In search of the best restaurants in Clonakilty? Our Clonakilty restaurants guide will make your belly happy!
The lively little town of Clonakilty in Cork is well known for its music scene and its Black Pudding, but this place boasts some fine spots for a feed, too.
In the guide below, you’ll discover some great places to eat in Clonakilty, with a little bit of something to tickle every fancy (and budget!).
Our favourite restaurants in Clonakilty
Clonakilty has some outstanding places to dine and many restaurants have magnificent waterfront views and outdoor terraces.
When it comes to choice, several top restaurants are located within Clonakilty hotels while pubs, bars and pizzerias have their own following. Life’s too short for a bad meal, so check out the best below!
1. Scannells Bar
First up is one of the better-known Clonakilty restaurants – Scannells Bar, a lively venue in the centre of Clonakilty. It’s been serving thirsty guests since the 1980s and has become one of the icons of the area for live music gigs.
There’s a bustling bar with a peaty fire for enjoying Irish brews and a tasty lunch and dinner menu.
This is the place to try local dishes such as the Crab and Clonakilty Black Pudding Salad, freshly caught fish and the tastiest locally reared beef. Hang around and join in the late night entertainment with local bands and talented musicians.
2. Oak Fire Pizza
Pizza aficionados should head down to the Oak Fire Pizza on Rossa Street and test-drive an authentic wood fired pizza made with local ingredients such as mozzarella from Toon’s Bridge.
Pick a traditional topping or build your own pizza from a choice of toppings, meat, veg and sauce.
Created by chefs with a passion for perfection, the thin dough is slow-proved and then cooked at a high temperature for the ultimate pizza. Add an ice cold drink or local craft beer and you’ll feast like a prince.
3. The Whale’s Tail Restaurant (one of the best places to eat in Clonakilty for seafood)
Whale sightings are common just offshore around the West Cork coastline so the name the Whale’s Tail Restaurant is totally appropriate.
Dive into poached monkfish, breaded scampi or chicken wings. For something more substantial, how about Shredded Caherbeg Beef Featherblade slow cooked and served with roast garlic jus, or maybe Pan Seared Skeaghanore Duck Breast with tangy creme de cassis?
The Whale’s Tail Restaurant is on the Wild Atlantic Way right next to Clonakilty Distillery so you can combine a meal with a hike, or a whiskey tour and tasting for the perfect day out.
If you’re in search of Clonakilty restaurants for a special occasion, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Whale’s Tail.
4. Geroideans Restaurant
Geroideans is in one of the original buildings in historic Clonakilty but it is thoroughly up-to-date when it comes to its menu.
It’s more like popping into a friend’s kitchen in this bakery/café/wine bar where everything is cooked fresh by Geraldine and her team. You can’t beat a fish pie made with fresh fish caught in the bay.
Local cheese and smoked fish is always on the menu but those with a sweet teeth should visit for afternoon tea. Bone china teacups and a mouthwatering array of home baked pies and tarts makes this a memorable experience you won’t want to rush.
Popular places to eat in Clonakilty
As you’ve probably gathered at this stage, there’s an almost endless number of great places to eat in Clonakilty on offer.
If you’re still not sold on any of the previous choices, the section below is packed with some more highly-reviewed Clonakilty restaurants.
1. Molly’s Wine Bar and Café
Tucked away down Recorder’s Alley, the bright red frontage of Molly’s Wine Bar and Café is well worth seeking out. Super friendly staff welcome tourists and regulars who turn up for wine, food and song.
Comfortable sofa seating makes it a place to settle back and enjoy a coffee, beer or glass of wine (BYO and just pay €4 corkage) while browsing the menu of snacks and meals.
Daily specials boards feature platters of local cheese, meats and crackers with live music that encourages your feet to tap.
If you’re in search of Clonakilty restaurants that’ll tantalize your tastebuds from beginning to end, Doyle’s is a great shout!
2. Café on the Lane
Café on the Lane (that’s Spillers Lane, OK!) is just the place to put your feet up with a cup of tea after a spot of sightseeing.
The range of specialty coffees, homemade cakes, cookies, blackberry and orange scones, toasties and tasty soup will warm the cockles of your heart.
The cosy atmosphere encourages you to linger, and before you know it you’ll be ordering seconds of those famous sticky buns warm from the oven. You’ve been warned!
3. Hart’s Coffee Shop
Featured in McKenna’s “Best in Ireland” Guide, Hart’s Coffee Shop is a beautiful place to head for on Ashe Street.
It offers simple, wholesome homemade cakes, teas, coffees as well as a breakfast menu (try the smoked salmon on brown bread made on the premises).
Lunches, soups and snacks all use locally sourced ingredients. This family-friendly café with free Wi-Fi is a beautiful place to linger and enjoy the aromas of fresh baking coming from the kitchen.
4. Wilde & Co
If you’re wild about good coffee using the best beans, the Wilde & Co café is the place to be. Located on historic Pearse Street it’s not far from anywhere.
Open until 5pm, they do a fine menu for brunch and lunch including Sundays, and just wait till you see their cakes!
Chocolate, orange and chilli cake is a winner, or how about a slice of homemade coffee and walnut cake? It’s a wonderful experience headed by Michael and his team.
5. Baan Sujittra
For tasty cuisine with a more Asian flair, the Baan Sujittra on Ashe Street offers authentic Thai dishes in a delightful atmosphere.
The team of chefs all originate from Thailand (hence the authentic flavours and smiling service), but have lived in West Cork for almost 20 years.
A warm welcome, huge portions and a thoroughly delectable menu mean that you’ll probably have to make a return visit! From satay and spring rolls to the final morsel of curry or stir fry, every mouthful dances on the tastebuds.
We bet you’re drooling after that fine foodie line-up. Pick one or visit them all as these are the best restaurants in Clonakilty!
What great Clonakilty restaurants have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some other great restaurants in Clonakilty from the guide above.
If you have a favourite Clonakilty restaurants that you’d like to recommend, drop a comment into the comments section below.
FAQs about the places to eat in Clonakilty
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what are the best restaurants in Clonakilty for a fancy feed to which Clonakilty restaurants are nice and chilled.
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 are the best restaurants in Clonakilty?
The Whale’s Tail Restaurant, Oak Fire Pizza and Scannells Bar are three great places to eat in Clonakilty.
What are the best casual places to eat in Clonakilty?
Café on the Lane, Hart’s Coffee Shop and Wilde & Co are three solid options for something casual and tasty.
Gillian Birch is a travel writer and published author. She has travelled the world and uses her personal journals and memories to write about her many travel experiences, particularly those that involved adventures in Ireland.