West Cork is renowned for the quality and range of its artisan foods.

Where To Eat and Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way by John & Sally McKenna assures that "at every stage and stop on the way you will find the most creative chefs, the best hotels, the cosiest pubs, and the best local foods."

The Bridgestone Irish Food Guide by John & Sally McKenna lists leading artisan food producers, the best food shops, the choicest restaurants, cafes and coffee shops and a list of markets.

West Cork Cheese Makers Gubbeen and Durrus have taken top honours at the British Cheese Awards 2015.

Culture Kitchen Tours of historic sites and artisan food producers culminating in a culinary experience at Manning's Emporium, Ballylickey.

Kilcrohane

The Old Creamery Café (Approaching Kilcrohane on the left below the bridge) Good home cooking - some tables outside overlooking the river (Tel: 027 67139). Wednesday/Saturday 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm. Sunday Noon - 3:30 pm.

J. F. O'Mahony post office, shop, café and petrol station. Sandwiches and coffees in the charming Irish tradition. (Tel: 027 67001)

Sheep's Head Producers Market by O'Donovan Motors on left by bridge on entry into Kilcrohane. Part of a refurbished creamery complex in the heart of the village which includes The Old Creamery Café, the Market Shop sells artisan crafts, knitwear, artwork, local produce, plants and homemade food. Open daily Mon/Sat 11.00 am - 5.00 pm Sunday 11.00 am - 4.00 pm . shpm_sg@hotmail.com

The White House Gallery Knockroe (1 mile west from Kilcrohane) (Tel: 027 67047 / 087 339 9971) Traditional Irish pub converted to a 'funky' charming café, full of paintings. Soup and snacks, homemade cakes, ice cream, tea, coffee etc. Some tables outside. (Summer: Tuesday/Sunday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. Winter open most days or press bell). Music sessions in their newly converted barn. See Facebook page or website for details.

The Black Gate (Caher West - on the road towards Tooreen) Traditional old stone house left to the community by the artist Alice West. Open in the summer for teas, homemade scones, and cakes. Social events and courses held during the year. (Tel: 083 111 0983) muintirbhairecc@gmail.com

Ahakista

The Heron Gallery
(follow signs from Durrus/Ahakista) Have delicious homemade cakes, hot or cold drinks in an 'escapist' large pretty garden with pond, or eat lunch/tea/evening meal inside the cottage surrounded by paintings, some by the owner Annabel Langrish.The second room is an art gallery and craft shop. Call for opening times. (Tel: 027 67278)

Arundel's on the Pier
Good pub food, mainly seafood, excellent chowder. Beautiful situation overlooking Ahakista Pier.
Occasional music gigs. Call for opening times. (Tel: 027 67033)

Durrus

Blairscove Restaurant (Blairscove House)
Michelin & Bridgestone Guides
Beautiful country house setting. Richard and Anthea Milnes.
(Tel: 027-62913)

The Gateway Cafe Brasserie
Receiving high praise for its delicious food - offshoot of Ryan's the award winning food store next door. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tea, coffee, and wine served all day. Free WiFi and Internet available.
10.00 am/9.00 pm (Six days a week) 9.30 am/9.30 pm (Saturday)
Claire Ryan (Tel: 027-61353) thegatewaycafe@gmail.com

The Longboat Pub
Substantial country food. Good value. (Tel: 027-61144)

Ryan's - The Village Grocer
Delicious sandwiches made to order. (Tel: 027-61184)

Durrus Farmhouse Cheese (Coomkeen, Durrus)
Mid-day visits can be arranged to watch the award winning cheeses being made. (Tel: 027 61100)

Bantry

There are a number of good places to eat and the following are those that are highly recommended.

The Fish Kitchen
Georgina Campbell
Bridgestone Guide
Casual Bistro style fish restaurant upstairs above Central Fish Market. Delicious and affordable.
Open: Tues/Sat Lunch noon/4 pm, Dinner 5.30 pm/9.00 pm (Tel: 027-56651)

The Stuffed Olive (2A Bridge Street)
Charming small award winning cafe/delicatessen. Tables outside in the summer. Delicious salads, sandwiches, cakes. Eat-in or take-away. Great wine selection.
Open: Mon/Sat 8:30 am/6:00 pm (Tel: 027 55883)
thestuffedolive@gmail.com

Organico Café (2 Glengarrif Road)
Bridgestone Guide
Imaginative, creative, organic, vegetarian food and excellent shop.
Hannah and Rachel Dare. Open: 9.30 am/6.00 pm Mon/Sat (Tel: 027-55905)

The Snug (The Quay)
Bridgestone Guide
Delicious roast of the day, fresh fish etc. good tasty cooking.
Maurice and Colette O'Donovan. Open: noon/8.45 pm (Tel: 027-50073)

De Barra's (The Square - near Bank of Ireland)
Café, excellent homemade soups, casseroles, salads etc.
Open: 9.00 a.m./5.30 pm Mon/Sat. Sun: Breakfast 10.00 a.m. - close 3.00 pm

Ma Murphy's (New Street)
A real gem, an old Irish pub entered thru their shop. Traditional and other music gigs.
Outdoor area. Food Summer only.
Open: 1.00 pm - midnight Mon/Thurs. 12.30 pm/11.30 pm Fri/Sat (Tel: 027-50242)

Willie Pa's & The Country Store (Colamane Cross)
Bridgestone Guide
Good, generous cooking. Home grown produce. Christian Barcoe and Helen O'Brien.
Open: 6/10.00 pm Tue/Sat and 12.30/4.00 pm Sunday. Open Bank Holiday Mondays. (Tel: 027-50392)

FOR ALL RESTAURANTS BOOKING IS ADVISED.

Local Markets Selling Artisan Foods

Bantry (Largest market in Ireland)
(Fridays: approx. 10.00 a.m. - 3.00 pm)
Vegetables, home made foods, ethnic and second hand clothes, bric a brac.  Excellent cheese and home made salami, olive stall with mediterranean salads.  Livestock and poultry. Market on the first Friday of the month larger and more livestock.

Skibbereen
(Friday and Saturday 9.00 a.m. to lunchtime)
Country/Farmers Market, Abbytstrewery Parish Hall

Clonakilty
Farmer's Market (Thursday 9.00 a.m. - 2.30 pm)
O'Donovan's Hotel car park, Pearse Street.
Clonakilty Food Market (Friday 9.00 a.m. - 3.00 pm)
Bigger than the Farmer's Market.

Sheep and Horse Fairs

Bantry - Wolfe Tone Square
(September - check dates in the Southern Star newspaper)

Food Festivals

West Cork Food Festival, Skibbereen (3rd weekend in September)

Kinsale Food Festival
Kinsale renowned for the quality of its cuisine, especially fish. (see Southern Star for information)

Photographs: My thanks to E.J.Carr, Durrus Cheese, Martin Flynn, Gougane Barra Hotel, Nigel Lemon, West Cork Music