International restaurant awards: Green gong

IT may sit slightly uneasily with those charged with promoting Ireland’s wonderful beef and lamb that for the first time Travellers’ Choice Restaurants awards have named a vegetarian restaurant the best in a country — and in Ireland too.

Café Paradiso in Cork has been so honoured and deservedly so. The award was announced yesterday by the travel site TripAdvisor and is based on the millions of reviews and opinions expressed by users of TripAdvisor so it has a certain democratic authenticity.

That a restaurant based in a culture that has no tradition of vegetarianism, indeed a culture largely apathetic if not plainly hostile to the idea, should be so honoured makes this achievement all the greater and enviable.

For those who have eaten in what has been honoured as Ireland’s best restaurant and would like to eat in the world’s best restaurant then you’ll have to try to book a table at Martin Berasategui in Lasarte, near San Sebastián, where they do serve meat. Such difficult choices.


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