Where to Eat in Cork City – Chefs Guide to The Best Restaurants

Best restaurants in cork elbow lane

What are the best restaurants in Cork City?

The best restaurants in cork city (in our chef’s opinion) are :

  1. Ichigo Ichie
  2. Elbowlane Smokehouse
  3. Café Paradiso
  4. The Glass Curtain
  5. Jacobs on the Mall
  6. Quinlans Seafood Bar & Restaurant
  7. Market Lane
  8. Spitjack

For more information on each restaurant, please read further, where our chef will give you more information such as price range on his personal picks of best restaurants in Cork City.

Best Restaurants in Cork City – Where to Eat Guide 2023

Are you looking for the best restaurants in Cork City? You’ve come to the right place!

In this article, I will give you some information on the best restaurants in Cork City. I will give you a list of well-known and not-so-well-known restaurants that will be worth the visit during your stay and the average pricing of their menus.

From fine dining restaurants to elegant eateries, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant Irish city. So whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner date or a hearty meal after a day of sightseeing, read on for the best places to eat in Cork City!

To see a list of Restaurants in Cork County, read my article on the Best Restaurants in Cork for more info.

Our very own Chef compiled this list of the best restaurants in Cork.

Best Restaurants in Cork City

To start our list of the best places to eat in Cork city, let’s look at some of Cork City’s best restaurants.

Michelin Star Restaurant in Cork City

Ichigo Ichie by chef-owner Takashi Miyazaki.

Best restaurants in Cork
photo via instagram

Ichigo Ichie meaning ‘once in a lifetime,’ is, without doubt, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Opened in 2018, Chef Takashi Miyazaki won his first Michelin Star Award in 2019. This five-seater counter restaurant offers a select few diners the experience of watching a master sushi chef prepare intricate and delicate dishes using time-honoured Japanese techniques. When you plan to visit Cork City, this is an authentic dining experience; remember to book your seat in advance.

Top Restaurants in Cork City

Elbow Lane Brew and Smokehouse

Best restaurants in cork elbow lane
photos via Elbowlane

This restaurant is located along Oliver Plunket Street, 5 minutes walk from Cork City Bus station and 15 minutes walk from the train station. This restaurant is what you would call a proper destination restaurant and is one of the must-visit restaurants in Cork City.

Elbow Land Brew and Smokehouse have their nano-brewery onsite, where they brew their unique Lagers, Stouts and Pale Ales. Combine this with some of the best-smoked BBQ baby back ribs in Cork City, and you can’t go wrong.

Main Course Price Range: Between €11.50 – €28.00 (Sides are extra €4.20 – €5.20)

Café Paradiso Cork City

best restaurants in cork cafe paradiso
photos via Cafe Paradiso

This multi-award-winning restaurant is no ordinary restaurant. It is one of the Best Vegetarian restaurants you will visit anywhere on the Island of Ireland. Winner of the best chef of the year award from Food & Wine magazine to the best restaurant in Ireland. This unique restaurant must be on any list of top restaurants to eat before you die. Do yourself a favour and book a table and see for yourself.

Small Plates Menu Price: €45 per person (3 courses of 3)

The Glass Curtain Cork City

best restaurants in cork glass curtain
photos via Glass Curtain Restaurant

Another entrant into the Michelin Guide, Glass Curtain, which opened in 2019, has gone from strength to strength quickly. Chef Brian Murray has had many setbacks since opening, caused mainly by the pandemic. Still, since opening again to the public, the restaurant has finally had its chance to shine. 

Winner of Best Emerging Cuisine at the 2022 Irish Restaurant Awards, you can be sure The Glass Curtain will become one of Cork Cities’ top restaurants.

Main Course Price Range: Between €24.00 – €34.00 (Sides extra €3.00 – €5.00)

Jacobs on the Mall

Best cork restaurant
photo via Jacobs on the Mall

Jacobs on the Mall has been around since 1999 and has served the people of Cork with pride and passion. The head Chef Ricky Nolan has been leading the way in creating exceptional dishes using the best of locally sourced ingredients.

The menu has many European dishes with a little mix of Asian to mix things up. Their Lime and Coconut Prawns are packed full of flavour.

Jacobs on the Mall is a real treat, and I would highly recommend booking ahead of time as this stylish restaurant is often bustling.

Main Course Price Range: Between €23.95 – €44.00 (sided extra: €5.00)

Quinlan’s Seafood Bar & Restaurant

cork best restaurant
photo via Quinlans Restaurant

If fresh seafood is what you fancy while visiting Cork City, then I would highly recommend Quinlans Seafood bar as the restaurant that is hard to beat.

Sourcing fresh seafood from their fishing boats guarantees you will get the best at Quinlans. Their restaurant is stylish and relaxed, and the menu has everything a seafood lover would want. When I visit, I always have to go with the Award Winning Smoked Salmon Salad and follow that up with the best Fish & Chips in the city.

Main Course Price Range: Between €18.95 – €22.95 (sides included)

Market Lane

cork best restaurant
photo via Market Lane

Market Lane Restaurant is one of the best local family restaurants in Cork City. They are located on Oliver Plunkett street, next door to their sister restaurant, Elbow Lane Brew and Smokehouse.

Market Lane has been around since 2007 and has been one of the top restaurants along Oliver Plunket street that has survived and thrived.

Their menu takes inspiration each week from the local ingredients on sale in the nearby English Market. They serve fresh, tasty food, and the restaurant is bright and stylish. A fantastic restaurant that you have to try.

Main Course Price Range: Between €15.00 – €31.50 (Sides included)

The Spitjack

spitjack restaurant cork city
photo via Spitjack

Owned by husband and wife Richard and Laura, the Spitjack food concept is based around locally sourced meats cooked via Rotisserie.

If you love meat, Spitjack is the one place in Cork City where you will never be disappointed. Their locally sourced meats are cooked over an open flame in their French Rotisserie oven. Combining styles of Rotisserie cooking from all over Europe, you will be spoiled for choice when you visit.

Their Rotisserie Pork Belly, or Porchetta as known in Italy, has to be tried if you can get it. This beauty always sells out fast, so book a seat early, and you won’t be disappointed. Seasoned for 48hrs then slow roasted, the fats and juices of this Porchetta are made come alive with their Rotisserie oven. I can’t sing high praises enough for this amazing dish.

Main Course Price Range: Between €18.90 – €22.92 (Sides €4.50)

J.J. Sheridan

My Name is JJ Sheridan, born in Cork Ireland but spent most of my childhood in County Tipperary. I've been a Chef for a large number of years and have worked in a number of award winning restaurants. I love using local ingredients whenever possible in my food so that I can showcase the best of Irish.

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