Updated On: November 08, 2023 by Ciaran Connolly
Best Bars in Belfast
One thing about Belfast is that it’s never short of amazing bars for one to visit on their trip here. The bars are unique to the city’s culture, full of history, have a great atmosphere and amazing drinks. You’ll find a mix of old traditional bars and more modern stylish ones as well, to suit whatever mood you are in. Belfast also has some great beer gardens that are a great spot when the Irish sunshine comes out.
First Choice of the Best Bars in Belfast: Bootleggers
Our first stop – and recommendation – is the Bootleggers which is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre and Cathedral Quarter. This place is considered a nod to the 1920’s days of prohibition in the USA when the alcohol was outlawed there. The barman at the Bootleggers showed us two different cocktails the America F*** Yea and Pear with Me. Bootleggers offer an amazing cocktail list, with whiskey cocktails being their speciality. Come down to give them a try.
The Spaniard: Don’t Miss Out on Their Great Cocktails
The next stop on this trip of exploring the best bars in Belfast was at The Spaniard which is also located in the Cathedral Quarter in Skipper Street. It is said to have been given this name because Spanish sailors used to come to this place – but who knows. It’s a small bar full of heart and has a great selection of rum. Throughout the year you will find some great live acts performing here. As well as other events such as cinema-themed evenings that are always a hit.
While we were here we tried a drink called the Dark and Stormy cocktail, that we got to prepare ourselves. Which we must say was easy to make and tasted so good. We definitely recommend asking for this cocktail when you visit the Spaniard.
Kelly Cellars: Traditional Irish Pub
The third place in the best bars in Belfast list is Kelly’s Cellars which is a traditional Irish pub that is famous for serving Guinness. It’s one of the oldest bar found in Belfast that is full of traditional values and culture. The bar is always popular with locals and tourist and you don’t want to get a pint of Guinness anywhere else in Belfast. It also offers a great outside seating area which is usually packed on any given night.
Muriel’s: Where You’ll Find The Best Selection of Gin
The next one on the best bars in Belfast list is Muriel’s Cafe Bar which is an amazing place for speciality gins. Inside this bar, we got the chance to see the barman prepare two of its famous cocktail. Known as Brockman & Elderflower Martini as well as the Espresso Martini – We were amazed by how quick and easy they are prepared and how great they tasted. Muriel’s is a cool hipster bar that is uniquely decorated throughout. We highly recommend visiting this bar with it’s friendly and welcoming staff and the mix of traditional and modern style on offer.
Duke Of York: Largest Selection of Whiskies
Our trip to explore the best bars in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is not over yet because there are still other ones which we visited. Such as The Duke of York, which is also found in the Cathedral Quarter. The Duke of York is mainly known for its whiskies, with the largest selection of whiskies in all of Ireland.
This place has a whiskey shop around the corner and we tried the whiskey known as “A Friend of Hand”; We tried it neat but there are other ways that people might prefer to drink it. And you will find a secret behind those whiskeys but you’ll have to visit to find out.
The Harp Bar: Great Pint of Guinness
The Harp Bar was another place which we have been to and where we got the chance to see how they pour the perfect Guinness. Which the barman said there are four different steps. One choosing the right glass, pouring the Guinness while the glass is at 45 degrees. Second, wait until the Guinness is all in the same colour. Thirdly, top it until the Guinness is one mm top of the glass. Finally one will have to wait until it is all black before drinking it; that’s what they call the perfect Guinness.
One of the best bars in Belfast, Harp Bar is also a great place to check out for some live music over its two floors and has hosted some famous faces such as Van Morrison. This is a pub full of Belfast spirit and you’ll feel welcomed as soon as you enter the door.
The Dirty Onion: Located in Belfast’s Oldest Building
The Dirty Union is the next bar on this long list of the best bars in Belfast and which is located in Belfast’s oldest building. This bar is amazing and different because it has a big outdoor garden, a bar, and a restaurant, so all your needs are in one place. The beer garden is also popular during summer with some live music being played that helps to create a fun atmosphere. This bar also offers a great drink selection including great whiskeys and beers that you can enjoy.
The Perch: The Perfect Rooftop Bar:
The last stop in this trip to visit the best bars in Belfast was The Perch rooftop bar, which is one of the few rooftop bars in Belfast. The Perch is famous for its speciality cocktails; we have tried their Espresso Martini which you must also try – We promise it is worth it! It’s a 1920’s style bar that’s cool and inviting. The Perch Rooftop bar is the best place to spend on a hot summers day where you can see amazing views over the city.
We have to say that we are spoiled here in Belfast when it comes to bars! So many great bars from traditional Irish pubs to modern bars, beer gardens and so much more. What is your favourite bar in Belfast? Or if you haven’t been to Belfast yet is there a bar we visited that you would like to have a drink in? We would love to know 🙂
If you’ve enjoyed reading about the Best Bars in Belfast, there are similar blogs you may want to check out: Best Cafe’s In Belfast, Best restaurants In Belfast, Cocktail Class in Belfast, The Ultimate guide to Things to do in Belfast.
If you are more interested in visiting tourist attractions other than the best bars in Belfast, such as historical places in Belfast check out some of our previous blogs – Best Tours in Belfast, Peace Walls Belfast, Botanic Gardens, St. Anne’s Cathedral, Game of Thrones Tapestry, SS Nomadic, Titanic Museum