A sister restaurant to the Farmgate Country Store and Restaurant in Midleton, Kay Harte's Farmgate Café shares the same commitment to serving fresh, local food - and, as it is located in the gallery above the English Market, where ingredients are purchased daily, it doesn't come much fresher or more local than this.
The atmosphere is lively and busy, as people come and go from the market below, giving a great sense of being at the heart of things. With its classic black and white tiles, simple wooden furniture and interesting art work there's a combination of style and a comfortably down to earth atmosphere which suits the wholesome food they serve.
Having always highlighted the freshness of local ingredients in dishes that were a mixture of modern and traditional, Kay Harte and her team now offer regional dishes using the food they buy in the market, and have introduced lesser known foods such as corned mutton to their menus alongside famous old Cork ones with a special market connection, like tripe & drisheen and corned beef & champ with green cabbage.
Menus depend on what is available in the English Market each day, including "oysters to your table directly from the fish monger" and other fish - used, for example, in a chowder that is ever-popular with market regulars.
And, however simple, everything is perfectly cooked - including superb breakfasts. Either full cooked or continental breakfast is offered, with self-service or table service available.
All this and delicious home-baked cakes, breads and desserts too; whether as a bite to accompany a coffee, or to finish off a meal, a wonderfully home-made seasonal sweet is always a treat.
This is an interesting and lively place to enjoy good food - and it's great value for money.
* Farmgate Café is winner of the 'Just Ask' Restaurant of the Year Award 2012, and has previously won other awards, including our Irish Breakfast Awards in 2007.