Visit Paris, and they will send you to the Louvre. In Rome, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Square. In Cork, it is the English Market.
No serious foodie, or even casual visitor, can come to Cork City without experiencing our celebrated, much-loved English Market, Ireland’s biggest and best indoor food market.
It may not match the size and sometimes splendour of Europe’s biggest municipal food markets. But it captures the essence of what Cork food culture is about, blessed by rich farmland and pure Atlantic waters, rooted in great heritage and tradition yet forward looking and innovative.
The market has the best of Cork produce, fish and fowl, meats from craft butchers, fresh fruit and veg, craft cheeses, artisan breads and imported delicacies from around the world.
It can be quiet in the mornings, busy from mid-afternoon and on the weekends, as locals meander from stall to stall, stocking up for special meals or just getting a few essentials.
The English Market is the warm, beating heart of Cork, a busy, sometimes jumbled-looking collection of tiny shops, stalls and counters serving everything from fresh sushi to locally made buffalo mozzarella, cured meats, artisan cakes and chocolates, breads, olives, marbled steaks and lobsters and fish fresh from the sea.
You will find unique Cork foods, such as our Spiced Beef, a tangy, salty slice of beef (often steamed in Stout Beer) from award-winning butchers (including Tom Durcan's) who specialise in this delicacy, vacuum-packed and ready to take home.
Our spiced beef goes great on sourdough bread and you will find fresh-baked loves at stalls such as the Alternative Bread Company.
The best way to experience the Market is to just dive in. Spend some time, sample, select, talk to the stall holders and producers, they will be happy to share their knowledge and craft. Chat to the other shoppers, don’t be shy, the Market has always been as much a place to socialise, chat and exchange news and gossip as it is for shopping.
The English Market is the heart of our city and the heart of Cork’s food culture. Don’t miss it.