Updated On: December 27, 2023 by Maha Yassin
Are you in Derry or planning to visit the county without knowing what or where to eat? We’ve been in your shoes one day. Stumbling through the streets of that beautiful country, we tried to guess which restaurant could give us an authentic and delicious experience to last us a lifetime!
After much trial and error, we found the best restaurants and pubs in Derry that combine top-notch vibes with out-of-this-world dishes. And because we don’t gatekeep, we will share all our favourite places to eat in Derry so that you know exactly where to go next time you are in town!
So, come with an empty stomach because you’re about to experience the best food you’ve ever had!
Top Places to Eat and Drink in Derry
Derry, Northern Ireland’s second-largest city, is a vibrant hub steeped in history and culture. But beyond its ancient walls and charming streets, Derry boasts a thriving culinary scene that will tantalize your taste buds. From traditional Irish pubs serving hearty stews and fresh seafood to trendy bistros showcasing global flavours, Derry’s restaurants offer something for everyone.
Whether craving a classic Ulster fry or a modern take on Asian fusion, Derry’s restaurants cater to all palates and budgets. So, come hungry and prepare to be amazed by the culinary delights that await you in this enchanting city. So, without further ado, let’s discover together the best places to eat in Derry!
1. Walled City Brewery
Address: Ebrington Square & Parade Ground, 70 Ebrington St, Londonderry
No trip to Derry is complete without experiencing the Walled City Brewery, a haven for beer lovers and foodies alike. Housed in a charming 19th-century building within the historic city walls, this family-owned establishment boasts a warm and inviting atmosphere.
But the Walled City Brewery is much more than just a pub. It’s a celebration of local flavours, with a menu showcasing Northern Ireland’s bounty. With his Michelin-starred background, Head Chef Chris “Tufty” Moran conjures up a menu of eclectic, international small plates perfect for sharing. Think juicy WCB burgers alongside inventive dishes like tempura cauliflower with sriracha mayo and haggis spring rolls with a sweet chilli dip.
Of course, no visit to the Walled City Brewery would be complete without sampling their award-winning craft beers. Brewed on-site using traditional methods, their beers range from light and refreshing lagers to rich and malty stouts. Be sure to try their signature Walled City Pale Ale, a firm favourite among locals and tourists alike.
2. Browns Bonds Hill
Address: 1 Bonds Hill, Londonderry
Ah, Browns Bonds Hill. Prepare to have your taste buds awakened by Derry’s crown jewel in fine dining. Nestled atop a verdant hill overlooking the city, this Michelin-starred restaurant is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. Imagine a chic, contemporary space bathed in natural light, with stunning panoramic views of the River Foyle and Derry’s iconic walls.
From melt-in-your-mouth scallops with cauliflower purée to succulent lamb rack with black pudding bon bon, Browns Bonds Hill’s menu is a delectable dance of flavours. Don’t miss their signature tasting menu, a carefully curated journey through Orr’s culinary artistry paired with perfectly matched wines.
Just keep in mind reservations are highly recommended, especially for weekend evenings. This Derry gem is a popular spot for discerning diners eager to experience the magic of Browns Bonds Hill. So, book your table, dress to impress, and prepare to be swept away by an unforgettable dining experience.
3. Amphora Restaurant
Address: 55 Crystal Ave, Derry
Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavours of the Mediterranean without leaving Derry! Amphora Restaurant beckons with its warm, inviting atmosphere and delectable dishes that transport your taste buds to sun-drenched shores. Step inside and be greeted by the aroma of wood-fired pizzas, fresh herbs, and sizzling seafood.
The menu at Amphora is a celebration of fresh, seasonal ingredients, showcasing the bounty of the Mediterranean. Start your journey with mezze plates featuring hummus, baba ghanoush, dolmades, and succulent grilled halloumi. Dive into the depths of flavour with a bowl of steaming mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce, or savour the catch of the day, simply grilled and drizzled with olive oil and lemon.
So, Amphora Restaurant is a must-visit in Derry whether you’re yearning for a taste of sunshine or simply seeking a delicious and authentic dining experience. Just remember, reservations are recommended, as this hidden gem is a favourite among locals and tourists alike.
4. Pyke ‘N’ Pommes
Address: N124, Strand Rd, Londonderry
Craving some good old-fashioned fish and chips, Derry-style? Look no further than Pyke ‘N’ Pommes, a local gem specializing in fresh, sustainably sourced seafood and crispy, golden fries. Imagine entering a vibrant, nautical-themed space adorned with fishing nets, vintage maps, and twinkling fairy lights. The aroma of freshly fried fish and tangy vinegar fills the air, whetting your appetite for the feast.
Pyke ‘N’ Pommes takes pride in using the finest local ingredients, ensuring the day’s freshest catch graces your plate. Indulge in classic battered cod and chips, or explore more adventurous options like tempura-battered hake or pan-seared scallops. Each dish is perfectly cooked, with the fish boasting a light, flaky texture and the batter offering a satisfyingly crispy crunch.
Pyke ‘N’ Pommes isn’t just about the food; it’s also about the atmosphere. The friendly staff and lively ambience make it an excellent spot for a casual lunch or a fun dinner with friends. They even have a selection of craft beers and local gins to complement your meal perfectly. So, whether you’re a die-hard fish and chips fan or simply looking for a delicious and sustainable seafood experience, Pyke ‘N’ Pommes is a must-try in Derry.
5. The Exchange
Address: Exchange House, Queens Quay, Londonderry
The Exchange in Derry isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a vibrant hub where foodies, craft beer enthusiasts, and music lovers converge to create an unforgettable experience. Housed in a beautifully restored Victorian building in the city’s heart, The Exchange offers something for everyone, all under one roof.
The menu at The Exchange is a delectable fusion of global flavours. Start your culinary journey with small plates, like sriracha honey chicken wings, panko-crusted halloumi bites, or Korean-style beef tacos. For a heartier option, delve into their juicy burgers, succulent steaks, or flavorful vegetarian curry. No matter your choice, every dish is prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and presented with artistic flair.
And if that’s not enough, The Exchange hosts regular live music nights, showcasing talented local and international musicians. With its vibrant atmosphere, delicious food, extensive craft beer selection, and live music, The Exchange is a must-visit for any tourist looking to experience the best of Derry’s culinary and cultural scene.
Planning an Unforgettable Culinary Experience in Derry
When planning your culinary adventure in Derry, be sure to indulge in must-try dishes at each restaurant, soak up the unique atmosphere and ambience, make reservations in advance, explore nearby attractions and activities, take advantage of unique dietary options, seek recommendations from locals, and embrace every moment to make the most of your dining experience.
Must-Try Dishes at Each Restaurant
At Walled City Brewery, you must try their signature dish, the “Derry Farmhouse Stew,” made with locally sourced ingredients like lamb and root vegetables. Browns Bonds Hill is known for its exceptional Irish cuisine, including the “Wild Atlantic Seafood Chowder” and the “Slow-cooked Glenarm Shorthorn Beef.
Amphora Restaurant offers delicious Mediterranean dishes such as the “Lamb Kleftiko,” a traditional Greek slow-cooked lamb dish. At Pyke ‘N’ Pommes, choosing one signature dish is hard. But if we must, then we recommend trying “The Pyke Special” —flaky, battered cod and pan-seared scallops, both cooked to perfection. Served with their golden, fluffy fries and homemade tartar sauce, it’s a true celebration of classic fish and chips done right.
Lastly, at The Exchange, don’t miss out on their Lebanese-inspired menu featuring highlights like the flavorful Lamb Shawarma Wrap and refreshing Tabbouleh Salad.
Atmosphere and Ambience
The atmosphere and ambience of the top restaurants in Derry are truly unforgettable. From cosy and intimate settings to trendy and modern vibes, each restaurant offers a unique experience for diners.
Walled City Brewery has a rustic charm with its exposed brick walls and brewery equipment on display. Browns Bonds Hill exudes elegance with its stylish decor and sophisticated lighting.
Amphora Restaurant creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere with its Mediterranean-inspired interior. Pyke ‘N’ Pommes is a great local eatery with a friendly atmosphere, perfect for a casual night out with friends.
Mama Masala offers a vibrant ambience with its colourful Indian decor and lively music. The Exchange boasts a trendy industrial-chic look, perfect for those seeking a hip dining spot.
Reservations and Booking Process
To make reservations and book a table at the top restaurants in Derry, it is recommended that you call ahead or book online to secure your spot. Many popular establishments can get busy, especially during peak or weekend hours.
By making a reservation in advance, you ensure that you have a table waiting for you and avoid any disappointment. Some restaurants may require a deposit or credit card details to confirm your booking.
It’s also helpful to mention any special dietary requirements when making your reservation so that the restaurant can accommodate your needs. Planning will ensure a smooth and enjoyable dining experience in Derry!
Nearby Attractions and Activities
Derry~Londonderry has a range of attractions and activities to offer visitors. For history lovers, the famous Derry City Walls provide panoramic city views. The Tower Museum is also worth a visit, with its exhibits on Derry’s rich history.
Nature lovers can explore the beautiful Peace Bridge and stroll along the River Foyle. If you want to grab a quick bite away from fancy restaurants, check out the Walled City Market for local produce and artisanal goods.
If you’re in the mood to go shopping, Foyleside Shopping Centre has many stores. And don’t forget to visit Guildhall Square, where you can enjoy live music events and cultural performances.
Special Dietary Options
We understand that having special dietary requirements can be a concern when dining out. However, you don’t have to worry in Derry, as plenty of options are available for those with specific needs.
Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or have food allergies, many restaurants in Derry offer dishes tailored to your requirements. For example, Cedar Restaurant offers a range of vegetarian and vegan options made with fresh local ingredients.
Mama Masala also caters to different diets by providing gluten- and dairy-free choices. So, no matter your dietary preferences or restrictions, you’ll still be able to enjoy Derry’s delicious culinary offerings without any worries.
Tip on How to Make the Most of Your Dining Experience
To make the most of your dining experience in Derry, here’s a tip: try the must-try dishes at each restaurant. Walled City Brewery is known for its craft beers, so sample a few with your meal.
At Browns Bonds Hill, we recommend trying their mouthwatering contemporary Irish cuisine, like their famous slow-cooked beef cheek. For an authentic Mediterranean experience, head to Amphora Restaurant and savour delicious Greek dishes like moussaka and souvlaki. If you’re in the mood for Asian fusion cuisine, Mama Masala is the place to go – try their aromatic biryanis or creamy butter chicken.
In conclusion, Derry is a must-visit destination for food lovers. With its top-notch restaurants like Walled City Brewery and Mama Masala, you’ll have an unforgettable culinary journey. Don’t forget to explore the city’s historical sites and scenic walks for a complete experience. So pack your bags and get ready to indulge in Derry’s gastronomic treasures!
Where can you find the best fish and chips in Derry?
Derry has plenty of fantastic classic fish and chips eateries. From Pyke ‘N’ Pommes to The Harbour Bar, each restaurant offers a selection of delicious seafood dishes alongside crispy fries that you’ll absolutely devour!
Are there any kid-friendly restaurants in Derry?
Of course! Frankie & Benny’s and Prezzo in Derry are Italian restaurants with amazing kid-friendly menus. They offer pizzas, burgers, different kinds of pasta, and many other dishes that children and adults would enjoy.
What are the most romantic restaurants in Derry?
Browns Bonds Hill and Amphora Restaurant are two of the most romantic restaurants in Derry. They offer a beautiful romantic vibe that you and your partner will absolutely love!
Where can you find the best pubs with live music?
Derry is stocked full of pubs, just like any other true Irish city. Live music is a big part of pub culture; you can find live acts in many establishments around the city. The Exchange and Peadar O’Donnell’s are two of the most popular pubs to visit when seeking some great music to go with your food.