Belfast has built a strong reputation as a foodie destination. Local cafes and niche delicatessens have popped up around the city, each offering a unique range of tastes and flavourful combinations that would excite any palate.
Check out our list of the best cafes in Belfast and make any excuse you can think of to go visit them!
Canteen is a small café located on the Ormeau Road, Belfast. Although the premises are small, the flavour is big. They are known for creating unique lunch dishes that hit your mouth with a slap of seasoned delight. This spot is a cult classic for one of the best cafes in Belfast.
The buttermilk chicken is a personal favourite and miles better than any KFC you have ever had. But if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat then the French toast with the caramelised banana, pecans and berries is to die for – and death by syrupy flavour isn’t a terrible way to go.
Location: 322 Ormeau Road Belfast
Monday – Saturday 8am – 5pm
Sunday 9am – 5pm.
*The kitchen stops serving at 4pm
Neighbourhood has recently opened up just across from St Anne’s Cathedral and has quickly become one of the most popular cafes in Belfast. It has built a strong reputation for its special blend of rich, flavourful coffee and for their creative and eccentric dishes.
The popular spot puts a twist on the traditional brunch menu. With dishes like their Mushroom Toast, with caramelised leek rarebit, garlic mushroom and coriander dressing – it’s not hard to imagine that this is a step up from your usual tea and toast.
Location: 60 Donegall St, Belfast BT1 2GT
Monday, Thursday, Friday: 7:30am – 4pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8:30am – 5pm
Tues – Wed: Closed
3. Output espresso
A quick glance at their Instagram page and you’ll be drooling over your screen. Output espresso offers incredible unique dishes that smack flavour into your mouth. A favourite of mine is their take on a scotch egg – their version includes a lining of black pudding as opposed to sausage meat, and it’s deep fried to golden crispy perfection.
They also offer a selection of tempting cocktails, perfect to pair with an already indulgent brunch. You really won’t know which dishes to select when visiting Output espresso, but that’s ok because it’s just another excuse to go back!
Location: 479 Lisburn Road
Monday – Saturday: 8am – 5pm
Sunday: 9am – 5pm
*The kitchen stops serving at 4pm.
West has become an institution for providing incredible tasty sandwiches. It has been in business for over 20 years and was originally based in the city centre of Belfast. Following the Primark fire however, the sandwich shop made its way to Duncairn Avenue where their loyal customers followed them like flock of devoted sheep.
The Mexican chicken panini is a cult classic, but other specials like their Jerk chicken or Harissa chicken have earned their place too. It’s also worth mentioning that the croutons used in their salads are addictive, they are like no other croutons you have ever tasted.
West continues to provide mouth-watering sandwiches and salads to its customers and whilst they no longer have sitting in premises (it’s collection or delivery only) that doesn’t matter, because you would happily eat their sandwiches or salads sitting on the floor.
Don’t expect a bland ham and cheese sandwich when visiting West, be prepared to experience bold flavour and unique flavour combinations. Go to West, for the best, of the sandwich test.
Location: City Business Park, Unit 41 North, Duncairn Gardens, BT15 2GG
Monday – Friday: 9am – 3.30pm
5. Café Melrose
Café Melrose is located on the Lisburn Road and is a popular spot for providing locals with some tasty lunch options from their exquisite deli range. They also provide one of the tastiest traditional fry’s you can get in Belfast, with their mouth watering sausages and perfectly cooked soda bread, this fry will set you up for the whole day.
Café Melrose also has a delicious range of ice-cream flavours, sweet treat options and indulgent milkshakes, it’s a great spot for the whole family to enjoy a spot of lunch, breakfast and even dinner. For some proper, traditional and tasty Belfast food, visit Café Melrose.
Location: 207 Lisburn Road, BT9 7EJ
Monday – Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 4pm
If there is such a place as sandwich heaven, then NRSH stands guard at the pearly gates. They create mouth-watering sandwiches packed with delicious ingredients between two slices of toasted ciabatta bread.
Some of their exceptional additions to their sandwiches include the honey roasted ham and the Ballymaloe relish. They also provide an excellent range of vegan sandwiches, filled with flavourful falafel and the freshest of ingredients.
NRSH are not only sandwich artists, but they also provide warming hearty soups and healthy salad bowls. Visit NRSH in Belfast city centre and fall in love with these amazing lunch specials.
Location: 46 Howard St, Belfast, BT1 6PG
Monday – Friday: 8am – 2pm
Saturday: 9am – 1pm
7. The Pocket
Last, but by no means least on the list, is The Pocket located in Belfast City centre. The Pocket serves incredible dishes that would excite any keen foodie. They combine bold flavours and seasonal ingredients to create dishes that pack a real punch of flavour.
Their range of dishes include delicious vegan options, heart warming lunches and fresh, tasty salads. They also have a selection of decadent bakes and cakes that pair well with a cup of their warm and beautifully blended coffee, it is truly one of the nicest cafes in Belfast.
Location: 68 Upper Church Ln, Belfast, BT1 4LG
Monday – Friday: 8am – 3pm
Saturday: 8.30am – 4pm.
Sunday: 9am – 4pm
Best Cafes in Belfast
Belfast has quickly become a foodie destination, providing a range of incredibly delicious and unique dishes from local independent cafes. For lunch, brunch or tasty treats, visit any of these establishments for that culinary experience with the best cafes in Belfast.
Still thirsty? check out this blog for the best places for a cocktail in Belfast.