Northern Ireland Restaurants

Belfast has experienced an influx of au courant and internationally influenced restaurants, bistros, wine bars, and—as in Dublin—European-style café-bars where you can get good food most of the day and linger over a drink. Local produce and seasonal creativity are the order of the day with top-quality fresh local meat and experimental chefs constantly trying out new ideas. Traditional dishes, of course, still dominate some menus and include Guinness-and-beef pie; steak, chicken and pork; champ (creamy, buttery mashed potatoes with scallions); oysters from Strangford Lough; Ardglass herring; mussels from Dundrum; and smoked salmon from Glenarm. By the standards of the United States, or even the rest of the United Kingdom, restaurant prices can be surprisingly moderate. A service charge of 10% may be added to the bill; it's customary to pay this, unless the service was bad.

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  • 1. Harry's Shack

    $$ | Irish

    With its raw wooden tables, wood-burning stove, sand on the floor, and outdoor terrace, this beachside restaurant in Portstewart, about 20 minutes...Read More

  • 2. Made in Belfast: Cathedral Quarter

    $$ | Cathedral Quarter | Irish

    This self-styled "restolounge" in the happening Cathedral Quarter is one of Belfast's buzziest bistros and is especially popular with weekend...Read More

  • 3. The Ginger Bistro

    $$ | Golden Mile | Irish

    Modern Irish classics with an international twist attract the foodie crowd to this cheerful bistro just off Great Victoria Street, which was...Read More

  • 4. Browns in Town

    $$ | Central District | Irish

    The owner, Ian Orr, a former maestro chef who has handed over the cooking to others, has put Derry on the culinary map and in particular this...Read More

  • 5. Brunel's

    $$ | Mourne Mountains | Irish

    A huge mural on brick walls features a top-hatted Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this relaxed seafood restaurant's namesake and a famous figure in...Read More

  • 6. Café Parisien

    $$ | Central District | French

    Taking its name from the eponymous first-class café on RMS Titanic, Café Parisien divides itself into a downstairs creprerie and a stylish...Read More

  • 7. Coppi

    $$ | Cathedral Quarter | Italian

    The small dishes known as cicchetti, beloved of Venetian bars and a counterpart to tapas, draw the crowds to Coppi in the ever-popular Cathedral...Read More

  • 8. James Street & Co.

    $$ | Central District | Irish

    The mainstay of this classy city-center big hitter with an epic reputation is County Tyrone sirloin, rib-eye, or beef fillet steaks as well...Read More

  • 9. Mourne Seafood Bar

    $$ | Central District | Seafood

    Connoisseurs of fresh fish and shellfish love Mourne Seafood, hidden down a side street and established as a firm favorite. Mussels are from...Read More

  • 10. Nu Delhi

    $$ | Golden Mile | Indian

    Decorated with candlelit tables, redbrick walls, and vibrant artwork featuring Bollywood actresses, the loft-like 100-seater Indian restaurant...Read More

  • 11. Ora Wine and Tapas

    $$ | Central District | Spanish

    Living up to its Maori name–-Ora means "life"–-this airy tapas restaurant specializes in hot and cold small plates such as crab claws, Manchego...Read More

  • 12. Red Panda

    $$ | Golden Mile | Chinese

    The £9.90 two-course lunch on Thursday and Friday is an exceptional value at this long-established central eatery. It includes a starter of...Read More

  • 13. The Exchange

    $$ | Central District | Irish

    Standout dishes at this busy eatery include Louisiana chicken with chorizo cream sauce and tobacco onions, ribs and steaks, and locally caught...Read More

  • 14. The House Restaurant

    $$ | Central District | European

    A trio of dining experiences is reflected in different rooms at this refashioned old waterfront building which was once Derry's Custom House...Read More

  • 15. The Muddlers Club

    $$ | Cathedral Quarter | Irish

    Though its name is derived from a revolutionary secret society that met here 200 years ago, there is nothing exactly covert about the Muddlers...Read More

  • 16. Thompson's Restaurant

    $$ | Central District | Irish

    On the banks of the River Foyle, this airy and cool main restaurant of the City Hotel, taking its name from the old Thompson's Mill that once...Read More

  • 17. Yard Bird

    $$ | Cathedral Quarter | British

    The humble chicken is the raison d'être of Yard Bird, on the site of a linen warehouse built in the 1750s. Start your visit with an aperitif...Read More

  • 18. Zen

    $$ | Central District | Japanese

    Offering a blend of Asian fusion, the standout dishes at Belfast's finest Japanese restaurant are the sea bass and sole, or the Zen monkfish...Read More

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