Cork City For Foodies: Best Restaurants In Cork

Hungry? You soon will be! Home to some of the finest farmers and growers in Europe, the quality of Ireland’s produce is well-known. Spring lambs graze on an abundance of fresh green grass, while oysters and other seafood inhabit the clear waters.

And while much of Irish life points to Dublin, it’s Cork in the country’s south that’s Ireland’s undisputed food capital. Maldron Hotel South Mall is perfectly located right at the heart of this abundance of flavour-filled city centre options. Whether it’s authentic Irish cuisine, street food inspired by Japan, or romantic candlelit dinners that get your mouth watering, Cork doesn’t disappoint.

1. Liberty Grill

Okay, so we admit it. Our very own Grain & Grill Bar & Restaurant isn’t the only grill in town. Inspired by the food of New England, we can’t deny the exquisite range of dishes available at Liberty Grill.

Long recognised as one of the best restaurants in Cork city centre, Washington Street’s star turn has a menu which is complemented by its polished wood table tops and original cream-painted brickwork.

So, what can you expect? First off, there’s the very warm welcome. This is swiftly followed up by a choice of foods ranging from silver dollar pancakes for breakfast, crab cake brunches and lunch burgers, and slow-cooked meat and fish for evening sittings.

There’s also a good number of vegetarian and vegan dishes, so those diners won’t feel left out or forgotten about. What’s more, as much as possible is made using locally-sourced produce too.

2. Farmgate Café

No foodie will want to miss Cork’s English Market which has been a hub for the best ingredients since it was first opened in 1788.

Welcoming everyone from chefs Rachel Allen and Rick Stein to Queen Elizabeth II, the market’s covered walkways are lined with long-standing stalls boasting a treasure trove of tasty morsels.

Being able to choose between fish laid out on marble tops 20 metres long and homely favourites such as drisheen (a local type of black pudding) makes the English market an excellent place to fill a basket with picnic goodies. But for something slightly more special, be sure to make your way to its mezzanine level.

Here you’ll find the family-run Farmgate Café, a restaurant in all but name. It has been singing the praises of Ireland’s produce for more than a generation. Divided between a formal dining room with table service and a more informal setting on bar stools overlooking the market’s traders, its daytime-only menu juggles this split personality equally well.

Working closely with traders and small market gardeners, diners are able to sample traditional dishes with a subtle contemporary twist, including Irish stew and fish pie freshly-prepared from the very best artisanal produce available that day.

3. Market Lane

For an evening take on all the English Market has to offer, head instead to Market Lane. Don’t be fooled by the name, since Market Lane is one of the top restaurants on Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork city centre.

It’s popularity with locals can mean there’s a bit of a wait for tables, but this gives you the time to enjoy the warm atmosphere at the bar, where you’re sure to get talking with other patrons over an aperitif or two.

A two-floor restaurant with a laidback bistro vibe, this multi-award-winning restaurant impresses on many levels. The menu sparkles with sandwiches, salads, and mains comprising the likes of 28-day matured beef sourced from a farm in Rosscarbery just an hour away.

Many of the vegetables are grown even closer to home, in the restaurant’s very own greenhouse. Meanwhile, beer-lovers won’t want to miss the chance to sample some of the in-house ales, brewed right next door.

4. Strasbourg Goose

Fittingly located on the historic French Church Street, a narrow pedestrian-only lane reached via Patrick Street, there’s no hiding the French-influence at Strasbourg Goose. Nor is there any point in hiding the fact this restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Cork city!

The comfy banquette seating and wine bottles turned candlesticks layered in dribbling wax makes it feel almost like you’re popping around a close friend’s place for dinner.

In short, this unpretentious pick is all about big-hitting flavours. Run for 25 years by husband-and-wife team John and Triona Kelleher, their classically-styled dishes pair prime Irish produce with Gallic flair. Among our favourites are the Cork coast mussels in a white wine sauce and the slow-roasted lamb shank served with a side of champ (mash potato with scallions) and root vegetables.

5. Miyazaki

Cork’s food options don’t stop at Europe’s borders. Far from it! Strolling distance from the city’s Elizabeth Fort sits the rather ordinary exterior of a takeaway. But despite its humble frontage, Miyazaki is a takeaway like few others.

It is named after chef patron Takashi Miyazaki, who is one of Cork’s few chefs able to boast a Michelin star and a Chef of the Year trophy, which he won in 2015. He fell in love with the Emerald Isle (as well as a local Cork girl) and today combines authentic Japanese cuisine with Ireland’s celebrated ingredients.

A handful of stools exist for those looking to dine in, although the focus is very much on the food itself. Miyazaki’s signature dashi broth is much sought after, as are dishes that span Japan’s diversity of food traditions, from sushi rolls to donburi (rice with fish or meat and vegetables).

If you’re celebrating something special such as an anniversary or Valentine’s Day, you could instead turn your attention to Muyazaki’s other Cork restaurant, Ichigo Ichie. Celebrating Japan’s kappo (informal dining) cuisine, it’s here that Takashi won his Michelin star.

6. Elbow Lane Brew and Smoke House

Those who hail the glories of the barbeque will find themselves richly rewarded at Elbow Lane Brew and Smoke House. The traditional style of the L-shaped dining room sets the tone, while the flames that lap from the open-kitchen’s huge wood-fired grill gives more than a hint at what the menu might hold.

Needless to say, the menu is relatively heavily meat-based, including slow-smoked pork ribs served alongside homemade smokehouse sauce and cooling coleslaw. However, there are a good range of fish dishes to consider too, such as the monkfish with lamb bacon.

Thanks to their smoky undertones, each match exceedingly well with the draught beers coming from the casks of the downstairs microbrewery. Just make sure you save a little space for desserts such as the malt chocolate mousse with toffee amaranth and tonka bean marshmallow, or the baked cheese with grilled rhubarb chutney and rye cracker.

7. Jacques Restaurant

Another Cork institution on Oliver Plunkett Street is Jacques Restaurant, which has gone from strength to strength under the guiding hands and tastebuds of the Barry sisters.

It’s perhaps best known locally for its quick turnaround lunch menu including sandwiches famed for their enormous size. But if you’re on holiday and have longer to linger you’re never going to feel like you’re being rushed.

In addition, the evening a la carte and tapas menus are some of the most interesting around. Preparing solid, frill-free meals gives the kitchen staff here the opportunity to alter the menu on a daily basis, taking advantage of the freshest ingredients from Cork’s top suppliers.

One day that might mean Cork scallops with an almond and raisin salsa are front and centre, while on another it will be roast venison with a turnip gratin.

8. Electric

There’s both style and substance at Electric, occupying a beautifully converted art deco bank building just a short walk along South Mall from our front door. When it comes to eye-pleasing surrounds, the interiors of this classy establishment are only bettered by the stunning views of Saint Fin Barre Cathedral and River Lee. Both can be enjoyed from the masterful riverside deck and upper dining space.

Attracting a good mix of drinkers and diners, the atmosphere is always convivial. There’s also the added attraction of local DJs throwing out the latest mixes over the weekends. When it comes to deciding what to eat, there’s almost too much choice.

Carnivores should keep an eye out for the Wagyu beef fillet, served with wild mushroom and Asian fried greens, while aficionados of Taiwanese and Chinese cuisine probably won’t get much beyond the pick of Bao Buns or steamed gyoza, which come stuffed with chicken, duck or mixed veg.

Your Base For The Best Restaurants in Cork

Cork rightly lays claim to being the food capital of Ireland. Nice restaurants in Cork certainly aren’t hard to come by, and needn’t break the bank either.

Given the wide range of meals on offer, you’re going to need an excellently located base for your food explorations. Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City is ideally placed right at the heart of the lively food scene. So why not check out our modern and super comfortable rooms for yourself?


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Common Questions

  • General Hotel Information

    What time is check-in?

    Check-in is 3.00 pm on the day of arrival. Should you arrive at the hotel earlier, we are happy to store luggage until your room is ready.

    What time is check-out?

    Check-out is 11.00 am on the day of departure. A late check-out is available at a fee and must be arranged with the reception during your stay.

    Does the hotel offer baggage storage?

    Yes, guests can leave your luggage at the reception free of charge before check-in or after check-out.

    Does the hotel have WiFi?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City offers complimentary WiFi to all guests in the public areas and bedrooms.

    Is there a laundry service available?

    Yes, there’s a laundry service available. We work with a local laundry company who have discounted rates set up with the hotel. Information can be obtained in your bedroom or from reception.

    What do I do if I accidentally left some items in the hotel?

    If you have left any items behind following your stay at the hotel, please contact our reception directly via phone on +353 (0)21 203 7000 or email and a member of our team will be in touch to organise collection or postage if the item is found.

    Are pets permitted in the hotel?

    No, pets are not allowed in the hotel, with the exception of guide and assistance animals.

    Is the hotel reception desk open 24 hours a day?

    Yes, our reception desk is staffed 24 hours.

    What is the hotel’s smoking policy?

    Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City operates a strictly non-smoking policy within the entire hotel. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in an additional deep cleaning charge.

    Is the hotel accessible?

    Yes, we are proud to be verified as offering superb levels of accessibility throughout our hotel. Please click the button below for full details or contact us if you would like any additional information.

    Hotel Accessibility

    Do you sell gift vouchers?

    Yes, we sell gift vouchers at our reception area as well as online which can be used across various Maldron, Clayton and sister properties for overnight accommodation, dining and leisure facilities (where applicable).

    Do you provide printing facilities for boarding passes?

    Yes, our reception team can assist with printing your boarding pass.

    Does the hotel offer currency exchange?

    No, we don’t offer currency exchange at the hotel, but we will be happy to direct you to the nearest facility.

    Do you supply travel adapters?

    Whilst we don’t offer adapters, our sockets are USB and there are adapters available to purchase onsite from the vending machines.

    Does the hotel have a gym and pool facilities?

    Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City has a small dry gym with a selection of cardio equipment including a treadmill, bike, cross trainer, rowing machine and weights equipment. We don’t have a pool, but offer special rates in our sister club, Club Vitae, which is located close by. Guests can enjoy 24-hour access to the gym.

    Does the hotel run a kids club?

    Yes, we do offer a kids club in the hotel during school holidays. To enquire please contact the hotel via phone on +353 (0)21 203 7000 or email

    Do you have any special family hotel deals or packages?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City offers special family packages and hotel deals for your visit to Cork. To avail of all our special offers, please visit the ‘Offers’ section on our website where all of our current deals and packages will be listed. Alternatively, you can also contact us directly via phone or email for more information.

  • Location & Parking

    Where is the hotel located in Cork City?

    Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City is located on the South Mall right in the heart of Cork city, making us the ideal base for exploring all that Cork city has to offer. We are 10 minutes’ walk from Kent Train Station and directly opposite Parnell Place Bus Station. You can find more information on our location page.

    Is car parking available at the hotel?

    There is no parking on-site, but we’ve agreed discounted rates with Q-Park City Hall which is located only a 5-minute drive or walk from the hotel.

    Car Parking Rates are as followed:

    • Parking from 6pm to 12 noon the following day €9
    • 24 hours parking €13
    • 48 hours parking €25
    • 72 hours parking €35

    To avail of our car parking facility, please park in the Hotel set down outside the main entrance of the hotel, on check-in the receptionist will give you directions. It would be an idea to bring in your luggage when you check-in and we can hold it at the reception while you park.

    Is there a car rental station near the hotel?

    We have preferred rates with Enterprise Rent-A-Car who have 3 sites in the City, including the Kinsale Rd, Cork Airport and Blackpool.

    Is there an electric car charging point near the hotel?

    Yes, there are two electric car charging locations near the hotel – 1 located at the top of South Mall and the other located in Q-Park City Hall where we’ve discounted rates for overnight parking.

    Is the area safe?

    Yes, the hotel is located in a safe area of the city.

    How far is the hotel from Cork Airport?

    Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City is only 8km and a 15-minute drive from Cork Airport. A taxi costs €15 each way. You can also get the 226A or the 226 bus from Parnell Place Bus Station which will take you directly to the airport.

    Where is the nearest bus/train station?

    Parnell Place Bus Station is located opposite the hotel. You can view timetables on their website. Kent Train Station Cork is located within a 10-minute walk or a 5-minute drive from the hotel. View Irishrail’s website for more information.

    Is there a taxi rank nearby?

    Yes, there is a taxi rank at Parnell Place just a 2-minute walk from the hotel. If you would like to order a taxi, please ask our team at the reception to book one for you.

    Are there any shopping areas nearby?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City is ideally located for a shopping break in Cork.

    Opera Lane is an outdoor shopping centre less than 5 minutes’ walk from the hotel. The street is home to many high street stores including H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Next, Gap and many more.

    Merchants Quay shopping centre is also less than 5 minutes’ walk from the hotel. The shopping centre is home to Marks & Spenser, Carraig Donn and some local stores as well.

    Mahon Point is located 10 minutes from the City Centre and is accessible by public transport from the hotel. The centre offers a wide range of shops, restaurants, cafes and a multi-screen cinema., perfect to spend a whole day.

    Is the hotel close to theatres or stadiums?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City is located in walking distance to many theatre and sporting venues. Pairc Ui Chaoimh Stadium for matches and concerts is just a 15-minute walk from the hotel. We’re also near Cork Opera House and Everyman Theatre, which are both located within a 5-minute walk from the hotel.

    Are there any markets nearby?

    The English Market is situated on the Grand Parade. It is a permanent market packed with amazing local food, arts and crafts and more. It is open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday. There are also Farmers Markets on in and around the city.

    Are there restaurants, bars, cafes nearby?

    There are many lovely bars, restaurants and cafes within walking distance of the hotel. Oliver Plunkett Street is just around the corner from us which is one of Cork’s best nightlife areas. Washington Street is a 10-minute walk from the hotel which is another buzzing area of Cork City.

    Are there any parks nearby?

    Yes, Cork’s largest park, Bishop Lucy Park, is a 7-minute walk from the hotel. The Fitzgerald Park is a pleasant 25-minute walk from Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City.

    Are there any historical attractions nearby?

    There are numerous attractions to see in Cork not far from the hotel. Some of our favourites include:

    • Ringing of the Shandon Bells which is located on Shandon Hill in the city.
    • Blarney Castle – The Blarney bus is a 5-minute walk from our hotel on St. Patrick’s Street outside Eason’s Shop.
    • University College Cork was founded in 1845, it is one of the oldest universities in Ireland. Check out the Glucksman Art Gallary while you are there.

    Please ask at reception for information on sights to see in Cork and we will be delighted to send you in the right direction. Make sure to also check out our top 10 free things to see and do in Cork.

    Are there any bus tours nearby?

    Yes, Cork City Bus Tour stops right on South Mall.

    Is the hotel near Cork University Hospital?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City is located just 4km and a 15 minutes drive from Cork University Hospital.

  • Rooms & Amenities

    What room types does the hotel offer?

    Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City boasts 163 hotel rooms in total. Depending on your needs, you can choose between 5 different room types, including Double Rooms, Double & Single Rooms, Triple Rooms, Executive Rooms as well as Family Rooms. We also have a limited number of interconnecting and accessible rooms. Please enquire directly with the hotel to confirm availability.

    Are there wheelchair accessible rooms available?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City has a number of accessible rooms available with walk-in showers, lower beds and wider doors. Please enquire directly with the hotel to confirm availability.

    Do you have family rooms?

    Yes, we have a number of spacious family rooms available. Each of our family rooms is comprised of two double beds, ideal for sleeping 2 adults and 3 children under 12 comfortably. All our rooms are fully air-conditioned and are equipped with Chromecast TV and complimentary WiFi. Please contact our reservations team to check availability.

    Are cots available?

    Yes, cots are available (additional charge may apply). Please confirm availability with our reception team prior to your arrival to avoid disappointment.

    Do the rooms have air conditioning?

    Yes, all our bedrooms have air conditioning.

    Do the rooms have baths?

    Yes, eight of our bedrooms have baths. All other bedrooms have a shower.  If you have a preference, please let our reservations team know prior to your arrival.

    Do you offer wake-up calls?

    Yes, you can request wake-up calls to be made with our reception staff.

    What facilities are available in the rooms?

    Each of our hotel rooms offers luxurious and comfortable King Coil beds, tea/coffee making facilities, USB charge points, air conditioning, complimentary WiFi, flat-screen TV, hairdryer, telephone, an iron and ironing board.

    Can I order extras to be placed in my room prior to arrival?

    Yes, you can order extras before arriving at the hotel. Please call us on +352 (0)21 203 7000 or email to make your request and we will try our best to accommodate you.

    Is it possible to upgrade my room?

    Yes, you can upgrade your room to an Executive Room for €40.

    Are there smoking rooms in the hotel?

    No, we do not have smoking rooms at Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City as we operate a smoke-free policy. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in an additional cleaning charge.

  • Dining

    Is there a restaurant, bar or café on-site?

    In the hotel, we have three different eateries to choose from 7 days a week: the Grain & Grill bar and restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Red Bean Roastery café serves our own unique blend of coffee which is rich and smooth and the Italian Kitchen will be open soon and will serve authentic Italian cuisine.

    Does the hotel offer breakfast?

    Yes, we are renowned for a great selection of breakfast options available each morning. Choose from traditional grilled breakfast items as well as healthier and nutritious options to kickstart your morning. Breakfast is served at our Grain & Grill restaurant 7 days a week from 7.00am to 10.00am Monday to Friday and from 8.00am to 11.00am at weekends and bank holidays.

    Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City offers both room only and bed & breakfast rates. Room only rates do not include breakfast. If breakfast isn’t included in your rate, you can still purchase breakfast on arrival at €12.50 per person.

    Does the restaurant cater food for allergies?

    Yes, all of our menus have a full allergy listing. Please inform your waiter if you have any allergies, vegetarian or dietary requirements and our kitchen team will be delighted to assist.

    Does Gain & Grill offer a dedicated kid’s menu?

    Yes, we offer a dedicated menu for our little ones.

    Do you provide room service?

    Yes, 24-hour in-room dining is available at a cost of €5 per tray. You can order from our Click & Go menu, available through our Guest Service Platform. The food can be collected at the collection point in our restaurant at your requested time.

    Is there a reservation for dinner required?

    No, a dining reservation is in general not required and we’re happy to accept restaurant walk-ins. However, we advise you to reserve your table in advance to avoid disappointment. To pre-book, please contact our team via phone on +353 (0)21 203 7000 or email

    Do you cater for large groups? Can I book a private dining space for a special occasion?

    Yes, we do cater for groups in the Hotel, you can enquire for group availability by emailing Gillian on

  • Meetings & Events

    Do you have meeting rooms?

    Yes, we offer 5 modern and flexible meeting rooms at Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City. Our meeting rooms are to host your team building events, training courses, seminars, public talks, workshops or boardroom meetings in Cork. Please email or give us a call +353 (0)21 203 7000 to make an enquiry.

    Does the hotel facilitate conferences?

    Yes, we cater for small conferences. Our largest room can accommodate up to 60 people theatre-style. To enquire, please contact

    How many people do your meeting rooms accommodate?

    Depending on the room and set up, our meeting rooms can cater for up to 60 people theatre-style.

    What equipment is included in the meeting rooms?

    All our meeting rooms are equipped with a built-in flat-screen TV and projector, flipchart, water, stationery and mints as well as floor to ceiling windows and black-out blinds. In addition, free high-speed WiFi will be provided complimentary in all meeting rooms as well as air conditioning. 

    Are there food and beverage options available?

    Yes, we have a variety of dining options as well as customised menus available for meetings to suit your budget and requirements. For more information, please contact our meetings team via phone on +353 (0)21 203 7000 or email

    Do you have corporate rates available?

    Yes, corporate rates, as well as competitive packages and day delegate rates, are available on request. For more information or to enquire, please contact our sales manager Donna Mannion on +353 (0)21 203 7000 or email and she’ll be happy to assist you with your request.

  • Booking & Cancellation

    What is Make It Maldron and how do I sign up?

    Signing up and being part of Make it Maldron means you can save €10/£10 per room per night every time you book directly on our website (excludes selected sale and promotional special offers). To sign up, visit our ‘Make It Maldron’ page and join in 3 simple steps to ensure your discount is applied to all future online bookings.

    Can I claim back on the Stay and Spend Tax Credit Scheme?

    Yes, we are delighted to confirm that all Maldron Hotels are registered for the Stay and Spend Tax Credit Scheme. That means if you stay with us between 1st October 2020 and 30th April 2021 you can claim up to €125 under this scheme, please see for more information and details.

    What is the best way to make a reservation?

    The best way to book is online on our website where you can easily see our best rates and what exclusive offers and packages are available. Alternatively, you can call us on +353 (0)21 203 7000 or email

    What should I do if I haven’t received a booking confirmation?

    If you have not yet received a booking confirmation by email, please check your junk/spam folder of your emails. Alternatively, you can also contact our reservations team via phone on +353 (0)21 203 7000 or email and they’re happy to help.

    What payment methods does the hotel accept?

    At Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City, we accept Visa, Mastercard and Debit Cards.

    What is the hotel’s credit/debit card policy?

    Bookings require a credit card for guarantee only unless otherwise stated. For some special offers and specific dates, full payment is required at the time of booking but these terms will be outlined in the special offer terms and conditions. For all rooms that are being paid in cash, we require a photographic ID. No rooms will be let unless payment is guaranteed.

    What age are children for the purpose of hotel packages?

    Under 12’s are considered to be children.

    How do I make a group or multiple rooms booking?

    Groups and multiple rooms can be booked directly with the hotel. For best available group rates please contact us directly on +353 (0)21 203 7000

    Are there any age restrictions when booking a hotel room?

    To book a hotel room, you must be at least 18 years old. All under 18s must be accompanied by a guardian or parent.

    Can I show up at the hotel without a booking?

    Yes, we accept walk-in bookings. However, we would always recommend calling ahead to the hotel or pre-booking online prior to arriving to secure your reservation and to avoid disappointment.

    Can I extend my stay?

    Yes, depending on availability, we’ll be happy to accommodate you for further nights at an additional cost. Please approach our reception team at any stage during your stay and they will happily arrange the rest for you.

    How can I cancel or amend my booking?

    If you have booked directly with the hotel, you can amend or cancel your booking by visiting the ‘Manage Booking’ section on our website by using your confirmation number and email address. Alternatively, you can call us directly on +353 (0)21 203 7000 or email to cancel or amend your booking.

    What is the hotel’s cancellation policy?

    If you have booked the reservation directly with the hotel over the phone or online, Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City offers free cancellation up to 3pm prior to the day of arrival unless advance purchase non-refundable rate was selected. Please note that some special offers and key dates outlined in the terms and conditions may specify a special cancellation policy applicable to that offer and date.

    How can I cancel my reservation if I booked via a third-party website?

    If you have booked via a third-party website, you will need to contact the third-party website directly to amend or cancel your booking as we cannot do that on your behalf. Please note that they have their own cancellation policies, so please refer to your confirmation email.

    What does our “no show” policy entail?

    If you do not show on the day of your booking or didn’t successfully cancel, you will be charged the full amount for your first night’s stay. If you have booked our “advanced purchase” or “prepay and save” rates, you will incur a 100% penalty charge for the entire duration of your stay.


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