Having been a vegetarian for about 15 years, and spending some time in the restaurant business, I was always on the look out for good vegetarian food in restaurants.
I have found few good ones in Sweden and today I do eat meat and fish again. That is simply the only way I have found to get food that someone actually has spent some time and heart into preparing.
On our trip to Ireland to visit family and friends over christmas, me and my girlfriend decided to check out Café Paradiso in Cork together with her sister and husband before heading back to Sweden.
Looking at the menu, you realize that there is simply too many interesting combinations to try out. We went for different starters and mains and spent the dinner trying each others food out.
Simply put, this is not only the best vegetarian restaurant I have found so far, it is also one of the best I have been too.
Many of the dishes manages to combine ingredients in ways I have never thought of, to create a mix of flavour yet with distinct differences in taste that can individually be noticed. That is a sign of a truly great chef.
I am sure to return to this place and lure many meat eaters to try it out so they can see that vegetarian food is only bland and boring when made by bad chefs.
It is not a cheap place, but reasonably prices for what you get.
Treat yourself to some art and just go here!
I am sure I would give this place 5 stars if I was remotely a vegetarian, or into the vegetarian scene in the least bit.
Truth is, this place is amazing. i went with a party of 4 and we all shared our plates. Everything was great and I found it hard to believe the dishes could taste this good without any meat.
Service was great too. The price fits the product, so you wont leave feeling like you payed too much.
If you are in Cork, make it a stop.
I am a meat eater, but this is probably my favourite restaurant in Ireland. I've taken other meat-eaters here too and they have come around to my point of view.
Each course is like a work of art and utterly delicious. Vegetarian sushi and tempura vegetables for starter? Spectacular. I was very impressed with the creativity of the chefs.
A cracking wine list and very helpful, well-informed staff all added nicely to the experience.
If you stay overnight in their rooms, you can be one of the lucky few to have a Cafe Paradiso breakfast- amazeballs!
Not being a vegetarian, it is odd that the best meal on our trip to Europe (including Paris) would be at a vegetarian restaurant in Cork, Ireland. I'd read about the place in several guidebook and on-line commentaries and decided to try it.
It is quite a small place and we were fortunate to be able to get a table on short notice. It consists of a small, warm dining room and an equally small kitchen in the back, where you can watch the staff working away.
The staff has that cheery, healthful, righteous look common in those of the vegetarian persuasion. Our server was quite helpful in navigating us through some unknown items and describing flavor profiles.
A great thing about this place is that they make no attempt whatsoever to mimic meat dishes. They use no meat stand-ins like soy turkey and they do not make veggie burgers and the like. The kitchen is proud of the vegetables, cheese, fruit and other ingredients they use; they make no concession or apology. Every course we tried was perfectly crafted, impeccably fresh and masterfully seasoned.
The standout dish for me was their beet-root risotto. The arborio rice was cooked to exactly the right toothsomeness, but the vibrant purple-fuscia color is what really got my attention. I love beets and the flavor was of pure beet bolster with onion and other savory components to add depth.
We were so impressed with the place that we bought one of Chef Dennis Cotter's cookbooks. We also found out which farm supplied most of their produce. The next day we drove about ten miles outside of town to Gort-Na-Nain Farm. We chatted at length with the farmer and his wife about their farm and how they grow their crops.
We were blown away by Cafe Paradiso and the farm that supplies them. It is a must stop next time we are in Cork.
Cork is really lucky to have Café Paradiso. The food is so amazing and inventive. It's always a real struggle to order, because I spend more time just drooling over the menu. My eyes glaze over, and instead of choosing food, my lizard-brain kicks in and just says "All of it".
The restaurant has a informal vibe to it, which is a little at odds to the prices. On the other hand, the atmosphere compliments the food quite well. If you're going to go culinary sky-diving, you might as well be comfortable!
Woohoo! As good as it gets!
That sums it up. Stuck in Cork on business and asked folks what the best restaurant in town was. They sheepishly said, "this vegetarian restaurant on the way into town."
No need to feel ashamed; this was the best restaurant I'd ever eaten in. Hands down. Unique dishes, truly cared for and served beautifully. A warm welcome and great service.
So good that, on a later trip, I drove my family down from Donegal, where we were attending a wedding and everyone loved it.
I read in the NYTimes that Yelp reviewers consider the 5 best restaurants in Ireland to be in Dublin. That is simply not true. Cafe Paradiso is, if not the best restaurant in Ireland - and it might be, surely in the top 3. No, I take that back. It is the best restaurant in Ireland.
If want to feel posh and waste more than 50 € for a bunch of boiled vegetables that won't be enough even as a preliminary taste, then it's the place for you.
Food sure is good, but is way overrated. 13 € for 3 (yes, three) tortelloni and 25 € for a quarter of a portion of risotto were my meal. Hoping the 9 € dessert was worth it, but it was just a 1 inch wide cake.
Restaurant is one room, very dark, with lots of tables and seats in a very small place so that it gets almost impossible to read the menu in the evening and to talk to each other when it's crowded.
I am a vegetarian and after a 100+ € dinner for two at Cafe Paradiso I almost wanted to get an hamburger!
Waiters are kind. Food take LOOOOOOOOOOOONG (more than 20min for each course on average) to get to the table, but the bill took just seconds.
We took a sandwich in a take-away after dinner.
Was impressed by online review and decided to give it a try, but I felt joked. Being Italian and vegetarian, I tried dozens of very good vegetarian restaurant over the world. I am not very fussy, but I know what really good vegetarian food tastes like.
I ate way better for 1/4 of the price!
Simply amazing! This could be one of the best restaurants in Ireland, certainly Cork at least. I'm a dedicated carnivore and never thought vegetarian food could be this adventurous or tasty. I too found myself purchasing one of the chefs (Dennis Cotter) cookbooks after eating here.
If you are a vegetarian who once some tasty food then go here. As a fairly hardcore carnovor even I could not get enough of the house speciality which was deep fried courgette flowers with goat's cheese (at the time I was there - this could have changed). The staff are friendly and enthusiastic and the price of the food is reasonable.
The atmosphere here is buzzy if not slightly bohemian. When I went here there were lots of people wearing smoking jackets and smoking roll-ups (well smoking outside at least).
Café Paradiso is a vegetarian restaurant that produces exciting mainstream cooking that even the most committed of meateaters admit to eating every mouthful and it attracts people from all over Ireland - and beyond Ireland. It attracted me because im a hugh fan of Vegetarian food.
Café Paradiso specialities incude delicious deep-fried courgette flowers with fresh goats cheese & pinenut stuffing, olive & caper aoili and basil courgettes, every bite i could i enjoyed and wanted more and more.
The staff are lovely the food is great what more would a person want. yummmy.
Probably the best known vegetarian restaurant in Ireland, Cafe Paradiso lives up to the hype and the cook books which bear its name.
Gorgeous, healthy, organic vegetarian food at reasonable prices served by attentive and friendly staff. I love Paradiso for an evening out with friends or family, as the friendly ambience brings on good times. It's also great for impressing on a date too!
Great veg food! Great service. Great ambiance. Close to a good hotel (Jurys Cork which is now River Lee). Several cheese ingredients on the menu so watch out vegans. Desserts were great too.
I have been here twice. It is one of the best restaurants in Cork. In addition to excellent food, there is a nice wine selection and also service is really brilliant. Highly recommended!
The food here is definitely unique and interesting. My friends and I shared a bunch of different dishes - all of which were well seasoned and fresh. I can't say anything stood out at this place, but also nothing let us down. The handmade truffles which were given to me were frozen, which was disappointing. The service also wasn't very friendly, but didn't rush us out as we were one of the last tables to leave the restaurant.
Simply the best vegetarian restaurant I've been to in years. I'm a vegetarian, but the three people I was with were not and they really enjoyed their meal there.
My wife and I and our two friends learned of Cafe Paradiso while watching a television show on the Food Network. We had already planned our trip to Ireland (we live in southern California) and decided we had to eat here. The meal was even better than what we saw on TV. The waitress was extremely patient as we asked about everything on the menu. The was one of the best evenings of our two week vacation in Ireland. The sushi was beautiful. My Aubergine with Cashel Blue and accompanied by delicious lentils was fantastic. Everyone loved every bite. As we tasted the assorted lemon themed deserts which were perfect finish to a fine meal some homemade chocolate truffles appeared with our tea and coffee. We found room for them too.
I had heard a lot about Cafe Paradiso so was really looking forward to having dinner here. Unfortunately I left feeling disappointed with both the food and the atmosphere. The place is quite nice, the decoration is simple and casual more like a lunch time cafe. The service was average and the food was a mixed bag, some of the dishes were excellent and some disappointing. My main gripe with this restaurant was the prices charged, I didn't feel the atmosphere or the food merited such high prices.
Cafe Paradiso is the best vegetarian restaurant in Britain and Ireland. The food is of an incredible standard: imaginative, tasty, well presented. The atmosphere is friendly and intimate, the service spot on and the location fantastic. It's not cheap but for this level of cooking it is certainly worth it. Vegetarian as it should be.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.