Belfast boasts a rich heritage of unique food, and you’ll find our local classic staples on the menu everywhere, especially fish and chips.
Longs is a Belfast tradition. Unchanged for 100 years, it’s ‘The Best Kept Secret in Belfast’. Beatties on the Shankill Road boasts the 'best pastie supper', a good stop off while seeing the Peace Walls. Fish City on Anne Street in the city centre was voted best seafood establishment at Food Awards NI 2019.
A ‘supper’ in Belfast means something served with chips. The Ulster Fry is a classic Northern Irish dish, which you’ll find in many places across the city. In around the University Quarter, try Maggie May’s, Cafe Conor and The Other Place for a fix of bacon, eggs, sausages, potato bread and soda bread.
Belfast is steeped in the culture of Chinese food, and takeaway or sit-down restaurants are everywhere.
There are lots of Indian restaurants nearby such as Bengal Brasserie, Himalayan Nepalese and Indian restaurant and Nu Dehli lounge. For affordable Thai, Bo Tree University Avenue, is a canteen-style sit-down. Welcome on Stranmillis is great for top notch Chinese, while Sakura on Botanic and Kamakura on Donegall Pass do great Japanese food.
There’s a wide range of tapas bars, including Edo, 2Taps, Coppi and Buba. There’s a number of affordable and tasty Falafel spots on Botanic, and Nora’s Palace or Deerah Belfast for Lebanese. Get a pressed cubano sandwich at Cuban Sandwich Factory, Japanese hot pot at Ma Xiao Xuan, Korean BBQ at Steamboat, Vietnamese at Madame Pho, Taiwanese street food at BaoBun, or fresh ramen at Bia Rebel.
New eateries are popping up regularly across Belfast, with their stunning food often going viral on TikTok and Instagram.
At No. 1 in Stranmillis, and La Taqueria on Ormeau you'll find cool Mexican inspired food. Go to Sumocat or Oishi for great sushi in the University area. Artisan cheese toasties are big news in Belfast, with great options at Melter and the Toast Office.
Common Market is a buzzing indoor street food market, with live music and food options from poutine to burgers.
For top coffee and breakfast options, try Pocket across from Queen’s, Kaffe O - a nordic style cafe or Established Coffee in the Cathedral Quarter. Town Square, on Botanic, mixes breakfast, brunch and dinner menus.
For your ice cream fix, Nugelato is a popular student hangout. Sticky Fingers dessert lounge, and Maggie Mays are great options for all things sweet and shakes, and head to Brew and Bake or Bob and Berts Stranmillis for amazing cake.
Like everywhere, Veganism is increasing in popularity and Belfast is vegan-friendly.
Lots of places will have Vegan and Veggie options built into menus. Umi Falafel is both vegan and veggie, so you get the best of both worlds. For something spicy, Archana on the Dublin Road also serves both veggie and vegan. In Lavery’s Woodworkers there’s tons of gastro-pub options. Other favourites are Jumon, serving 'Creative Asian fusion fare from plant-based ingredients, paired with cocktails in art-filled digs', and Yugo, serving flavours of Asia with an Irish twist.
Good old Irish Stew can be found in many pubs across the city, but Kelly’s Cellars is the go-to, Bank Street, Belfast.
The Garrick, has a dream collection of draft and bottled beers, and is a popular lunchtime haunt. The Morning Star, Pottinger’s Entry is an old favourite as is the Pavilion on the Ormeau Road, and Lavery’s Bradbury Place - one of Belfast’s oldest and best-known pubs. The Crown Liquor Saloon, Victoriana + snugs = steak-and-pale-ale-pie-perfection.
There's no shortage of high quality, fine dining to be had in Belfast, whether it's a special occasion, or you enjoy world-class, culinary experiences.
Michelin starred restaurants in Belfast are the beautiful Eipic, Ox, with its intimate riverside setting, and the Muddlers Club, named after the secret society that met there over 200 years ago. James Street South Bar and Grill, is also a Belfast favourite. Can’t afford it? Keep an eye out for midweek deals.
Firm favourites, with a twist: Umi Falafel on Botanic does the best halloumi wraps.
Pizza Punks in the Cathedral Quarter, offer pizzas with attitude and Reggie's stone fired pizzas in Queen's Quarter are becoming legendary. Boojum took off in Botanic selling amazing burritos and is a student hotspot. At lunch, it’s a question of beat the queues but its worth it! Little Wing is another Belfast pizza mecca. It serves a 24” whopper, the biggest in the region. Killer kebabs? Try the award-winning Sphinx on Stranmillis.
The City Food and Craft Market, St George’s Market, every Saturday, is a bazaar of smells, tastes and foodie attractions.
Local produce, live music and events make it a must-do weekend stop, with an electric atmosphere. Sample anything from wild boar, tapas and cheeses to French pastries and crepes. At the seasonal Twilight Market, pop-up restaurants and food and drink producers gather in the evening to celebrate all that’s good about local food.
Like all major cities the big brands have also landed in Belfast.
There's the usual fare across the city, from McDonalds to KFC and Pizza Express, but under the dome in Victoria Square, Belfast's shopping Mecca, find Five Guys, Wagamama, TGI Fridays, Nandos and Yo Sushi, as well as coffee experts Costa and Starbucks. The latter, you'll find all over the city and in the University Quarter, as well as the go-to for subs and salads, Subway. For coffee and donuts, Tim Horton's is the latest global chain to come to Belfast.
FOOD SHOPPING IN BELFAST
Watch Malaysian student Darshana's guide to where to buy everything from rice to spices and where to get good deals in Belfast.
- Junction, Main Site Tower
- Hope Café, McClay Library
- Clements, MBC and PEC
- Krem Coffee, David Keir Building & ECIT Building
- Deanes At Queens, College Gardens
- Café Cranberry, INTO Centre, Lennoxvale
- Panama Café, BT2, McClintock Street
- The Speakeasy, 92-96 Lisburn Road