Clarion Hotel Cork
Phone: (353) 21 4224900
Fax: (353) 21 4224901
Bars & Cafes
It could be argued that there are enough coffee shops in Cork already, but Café Gusto is nonetheless a welcome addition. It's only just opened, and already a friend of mine (who happens to be a professional coffee roaster!) has proclaimed their espresso to be the best in town. Lunch is served between noon and 4p and consists mainly of wraps and rolls, expertly prepared. Fillings include a smashing goat's cheese salad with roast peppers, and "homestyle" roast beef. You can sit in or take away; if you choose to stay, you're sure to find the decor quite interesting. The big window allows a panoramic view of busy Washington Street, while the seating inside is park-bench style. The relaxing atmosphere is further enhanced by the courteous and efficient staff.
The proverbial home of Cork hurling, this pub is all about passion for sport with the odd drop of alcohol thrown in for good measure. If the crowds here aren't actually watching some sport on the extra large TV, chances are they're discussing the finer points of the match last night, this morning or next week. During the annual Cork Jazz Festival everyone drinks deep in silence or dances around (depending on the mood) as the live bands play soulful music in the background. Open Monday to Saturday 10am onwards and Sunday 11am onwards.
O'Flaherty's is a large mainstream bar, conveniently located close to the city centre. Regulars of all shapes and sizes enter this watering hole. Live gigs are held every Tuesday and Sunday, and DJs play chart hits on the weekend. Cocktails are popular here; those who have had enough of them might consider participating in a spot of karaoke, normally held on Wednesday evenings.
The Crane Lane Theatre hosts a diverse mix of events, and all types of people frequent the bar. Located in an old gentleman's club, the Crane Lane Theatre stays true to its roots with occasional nods to the burlesque. Other than that, this is a great live music venue that is open late. With a beer garden, and three different rooms, there is always a place for you at Crane Lane Theatre.
Situated in the excellent Gresham Metropole Hotel, this bar is a friendly, well-run establishment. The building has recently been totally refurbished and the plush, relaxed atmosphere of the hotel spills over into the delightful, well lit bar area. The walls are adorned with pictures of jazz legends; many of whom have played at the hotel in the course of Cork's famous Cork Jazz Festival. An interesting range of clientele assembles every night, from hotel guests to local business people, to enjoy the classy but unpretentious atmosphere. Check website for restaurant timings.
Scotts may be a relatively new bar, but has already become a favorite haunt for many. It spans two floors and is stylishly decorated throughout. On the ground floor you can enjoy lunch until 2p, with an evening à la carte menu available between 3p and 7p. There's jazz every Friday evening to welcome in the weekend, while upstairs pulsates on Saturdays with a DJ playing an assortment of friendly, happy tunes.
This is one of the few places in the city that stays open late every night of the week. The decor is made up of dark wooden furnishings, lending the place an intimate yet friendly ambience. A collection of old posters and newspaper clippings are on display; if you're having a pint on your own, you could do worse than take a trip down memory lane. Live music is a regular occurrence - both traditional music and cover bands feature here. A good place to enjoy a pint or two.
This pub is named after the founder of the Everyman Palace Theatre next door, and is naturally popular amongst theatre goers. The bar boasts a fine selection of antique mirrors, making it easy to confirm that your hair or make-up is still in good shape. Some stained glass windows, originally from a church in Killarney, are a prime feature, though no one will say how they ended up here. Lunch and dinner are served during the day, with an emphasis on fresh seafood dishes.
If you're visiting the city for the first time, be sure to pop into the Long Valley for a pint or a bite to eat. Ladies in long white coats linger lugubriously near the taps, always prepared to pull the perfect pint. The furnishings arrived courtesy of an ocean liner that ran aground in Cork Harbour some years ago and consist of many interesting pieces. The sandwiches are also legendary; they are crammed with more filling than you would ever have imagined possible. Evenings here are always lively affairs as the mixture of dedicated regulars and curious strangers mingle and chat. A unique pub.
One of Cork's best loved eateries, the Farmgate uses fresh, locally produced foods to create meals that emphasize simplicity, eschewing current fashions and trends in favour of a more traditional approach. Specialities include traditional Cork tripe and drisheen, lamb's liver and bacon, and Clonakilty black pudding savoury tart. There are two vegetarian options daily, one of which is always vegan. Located in the English Market, one can choose to sit in the atrium, allowing a view of this busy market in progress, or in the more formal restaurant. There's a substantial amount of modern art on display: including some fine pieces of sculpture by Michael Quane, who has been described as "Ireland's young Rodin".
Caesar's is like a lost little world, into which one can escape from it all. Featuring a pleasant lemon-yellow decor, with its bits of Rome and Caesar busts about the walls, the pub is like a breath of fresh air. Pine furniture sets the place off nicely, though at night one sees nothing but the smart and stylish clientele. Caesar's is a popular spot, due mainly to its good management. Lunches are offered Mon-Sat, though they'll probably put together a sandwich even on a Sunday if you ask them nicely. DJs play a pleasing mix on Friday to Sunday nights. A large front window makes it the perfect place to sit back with a pint, and watch all the poor people stuck in Cork's traffic.
If you're looking for a rocking little Italian joint, Il Padrino is the best in town. Bright loud and cheerful, it offers an outstanding selection of antipasti, pasta, and pizza - all at good prices. A breakfast menu offers a selection of omelettes, while ingredients like smoked salmon liven up the more usual cafe fare. Coffee and cooking aromas fill the place, and an efficient well-run kitchen means less waiting and more eating. A wine menu is also available and the selections perfectly compliment the lunches and dinners. Open Monday to Saturday 10am onwards and Sunday noon onwards.