Northern Ireland Restaurants

Belfast has experienced an influx of au courant and internationally influenced restaurants, bistros, wine bars, and—as in Dublin—European-style café-bars where you can get good food most of the day and linger over a drink. Local produce and seasonal creativity are the order of the day with top-quality fresh local meat and experimental chefs constantly trying out new ideas. Traditional dishes, of course, still dominate some menus and include Guinness-and-beef pie; steak, chicken and pork; champ (creamy, buttery mashed potatoes with scallions); oysters from Strangford Lough; Ardglass herring; mussels from Dundrum; and smoked salmon from Glenarm. By the standards of the United States, or even the rest of the United Kingdom, restaurant prices can be surprisingly moderate. A service charge of 10% may be added to the bill; it's customary to pay this, unless the service was bad.

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  • 1. Carrick Cottage Café

    $ | Mourne Mountains | Irish

    Venture a few miles south of Newcastle and a 10-minute drive toward Annalong to Head Road where hedgerows are replaced by stone walls to find...Read More

  • 2. Deanes Restaurant

    $$$ | Central District | European

    For 25 years Michael Deane has been the leader of the Belfast culinary pack, and his flagship operation has three distinct restaurants in one...Read More

  • 3. Harry's Shack

    $$ | Irish

    With its raw wooden tables, wood-burning stove, sand on the floor, and outdoor terrace, this beachside restaurant in Portstewart, about 20 minutes...Read More

  • 4. Made in Belfast: Cathedral Quarter

    $$ | Cathedral Quarter | Irish

    This self-styled "restolounge" in the happening Cathedral Quarter is one of Belfast's buzziest bistros and is especially popular with weekend...Read More

  • 5. Ox Restaurant

    $$$ | Central District | Irish

    You’d be hard-pressed to eat this well, for so little money, in such relaxed surroundings anywhere else in Northern Ireland or indeed the whole...Read More

  • 6. Primrose

    $ | Beech Hill | Irish

    Part restaurant and café, part cocktail bar, part French-style patisserie, Primrose overlooks the Quay and is all raves from Derry foodies....Read More

  • 7. Pyke 'N' Pommes

    $ | West Bank | Irish

    It started out serving high quality street food from a truck, then migrated to a converted shipping container and later to "Decky," a double...Read More

  • 8. The Ginger Bistro

    $$ | Golden Mile | Irish

    Modern Irish classics with an international twist attract the foodie crowd to this cheerful bistro just off Great Victoria Street, which was...Read More

  • 9. The Great Room

    $$$$ | Cathedral Quarter | European

    Inside the lavish Merchant Hotel, beneath the grand dome of this former bank's great hall and Ireland's biggest chandelier, find the perfect...Read More

  • 10. The Morning Star

    $ | Central District | Irish

    Halfway down a narrow lane is the 19th-century Morning Star, one of the city's most historic pubs, first built as a coaching stop for the Belfast...Read More

  • 11. Browns in Town

    $$ | Central District | Irish

    The owner, Ian Orr, a former maestro chef who has handed over the cooking to others, has put Derry on the culinary map and in particular this...Read More

  • 12. Brunel's

    $$ | Mourne Mountains | Irish

    A huge mural on brick walls features a top-hatted Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this relaxed seafood restaurant's namesake and a famous figure in...Read More

  • 13. Café Parisien

    $$ | Central District | French

    Taking its name from the eponymous first-class café on RMS Titanic, Café Parisien divides itself into a downstairs creprerie and a stylish...Read More

  • 14. Claudes Cafe

    $ | Central District | Café

    Say nothin' till ye see Claude," was a famous old Derry saying in the days when Claude Wilton, a solicitor and civil rights campaigner represented...Read More

  • 15. Coppi

    $$ | Cathedral Quarter | Italian

    The small dishes known as cicchetti, beloved of Venetian bars and a counterpart to tapas, draw the crowds to Coppi in the ever-popular Cathedral...Read More

  • 16. Denvir's Coaching Inn Restaurant

    $ | Irish

    In this atmospheric, whitewashed coaching inn dating to 1642, noted for its architectural merit, exposed oak beams, stone floors, and a large...Read More

  • 17. Established Coffee

    $ | Cathedral Quarter | Irish

    In a world of behemoth coffee chains it is heart-warming to find an independent store creating a funky vibe serving freshly ground beans from...Read More

  • 18. Fitzroy's

    $ | Central District | European

    Great-value portions of burgers, steaks, lamb shank, fish, and Caesar salads are dinner favorites at this popular city-center brasserie that...Read More

  • 19. James Street & Co.

    $$ | Central District | Irish

    The mainstay of this classy city-center big hitter with an epic reputation is County Tyrone sirloin, rib-eye, or beef fillet steaks as well...Read More

  • 20. Joe Jackson's Ice Cream Parlour and Café

    $ | West Bank | Irish

    If you feel like a treat, several dozen colorful flavors of ice cream including chocolate, honeycomb, mint, and Ferrero Rocher are available...Read More

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