Venture from your normal port of call for mealtimes and discover Belfast’s one-of-a-kind eateries. Or, make something yourself using food produce made and stocked right here in the city. For something sure to leave a good taste in your mouth, make it Belfast.
Belfast is home to countless independent cafés and restaurants offering eating experiences with a difference. Here's our round-up of the unique places you don't want to miss.
The Crafty Vintner Tasting Room
Head to the Crafty Vintner for their state-of-the-art wine dispensers, over 500 bottles of wine, classic cocktails, brunch, speciality coffee, small plates and cheese boards. From coffee and brunch by day to cheese and wine by night, The Crafty Vintner has something for every mood and occasion…
Set in the heart of the Lisburn Road, The Bowery is South Belfast’s premier neighbourhood pub for fantastic food, classic drinks, live sport and entertainment. Expect a warm welcome, stunning décor and exceptional service from all the team.
Scalini is an Italian family run pizzeria restaurant in the heart of South Belfast and within walking distance of Queen’s University. On one level you may feel as though you’re dining ‘al fresco’ under a Mediterranean sky, stars twinkling above your head, while on others you may feel transported to a traditional rustic Italian family mealtime, but no matter where your eyes turn they are treated to a different picturesque vista of Italian charm!
Holohan’s Pantry is Belfast’s only boxty house, located in the Queen’s Quarter, serving fresh, local ingredients and authentic Irish recipes. As a family, Holohan’s has valued their gift for hospitality through three generations. The current owner’s grandmother; Sabina Holohan, encouraged the family to welcome guests “as if they were visiting your home.”
The Lamppost Cafe
The Lamppost Café is located on the Upper Newtownards Road, just a stone’s throw from CS Lewis Square. The Lamppost is inspired by the life and work of local legend, CS Lewis. With a Narnia twist on tea shop decor, a ragtime soundtrack and everything served on vintage crockery, you will feel as though you have stepped back in time (or into the wardrobe!)
For a tasty pub lunch, rest stop off the tow path or business break the bar has it all. Cutters Wharf is the perfect setting for any occasion with a unique location on the banks of the River Lagan.
Whites Tavern & Garden
White’s are indeed the oldest tavern in Belfast and one of the most authentic Irish pubs that you will find in this vibrant, historic city. Enjoy crisps and chips, soups and stews, steaks and pies, locally sourced seafood and freshly cooked pizza dishes at White’s Tavern. Don’t forget to try their Guinness, served to perfection.
The Morning Star
The Morning Star is one of Belfast’s most historic and picturesque pubs dating back to 1810 and run by the McAlister family since 1989, most recently crowned RAI Best Gastro Pub 2019. The Morning Star has one of the most important exciting pub menu serving food until 10pm daily with the likes of pan fried kangaroo, emu and crocodile. If you fancy something a little less exotic, then fear not. Their ethos is farm to fork, buying prize winning beef and lamb from local farmers.
Shop Local Food & Drink
Many places in Belfast sell locally sourced food and some make the food themselves. Sample confectionery, dairy and baked goods that are made and stocked in the heart of the city.
Born & Bred
Born & Bred (formerly Studio Souk) on Ann Street is a unique treasure trove of quirky and traditional food and drinks. Try their gin and tonic biscuits or opt for their traditional shortbread. Born & Bred is the perfect place for any shopper wanting to pick out an original and memorable piece to take home and try. You can even buy your very own mushroom kit – ask in-store or buy online.
Old Time Favourites
Indulge your sweet tooth with a handmade treat from Belfast’s oldest sweet shop, Old Time Favourites. Their local artisan range includes macaroons, fudge, honeycomb and chocolate; all crafted with care and a love for all things sweet! Old Time Favourites has been serving Belfast for over 100 years and is home to over 300 jars of classic sweets!
St George's Market
There has been a market on the St George’s site since 1604, and it continues to run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The market has won local and national titles and awards for its fresh, local produce and great atmosphere. St George’s Market has local, continental and specialty foods including meat and fish, cheese, coffee beans, tapas and organic products from around the world. Your canine friends are also welcome in the market.
Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory
See old-time candy making at its best at Aunt Sandra’s in east Belfast. Visitors can see how chocolates, sweets and fudge are made through a viewing window overlooking the quaint factory, and enjoy the smells (and a few samples) of the treats of offer. Buy handmade yellow man, raspberry ruffles, macaroons, Belfast fudge and brandy drops from the shop on site.
The Belfast Coffee Co
The Belfast Coffee Co. is a coffee company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland specialising in small-batch, infused Belfast coffee – specifically Irish Whiskey-infused coffee (made with Dunville’s Irish Whiskey from a local distillery). The Belfast Coffee Co. is a family business based on recipes created over generations of home coffee roasting.
Take an 'off the beaten track' trail to all the best places for local food and drink in the city. Food tours and tasting sessions are a great way to find something that’s different and uniquely Belfast.
Taste and Tour
The best way to experience Belfast’s quirky foodie scene is to sample a slice bit of it all! Join the Taste and Tour’s Belfast Food Tour. Start in the historic St George’s Market, meeting producers, then visit traditional bars, world-class shops and finish in a top restaurant in the lively Cathedral Quarter, eating and drinking over 25 of some of the best local food and drink along the way.
Combine food with drama on the only theatrical food tour in the city! Join the hilarious Chef Barney, who, after 105 years frozen in an iceberg, is on a mission to search Belfast for the finest ingredients. You’ll stop in Sawers, John Hewitt, Mourne Seafood and Dark Horse to taste the best of local produce and traditional Irish dishes.
Amble off on a self-guided or guided whiskey tour and sample the finest Irish whiskeys in Belfast. Pick up a map in the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre or book onto one of the Whiskey Club’s walking tours. Try a nip of various whiskeys while enjoying Irish music in the local traditional pubs.
Craft Beer Walking Tour
Join Taste & Tour on a 3 hour tour of Belfast’s best beer bars and street food venues with their resident beer expert as you learn all about and experience the local beer and street food scene in Belfast. You’ll visit a range of fantastic craft beer bars and street food venues.