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. 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. A short but...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Thompson's Restaurant

    $ | Central District | Irish

    On the banks of the River Foyle, this airy and cool main restaurant of the City Hotel takes its name from the old Thompson's Mill that once...Read More

  • 4. Coppi

    $ | Cathedral Quarter | Italian

    The small dishes known as cicchetti , beloved of Venetian bars and a counterpart to tapas, draw the crowds to Coppi, one of the new breed of...Read More

  • 5. Denvir's Coaching Inn

    $ | Irish

    In this wonderfully atmospheric whitewashed coaching inn dating to 1642, exposed oak beams, stone floors, and a large open fireplace testify...Read More

  • 6. The Northern Whig

    $ | Central District | European

    Housed in an elegant former newspaper building in Belfast's historic Cathedral Quarter, the Northern Whig is spacious and stylish. Three 30...Read More

  • 7. Whitefort Bar & Restaurant

    $ | West Belfast | Irish

    Beside Casement Park—home ground of the Antrim Gaelic Athletic Club—this lively and impressive bar and restaurant is just the place to catch...Read More

  • 8. Zen

    $$ | Central District | Japanese

    The standout dish at Belfast's finest Japanese restaurant is the rare (and expensive) Chilean sea bass, also known as the Patagonian toothfish...Read More

  • 9. Nick's Warehouse

    $$ | Cathedral Quarter | European

    Ever since 1989, the energetic Nick Price has presided over a cozy wine bar and buzz-filled restaurant on a narrow cobbled street in Cathedral...Read More

  • 10. Drennans Restaurant

    $$ | University Area | Irish

    A magnificently restored stained-glass window featuring St. Cecilia (the patron saint of musicians) playing her pipes and looking down on diners...Read More

  • 11. Halo Pantry and Grill

    $ | Central District | Irish

    In the shadow of Derry's Walls and spread over three floors, Halo Pantry, in a former shirt factory, covers the eating spectrum from a quick...Read More

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