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Top Ten Cafes Within Walking Distance of Queen’s

The weekends are a lovely chance to bond with new friends and due to my love of exploring new places and food, I would always suggest a brunch. These are my current top ten brunch spots.

Students sitting on bench outside Junction cafe

Brew and Bake

My ultimate favourite coffee shop, located on Lisburn Road and only a 10 minute walk from Elms Village. It has become increasingly more popular on TikTok with the most divine cinnamon crunch french toast, as well as its notorious s'mores hot chocolate (ask for a hot chocolate with marshmallow fluff). They also have a wide variety of baked goods with their cinnamon rolls selling out before 11am.

Hot chocolate from Brew and Bake

Maggie Mays

A classic Irish cafe. We visited the one right at the heart of Queen’s, between Malone Road and Stranmillis Road. The number of options is incredible, with so many choices for vegetarians/vegans. I chose the Sourdough French Toast and my boyfriend, upon visiting Belfast for the first time, had to get the Full Fry. It may look busy, but that is for a reason and the service time is rapid so do not worry, you will get a seat.

Pancakes from Maggie Mays

The Mill

A perfect lunch spot selling bagels galore. From their own set menu ranging from breakfast options such as The Boss, which my friend would argue is better than a McDonalds Sausage and Egg McMuffin, to their build your own option which is an easy route to please everyone. Not to mention the parmesan and truffle fries. Also, their price is very appealing on a student budget.

Bagel from The Mill

Café Melrose

The friendliest waiter made our experience all the more special. A welcoming place with warm hearty food for a cold and rainy day in Belfast. Simple, but just what was needed was the Porridge, a size perfect for Daddy Bear in Goldilocks. Walking through the cafe you are hit by an abundance of lovely smells that make the already bubbly atmosphere extra pleasing.

Porridge from Melrose Cafe


Set within the Cathedral quarter of Belfast right by the famous umbrella street, it can be paired with a day exploring the city centre. The french toast again was top notch and very filling, preparing us for the upcoming week of university.

French toast from Neighbourhood cafe

Established Coffee

A bit of a further walk away, but a much-deserved walk once you reach this cosy cafe, with its communal table that allows for a more community feel within the cafe. A spot to try if you love tea and coffee, with a wide variety of loose-leaf teas and selling lots of different types of coffee. They also sell coffee beans that could be a perfect gift for any coffee lover.


The most instagrammable cafe, winning the best decor of the list, probably added to by the fact we went during the Halloween season. With its rustic design also serving up classic dishes such as an Irish Breakfast, Fish Finger Sandwiches and Mac and Cheese. It really is an option at any time of the day. From going with my family on our first trip to Belfast and back again in October, it was a crowd pleaser.

Interior of Harlem Cafe

French Village

There are a few French Villages around Belfast from the food store to the cafe on Botanic, which I highly recommend. With a twist on the typical Irish Breakfast serving up a French Breakfast, but still with the staples of Potato and Soda Bread. As a Vegetarian I chose the Vegan Stack and I can definitely recommend it to anyone, not just vegetarians/vegans. From the fresh vegetables to chewy sourdough it was just what I had imagined, and more.

Bob and Berts

To any international/GB students who may not have heard of Bob and Berts, it is a well-known chain here in NI. A classic cafe that can satisfy a sweet or savoury craving. I highly recommend the caramel square or a candy cane hot chocolate (a festive special unfortunately not all year round).

Check out more cafe recommendations from student Kathryn!

Caffe Nero

For your coffee pick me up, Caffe Nero can be found all around the city. The one I would recommend is the one on University Road set in a beautiful old building with lots of outdoor seating for soaking up the sun. If you really love pastries, I would recommend trying to get a Too Good to Go bag, the same fresh pastries, for less money.

There are so many more places I have yet to try but in my 3 years I will make it a mission to try as many as possible, as although lots of my time will be spent studying it is also important you give yourself a break!

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Elsa Heyworth

Psychology | Undergraduate student | England, United Kingdom

I am a first year Psychology student from Manchester, England. Outside of my studies I love to swim and use the gym as well as baking and watching Great British Bake Off every Tuesday night. As a first year student who has dealt with homesickness, I can answer any worries or queries you may have.

Elsa Heyworth