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. Fish City

    $$ | Central District

    A cut above the average fish-and-chips restaurant, award-winning Fish City serves sustainably sourced seafood including Carlingford oysters, cod, scampi, and other treats. For non-pescatarians there...Read More

  • 2. Harry's Shack


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

  • 3. Badger's

    $$ | Central District

    The famous Derry Girls mural adorns one outside wall of this old-school tavern. Inside, wood-paneled walls are covered with photos of local sporting legends. Those...Read More

  • 4. Brunel's

    $$ | Mourne Mountains

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

  • 5. The Cloth Ear

    $$ | Cathedral Quarter

    The Merchant Hotel's lively gastropub combines all the decorative charms of a traditional Belfast watering hole with a great choice of ales, wines, and whiskeys,...Read More

  • 6. The Sandwich Company

    $ | West Bank

    Part of a small chain, this flagship café with comfy settes and sofas serves fry-ups and vegan options for breakfast and lunch. Panini, sandwiches, and...Read More

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