22 Best Restaurants in Belfast City Centre
Are you planning a trip to Northern Ireland and looking for the best restaurants in Belfast City Centre? Keep reading because in this guide we recommend the best restaurants in Belfast where you can stop for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Of course there is no lack of pubs and bars, where you can stop for a beer or sample some local specialties!
In fact, for some time Belfast has been experiencing a real renaissance from a food perspective: what was previously considered a “dull” and uninviting city for those who love food, is now one of the most interesting destinations if you travel to discover the flavours of the places you visit.
Attention to local products, sustainability, respect for traditions but also innovation are the cornerstones of Belfast’s culinary revival, which today boasts a good number of restaurants and places to eat acclaimed both inside the Island and outside.
Belfast and the whole of Northern Ireland are today major players in Ireland’s food and wine renaissance and the many food-related events that take place all year round are the full demonstration of this: from the Belfast Restaurant Week held every year at the end September passing through the more recent Taste the Island, a series of events related to good food that allows everyone, locals and tourists, to taste the best of what the island has to offer, Belfast really has a lot to offer to we who pay attention to what we eat and drink when we are around.
Discover with us the best restaurants in Belfast City Centre and also three typical things to taste. And if you’re looking for information to plan your trip to Northern Ireland, have a look at our dedicate section here, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and if you need more help get in touch for customised advice.
Best Restaurants in Belfast City Centre
This is the selection of the best restaurants to eat in Belfast: we have tried all the places we decided to recommend, some of them even several times, and it is for this reason that we feel to recommend them with closed eyes to all those who are in the city and who really want to eat good. There really is plenty of choice, have a blast!
The Muddlers Club Restaurant
Awarded best restaurant in Ulster during the very last Irish Restaurant Awards, The Muddlers Club is truly an experience not to be missed if you’re in Belfast. Chef and owner Gareth McCaughey selects the best of local products available daily to guarantee the quality of each dish served; this is why the menu changes very often and it is also for this reason that we recommend following the instructions of the staff, in order to taste the best of what is available on the same day. The open kitchen is one of the many elements that make The Muddlers Club truly unique. Reservations required for lunch and dinner.
Address: 1 Warehouse Lane, Belfast BT1 2DX, UK
Website: The Muddlers Club Restaurant
OX is one of the two Michelin-starred restaurants in Northern Ireland and it is located in a very central area, a few steps from the Lagan river and the market. Despite being star-studded, OX has always been known for its relaxed atmosphere and its locally sourced dishes with great attention to the raw material. Despite the focus on both meat and fish, from OX the idea of vegetables as a side dish is overturned: vegetables are in fact always treated in the same way as main dishes, and this is why this restaurant is also very popular with vegetarians. Reservations required for lunch and dinner.
Address: 1 Oxford St, Belfast BT1 3LA, UK
Website: OX Belfast
Cave by OX
Next to the famous OX is Cave, a wine bar where you can enjoy appetizers accompanied by excellent wines. It was voted the best wine shop in Northern Ireland and also offers an interesting selection of Irish gin. The drinks are mainly combined with Irish meats and cheeses of the highest quality. If you’re in the mood for a drink when you’re in Belfast, this is definitely the perfect place. Booking not necessary. Curiosities: Valyria’s steel knives from Game of Thrones are displayed all along the walls of Cave.
Address: 3 Oxford St, Belfast BT1 3LA, UK
Website: Cave by OX
A name, a guarantee: Established Coffee is famous both among locals and tourists for its coffee (which comes from Dublin and precisely from 3FE, one of the best coffee shops in the city) and its simple and genuine dishes. It is open every day from 7 to 18 and it is not necessary to book: it is constantly full, but spaces where you can sit are always found.
Address: 54 Hill St, Belfast BT1 2LB, UK
Website: Established Coffee
From the day of its opening, Hadskis continues to win prizes, including one for the best brunch in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Hadskis proposes a mixed cuisine that winks at the Mediterranean but does not miss traditional dishes forgotten elsewhere: impossible not to love the Bacon, Egg & Chips, a classic dish of Irish and English home cooking that is offered in giant portions . Reservations required for dinner, especially on weekends.
Address: Commercial Ct, Belfast BT1 2NB, UK
The Dirty Onion & Yardbird
The Dirty Onion is one of Belfast’s many institutions: a pub on two levels, hosting Yardbird upstairs, a restaurant where only locally sourced and free range chicken and ribs are served. Downstairs during nice days and evenings you can sit outside for a drink. Open every day, it can be difficult for the restaurant to find a place during the weekend.
Address: 3 Hill St, Belfast BT1 2LA, UK
Website: The Dirty Onion
Made in Belfast
A name, a guarantee: Made in Belfast was one of the first restaurants to offer cuisine that is attentive to local ingredients but at the same time innovative and open to external influences. The particular furnishing and the room that resembles a speakeasy makes of Made in Belfast an unmissable place, where the food is simple but well cooked. Try the sticky toffee pudding. Booking not necessary.
Address: 4 Wellington St, Belfast BT1 6HT, UK / 25 Talbot St, Belfast BT1 2LD, UK
Website: Made in Belfast
Eipic is the Gaelic version of the word Epic, which well describes this Belfast restaurant with a Michelin star. There are three menus that can be chosen and all of them have as primary focus on local and seasonal products; the vegetarian menu is interesting, offering imaginative and excellent combinations. Keep in mind that the menu changes according to the season and the availability of products. Open from Wednesday to Saturday, reservation required; slightly formal clothing required.
Address: 28-40 Howard St, Belfast BT1 6PF, UK
St George’s Market
St George’s Market in Belfast is a must-see if you are in the city. It is open only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and for this reason it is even more unmissable. It is here that we find some of the best local producers who offer visitors and locals the best products available at the moment. Fish lovers can’t miss a taste of Irish oysters and the famous potato pancakes.
Address: 12-20 East Bridge St, Belfast BT1 3NQ, UK
The Merchant Hotel
The fabulous Merchant Hotel has different solutions for those who want to eat well, but here we point out its fabulous Afternoon Tea which consists of savory and sweet dishes to accompany with tea, coffee or champagne. An unmissable experience in one of the most beautiful luxury hotels in Belfast, where despite the opulence the atmosphere is always relaxed and relaxing.
Address: 16 Skipper St, Belfast BT1 2DZ, UK
Website: The Merchant Hotel
The Morning Star
One of Belfast’s oldest pubs, housed in a historic building, The Morning Star offers a classic pub menu, cooked and served in a traditional manner. Lamb is the main dish since local meat is bred by the owners of the pub themselves, but the dishes containing Armagh county apples and cheeses made exclusively in Northern Ireland are not to be missed either. Always open, reservations are not required.
Address: 17-19 Pottingers Entry, Belfast BT1 4DT, UK
Website: The Morning Star Bar
Lovers of the traditional fish and chips, this is the place for you: only local fish, carefully selected and in season, which is battered and fried in the most traditional way possible and served as in the old days. Fish City’s tartar sauce is really excellent, hard to love others after trying this one. Booking not necessary.
Address: 33 Ann St, Belfast BT1 4EB, UK
Website: Fish City
If you love Asian cuisine like we do, Zen is the place not to be missed in Belfast. We are not talking about traditional Asian cuisine but fusion cuisine inspired above all by Japan and “mixed” with the more western cuisine. Booking recommended especially on weekends.
Address: Adelaide St, Belfast BT2 8FE, UK
Mourne Seafood Bar
If you love fish, Morne Seafood Bar can’t be missesd it. It is attached to the famous Kelly’s Cellars and serves mussels of local origin, oysters, scampi and other types of fish all from the nearby ports of Annalong and Kilkeel. It is possible to order cooked and raw dishes, to accompany with wine. Booking not necessary but recommended.
Address: 34-36 Bank St, Belfast BT1 1HL, UK
Website: Mourne Seafood Bar
Granny Annies is one of Belfast’s most famous places to listen to live music seven days a week. Granny Annies is also famous for its classic, local and seasonal food and a large selection of local gins and beers. Don’t miss the Beast, considered one of Belfast’s most incredible burgers, if not the most incredible. Booking not necessary but recommended during the weekend.
Address: 81 Chichester St, Belfast BT1 4JE, UK
Website: Granny Annies
The Ginger Bistro
If you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere, good Irish food without great pretensions but of the highest quality, we can only recommend The Ginger Bistro. The environment is extravagantly decorated and does not recall an Irish restaurant at all, but the cuisine is local and classic. The Ginger Bistro has been voted the best restaurant in Northern Ireland. Reservations recommended for dinner.
Address: 68-72 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2 7AF, UK
Website: The Ginger Bistro
Unmissable pubs and bars in Belfast
Aside from the Best Restaurants in Belfast City Centre, here’s a few places in Belfast where having a drink (and eventually eat a bite as well) is highly recommended!
Duke of York
It is impossible not to stop for a pint, or two, at the Duke of York, one of the most famous pubs in all of Belfast. Located within a narrow alley in the historic Half Bap area, the Duke of York is a classic pub with beer and an incredible selection of Irish whiskeys. Live music from Thursday to Sunday. Always full, but not to be missed.
Address: 7-11 Commercial Ct, Belfast BT1 2NB, UK
Website: Duke of York
One of Belfast’s oldest traditional Irish pubs, Kelly’s Cellars offers live traditional music and is famous for Guinness served with an excellent meat stew. Built in 1720, Kelly’s Cellars has changed very little over the years and much of its charm lies in this. Traditional music almost every day of the week.
Address: 30-32 Bank St, Belfast BT1 1HL, UK
Crown Liquor Saloon
Still an example of classic Victorian architecture, the Crown Liquor Salon was once called The Liquor Saloon on Great Victoria Street; dating back to 1826, it is now owned by the National Trust and has been restored over the years. The Crown is a true architectural masterpiece both inside and outside, with the facade consisting of thousands of polychrome tiles that recall the interior. Pub food is served, but we recommend it especially for the atmosphere and for drinking a pint, especially in the afternoon.
Address: 46 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2 7BA, UK
Food, drinks and a club: Margot is a collection of three different rooms in one and is open from lunch till late at night, to offer everyone something. Famous for cocktails and specifically for the Irish Coffee. We recommend it for a drink before dinner while we do not recommend it, unless you are very young, after dinner, when confusion reigns supreme.
Address: 18 Donegall Square E, Belfast BT1 5HE, UK
Rita’s is housed in the Linenhouse Complex, which also houses the twin bars The Perch Rooftop Bar, Sweet Afton and Tutti Frutti. Everything, from the environment to the cocktails, recalls the 40s. The peculiarity of this bar is the selection of gin and cocktails that change according to the season. Booking not necessary but recommended for tables of 5 or more people.
Address: 44 Franklin St, Belfast BT2 7GE, UK
Babel Rooftop Bar and Garden
One of our favorite places in Belfast, the Babel Rooftop Bar and Garden is the Bullitt Hotel’s rooftop bar. We eat and drink from Babel and we recommend it for this second reason: the peculiarity of the place are the walls, where the plants that are then used for cocktails are grown. A truly unique place, not to be missed and with a spectacular view of the city. Booking not necessary.
Address: 70-74 Ann St, Belfast BT1 4QG, UK
What to Eat in Belfast
After this general overview of the best restaurants in Belfast city centre, here are three tips on what to eat in the city to prepare for a truly typical gastronomic experience.
If you order a tea, you can’t miss a serving of Fifteens: a tray containing 5 dry biscuits, 15 marshmallows and 15 glazed cherries, plus condensed milk and coconut. A decadent dessert but still very popular today.
You haven’t been to Northern Ireland and Belfast if you haven’t tasted the Ulster Fry. This is the classic English and Irish breakfast with the addition of soda bread. For a virtual taste of Ulster Fry, read here.
The Belfast Bap
The bap is nothing more than a sandwich and the classic Belfast Bap is a very soft and very floury white bread born to feed children during the famine that struck Ireland between 1845 and 1849. Today the Bap is filled with salad and ham but also with a mini breakfast consisting of sausages, bacon and eggs. You find it everywhere but make sure it is fresh otherwise it becomes so rubbery that it is inedible.
Visit Belfast: additional information
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, can be visited all year round. Direct flights depart from different airports Worldwide (with the UK being the main hub for connecting flights to Belfast) but it is also possible to reach the city from Dublin if you want to see the two cities and maybe compare them: you can choose the train that takes 2 hours or the bus that takes about 3. The bus passes also at the airport in Dublin so you can choose a cheaper flight that arrives in Dublin and leave from Dublin to Belfast by bus.
This list of the Best Restaurants in Belfast City Centre made you hungry and curious? Then start planning your next trip to Northern Ireland and Belfast!
Read our Belfast City Guide with all the information on what to do, see and where to sleep in Belfast.
[The information included in the article are the result of our food and wine experiences in Belfast. None of the places we mentioned hosted us/offered lunches or dinners in exchange for a review].