The market at the heart of Ireland’s foodie scene

National Geographic may have named Dublin as one of its ‘Best of the World’ places to visit in 2018 – but for the food-focused traveller, there’s nowhere like Ireland’s second city, Cork.

Located on an island in the River Lee, this once-walled, compact city is crammed with restaurants, pubs and cafés, and at the heart of it all, the market that renowned chef Rick Stein refers to as ‘the best covered market in the UK and Ireland’.

The English Market dates back to 1788. Within its beautifully preserved walls, both locals and tourists mingle to admire and purchase truly excellent, locally-produced artisan food.

Arrive by mid-morning to see the stalls at their most bountiful. Greengrocers show off the produce of Ireland’s rich farmland, while fish merchants display seemingly endless varieties of the freshest fish and seafood, all caught locally. Butchers’ shops will sell you beautiful cuts of meat, and all sellers will proudly tell you the details of how their food is sourced and produced.

When you’ve finished shopping, head upstairs for an unmissable experience at the Farmgate Café. Here you can sit and look down over the bustle of the market, while enjoying wonderful food prepared by the chefs, 90% of which is sourced from the market itself. In this city where everyone is united through a love of great food, the Farmgate Café is an unpretentious lunchtime destination – popular with families, friends catching up and business people alike.

If food is the way to your heart too, why not learn English at Cork English College? It’s just a 6-minute stroll away.