Belfast boasts a rich heritage of unique food, and you'll find our local classic staples on the menu everywhere.
Fish and chips are a Belfast favourite. Unchanged for 100 years, John Long's Fish and Chips is 'The Best Kept Secret in Belfast'. Fish City in the city centre was voted Restaurant of the Year at the 2023 National Fish and Chip Awards, while Fin in Trademarket food court is a short walk from campus. If seafood isn't your thing, there are plenty of other options for a delicious 'supper' (in Belfast, this means something served with chips). Beatties on the Shankill Road boasts the 'best pastie supper', a good stop off while seeing the Peace Walls.
The Ulster Fry is a classic Northern Irish dish, which you'll find in many places across the city. Maggie Mays next to campus is our top pick 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.
The Welcome on Stranmillis is close to campus and great for top-notch Chinese.
There are lots of Indian restaurants nearby such as Bengal Brasserie, Himalayan Nepalese and Indian, and Nu Dehli Lounge. For affordable Thai, Bo Tree Kitchen is a canteen-style sit-down. For Japanese, check out Kamakura on the Donegall Pass or Ragin' Ramen, which offers Ramen with a Belfast twist.
There are several affordable and tasty Falafel spots on Botanic. If you fancy a kebab, check out Nora's Palace or The Sphinx, voted the 'Best Kebab House in Northern Ireland.' Get a pressed cubano sandwich at Cuban Sandwich Factory, hot pot and Korean BBQ at Steamboat, Vietnamese at Madame Pho, or Taiwanese street food at BaoBun. There is also a wide range of tapas bars, including Edo and 2Taps.
New eateries are popping up regularly across Belfast, with their stunning food often going viral on TikTok and Instagram.
At La Taqueria on Ormeau, you'll find cool Mexican-inspired food. Artisan cheese toasties are big news in Belfast, with great options at Toast Office. Wing It is hugely popular for its ‘proper’ chicken wings.
Trademarket is a brand-new, buzzing outdoor food market where you can find new favourites like Pie Queen, Baps Burgers, and Bodega Bagels.
For top breakfast and coffee options, try the Nordic-style Kaffe O or Established Coffee in the Cathedral Quarter. General Merchants on Ormeau and Town Square on Botanic are perfect for brunch with friends. Like Bubble tea and waffles? Check out Hey Boba and A Nice Sip, both next door to the Queen's campus.
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.
Belfast is a vegan-friendly city, and lots of places will have Vegan and Veggie options on their menu.
Jumon is Belfast's top vegan restaurant, serving 'Creative Asian fusion fare from plant-based ingredients, paired with cocktails in art-filled digs'. On Botanic, Umi Falafel is a must. For something spicy, Archana on the Dublin Road serves both veggie and vegan.
Good old Irish Stew can be found in many pubs across the city, but Kelly’s Cellars is the go-to, but be warned, their stew sells out quickly!
The Garrick has a dream collection of beers, cider, and whiskey, and their mashed potato is legendary. The Pavilion and Lavery’s are old favourites, while The Woodworkers has a rotating selection of craft beer to help wash down your pub grub. The Crown Liquor Saloon is one of Belfast’s most iconic pubs and is known for its snugs, comfort food, and great Guinness.
There's no shortage of high-quality, fine dining in Belfast, whether it's a special occasion or you enjoy world-class culinary experiences.
Belfast’s Michelin-starred restaurants 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. Budget stretched? Keep an eye out for deals on certain days of the week.
If you love pizza, you've come to the right place.
Pizza Punks in the Cathedral Quarter create their own masterpiece sourdough pizzas. Little Wing is another Belfast pizza mecca. It serves a 24” whopper, the biggest in the region, and has affordable lunch and dinner deals.
Boojum on Botanic Avenue is a student hotspot. At lunch, it’s a question of beating the queues, but it’s worth it for the tasty burritos!
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, you’ll find the big brands here.
Tim Hortons is the latest global chain to come to Belfast and is a great spot for doughnuts and cheap meal deals.
There's also the usual fare across the city, from McDonalds to KFC and Pizza Express. At Victoria Square shopping centre, you'll find Five Guys, Wagamama, TGI Fridays, Nandos, and Yo Sushi. Coffee chains like Costa and Starbucks are everywhere, as well as Subway.
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