Known internationally for its locally produced produce and unmistakably ‘Cork’ vibe, the English market is a treat for anyone who loves food and Irish history and culture. If you are spending any small amount of time in Cork, a visit to the English Market is a must. Not only is it a beautiful indoor artisan market, but you can try some of Cork’s own specialities, such as drisheen (just don’t watch how it’s made), spiced beef and buttered eggs. As always if you don’t know how best to visit the English Market, Day Tour Company has the answer: our free walking tour of Cork.
The English Market, known locally as the Market, has been trading since 1788, although it is possible that a market has existed on this site for even longer. This makes it one of the oldest municipal markets in the world and it is something Corkonians are very proud of. The title English Market comes from the fact that trading in the English market was restricted to members of the English Protestant Ascendancy class in Ireland and it was seen as a form of economic exclusion by Irish Catholics. In response, the Irish set up St. Peter’s Market on Cornmarket Street which is now the premises of the Bodega Bar and Restaurant. This became known as the Irish Market.
One of the first things you are likely to notice about the English Market is the array of smells and aromas coming from all the different stalls. You can buy literally any kind of food in the Market, from pasta from Iago, fish from O’ Connell’s fishmongers, bread from the Alternative Bread Company, or some nice confectionary from Heaven’s Cakes. It really is a feast for the senses.
Our Free Walking Tour leaves the Washington Street Tourist Office every day at 11 am and, as well as the English Market, takes in University College Cork, St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, Cork City Hall and Shandon Bells. It runs in four different languages and if you like we can even arrange private bookings for the evening time which will include a tour of some of Cork’s finest pubs.