The best food & drink experiences in Cork
With world renowned produce, colourful markets & cafes and bustling bars and restaurant, it’s no wonder Cork is seen as the food capital of Ireland!
Here at Cork International Hotel, we are huge foodies! We have put together a list of some of the food & drink experiences that every foodie should have on their list when visiting Cork. But our number one top tip, make sure to arrive hungry!
1. The English Market
A staple in the Cork City food scene, a visit to The English Market is an absolute must for foodies visiting the city! Just off St. Patrick’s Street, you will find the oldest market of its kind and has served the people of Cork through the famine, revolutions, wars and economic declines. The Market has grown in size over the years, and it is now a destination for foodies looking for some of Cork’s best produce. Trading since 1788, The English Market’s combination of traders and stalls shows the variety and flavour of Cork’s food scene. It is the perfect place to stroll around for an afternoon! The wide range of food on show are truly delicious! The Market is a foodie’s dream, with everything from meats and seafood to cheese and olives, sweets and cakes.
If you are heading over to The English, make sure you stop by O’Flynn’s Sausage stand and grab one of their famous sausage rolls, and On The Pigs back for a gorgeous selection of cheese!
2. The Jameson Distillery Experience
Consistently ranked as one of the best things to do in Cork, The Jameson Distillery Experience is perfect for whiskey lover. The perfect day out, The Jameson Distillery is located in Middleton, only a 30 minute drive away and is definitely one of the top things to do for couples when staying at Cork International Hotel. Providing a world-class experience for those look for an ultimate whiskey wonderland, tours are conducted by Jameson Brand Ambassadors. They include a deep dive into the history of Jameson whiskey, an interactive sensory room, masterclass in whiskey tasting and a complimentary drink at the bar! Visit the incredible buildings and learn about the field to glass processes that produce the world-famous Jameson flavour.
While the Jameson Distillery remains close for the 2021 summer season, Fred’s Food Truck has set up shop at the distillery to satisfy your taste buds until you can get a winter whiskey warmer in the autumn.
Serving toasties with a Jameson twist, Fred’s Food Truck is open 7 days a week, enjoy The Big Feast BLT that features Irish smoked bacon in a Jameson glaze, Beef Brisket Grilled Cheese Melt or their famous Mac’n’cheese toastie.
3. Harley StrEAT
The coolest kid on the block, Harley’s StrEAT has arrived to Cork City. Located just off MacCurtain Street and right next door to our sister hotel, The Metropole Hotel, has made a huge impact already. Serving tacos, coffee, sweet treats and more, Harley’s StrEAT has brought new life to the Leeside. Bursting with delicious flavours and using locally sourced produce and seasonal foods, Harley’s StrEAT is brings together food vendors to enjoy along the colourful backdrop of Harley St. featuring designs by Irish graffiti artists Shane O’Driscoll/Ardu Street Art and Kevin O’Brien/Mad About Cork. Our highlights are:
Taco Rebel – Bringing a taste of Mexico to Cork, Taco Rebel’s short menu pack a big punch of flavour. Perfect for lunch time, try out their delicious tacos while you explore the city. Make sure you try the famous Birra tacos as well as their brand new queso nachos.
Bevs & Brews – For the coffee lovers among us, Bevs & Brews is not to be missed. Serving freshly ground coffee, it’s the perfect place for a mid-day pick me up. If you are looking to try something new, check out their Nitro Coffee.
4. Kinsale Mead Co.
Located a 20-minute drive away from Cork International hotel you will find Kinsale Mead Company, where owners Kate and Denis Dempsy have rediscovered & reimagined the ancient art of mead making. Having reawakened the love and art of making mead sustainably, Kinsale Mead Company have created a truly unique experience. Visitors can spend an hour on an entertaining, fun experience learning all about mead. Also known as “honey wine,” mead is believed to be the world’s oldest alcoholic drink, dating back to 6000 BC. Kinsale Mead is Ireland’s first meadery in almost 200 years.
Highlights of a tour at Kinsale Mead Co. include:
- Insights into Kinsale Meads: light and refreshing, fermented off dry (12% ABV wine strength)
- The story and evolution of Mead through the centuries
- The process of modern mead making from fermentation, through to maturation and bottling
- Sample award-winning meads and cocktails in the Meadery’s oak bar tasting room
5. Prince’s Street
What was once a quiet side street, has now blossomed into a foodie haven. Prince’s Street, located just off Oliver Plunkett Street, Prince’s Street has become a social media sensation in it’s own right, with their colourful parasols adorning the length of the street , offering some of the best outdoor dining in Cork City. From crafty cocktails, to delicious food from multiple cuisines, Prince’s Street has welcomed visitors from all over Ireland this summer. Some of our favourite places to try out on Prince’s Street are –
Rossini’s Restaurant – Bring a taste of Italy to Cork City, Rossini’s authentic cuisine makes you feel like you are sitting in a trattoria in Italy.
Tedo’s Tapas Bar – With a menu filled with authentic Spanish light bites, this is the perfect spot for a catch up with friends over a jug of sangria and tapas.
Clancy’s Bar – From cocktails to pizza, Clancy’s has become the must see spot in Cork this summer. Try and grab a booking for there roof top for great views a electric atmosphere.
6. Clonakilty Distillery
Located in the heart of West Cork, Clonakilty Distillery is perfect for those gin and whiskey lovers among us! Opened in 2019, it is less than an hour from Cork International Hotel and offers an ideal stopping point for visitors travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way. Tours are fully guided and include a premium gin and whiskey tasting masterclass. Visitors are also treated to a hands-on experience, and can witness the distillation of gin and whiskey in a real working distillery.
They have a visitor store which sells distillery-only available premium whiskeys, (proving popular among connoisseurs), as well as other fun memorabilia and gifts.
7. Kinsale Food Tours
Only a 20 minute drive away from Cork International Hotel you will find the gorgeous coastal town of Kinsale, and what better way to explore than a foodie tour. Guided by local expert Suzanne, experience the local produce & tastes of Kinsale. Ideal for those who love the great outdoors, the forgoing & picnic tour is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Starting with a stunning & picturesque picnic at Sandycove filled with delicious local delights. Afterwards, spend some time foraging for wild seaweed, shellfish & plants. This tour has been featured on Ireland AM and is a must do for the foodies among us. We have curated an exclusive two night package for those who want to enjoy this Kinsale Food Tour. See the package here.
8. Marina Market
Bursting onto Cork City’s food scene in September 2020, The Marina Market has become a foodie haven! Breathing new life into one of city’s oldest industrial areas, The Marina Market is a 15 minute drive away from Cork International Hotel and a short walk away from the city centre. Opened 7 days a week, visitors and locals alike enjoy the all the delicious food on offer as well as some tasty treats and gorgeous coffee. We recommend visiting in the afternoon, making sure all stalls are open & ready for the day. Here our some of our highlights from the market:
If you are visiting, we recommend grabbing a speciality coffee from Guji Coffee Bar, grabbing mouth-watering raclette cheese from Lekker and fresh, authentic pizza from Burnt!
9. Afternoon Tea at The MET
Afternoon Tea is always the ultimate treat when you are having a weekend away. At Cork International Hotel’s sister hotel, The Metropole Hotel, enjoy a delectable Afternoon Tea! In the stunning tea room of The MET, relax while you enjoy a light, decadent and flavourful dishes and freshly baked sweet treats. Foodies love spending an afternoon tea at The MET! It is perfect for a afternoon of sampling some of the best produce Cork has to offer. You can also enjoy a view glasses of prosecco with your afternoon tea!
If you are looking to book in for afternoon tea at The MET, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will get you booked in!
Choosing Cork for your staycation this year?
There’s no better place to stay than Cork International Hotel! With Cork City, Kinsale, West Cork, and so much more all within driving distance it is the perfect base for your much needed getaway!