My Top Picks for Dinner and Drinks in Belfast
Everyone needs a little treat to look forward to from time to time - final year Medicine student Kathryn shares her top spots in the city to check out.
Whether it’s date night, a night out with your flatmates or a major celebration like graduation, Belfast isn’t short of great places to eat out and enjoy good food and a nice cocktail (or mocktail). I’ve included some of my tried and true faves from around Belfast - I promise these will not disappoint!
Close to campus
New to Belfast last year, Orto is my top recommendation at nearly all times of day (seriously, check out their pastries in the morning) but at dinnertime, they really excel. The menu serves up some of Belfast’s best pizzas and small plates, with gluten free and vegan options available, while their drinks menu covers classic cocktails and a wide selection of beers. They also offer a monthly deal through their app, which is worth checking out to snag a bargain! Both restaurants, on Stranmillis and in the Cathedral Quarter respectively, have a modern and cosy vibe - and when you consider their excellent dessert menu as well, it’s clear why this is a favourite among my friends at uni.
Delicious pizza at Orto
A real Belfast staple due to its close proximity to campus on Botanic Avenue, Town Square serves up food all day and night. Dinner menu highlights include loaded fries, tacos and burgers, served alongside some seriously tasty cocktails and mocktails. Additionally, if you’re only in the mood for dessert, this is the place - I reckon every student at Queen’s has split their s’mores or fondue platters for a treat at least once!
S'mores to share? Say no more!
Right next door, Southside Social is a newer bar on the block, offering a laid back space for chats with friends over their wide menu of delicious drinks. The music and atmosphere in there is always great! This is a bar with a twist - Lucky Duck Chinese is located squarely in the centre of the bar, creating a fun experience of ordering your ‘take away’ and then enjoying it in house. Each week, they release a certain amount of tables on Monday for their ‘thank duck it’s Friday’ special - where your Chinese is free if you book ahead. What a deal for some good food and great craic.
Revolucion de Cuba
Located right in the city centre, Revolucion de Cuba is a popular spot because of its lively atmosphere, extensive drinks menu and excellent tapas! With live music, a photo booth and a gorgeous building to boot, there’s truly something for everyone here - from teapot cocktails to the most delicious patatas bravas about. This is also a pretty affordable option for students - happy hour runs 3-7pm each Monday-Thursday and offers 2 for £12 cocktails.
Enjoy happy hour at Revolucion de Cuba
Fancy small plates but with an Asian twist? Look no further than St Anne Squares’ Dumpling Library. The food here covers a range of Asian cuisines, caters to most dietary requirements and is totally delicious to share with friends, while the signature cocktails utilise unique flavours from the usual selection and are real winners. They also have domes outside the main restaurant that can be booked, allowing you to really make the most of time with your friends! If you’re visiting, you can’t go wrong with their bao buns or their library signature drink - trust me on this.
Dumpling Library has a wide variety of Asian dishes to choose from
Located high above in the heart of the city centre, Tetto is a stylish Italian inspired restaurant and bar that is a fave for us if we’re feeling fancy! Between the outside garden offering city views, unique cocktail menu (featuring lots of spritz options, keeping on theme) and cosy atmosphere and decor, this is a spot definitely worth checking out on your next night out.
Bert’s Jazz Bar
By far the fanciest place on this list, Bert’s would be my pick to visit for a celebration - as part of the Merchant Hotel, this place is slick and stylish - a little slice of luxury for fans of good food and drink and even better jazz music. I’ve never had food here but have heard excellent things about both their evening menu and brunch. As for my trip to have cocktails, it was a true delight – it felt fancy without totally breaking the bank - and our waiter even helped us to pick from the extensive menu based on what tastes we typically enjoy!
Enjoy live local jazz at Bert's!
This is only a taste of the wide variety of wonderful restaurants and bars we have in Belfast - there’s plenty to discover, filled with good food and even better craic. I hope I haven’t made you too hungry!
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Medicine | Undergraduate Student | Lisburn, NI
I’m in my final year of Medicine at Queen's - I love my degree because it combines caring for people, learning fascinating things and working as a team. When I’m not busy surviving placement and exams, you can find me in one of Belfast’s great coffee shops with a friend, going to concerts to get my fix of live music, or curling up to read a book with a carefully curated Spotify playlist on in the background!