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The best restaurants in Cork right now

From Goldie to Yay! Burger, via Michelin stars there’s a vast selection of great restaurants and wine bars in the Rebel county

51 Cornmarket

51 Cornmarket Street, Cork; 083-0102321,

Having built up a strong reputation as a brunch spot, 51 Cornmarket has expanded into evening service, in effect creating two different restaurants. In the words of co-owner Anne Zagar, this approach allows them to really showcase the talents of chef David Devereaux and team, and has even resulted in a reduction in food waste. Dogs are welcome on the outdoor terrace. Joanne Cronin

Restaurant Chestnut

Staball Hill, Ballydehob, Co Cork; 028-25766,

There is a purity to Rob Krawczyk’s restrained tasting menu, which is thrilling in its poised, beautiful flow. Home-made charcuterie, organic produce from Lisheen Greens and everything that is local is treated with delicacy and shines through each dish. Textural touches such as frozen Young Buck cheese add nuance but, essentially, it’s all about maturity and a deep understanding of what works. Read our review here. Corinna Hardgrave

Dede at the Customs House

Baltimore; 028-48248,

Chef Ahmet Dede claimed a second Michelin star for his eponymous restaurant in the seaside village of Baltimore. Under Dede’s mentorship, his all-Turkish kitchen brigade has rapidly developed their unique Turkish food made with Irish ingredients. Dishes such as lobster kebab with isot pepper or Walsh’s lamb with spiced firik are paired wonderfully well with a good-value wine list. Read our review here. JC

Dillon’s Corner

68 Bridge Street, Skibbereen; 028-23316,

Ruairí Melvin Dunne and Dawn Price-Latorre, who worked for years in Trullo and Padella in London, have installed a wood-burning oven in their smart corner bakery and deli, and have been churning out mouthwatering pizzas and breads made with unbleached organic flour since they arrived. The pasta is top notch and Union Hall fish, meat and vegetables also take their turn in the smouldering oven. CH



128 Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork; 021-2398720,

A “whole catch” approach is what drives one of the country’s smartest young chefs, Aishling Moore, who creates much of her menu on the fly, based on what fish is landed from day boats. She has an agile, exciting way with flavour, working from snacks such as kimchi and buckwheat pancakes right through to larger plates. A grill is on the way which will make this menu even more exciting. Read our review here. CH

Izz Cafe

14 George’s Quay, Cork; 085-1495625,

The story of Eman Alkarajeh and her husband, Izz, is one that is often shared. From the Palestinian territory to direct provision and, finally, opening their own cafe, they bring Palestinian food to life. Many dishes are vegetarian by nature. Try manaeesh (flatbread), or fatayer, a cheesy egg mixture baked in pillowy dough and covered with traditional toppings such as minced beef, potatoes and olives. Follow with a sweet treat and their rich cinnamon-infused coffee. JC

L’Attitude 51

1 Union Quay, Cork; 021-2390219,

In the afternoon and evening, Beverley Mathews’s wonderful wine shop transforms into a hip wine bar. Small plates designed for sharing range from €7 to €26.50 and include the likes of Cantabrian anchovies, spiced beef tongue and lamb tagine. The wine list is phenomenal, with 25 available by the glass, and the outside terrace is a joy in fine weather. CH


16 Lancaster Quay, Cork; 021-4277939,

A tasting menu can leave you feeling a bit devoid of choice but at Paradiso, Denis Cotter’s €65 menu does the magical job of delivering dish after dish of incredibly tasty organic vegetarian food flecked with spices and nuance. The wine list is one of the most reasonably priced in the country, with everything available by the glass. Read our review here. CH


The Blue Haven Hotel, 3-4 Pearse Street, Kinsale; 021-4772209,

Chef Meeran Manzoor is a man of great ambition. Hailing from Chennai, he combines his classical training with local Cork ingredients, producing laser-sharp dishes for Rare’s five-course or seven-course tasting menus. An amuse-bouche of raw kohlrabi from Camus Farm, topped with nuts and spices, left this writer speechless. Rare is surely a place to watch. JC

Sage 2.0

The Courtyard, 8 Main Street, Midleton; 021-4639682,

Why name a restaurant Sage 2.0? Chef Kevin Aherne uses it to mark the evolution of Sage from fine dining to a neighbourhood-style venue. Quietly tucked away off Main Street, the space is modern and relaxing, with satisfying dishes such as hake Kyiv, barbecue spring lamb pastry pie and veggie flatbreads, along with cocktails and wines. Read more here. JC

Saint Francis Provisions

Short Quay, Kinsale; 083-0168652,

It was a joy to open Instagram earlier this year and see the smiling faces of head chef Rebeca Recarey Sanchez, owner Barbara Nealon, and front of house Emily Hartless celebrating their receipt of a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Seating a mere 13 guests, this little spot sends guests home rollickingly happy, sated on Spanish-influenced small plates and natural wines. Watch out for pop-up pintxos nights. JC


9 Castle Street, Cork; 021-4274216,

Corkonians are flocking to Sonflour, a sustainable Italian street food vegetarian and vegan cafe. Owners Eugenio Nobile and Lorenzo Barba turn out excellent pizzas, breads and pastas made with Irish flour from The Little Mill. With dish names such as “I lost my mind by the Shakey Bridge”, live music gigs, sustainable wines and a pet-friendly policy, it’s easy to see why Cork has fallen for Sonflour. JC


Castlemartyr Resort, Cork; 021-4219000

Terre is the swanky restaurant in Castlemartyr Resort Hotel, in east Cork. From start to finish, this is dining as a near cinematic experience. The €210 tasting menu (with wine pairing €110 or €250 for the premium option) begins at the chef’s table in the kitchen, moves through the pass to the dining room and ends with petit fours in the salon. The food is exquisite. Chef Vincent Crepel weaves French technique with Asian influences, but there is also a flow to the menu that is a thing of beauty. Read our review here CH

The Fish Basket

Long Strand, Castlefreke, Clonakilty; 023-8851716,

The Long Strand is, it turns out, a very long beach and a fantastic spot for walking. The Fish Basket sits at the western end, with indoor and outdoor seating, turning out superb golden-battered fish and chips as well as coffee, teas and snacks. Explore the full menu with their sharing box. Opening hours can vary so check social media for the latest. JC

Yay! Burger

The Poor Relation Bar, 19 Parnell Place, Cork; 087-1407467,

There are a lot of good burgers doing the rounds so to make this list they need to be something special. Gemma Greany and Chris McDonald started with a pop-up in Hackett’s Bar in Schull during the pandemic, and are now slinging their sensational Big Kahuna beef burgers and Japanese fried-chicken fillets in brioche buns in Ballydehob, Clonakilty and, most recently, in Cork city. CH