Food Heaven in West Cork’s Michelin Pubs

A recent feature in the Weekend Supplement of the Irish Independent celebrated the exceptional food and service in West Cork pubs.

In a food obsessed county, you are sure to find some hidden gems in West Cork. If you are seeking exceptional food, fresh home grown produce and service then look no further than the pub and The Michelin Eating out in pubs Guide certainly agree.

In 2018, four pubs in Cork were awarded a Michelin Pub star, considered the gold standard for gastropubs in Britain and Ireland. Cronin’s of Crosshaven, Bulman in Kinsale, The Poachers Inn down in Bandon and Deasy’s (outside Clonakilty) made the grade in this year’s list.

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As stated by, world class cheeses, cured meats and fish, and produce fresh from the fields and waters, makes West Cork a foodies paradise. The locals also reckon the best place to enjoy this food is in the cosy, informal setting of a country pub.

Michelin-rated Deasy’s pub, located just outside Clonakilty, is famed for its fresh fish creations, including chef Caitlin Ruth’s signature catch of the day cooked in banana leaves from her own garden. At Deasy’s, they pride themselves on running a friendly, informal establishment with an welcoming atmosphere and good pints. Most of the food they serve is locally sourced from suppliers using everyday ingredients.

“People bang on about organic and locally sourced like its new but that’s just what we’ve been doing for the past 20 years or more. Its all here, why would we bring anything in when we have this amazing produce right here?” says Catlin.

When it comes to pub dining West Cork has certainly upped its game, says Chef Barry McLaughlin of the Poacher’s Inn, Bandon. Although its important to ensure pubs cater for tourists, its equally as important to think about your local customers and regulars, as ultimately they help keep the pub open all year round. Barry says:

”People here- locals and visitors- they appreciate the informality of it all. If you are on the beach all day, touring around or working, you just want a great meal in a relaxed atmosphere. The pub is perfect.”

Another great aspect that is contributing to the innovation of creating unusual dishes is the experience of young chefs who have travelled and worked in kitchens all over the world. They have brought a lot of new techniques back home to the kitchens of Cork.

“People know about food now, they expect value and quality. And what’s been huge for Cork is the amount of young people who have gone away, worked in kitchens all over the world and brought back new ideas and approaches,” says Barry.

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