First time in Belfast?! You need to have a plan about how to spend your vacation in this beautiful city. Besides tourist attractions, your itinerary should include places to dine in. Remember, food is always part of the joy of a trip to a foreign country. The menu is the keyword here!
At least this time, you won’t have to go with the global fast food chains. After all, a McChicken or some McNuggets from McDonald’s are the last you could be asking for in a city famous for its signature dishes. While in Belfast, you need to sample some of its traditional flavours together with contemporaries. You need to have a taste of the most popular dishes and beverages for your travel experience to be complete.
Now, this article will give you a glimpse of what you should eat while in Belfast. Here you will also find a review of the best restaurants you should not miss during your stay.
Eating in Belfast
Belfast is one of the cities whose cuisine is super tasty and super delicious. Its unique recipes have become characteristic of the city and have been given the thumb up by the majority of visitors. If you have a different opinion, that would probably be because you have not had authentic Belfastian treats yet.
If you are in Belfast and have not had a taste of its water-mouthing Irish stew, you have lost the whole foodie experience. This dish is a tradition of Belfast, and if you go through reviews, you will find it on top of the list of best-ranked Belfastian dishes.
Another local dish that is a must-try while in Belfast is the Ulster fry. Have your sausages, fried eggs, and bread baked with beans and mushrooms and served for a nice and yummy breakfast that will surely make the rest of your day.
Potato as you go
An excellent side dish would surely be the Irish champ. It is a mixture of chopped potatoes, scallions, butter, and milk, whose texture is similar to mashed potatoes It is served with your main dish of choice. It is one of many Belfastian recipes that have potato as their basic ingredients, such as potato pancakes and potato bread farl. Make sure to try them as recommended morning dishes.
Had your meal served? Now is the time for the most traditional dessert of Belfast – “Fifteens”. This is a Northern Irish cake, whose recipe contains 15 of each of the ingredients, such as cookies, marshmallows, cherries, and coconuts. That’s why it is called “Fifteen” and it is served with a cup of tea, much to your relaxation.
What are the Best Belfast Restaurants to Dine in?
Belfast is the place to enjoy a meal. Numerous restaurants, however, make it such a difficult choice to pick the best place to pamper your stomach. This article will help you shortlist your dining-ins for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here’s the best of the best in Belfast!
The Muddlers Club Restaurant
Scrolling down their website, precisely under the “About” section, you will find a list of awards obtained by The Muddlers Club, which is considered somewhat new in the business. The awards date back to 2015, when The Muddlers Club landed the “Best Restaurant Antrim, Irish Restaurant Awards”. In 2016 it was granted the “Best Restaurant, Ulster Tatler Award”, and in 2018 it got the “Commendation Irish Food and Wine Awards”. Finally, it was awarded one Michelin Star by The Michelin Guide for Great Britain & Ireland in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.
This must have given you an idea about what quality of food you are into. In this restaurant, you will find classic dishes with modern seasoning. The menu is both tasting and vegetarian. So, you will find a dish to your liking. Not just that! They have an open kitchen that is much like a theatre through which you can watch your meal getting prepared right before your eyes. This also is part of the experience at The Muddlers Club Restaurant. You can find them in Unit 1, Warehouse Lane, Belfast.
This is where you can experience the taste of the traditional Irish cuisine. Everything here is top-rated, from the location in the heart of Belfast to the authentic Irish foodies and reasonable service prices. The interior design adds to the classic nature of Holohan’s Pantry.
They serve dishes that take on traditional Irish meals. The menu of this family-owned restaurant includes steak sandwiches, salads, fish, and soup. But they are best known for their “boxty” – a potato and buttermilk dish. They have an “early bird” and a “breakfast” menu coming soon, so you might want to try that as well.
This restaurant also offers an online booking service through its “Book a table” page. All you have to do is just select the date and time and they are all set to welcome you to the warm atmosphere of their comforting two-storey Victorian house.
You can find Holohan’s Pantry at 43 University Road, Belfast. They are close to Queen’s University and next to Villa Italia. Make sure not to go past it, while you are still in Belfast.
This is another family-run restaurant that serves classic dishes. Their mains include Irish Chicken, Irish Ham, and Irish Stew. With some tweaks from the present, traditional dishes are made up of top-notch local ingredients that would keep your appetite up.
Located in the heart of Belfast, Darcy’s menu also features fish and vegetarian dishes. There is no doubt about it; you will find your craving in the fantastic ambiance of this traditional eatery. You can find them at 10 Bradbury Place, Belfast.
Overlooking the River of Lagan, this restaurant pays great attention to vegetables and fruit, serving them as mains on their menu, which also includes fish and meat. That’s why it is very popular among vegetarians.
Awarded a Michelin Star, OX Belfast would be such a top gastronomic experience after you have had your aperitif at the cave next to it, the “Cave by Ox”. It is open for lunch and dinner from Thursday to Saturday. On Wednesdays, only dinner is served. You can find them at 1 Oxford Street, Belfast.
This award-winning restaurant has been in the business since 2005. Three months after their inauguration, Molly’s Yard got the “Best Newcomer Ulster” award from the Restaurant Association of Ireland.
Choosing to dine at Molly’s Yard, you should arrive with an empty stomach to have your big share of refined Irish dishes that contain local produce of beef, venison, and seabream. Besides the tasting menu, this restaurant has many vegetarian options on its vegan menu. A menu for children is also available at Molly’s Yard. And guess what? Dogs are allowed to their outdoor dining area. This place sure has its guests covered.
It opens Monday through Saturday and closes on Sundays. You can find them at 1 College Green Mews, Botanic Avenue, Belfast.
The Dirty Onion & Yardbird
Now that’s something to see!! Housed inside Belfast’s oldest building was constructed back in 1780, the Dirty Onion constitutes a modern take on traditional Irish pubs. You will enjoy live music as you have your drink inside this low-ceiled place, whose courtyard stretches out to Hill Street.
Upstairs is Yardbird. It is a rotisserie chicken restaurant. Here you will order your chicken and see it as it is being cooked before your eyes. The menu is not big, but the taste is out of this world!! Their chickens are marinated in lemon, buttermilk, and paprika for 24 hours before they are cooked and served to guests. It will be like so much yummy in your tummy!!
Bookings are allowed for up to 6 people per table. Otherwise, Yardbird operates on a first-come, first-served basis. It is open all days of the week from noon to 11:00 p.m. You can find them on 3 Hill Street, Belfast.
Here you will enjoy your meal in the company of live music playing seven nights a week. It is a family-operated restaurant that has a tantalising gastro menu and features fresh local produce.
Served with love, lunch could be ordered all day from noon onwards. Granny Annies also serves traditional roasts on Sundays. A children’s menu is also available here.
Big Granny’s Fry is served for breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Fridays to Sundays, and the a la carte menu is served from 3:00 p.m. till late at night. The restaurant’s beautiful décour and cosy atmosphere will make you feel as if you are really at your granny’s. It is an Irish trad in every sense of the word. You can find them at 81 Chichester Street, Belfast.
The Ginger Bistro
Voted the best restaurant in Northern Ireland, The Ginger Bistro of Belfast serves lunch pre-theatre and dinner with homemade bread that makes dishes even tastier. It is the place where you can have a good Irish meal from their local and classic cuisine.
Besides the mains and sides, The Ginger Bistro also has homemade puddings to be served as dessert. You can also order after-dinner drinks or green bean coffee from their menu, which has plenty of options to choose from.
The Ginger Bistro is open on Wednesdays through Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. Reservations are recommended for dinner. The Ginger Bistro is located at 68/72 Great Victoria Street, Belfast.
Dining in Belfast is so Much Fun!
Yes!!! Belfast is a city that has a good taste for food. The eating experience here is like no other place, and the local ingredients are premium. Good hospitality defines almost every restaurant in Belfast and attracts many diners. Eating in Belfast is indeed an all-excellent experience from booking in to booking out.