Farmgate Café

The English Market, Princes St, Centre, Cork, T12 NC8Y, Ireland

Farmgate Café is a lively spot upstairs at the buzzing English Market, Ireland’s oldest food market, in Cork City Centre, with balcony seating that has great views of the bustling crowds and vendors below. Try some traditional Irish favorites, such as seafood chowder, rock oysters, lamb stew, or a version of bangers and mash—pork sausages with mashed potato, lentils, and bacon. Make sure to try a local black pudding–like delicacy called drisheen, and save room for the delicious cakes.

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Venison Pie and Elderflower Cordials at The English Market's Farmgate Cafe in Cork, Ireland

I visited The English Market in Cork a day before Christmas. The timing amped up the energy at this beloved covered market to a festive level that felt crushing as I tried to navigate my way through stalls selling local delicacies like spiced beef, cranberry jam, raw milk goat cheese, and freshly plucked Christmas turkeys. The Farmgate Cafe is always a welcome respite from the frenetic hustle tussle of the market but on this day that included more than a few elbows in the shoulder from customers eager to conclude their holiday shopping and get on with the merry making, it was an oasis of civility amidst the festive madness. Divided into both a stand in line casual cafe on one side and a more refined restaurant on the other, Farmgate is located above the market itself. This makes it the perfect place to people watch without being sucked into the local delicacy fueled chaos of it all. Meals at the restaurant are elegant without being fussy. Comprised of local ingredients from County Cork, a region that prides itself on its small family farm traditions, selections include tuck in an stay a while dishes like market butcher’s sausage with champ, onion gravy and bacon, venison pie, and a savory tart of the day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served during the market’s opening hours and the hearty yet healthful meals are made all the more enticing when accompanied by libations such as elderflower juice and proseco or crisp sparking ciders.

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