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25th Nov 2018

Dining in Cork this Christmas? Here are 8 restaurants to book a table in ASAP

Something for everybody!

Denise Curtin

The real capital.

If you’re heading to Cork this festive season, you’re in for a treat. Not just a shopping destination or a place to enjoy some Jazz in October – Cork is also a foodie’s haven with an abundance of delicious restaurants, divine brunch spots and the very best of coffee, to keep you up on your feet exploring all the city has to offer.

So, if you’re planning a trip down south this festive break firstly, I’d highly advise it and secondly, I’d get booking now as you wouldn’t want to miss out on the best culinary delights this city has to offer.

Over the next two weeks, I’m going to be creating lists on the top foodie spots to visit this season in Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Limerick and Galway. I’m going to be taking from my own experience predominately alongside the various restaurants’ reviews and ranking.

These lists are something I often get asked to make as I spend the entirety of my paycheck on eating out and Instagrammable gins – the essentials, eh? And so, I give you 8 spots you need to try in Cork during your winter break.

1. Il Padrino

Easily my favourite Italian in all of Ireland. Il Padrino has that romantic vibe, the central location and lastly the delicious, fresh food to make it a treat to all your senses time and time again. My dish of choice? The “Risotto Pollo” alongside a glass of white wine, you cannot go wrong.

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2. The Cornstore

With a restaurant in both Cork and Limerick, The Cornstore is an upscale bar-restaurant that specialises in drool-worthy fresh fish and steak. This restaurant also features an extensive cocktail menu and must-try range of desserts including a hot cookie pan and Ferrero Rocher inspired ice-cream.

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3. Market Lane

One of my must-visits on a trip home. Market Lane located on Oliver Plunket St is busy both for lunch and dinner every weekend without fail. A great spot for a light lunch in the midst of a Santa shop or with that someone special for a romantic date night.

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4. Cask

A newer addition to the Cork food scene, Cask specialises in tasty “bites” and nibbles to share over a glass of wine or a beer. From cheeseboards to black pudding and pork sliders and even, some pizzas, Cask is a must.

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5. Issac’s

A treat to the tastebuds, Issac’s has something for everyone, with exceptional staff and outstanding food, this place makes for a lovely Christmas treat (and a reason to get dolled up!)

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6. Arthur Mayne’s

If it’s a relaxed, cheap eat in a pub setting that you’re craving, then Arthur Mayne’s is your man. Their tapas style menu features a selection of foods which you can eat in the cosy pub while sipping a beer at your leisure. This place serves tapas until 1:30am and it’s all just moreish.

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7. Cafe Mexicana

If it’s nachos and enchiladas alongside some tasty sangria you’re in the mood for, then mark my words, Cafe Mexicana is the place to be. I’ve mentioned this spot before in my Cork roundup and I’m doing it again – I truly love this place and its tasty comfort food.

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8. Jacques

A small yet tasty menu – Jacques is one I have been dying to try for ages and I recently finally got the chance – it didn’t disappoint. I opted for their two-course set menu which was both reasonable and tasty with a delicious selection of wines to accompany the dishes. One thing I will say, this spot isn’t one for the fussy eaters but if you’re willing to be a little adventurous, you’ll love it!

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As always, feel free to do your own researching ahead of travelling down but I can assure you, you won’t go wrong with this lot. Happy bellies make for happy heads all round.