The English Market
The English Market is a longstanding tradition in Cork. It dates to 1610, when King James I issued a royal charter. By most peoples’ reckoning, this is the finest food market in all of Ireland. Best of all, this is an authentic part of the Cork community, which means anyone who pleases can visit at will.
There’s nothing particularly English about the English market, except for the fact that it was built at a time when England maintained a presence in Ireland. Locals took to calling it the ‘English Market’ from the 1800s to distinguish it from St Peter’s Market, which was also in the area. The latter was called the ‘Irish Market’.
The original market was not located on the present location. It moved here in 1788, when the buildings that you see today were built. They were, however, destroyed by a fire in the mid-1800s, and most of the major construction dates to the rebuild that followed.
Visiting the market is all about indulging in the pleasures of daily life. This has, without a doubt, become a tourist attraction. However, it also serves a role in the community. Some of the family businesses that operate here – such as Bresnan’s meat seller – have been on site for several generations.
Cork is regarded the ‘Food Capital of Ireland’, and the English Market is the perfect place to take your own personal tour of what’s available. Dive into local cuisine, including traditional delicacies such as pigs’ feet, tripe and blood sausage – each with their own local names – or stick to the standard cafés and soup bars for a tamer experience.