The English Market Cork

Feb 13, 2012 by

I am just back from a weekend in Cork and a visit to the English Market.  I had wanted to visit the market for ages and a couple of years ago I booked myself in for a charcuterie course with a friend in Ballmaloe.  Unfortunately she injured her leg and was unable to make the trip and our plan to visit the market had to be put on hold also.

The English Market is the oldest market of it’s kind, trading since 1788 on the same site and surviving famine, fire and economic decline.  It predates the Boqueria in Barcelona by 80 years.  There are many differing theories why it is called the English Market, varying from only English was spoken there to only
“English” were allowed trade there.  According to an article by Donal Ó Drisceoil in his historical overview, the Market was created in 1788 by the Protestant or “English” corporation that controlled the city at that time. It was a new flagship municipal market located at the heart of the new commercial city centre.  The other market in the city, St. Peters was often referred to as the Irish Market to differentiate them.

                                                      View of the market from Farmgate Cafe

The stalls are varying and include fabulous cheese selections, baked goods including a stall dedicated to amazing macaroons, butcher counters, fish mongers, dried goods and olives.  The fish selection is one of the best I have seen in Ireland and the butchers sell local delicacies such as drisheen, crubeens, and spiced beef. It is a “foodie” paradise buzzing with people doing their weekly shopping and gawkers like me.  Although, I bought some beef cheeks, sausages and spiced beef, hoping the car boot would be cold enough to preserve them until I got home. 

Above in the gallery is the Farmgate cafe and restaurant, serving really good coffee and cakes as well as a sit down section for lunch – sourcing local delicacies.  Booking is advisable at weekends.  The staff are lovely, friendly and knowledgeable.  We had big, steaming bowls of seafood chowder, more than adequade as we intended dining out that evening.  But you can have tripe and drisheen or local big, meaty sausages and mash as well as salads with local black pudding.

The English Market is truly a fine place to visit and browse.  I can’t wait to go back and really wish there was something similar in this neck of the woods. 

                                                                   A stunning Monkfish

                                                       The fabulous O’Connell’s fishmongers

Related Posts


Share This


  1. I was in heaven 🙂 wish it was nearer to me too!

  2. I was there for the first time about 10 years ago! It is amazing isn't it! Love the place – wish I lived nearer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *