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Brunching by The River Lee – Cork City’s Best Brunches

The Rebel City, The City of Sanctuary or The Real Capital, whatever you consider Cork to be, it is most definitely one thing, culinary hotspot with the city’s brunch offerings leading the charge. With Cork being home to some of Irelands greatest food producers, it’s no wonder the standards are so high. With a plethora of choices to satisfy even the most jaded Brunch palate, we have uncovered some true gems to challenge the seasoned brunch goer. Vegan, vegetarian or old school carnivore, we’ve got you covered. The only difficulty will be choosing where to indulge yourself this weekend.

The Spitjack Rotisserie Brasserie

One might presume, given the name that brunch at The Spitjack would be more appealing to the meat eaters left among us, but this is not the case. The brunch offerings from this Washington Street gem are both varied and enticing with the menu made up of brunch classics, gourmet sandwiches and small plates for those who prefer to graze. Rotisserie Chicken Croquettes with Lemon & Thyme Aioli anyone? We love the Rotisserie Sweet Potato Toast with Crushed Avocado, Tomato Salsa & Rocket and The French Dip Sirloin Steak Sandwich with Fried Onions & Homemade Pickles has somewhat of a cult following. Feeling more traditional? Then the Truly Irish is for you. Jack McCarthy’s Black Pudding, Poached Eggs, Apple Compote & Potato Hash topped with Hollandaise Sauce. Wash it all down with a Bloody Mary made with Dingle Vodka infused with Red Jalapeños, or for those with less of a penchant for spice on a Sunday morning, their homemade Probiotic Ice Tea is just the ticket. Brunch served from 10am Saturday & Sunday.

More Information: www.thespitjack.com

The Crawford Gallery Café


Weekend brunch is an indulgent treat but when combined with a visit to one of Cork’s most iconic galleries, it becomes the perfect weekend outing. The Crawford Gallery in Emmet Place houses a varied sculpture collection, with some dating from Greco – Roman times. The gallery is also home to many important paintings and when your Sunday browsing is complete, head to The Crawford Gallery Café for Brunch. The Crawford Gallery Café has received many accolades since it was opened in 1986 by culinary doyenne Myrtle Allen and her daughter Fern. Since those early days, many Ballymaloe chefs and graduates of Ballymaloe Cookery School, including Rachel Allen have earned their stripes here. With such a distinguished pedigree, it’s no wonder that the menu is like reading a who’s who of Corks finest food producers, with Frank Hedermans Smoked Salmon making an appearance on the Eggs Royale, and Kanturk Bacon accompanying the Brioche French Toast. The Café serves brunch from 11 am – 3 pm on Sundays.

More Information: www.crawfordgallerycafe.com

Banana Melon Kitchen

Ok so while this might not be an actual Brunch venue, it is most definitely one Brunch you need to attend if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity. The brainchild of Suzanne Mellin, Banana Melon Kitchen has catered pop up vegan brunches all over Cork city and beyond in venues such as Soma, Organico & Palmento Kitchen. Think Sourdough Toast with Cauliflower Steak, Cannellini Bean Aioli, Chimichurri & Sesame Seed Brittle for a savoury option or Waffles with Espresso Cream, Toasted Hazelnuts, Salted Caramel, Strawberries & Hazelnut Praline. The dishes are all plant-based and oh so Instagramable, hardly surprising as Suzanne is also a food stylist. Keep an eye out on her Instagram page or Facebook for upcoming events but in the meantime, her famous Chocolate Tahini Brownies are available in Soma Coffee should you need a fix before then.

More Information: bananamelonkitchen

The River Club at The River Lee Hotel

As the name suggests, The River Club is located on the bank of the River Lee with a garden terrace overlooking the river. The terrace is filled with tropical ferns which have created a waterside oasis smack bang in the city. All the brunch classics are well represented on the brunch menu, along with newcomers such as the Clonakilty Pudding Hash with Spiced Beef, Poached Eggs & Jameson Black Barrel Hollandaise, or for those of a virtuous persuasion, the Wellness Breakfast Bowl with Quinoa, Avocado, Tomato, Broccoli, Poached Egg & Seedlip Botanical Dressing will surely hit the spot. Brunch cocktails include the ubiquitous Bloody Mary or for a change consider the Spiced Apple Tea with Gunpowder Gin, Cold Brew Chamomile Tea, Apple, Cinnamon, Lemon & Poachers Ginger Ale. Brunch is served each weekend from 12pm.

More Information theriverclubcork.ie

Liberty Grill


It is entirely possible that should you happen to suggest brunch to a Cork city native, the presumption would be that the aforementioned brunch would take place at Liberty Grill, located on Washington Street in the city centre. Although closed on Sundays, this Cork favourite more than makes up for it by serving brunch 6 days a week until 5pm. No longer do you have to wait until the weekend to get your French Toast fix, it’s served every day at Liberty Grill, along with their stellar Quinoa & Sweet Potato Fritters with Guacamole, Poached Eggs & Halloumi Crumb, Eggs Benedict, and Eggs Royale. Brunch served Monday to Saturday until 5pm.

More Information www.libertygrill.ie

Good Day Deli

We should be ever thankful for the twist in fate that brought Kristin Makirere and Claire Condon together. 10 years after that event, the lucky residents of Cork city are reaping the rewards. Good Day Deli is the result of their meeting, bringing passion, sustainability and good vibes to all who visit this Cork city gem. Dishes such as Spiced Carrot Fritters on Turmeric Hummus with Pickled Beetroot, Sesame Lavosh, Vegan Tzatziki & Leafy Greens sing from the plate and the location itself has a calming effect despite being in a city location. Along with the outstanding food, Good Day Deli also host a number of informative talks, all related to sustainability and nature, There is coffee & cake too! Brunch served 10 – 4pm, Sat & Sun.

More Information www.gooddaydeli.ie

Bobo Café @ Glucksman


Another one for the cultured among us, Bobo Artisan Café is housed at The Glucksman Gallery on the grounds of UCC where the building itself has won acclaim for its unique design. Dishes such as Tostada Andaluz with Jamon Serrano, Tomato & Garlic on a Toasted Baguette are on the menu along with Chilli Tempeh, Beans, Patatas Bravas & Beets. Those with a more traditional palate are well catered for too with Jack McCarthy’s Black Pudding, Chard, Cherry Tomatoes & Poached Eggs or French Toast with Berries for those with a sweet tooth. Brunch is served 12 -5pm on Sundays.
More Information www.glucksman.org

The White Rabbit

McCurtain Street is home to The White Rabbit, purveyors of the authentic American Style Brunch. Pancakes here come two ways, short stack or long stack. Choose Blueberry, Chocolate Chip, Banana Pecan or Buttermilk. Savoury plates include The Grilled Cheese (classic or mushroom), Potato Hash or The Cowboy Breakfast with BBQ Beans & House Smoked Bacon. This may not be one for the vegans but the Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie alone makes a visit here a necessity. Brunch served daily, 10.30 – 3pm.
More Information www.whiterabbit.ie

Salt Food & Wine


Just a short stroll from the metropolis you will find Salt, an intimate Café & Wine Bar serving up some of the delicious & unusual brunch dishes. Baked eggs with Roast Butternut Squash, Chickpeas, Harissa Scented Tomato Sauce, Feta Crumble, Herbs and Garlic Bread sounds good enough to eat, or perhaps Organic Sauté Potatoes and Onions served with Artisanal Morteaux Sausage slowly cooked in a Cassoulet, topped with Free Range Fried Egg. Waffles & French Toast also make an appearance as does the Mimosa & the Bloody Mary, after all, brunching is thirsty work. Brunch served 10am – 3 pm, Saturday & Sunday.
More Information saltcork.ie

Brick Lane

Pizza for breakfast may be frowned upon, but Pizza for brunch is perfectly acceptable and at Brick Lane, that’s exactly what you can have & topped with all the traditional breakfast components, it makes for a hearty feed. Located on South Main Street, Brick Lane has become an institution since it opened its doors in 2015. The menu is fairly varied with Steak & Eggs, Classic Burgers, more egg dishes than you can shake a stick at and the sweet treats too. Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday from 11 am – 3 pm and with a late bar and cocktails to die for, you may well find yourself there until the wee hours, you have been warned.
More Information: bricklane.ie

FEATURE BY CIARA McQUILLAN
Ciara is a freelance writer from Dublin who also has a Degree in Culinary Entrepreneurship from DIT along with a Diploma in Journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys entertaining family and friends and cooking new dishes from her vast selection of cookbooks.

Ciara also loves to travel and discovering new places and enjoys sourcing new & emerging cuisine trends.

Ciara McQuillan Ciara McQuillan

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