home Food COSGRAVE CORNER: 3 Places to buy food that aren’t the Supermarket

COSGRAVE CORNER: 3 Places to buy food that aren’t the Supermarket

Welcome to the first issue of this year’s UCC Express and, importantly, the first Food Section since its untimely removal in the ancient past of two/three years ago. Most of what we’ll be showing you this year is a selection of different recipes and food ideas, but this week I think it’s important for all of you who don’t know how to feed yourself in Cork to get a crash course on where to go. So for all you visiting students, freshers, and people who have decided to diversify their diet from chicken rolls who want to find the best places to get food, or at least the places that aren’t major chains, here we are. Most of the stuff I’m going to talk about here, and for the rest of the year, you can get in Tesco or Lidl (you can even get spices in Tiger, which was surprising news to me) which are both easily accessible in the center of town, but the places here could be better value, are definitely higher quality, and usually have a wider range of stuff.
For simplicity’s sake, I’ve included directions based off of the nearest pub.

The English Market.

It’s in the Center of town, literally, right in the middle. *Sigh* There’s entrances beside Voodoo and Mutton Lane.

The English Market
Photo by William Murphy (Creative Commons)

No really, the English Market is one of the best of its kind in Europe, and it is actually pretty great for students too, not just for the bourgeoisie hipster elite that have taken over farmers markets. It has interesting shops and places to get that little bit of extra tasty stuff when you can afford it, with the Real Olive Co. being a stand-out, but it also holds all your staples at a reasonable price. Indeed, it is probably cheaper to buy any meat here than it is at the supermarket, with some of the butchers offering family packs that will feed you for a week. Plus, when you have someone over you can talk about going to the market and seem all cultured.

The Quay Co-op

Literally right beside The Flying Enterprise center, and just over the pedestrian bridge from Deep South.

Ah yes, ‘Healthy People’. The Quay Co-op is half health food store, half Veggie restaurant which makes it: A) a good place to buy lentils, and B) a good place to go for breakfast when you will literally throw up at the thought of bacon. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of lentils, they bulk out curry and soup like no one’s business, and they’re an excellent source of protein and fiber without being awful, like bran flakes. Beyond all this you can buy almost everything you need dehydrated, and then they will last you for the entire year no problem. So when you don’t actually cook anything anyway at least the stuff won’t be rotting in your cupboard & stinking up your kitchen.

Jia Jia Market.

Up the road from Rising Sons, across from the Bodega.

Jia Jia Market, Cornmarket St. - A view of a blue building with various flyers sitting in the window next to a mural of flowers. In the background, there is a stack of bags of rice and above the door is a sign that reads "Jia Jia Market and Gifts"

Okay, so lentils and sun dried tomatoes aren’t your thing. How about buttloads of noodles? Literally buttloads of them. If that’s the case, then my favourite place to go is the Asian Supermarket on Cornmarket Street. You can buy all of the assorted stuff you need to make asian cuisine in here, including Soy Sauce that is hella cheaper than anywhere else, insane hot sauces and 8 billion prawn crackers (at least). If you want to step away from your comfort zone for flavours but don’t want to burn through a load of cash, this place is the place for you; just don’t buy anything green because it’s probably wasabi flavoured, and if you’re Irish, you’ll smell it and immediately die because it’s sooooo spicy.