When considering countries with fabulous culinary scenes, Italy and France may come to mind. Countries in the UK typically don’t make the list. However, Northern Ireland’s capital city, Belfast, is changing things up a bit.
Where to Eat in Belfast
Northern Ireland’s capital is riddled with a tumultuous past. However, present-day Belfast is covered with colorful, cobbled streets dotted with quaint cafes, stores, and fine dining restaurants serving farm-to-table local dishes and international cuisine. Each restaurant has its own unique character, whether that be walls decorated with modern art, aromatic peat burning in the fireplace, or closed-off snugs for dining in private. There are enough fabulous restaurants in Belfast to satisfy every holiday, day of the week or special occasion. We spent a long weekend in Belfast and came to this realization quickly. Therefore, we did some serious research as to Belfast’s best places to get some tasty treats, and were content with each choice.
The following is our eclectic selection of top dining choices for reasonably priced cuisine in Belfast…
The Gallery Cafe’s industrial chic vibe resembles that of New York’s meatpacking district. It boasts a Feng Shui concept, stunning crystal chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling artwork, locally sourced and organic ingredients, and really, really good coffee. Gluten free or vegan? No worries! They have menu that will cater to your every dietary need. It is the perfect venue to indulge in a delicious nosh while viewing artwork by both local and well-established artists.
Situated next to the historic Ulster Hall, The Harlem Cafe is a trendy and fun spot to enjoy local fare. The rooms are furnished with eclectic antique decorations and artwork, cool ceiling decor and quirky dish ware. The atmosphere is sophisticated and classy while maintaining a low-cost price tag. A restaurant specialty is the superfood salad, a jumble of power greens, delicious meats, smoked fish and more.
The historic Crown Bar, a former Victorian gin palace, is a must-see in Belfast. The Crown Bar was opened in 1885 but was recently bought and renovated by the National Trust in 1978. It feels as if you enter a time warp when you walk through the ornate stained glass doors. This venue is the embodiment of what we would call a “traditional pub”, as it offers cozy snugs to enjoy the food in private. Its decoratively carved ceilings, tiled mosaics and beautiful stained glass oozes character. Most noteworthy, however, is the traditional Irish food which complements the atmosphere nicely.
The Cathedral Quarter
Down the narrow Pottinger’s Entry alley is The Morning Star, a 19th century ale house . This little gem maintains it original structure and feel because it was one of few buildings in the area to survive the Belfast Blitz. The best part about this venue is how they pride themselves on supporting local farmers and producers by using fresh, locally sourced and grown foods as often as possible. The entrés were fairly priced and the portions were larger than expected!
Another noteworthy restaurant in the Cathedral quarter is the Dirty Onion. The Dirty Onion is an indoor and outdoor pub and restaurant serving delicious treats while boasting a lively atmosphere. This venue has two different restaurants within – The Yardbird upstairs, where you can get every variety of chicken possible, and the downstairs dining area, where they serve traditional Irish fare. Therefore, this is the perfect venue to satisfy a variety of tastebuds! Additionally, this beer garden has an awesome peat fire inside, live music 7 days a week, AND they are dog friendly.
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