Get to know Belfast through its food and drink scene. Food walking tours are a popular way to discover the off the beaten track restaurants and food producers in the city. Join Taste and Tour for food, gin, whiskey or beer themed tours. Or for something a bit more flamboyant, Belfast Bred runs theatrical food tours led by a fictional chef who, after being frozen for 105 years, is on a mission to recreate a Titanic banquet.
Try Local Produce at a Market
St George’s Market has a big international food offering, but for a real taste of Belfast sample locally sourced fish, fruit, vegetables and baked goods. Among the stalls you’ll find the famous Belfast Bap (an Ulster fry in a soft white roll) as well as oysters, coffee, tea and confectionery all made in Northern Ireland.
Visit a Chocolate Factory
Belfast has plenty of treats in store for chocolate lovers. Visit Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory where you can watch old-time candy making at its best through a viewing window into the quaint factory. See how chocolate, fudge and sweets are made and sample some for yourself. Or buy local handmade products including macaroons bars, fudge, honeycomb and chocolate from Old Time Favourites sweet shop, which is over 100 years old.
Gin Tours and Tastings
Northern Ireland is a gin lover’s paradise. Take a distillery tour at Rademon Estate Distillery the birthplace of Shortcross Gin and Echlinville Distillery where Jawbox gin is made; or make your own at Belfast Gin and Spirits School. Go on a gin walking tour with Taste and Tour or enjoy a gin-soaked afternoon tea with the Tispy Tea at Babel.
Dinner with Entertainment
Join a Whiskey Tour
Belfast’s hospitality pairs perfectly with a wee dram of Irish whiskey in a cosy pub. Book a whiskey experience or tour to hear all about Ireland’s favourite spirit and to sample some for yourself. Combine whiskey with craft beer or traditional Irish music with Whiskey Experiences in Belfast; or go along to a session with Belfast Whiskey Club in the Duke of York bar. And of course, don’t miss the home of Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Old Bushmills Distillery.
Make Your Own Cocktails
Create delicious classic and contemporary cocktails (and then drink them!) in a cocktail class. Book in to classes at the Fitzwilliam Hotel, House of Zen and Havana Bank Square. If you’re a wizardry fanatic, The Cursed Goblet is a must. This fully immersive cocktail-making experience lets you put on a cloak, pick up a wand and make your own drinks, each with their own special effects.
Go to a Micro-Brewery
Northern Ireland is home some tasty craft beers and what’s better than sipping on a pint in the brewery it came from? Visit Hilden Brewery’s small, family owned micro-brewery and learn about the process that goes in to their craft ales and stouts. Look out for the Hilden Beer Festival (August bank holiday weekend) and enjoy live traditional Irish music on site every Wednesday from 7pm.
Buy Locally Roasted Coffee
Visit Belfast Coffee Co.’s store in Ballyhackamore and pick up a couple of bags of their expertly made coffee which is roasted right here in Belfast, in the shadow of the Harland and Wolff cranes. Belfast Coffee is a family business, specialising in small-batch coffee made from recipes created over generations of home coffee roasting. Try their famous Irish whiskey-infused coffee, made with Dunville’s Irish Whiskey from Echlinville Distillery.
Take a Cookery Class
Get hands on in a cookery class and learn how to make a huge range of dishes with tasty local ingredients. The Cookery School at James St offers classes in everything from sushi making to curry, Italian and vegetarian workshops. They host regular wine tasting evenings too, and occasionally you can go along to a demonstration where you can relax and learn from the experts. Or make your own traditional Northern Irish griddle breads in the cosy surroundings of Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen – only 30 minutes from Belfast. You’ll enjoy award-winning food and drink, and take away a bag of homemade breads along with a copy of the recipes.
Belfast has lots of memorable afternoon tea experiences to choose from. Tuck into tiers of treats in the Victorian surroundings of Maryville House, or pair it with gin cocktails at Babel Rooftop Bar’s Tipsy Tea. Visit Café Parisien for a French twist on the traditional afternoon tea, or enjoy a sumptuous spread in the historic Drawing Offices at Titanic Hotel.
Sip on a Guinness in a Traditional Pub
Don’t leave Belfast without checking out our lively, traditional pubs. Complete with cosy snugs and live Irish music, they’re the perfect place to sip a pint of Guinness or locally crafted lager, ale or stout. Crown Liquor Saloon is Belfast’s most famous pub and a Victorian era gem; or go to McHugh’s in the Cathedral Quarter, which is housed in one of Belfast’s oldest buildings.