Dating from 1788, this indoor food market is among Ireland’s finest foodie destinations. Set inside a Victorian heritage building with a vaulted ceiling, the market is filled with vendors selling the finest and freshest of local produce, from grass-fed beef and smoked salmon to homemade jam, duck eggs, and fresh fruit and vegetables.
The English Market is an essential stop-off for any visitor to Cork city, whether you want to admire the elegant interior, stock up on fresh food, pick up ready-to-eat treats, or simply people-watch. While many visitors explore independently, others come as part of organized day trips from Dublin or Cobh, which often incorporate visits to Blarney Castle. The English Market typically features on Cork walking tours too, whether guided or self-guided via audio guides.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The English Market is a must for foodies.
- Bring along cash as not all traders accept credit cards.
- The market is wheelchair accessible via level entrances on Princes Street and Grand Parade.
- There is a sit-down café at the market, as well as several takeaway spots selling sandwiches and prepared foods.
How to Get There
The English Market is situated in Cork city center. The city’s main railway station, Kent station, is about a 20-minute walk away. Alternatively, catch the 205 bus, which stops at St. Patrick’s Street, just steps from the market. Other local bus services (203, 207, 208, 209A, 214, and 215) also stop at St. Patrick’s Street.
When to Get There
The English Market is busiest between 11am and 4:30pm, with Fridays and Saturdays drawing the biggest crowds. If you want the space to explore, and savor the smells and sights at your leisure, go early in the morning. The market is especially atmospheric during the run-up to Christmas when traditional festive fare, such as turkeys, geese, and hams are sold.
What to Try at the English Market
The English Market presents lots of opportunities for hungry travelers to try some Irish specialties. Pick up white pudding (oatmeal sausage), black pudding (blood sausage), and Irish bacon (cut from the loin)—all staples of a full Irish breakfast. Other Irish delicacies include freshly baked Irish soda bread and barmbrack, a fruit loaf with sultanas and raisins that is popular during the run-up to Halloween.