In search of the best restaurants in Cork City? Our Cork restaurants guide will make your belly happy!
If you wish to experience a foodgasm (is that even a thing..?!)! you need to get yourself to Cork City.
From award-winning contemporary style restaurants to family-run seafood eateries and 5-star international dining establishments, there’s an endless number of great places to eat in Cork City.
In the guide below, you’ll discover the best Cork restaurants on offer, with a little bit of something to tickle every fancy (and budget!).
The best restaurants in Cork City (in our opinion)
There are some outstanding places to eat in Cork City and many restaurants in the City pack a punch as fine as any of the foodie hot spots scattered across Ireland.
Below, you’ll find what we believe are the top restaurants in Cork. Disagree? Lovely – let me know in the comments below!
1. The SpitJack Cork
Opened in 2017, SpitJack Cork is arguably one of the best restaurants in Cork City. At this award-winning dining establishment, everything revolves around the rotisserie concept.
The restaurant only uses the finest local meats and produce sourced from the popular English Market. The traditional Italian rotisserie porchetta and the Ballycotton salmon are, in particular, sensational.
As is the codfish cake. If you prefer vegetarian dishes, order the honey baked goat cheese salad. In addition to hearty cuisine, SpitJack Cork boasts a stunning interior design and attentive service.
2. Jacobs on the Mall
Located in the heart of Cork City, Jacobs on the Mall is a foodie’s paradise. With a Certificate of Excellence and numerous other awards, this contemporary style restaurant is all about modern European food served in a romantic setting.
Although this popular Cork restaurant can accommodate nearly 150 guests, bookings are essential, especially on the weekends. So, what’s good here, you ask?
I recommend seared scallops with maple Baltimore bacon and pomme puree as a starter and roast pork belly with whipped chive potatoes for the main.
They also have a set menu that is available throughout the evening. Craving something sweet? Order the warm chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice-cream & hazelnuts.
3. Strasbourg Goose
You’ll find Strasbourg Goose in the centre of Cork, just off Patrick Street in a small pedestrian alley.
Owned by husband and wife, Triona and John (Head Chef) for the last 20 years or so, this restaurant has a bit of a French vibe.
Their oven-roasted lamb shank is to die for, as well as the duck breasts served with a generous portion of gratin potatoes.
To complement the delicious food, the restaurant offers an extensive wine list with both local and international wines (there are also plenty of great pubs in Cork close by).
4. Elbow Lane Brew and Smoke House
Elbow Lane Brew and Smoke House is arguably one of the best places to eat in Cork City for those fond of beautifully prepared meat.
With an open-plan kitchen and its giant wood-fired grill, this amazing restaurant is situated in an L-shape room with traditional décor. As for the food, it’s hearty and delicious!
Sunchokes with hazelnuts are the perfect starter dish. As for the mains, pork neck and monkfish with lamb bacon are popular with the hungry patrons.
What makes this place so special is the amazing smokehouse sauce. Order their slow-smoked pork ribs with home-made coleslaw, roast sweet potatoes, smokehouse sauce and you’ll see what I am talking about.
Cork restaurants that are perfect for a special occasion
As you’ve probably gathered at this stage, there’s an almost endless number of great places to eat in Cork City on offer.
If you’re still not sold on any of the previous choices, the section below is packed with some more highly-reviewed Cork restaurants.
1. The Glass Curtain
Whether it’s a business lunch or a romantic dinner with a loved one, the Glass Curtain is a perfect destination for a special occasion.
Order the Collar of Pork served with a house-made Peanut Rauy and you won’t be disappointed.
For dessert, go for the honey custard tart with nutmeg and fresh cream, scattered atop with pistachios.
If you have a sweet tooth, this dessert definitely hits the spot! To sum it all up, Chef Brian Murray and his team craft dishes to perfection.
2. Greenes Restaurant
One of the oldest restaurants in Cork City, Greenes Restaurant is located in a small narrow alleyway right opposite of a cool waterfall.
Here, it’s all about traditional food paired with modern innovative techniques including fermenting and pickling. On the menu, expect to find food delicacies like fermented barley and pork belly with black pudding porridge.
Greenes Restaurant was granted the Certificate of Excellence in 2017, 2018, and 2019. In addition to delicious food and a full-tasting wine list, the restaurant boasts a modern whiskey and cocktail bar.
Related read: Check out our guide to the best things to do in Cork City (tours, more food, walks)
3. Quinlans Seafood Bar Cork
Located in the centre of Cork, Quinlans Seafood Bar is all about fresh catch of the day and seafood. The fish here is delivered daily from the boats and cooked to order, which means that everything ordered here is super fresh.
Whether you are craving prawns or crab or want to order native salmon or haddock, the extensive fish and seafood menu at Quinlans offers something for everyone.
The restaurant uses a special recipe for their batter. Guests who prefer a healthier option will be glad to hear that their order can be pan-fried in olive oil.
More great Cork City restaurants with 4/5+ review scores
Yes – there’s Cork City restaurants to get through! The final section of our guide is packed with many more great places to eat in Cork City that pack a punch.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from the brilliant Liberty Grill (you’ll find some of the best breakfast in Cork here, too!) and Ichigo Ichie to Market Lane and more.
1. Liberty Grill
is a great place to visit for a casual dining experience. What’s on the menu? The restaurant offers burgers and steaks, along with a range of vegetarian dishes and seafood sourced from the nearby English Market.
Guests like that the restaurant offers an all-day brunch menu with classics like French toast and eggs benedict.
If you’re in search of good restaurants in Cork City where the only thing better than the price is the taste, get yourself here.
2. Ichigo Ichie (one of a few Michelin Star restaurants in Cork City)
If you’re in search of places to eat in Cork City where you’ll be treated to a 5-star experience, look no further than Ichigo Ichie.
Ichigo Ichie is a class of its own. With a Michelin star, this super small Japanese restaurant boasts a very memorable dining experience.
The price for a meal starts from €120 (prices may change), but enjoying food at Ichigo Ichie is more of an experience rather than your average meal.
Chef Takashi Miyazaki serves a tasting menu of 12 dishes and allows you to experience authentic Japanese cuisine.
Some of the dishes you’ll try here include Vitabella potato, sakura-smoked Irish venison, porcini, chestnut tulie, and Kilbrack organic carrot. Don’t leave before having a shot of sake!
3. Market Lane
The award-winning Market Lane is one of the most popular restaurants in Cork City. They source meat from the nearby English Market, make their own beer in a brewery next door, and have a greenhouse where they grow their own local produce and fresh herbs.
The extensive food menu includes favourites like slow-cooked beef short rib in a sticky red wine and treacle sauce, roast turnips and creamy mash and roast marinated chicken, buttered root vegetables, braised red cabbage, and creamy mash and gravy.
Sirloin steak is also available to order and all of the beef is Irish, locally sourced and 28 day aged by the Allshire family in Rosscarbery.
One of the newest additions to the restaurant scene in Cork, Goldie is a great place to enjoy fish and seafood.
The restaurant offers an extensive seafood menu with favourites such as crab, langoustines, and scallops.
Head chef Aisling Moore and executive chef Stephen Kehoe will probably tell you how Pollock and megrim are probably less popular options, but equally delicious. Make sure to order their signature craft beer from the sister restaurant that is located right across the road.
What great Cork restaurants have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some other great restaurants in Cork from the guide above.
If you have a favourite Cork restaurants that you’d like to recommend, drop a comment into the comments section below.
FAQs about the best restaurants in Cork City
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what are the best restaurants in Cork City for a fancy feed to which Cork 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 Cork City?
Elbow Lane Brew and Smoke House, Strasbourg Goose, Jacobs on the Mall and The SpitJack are 5 of my favourite restaurants in Cork City.
What are the best places to eat in Cork City for a fancy meal?
In my opinion, two of the best restaurants in Cork City for a memorable meal are Greenes Restaurant and Ichigo Ichie.
What Cork restaurants are great for a cheap, tasty bite?
You’ll find it hard to come across Cork restaurants that offer value for money like the brilliant Liberty Grill.