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EATING OUT IN CORK...

- WITH MARTINA O’DONOGHUE PRESENTER, CORK’S C103

I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 14, so my list of favourite restaurant­s begins with Paradiso (16 Lancaster Quay, Mardyke). It’s more of a special occasion destinatio­n, but I went there frequently in its early days and I can almost chart a particular period of my life by it, having celebrated so many ups and downs in there. It was a revelation to be able to choose anything from the menu, instead of just scanning down for the few options with the ‘v’ symbol. Vegetarian food used to have a reputation of being quite grim, as if it was a penance to be a vegetarian, but the food at Paradiso is really joyful: there’s an explosion of avours in every mouthful. They recently won the ‘Collaborat­ion of the Year’ award at the global World Restaurant Awards for their work with the organic Gortnanain Farm, where they get all their food.

I also love Jacob’s On The Mall (30

South Mall). It’s beautiful inside, very airy and bright. They have an additional menu with just vegan options which is great – it’s really nice to see restaurant­s striking out to cater to specific groups of people.

Good Day Deli (Nano Nagle Place, Douglas Street) is a must. It’s on the site of a convent, and there’s a museum and grounds surroundin­g it. But behind all of that, there’s a garden, and it’s like you completely step out of the city, an oasis. That’s where Good Day Deli Cafe is. I went there for Sunday brunch for my last birthday and they had lots of healthy vegan and vegetarian options, quite a few of them organic and fair trade too. T

There’s a street food café called Iyers (38 Popes Quay, Shandon), which is really quirky and does authentic South Indian vegetarian food. It’s got great reviews, and for good reason. It’s amazing.

In terms of food shopping in Cork, we’re very lucky to have The English Market (Princes Street), which is famous internatio­nally since the Queen visited when she came to Ireland. ABC, the Alternativ­e Bread Company, is brilliant and there’s an olive stand and lovely cheese stalls as well. That’s the go-to place in Cork for a market experience. There are also farmers’ markets like Mahon Point on Thursdays.

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