3. SALT food & wine (one of the more popular spots for brunch in Cork)
You’ll regularly see SALT top guides to the best brunch in Cork, and for good reason (the photo on the right above should give you an idea as to why!).
If you enjoy al fresco dining (of course you do) then you definitely want to check out this cafe wine bar. Salt is the go-to for fans of fine wine, craft beers, ciders, coffees and teas, all great for brunch though maybe not at the same time…
Brunch at SALT is a thing of beauty, with the Canadian French Toast and the Kiwi Brunch stealing the show (the lunch menu is pretty solid, too!).
4. Liberty Grill
If you’re after a hearty brunch in Cork, look no further than Liberty Grill. This place is unique in that everything on the brunch menu is influenced from New England such as their French toast and eggs Benedict.
For the health-conscious out there, there is some excellent quinoa fritters or Mediterranean sourdough toast with olive tapenade to try.
There are a lot of vegan options here as well. The seafood and fish dishes come straight from the English Market, so you know they’re going to be delicious!
One of the biggest draws here is that brunch doesn’t end until 5pm! While the restaurant is small, there is still plenty of space to sit.
5. The Castle Cafe (Blackrock Castle)
This slick, modern all-day Castle Cafe is arguably one of the most unique places for brunch Cork has to offer. As its name suggests it’s situated next to the ancient Blackrock Castle.
It’s a fantastic spot to eat al fresco in the courtyard and then go on a wee detour afterwards with a few walks nearby.
The Brunch menu has dishes that are made from locally sourced ingredients such as their trademark “Cork producer’s Breakfast”, consisting of Rosscarbery bacon, black pudding, sausages and a poached egg.
There are a few other specialities to try like the corn and feta cakes with cumin and tarragon and also the veggie bean and egg bake with smoked Gubbeen cheese.
Related read: Check out our guide to the best breakfast in Cork (from fine dining to tasty, pocket-friendly eats)
6. The Farmgate Cafe (English market)
Perfectly perched on a balcony that overlooks all the food stalls below, this is a great spot for soaking up the hustle and bustle of the lively market around you.
As you can probably guess, all food is locally sourced and fresh too. The cafe has been serving food for over 25 years and a popular hotspot among locals and tourists alike!
They serve more authentically Irish cuisine than most places and you can get some really good soda bread and seafood chowder or enjoy an Irish stew or just scoff some scones for breakfast.
More great places for brunch in Cork
The second section of our guide to the best places for brunch in Cork tackles restaurants and cafes that have racked up great reviews online.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from Gusto and Tony’s to Cafe Spresso and much, much more. Dive on in!
This stylish bar and restaurant is situated in the historic Jewish quarter of the city was inspired by the “New York Meatpacking” district.
The breakfast, lunch and brunch menu all incorporate quality local ingredients and are finely presented. One of their most famous items on the menu is their cleverly named ‘Goldburgers’.
You have all the breakfast, brunch and lunch classics here; eggs Benedict, eggs Florentine and a full Irish (with vegetarian option).
There are also some unique twists available too, the smashed avocado with chilli eggs is a must, the freshly baked sourdough it comes with is just divine.
Cafe Gusto is another spot that’s said to dish out some of the best brunch Cork has to offer. It was established in 1999 and was once the famous O’Brien coffee shop that operated since 1941.
The creative force behind the cafe, Marianne, had travelled extensively around the world before returning to Cork in1998.
She learned a great deal about sourcing the best ingredients, producers and suppliers, something that she has incorporated into this popular cafe and helping it win many awards.
The cosy cafe is the go-to for the best Chai latte in town, with plenty of tasty cakes to accompany it. There are many very healthy options on the menu too, with a diverse selection of Mediterranean dishes to whet your appetite.
3. Tony’s Bistro
Tony’s is a Cork institution. And it’s one of our firm favourites in Cork City. Although it’s open for lunch and dinner, it’s the breakfast that has the X-Factor.
Popular among locals and visitors alike, this place bangs out a breakfast that’ll make your belly very happy.
If you don’t fancy one of their famous fry-ups, don’t worry. They do an extensive selection of toasted and cold sandwiches, too.
4. Cafe Spresso
Cafe Spresso is another lively Cork brunch spot and you’ll find it located close to the centre. Randomly enough, it’s one of the few places in Cork that serves a full Irish breakfast until midnight.
The cafe has a large range of sandwiches, homemade pastries, coffee, tea and more. There are also excellent vegetarian options.
The cafe is particularly great for anyone price-conscious as it’s reasonably priced and you get decent sized portions too. Make sure to try the perogies and bigas.
5. Dukes Coffee Company (arguably some of the best brunch in Cork City Centre)
Located in a quiet corridor in the city centre, this family-owned spot has been making tastebuds ‘zing’ since 2005.
It’s an ideal spot for families as there is plenty of space inside to kick back (there’s room outside for dining alfresco, too).
Great coffee aside, you get some real delights on the breakfast and brunch menu. The mighty “Dukes Fry Up”, with Clonakilty Pudding, steals the show!
6. Brick Lane
While there’s seating outside, staying indors allows you to ogle at the many things decorating the walls (like art from local talent).
They have a crazy selection of over 60 gins and 70 whiskeys and can do some impressive cocktails too.
The brunch and breakfast menus are full of many great dishes to choose from like a full Irish breakfast or the Monte Cristo Benedict or Belgian cinnamon waffles if you fancy something sweet.
The best brunch in Cork: Where have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some great places for brunch in Cork City Centre and beyond in the guide above.
If you have a brunch spot that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about the tastiest brunch Cork has to offer
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from the best brunch in Cork to where to grab some decent pancakes.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What is the best brunch Cork has to offer?
Good Day Deli, The SpitJack Cork, SALT food & wine, Liberty Grill, Brick Lane and The Castle Cafe are all worth trying.
Where can you get bottomless brunch in Cork?
Brick Lane, The Oyster Tavern, Dwyers and the Oyster Tavern (make sure to check in advance as they may not be offering this anymore).
What is the tastiest brunch in Cork City Centre?
I’d argue that the brunch from SALT food & wine, The SpitJack Cork, Good Day Deli and the Liberty are the tastiest spots!
Originally from County Tyrone, Johnny’s yearning for new experiences and cultures has taken from Bundoran to Bangkok and everywhere in between!