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County Cork Culinary Tour

Must-visit spots in Ireland’s epicurean enclave.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Multiple days

Overview :  Drive south from Shannon airport on gradually narrowing roads, where greenswards ripple toward cliffs that plunge into the Atlantic,... more »

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Points of Interest

An ideal pub with traditional music and the feel of Old Ireland.

Address:
Pearse St., O’Donovan’s Hotel
Clonakilty
Ireland

Phone:
353-23-883-3250

2. Ard Bia

This cozy, casual room turns out Galway’s best local food, with global flourishes; house made ice creams are not to be missed.

Address:
2 Quay St., Nimmos Café
Galway
Ireland

Phone:
353-91-561-114

3. Ballyvolane House

Justin Green, the fourth generation of Greens to live at this enormous Italianate country property, runs the place with his wife, Jenny, in a comfortably homey style—a friendly cat stretched out on the bench of the grand piano, spaniels and children scampering about—but with a deluxe and vaguely bohemian air. A homemade elderflower cordial and... More

4. Gleesons Restaurant

Chef Robert Gleeson’s cooking is refreshingly simple and seductive, you’ll see on the menu that the smoked haddock comes from Sally Barnes, the duck in the terrine from Helena Hickey. Whereas elsewhere such farm name-checking feels pretentious, here it seems like no more than a modest tribute to these individual’s talent and hard work. It’s the... More

Ideal for a family reunion, this enormous thatched-roof stone house has undergone a six-year restoration by owner Alan Callender. The former hunting estate of the earls of Bantry, the hotel sits on an island in the middle of a salmon-rich river, surrounded by gardens with monumental hydrangea mounds and 50 acres of forest.

Address:
Glengarriff
... More

The hike to the top takes a solid half-hour, but the vistas on the way up are worth it if the visibility is good.

Address:
Ireland

Writers from the West Cork Literary Festival soak up local atmosphere at this classic pub.

Address:
7 New St.
Bantry
Ireland

Phone:
353-27-50242

A stand stocked with West Cork cheeses: Ardrahan, Garrigaline, Coolea, Durrus, Gubbeen.

Address:
Ballylickey
County Cork
Ireland

Phone:
353-27-50456

A minimalist glass structure nearly 200 yards long overlooking the Bantry Bay.

Address:
The Quay
Bantry
Ireland

Phone:
353-27-54700

10. Michelle Mitton Design Gallery

A collection of works by West Cork ceramicists Sara Flynn and Mary Neeson, whose porcelain lanterns are like miniature Mariko Mori sculptures.

Address:
28 Pearse St.
Clonakilty
Ireland

Phone:
353-23-8835412

Just south of Galway, Ireland, on a weir beside a creek that runs into Galway Bay, this 18th-century tavern-all burnished wood and thatch-was immortalized in the Seamus Heaney poem "Oysters": Our shells clacked on the plates
My tongue was a filling estuary
. Moran’s feels like some family’s rowdy, boozy reunion. And its Irish Rocks are... More

12. O’Connor’s Seafood Restaurant

Simple, compelling preparations of fish and shellfish from local waters are owner Peter O’Brien’s calling card. Book early as reservations go fast.

Address:
The Square
Bantry
Ireland

Phone:
353-27-50221

13. Rory Conner

Rory Conner, an artisan cutler, has a studio crammed with rusty blade forms, drill presses, and grinders’ wheels, carpeted with metal dust, and looks straight out of the 19th century. The knives themselves are works of art, with handles of sustainable cocobolo and Irish bog oak, their steel blades wavy with the patterns of Damascus steel. Conner... More

14. Weir Bar

A new-age bar in the Jury Cork hotel with plate glass and sleek iron fireplaces.

Address:
Western Rd., Jury’s Cork Hotel
Cork City
Ireland

Phone:
353-21-425-2700