As I write this article from my apartment in Savannah, the pitter patter of rain on my window takes me back to my time in Cork City.
I lived there for about six months and those were, easily, the happiest months of my life. From music festivals, to walks along the River Lee, to the tastiest cafes and restaurants, Cork City left an everlasting tattoo on my heart.
Below, you’ll find some of the best spots to spend your evenings as you relive each day’s memories in one of Ireland’s best-kept cities.
Before we get to the splendor of Amicus’ menu, let’s talk about the setting. When you dine here, you’re going to step into a gloriously refurbished 19th-century warehouse. Huge ceilings and two-story windows let beams of sunlight pour in or shimmers of moonlight dance along your table. For such a huge space, it truly wraps its arms around you as soon as you enter.
The folks at Amicus have made gourmet cuisine their life’s mission. Not only are they open all day, every day - for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner - they also grow their own fruit, vegetables, and herbs! These fresh picks will don both your dishes and cocktails. With an emphasis on Irish and European traditions, it’s tough to make a selection from their menu. You can rest assured that whatever you select will be fresh, full of zest, and topped off with a world class glass of wine.
Address: Paul Street, Cork City, Ireland
2. Jacobs on the Mall
Jacobs on the Mall is modernity at its finest. Its sparkling decor and tasty treats don’t disappoint. They work hard to use only the finest local, free-range products and that dedication shines through all of their dishes.
Early Bird selections are available from 5 pm - 6:15 pm. I strongly suggest the blackened chicken bruschetta with pesto aioli.
Their à la carte menu is particularly lovely. If you pair some Glenbeigh oysters and ponzu dressing with the tempured monkfish in a Moroccan spiced dressing, you’ll be stunned into delight. They also offer a full vegetarian and vegan menu.
Top any of this off with their Irish cheeseboard and a glass of Stonewall Tawny as you sail off into the Irish sunset in full splendor. Jacobs is an absolute must on your Cork City itinerary and I raise my glass to you in good health.
Jacobs on the Mall
Address: 30 South Mall, Cork City, Ireland
Website: Jacobs on the Mall
3. Jacques Restaurant
Jacques Restaurant is a class act. Their lighting and atmosphere is as elegant as their menu. They’ve been around for nearly four decades, so you can be sure they know what they’re about.
Here, you’ll savor local beef, lamb, fresh fish, wild game, and wonderful local cheeses. They also like to support independent wine makers. This makes for a unique glass of silky smooth goodness.
Their two-course dinner is remarkably priced at 24 EUR (28.3 USD), considering what you get for your money. You won’t regret pairing the potato rosti cake, poached egg, hollandaise sauce, and Kanturk pancetta with the moules marniere and chips.
Address: 23 Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork City, Ireland
Website: Jacques Restaurant
4. The Weir Rooms
I believe the folks at The Weir Rooms have a poet on staff. Drink up this line from their website: Willows weep, light dapples, ripples ebb and flow. At The Weir, the natural beauty of The River Lee is all around.
Along with the poets on staff, a couple architects made sure this space was designed to perfection. You can take in an afternoon pot of tea out on their terrace while you read some Yates. Or, you can dine inside on any number of menus including breakfast, brunch, dinner, cocktails, the juicery, finger foods, bbq, and à la carte.
Designed so one can linger in the afternoons, sip away the evenings, and take in a fresh dish at any point, you simply must put The Weir on your list during any given day here in Cork City.
The Weir Rooms
Address: Western Road, Cork City, Ireland
Website: The Weir Rooms
“The lucky tendency to find interesting things by chance in a happy or beneficial way.”
When this sweet little saying caught my eye, I was sold. Serendipity is an adorable cafe that brims with delicious coffee and tea selections. It continues to impress all the way through to their evening two-course set menu for an affordable 23.95 EUR (28.26 USD).
Mix land and sea with their seafood chowder and duck legs confit, and call it a day - a truly serendipitous day.
Address: 30 Palace View, Western Road, Cork City, Ireland
Electric has become very, very popular. Yet, despite their claim to fame, they maintain a very down-to-earth setting. It’s the kind of place where the bartenders are likely to remember you by name. It might help that the space is essentially split into three parts: the bar, the restaurant, and the fish bar.
The bar is open every day, starting at 10 am. Don’t be shy about pulling up a barstool for a cappuccino and a slice of brown bread. Of course, a stop here for some savory lunch snacks is just the ticket, too. Their “Fresh and Fabulous Lunch Menu” is appropriately named.
The restaurant receives a ton of traffic for a reason. Reading its menu will make you instantly ravenous; taking in its views will leave you staggered. Watch St. Finbarr’s Cathedral light up at night, along with the glow of the historic South Mall.
Their evening menu, which starts at 5 pm, will provide those electric waves you’ve been wondering about. Since I couldn’t decide between the roast aubergine, the chicken laksa, or potato and mushroom tortellini, I simply had to return a couple different nights. I’m glad of every Euro spent.
Address: 41 South Mall St, Cork City, Ireland
If I had a special fondness for Electric, then I had a full-blown love affair with Milano. I can’t count how many times I went here for dinner! Growing up just outside the Bronx, I’m pretty familiar with good pizza. Milano serves more of a thin crust gourmet pie and I don’t know what they put in their sauce but, it was so unexpectedly good, I kept going back for more!
They say they’re passionate about their food and they’re not kidding. Here’s a helpful map for navigating Milano’s waters:
Start with a bottle of Gavi di Gavi. Pair that with an order of their Piccolo Dough Balls for an appetizer. And don’t think too hard about the pizza selection. Stick with their Margherita pie and you’ll be licking your fingers, not wanting to miss a single flavor.
For dessert, shift gears with a cup of mint tea and a scoop of Leggera raspberry sorbet. I tell ya - Milano will quickly become your home away from home.
Address: 8 Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork City, Ireland
8. Market Lane
Market Lane is pretty as a picture. You won’t be able to miss its sparkling exterior, complete with royal blue trim and pots of greenery. Nestled right on Olver Plunkett Street in the heart of Cork, you’ll find two floors brimming with fresh fish, salad, meat, and coeliac dishes.
If you’re here for dinner, start with their french onion soup. (Their homemade farmhouse bread is magical.) Then, order up their roast chicken with thyme stuffing. Go with the side of roast sweet potatoes. It might sound basic, but they dress it up so well, you’ll wonder how they do it.
If you’re looking for a nice, wholesome meal in a setting that’s as pretty outside as it is inside, look no further than Market Lane.
Address: 5/6 Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork City, Ireland
Website: Market Lane
9. Liberty Grill
Liberty Grill serves local dishes sourced from the English Market and influenced by New England. That means you’ll find everything from French Toast for brunch, to locally caught cod for dinner. Perhaps my New England roots attracted me to their brunch menu. A little French Toast and bacon fills the belly and warms the heart.
If you come here for dinner, you simply must scoop up their avocado and crushed tomato appetizer. Then, the Tennessee Flambé will light your fire. Medallions of beef are peppered and flambéed in 2 shots of Jack Daniels, served with mushrooms, sweet balsamic onions, and crispy garlic potatoes. Mmm-mmm good.
Address: 32 Wshington Street, Cork City, Ireland
Website: Liberty Grill
CoqBull is located in two of Ireland’s finest cities - Cork and Limerick - and known for two things: chicken and burgers. Also, their “coqtail” menu is quite the affair. Their CoqBull Martini is dangerously delicious. We’re talking Absolut vanilla, elderflower liqueur, passionfruit, pineapple, and lemon juice. Delish.
Beyond that, they’ve created this vision from chicken and beef, and it’s really hard to narrow down some of their best dishes. I’d say the coq ranch chicken and the rebel bull beef selections are noteworthy. But, there are at least five others that’ll catch your eye.
Either way, you can’t go wrong and you’ll be glad you stopped by. It’s character and flavor smacks you right in the face just as soon as you walk in and you’ll be oh-so-glad it did.
Address: 5 French Church Steet, Cork City, Ireland
You'll always have a drop of the River Lee in your heart
On any given evening, music notes simply pour out of the pubs. Those memories will stick with you like honey on a teaspoon. Best of all, the folks who live and work here absolutely live up to the famed Irish hospitality.
If I could turn back the hands of time, I’d relive Cork City. I hope you’ll experience her one day, too. No matter where you go in life, you’ll always have a drop of the River Lee in your heart.
Get Trip101 in your inbox