A lot of things taste better in Ireland: the Guinness, the farmhouse cheese, the fried pork, the dirty spuds. Since some of us aren't ready to ditch the St. Patrick's-ian mindset, here's a guide to one of the Emerald Isle's best culinary destinations: The English Market in Cork City, an indoor covered market hall and Ireland's answer to the lively, delicious Turkish bazaars. It's been around since 1786, and is just as much an institution as University College Cork up the road.
Here's a guide to Cork's English Market, open Monday through Saturday (9 AM - 5 PM) with entrances on Grand Parade and Princes Streets in downtown Cork City. And yes, the title is confusing. Shouldn't it really be called the Irish Market?
Guide to Cork City's English Market
There's easily twenty butchers inside, but this is the father-son tradition responsible for a type of meat called ''kaisler," a tender cut of pork loin, brined then lightly smoked and finally baked, usually served with boiled cabbage.
A glass case stocked with sausage pudding, rashers, bangers—all the meats necessary for that iconic, 5,000-calorie Irish Breakfast.
Potentially the best poultry deal in the country. Ten chicken breasts for €10! Handkerchief-covered Irish mums know to stock up. Duck eggs are popular here too.
An alleyway long of fisherman reaching their hands into aquarium-link tanks, bagging slabs of salmon, snapper and bass, fresh from nearby port towns like Donegal.
A simple name, but they get awfully fancy with chocolate-covered ginger, dried oranges and pralines. They'll pour shots of thick, gooey hot chocolate for one euro.
Forty types of big, rustic loaves baked fresh each morning, many with spelt, a wheat-like grain Irish bakers love. Get the "sultana," a traditional soda bread with dried fruits and plump raisins.
The Olive Stall
The real name on the sign is in Gaelic, but everyone just calls it the "olive stall." Rows of olive oil, olive-oil soap, and big tubs of wet green and black ones from Greece, Spain, France, and Italy.
Français-style patisserie with elegant berry tarts and crumbles, with that fairy dust-resembling powdered sugar.
Ropes of fresh pasta, jars of dried porcini mushrooms, pine nuts sold by the pound and ready-to-warm tomato sauces.
Farmgate Cafe and Restaurant
Upstairs, these wooden chairs and tables overlook the scene, serving fresh, hearty national dishes made from downstair's ingredients. The daily chalkboard menu lists the usual: Irish Lamb Stew, Tripe and Onions, Beef Shepherd's Pie and gooey bread pudding served with heavy cream. (Lassies behind the counter don't really give you a choice)