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 and Titanic Food Tours for a taste of our maritime culture. 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 confectionary all made in Northern Ireland. Or visit the monthly farmer’s market at Inns Cross for specialty meats, artisan sourdough breads and jams.
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 go to Co Couture to get your hands on award-winning artisan chocolate 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, or Echlinville Distillery, where Jawbox gin is made. Or make your own at Belfast Gin and Spirits School or Hughes Craft Distillery in Moira, which offers distilling and cocktail making classes. 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 a Show
Indulge in an evening meal with entertainment at one of Belfast’s unique dinner experiences. Cabaret Supper Club offers a luxurious menu served with a side of burlesque, music and circus acts. Or be transported back to 1930s New York at Bert’s Jazz Bar, which serves dinner in a sophisticated atmosphere complemented with live jazz. Girls can enjoy a tasty Italian meal and movie screening at Fratelli’s Ladies Night events, which usually run once a month on a Tuesday night.
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. Join a local qualified guide on the Ulster Whiskey tour to learn about the past, present and future of whiskey. 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, Havana Bank Square and The Ivory. 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.
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 bread and sushi making to workshops in curry, Italian and vegetarian dishes. They host regular wine tasting and sherry evenings too, and occasionally you can go along to a demonstration where you can relax and learn from the experts.
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.