Top 10 Culinary Gems: Discover the Finest Restaurants Belfast Has to Offer

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Welcome to Belfast, a city teeming with culinary delights that will tantalize your taste buds! From Michelin-starred marvels to historic eateries with modern twists, this vibrant city offers a diverse and exciting dining scene. Join us on a gastronomic journey as we uncover the top 10 finest restaurants Belfast has to offer. As you savor every bite, prepare to be immersed in a world of rich flavors, innovative menus, and unforgettable experiences.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the finest restaurants Belfast has to offer, from Michelin-starred marvels and historic eateries with modern twists to unique dining experiences and late-night bites.

  • Enjoy fresh seafood dishes or indulge in vegetarian/vegan delights for a truly authentic taste of Belfast cuisine.

  • Experience high quality food at an affordable price while sampling international flavors or enjoying drinks at one of the city’s renowned pubs & bars.

The Crown Jewels of Belfast Dining

Aerial view of Belfast city centre with its vibrant restaurant scene

Belfast’s dining environment is brimming with gastronomic gems, offering a diverse range of culinary experiences to suit every palate. The city boasts some of the best restaurants in Northern Ireland, many of which are conveniently nestled within the bustling Belfast city centre. These establishments take pride in showcasing local produce and traditional dishes, ensuring a truly authentic taste of Belfast.

From the plush ambiance of The Great Room at The Merchant Hotel to the welcoming allure of Darcy’s Belfast, there is no shortage of options for those seeking a fine dining experience. Some of the best restaurants in Belfast include:

  • The Great Room at The Merchant Hotel

  • Darcy’s Belfast

  • Mourne Seafood Bar

  • EDO

No matter your culinary preference, these restaurants promise to leave you craving more with their barbecue style taste.

Michelin-Starred Marvels

OX and Eipic are notable highlights in Belfast’s culinary scene, both proudly boasting Michelin stars and offering exquisite cuisine and exceptional dining experiences.

OX, located in the city centre, is known for its:

  • Seasonal creativity

  • Superior gastronomic experience

  • Meticulously assembled dishes, crafted from the freshest locally sourced ingredients

  • Brightly illuminated and spacious interior with expansive windows facing the River Lagan, providing the perfect backdrop for dining

Eipic, another Michelin-starred restaurant, offers a culinary journey through its three menus, each based on local and seasonal ingredients. The vegetarian menu at Eipic is particularly noteworthy, presenting creative and delightful combinations that will leave even the most discerning palate wanting more. With lunch menus priced between £29 and £35, Eipic offers a truly unforgettable dining experience at a reasonable cost.

Historic Eateries with Modern Twists

History and modernity collide at eateries like The Muddlers Club and The Ginger Bistro, both offering contemporary menus in unique settings that pay homage to their historical roots. The Muddlers Club, nestled in the historic back streets of the Cathedral Quarter, offers an atmosphere reminiscent of a speakeasy, complete with industrial-style interiors and inventive tasting menus. Its harmonious blend of casual and fine dining, paired with high-quality dishes, renders it a standout in Belfast’s culinary scene.

The Ginger Bistro, another historic eatery with a modern twist, is renowned for its imaginative menu and cozy atmosphere. Located just a stone’s throw from Belfast City Hall, this popular restaurant offers a diverse array of dishes, from prime aged steaks to mouth-watering fish dishes, all crafted from the finest locally sourced ingredients. A visit to The Ginger Bistro promises a dining experience that seamlessly marries the old with the new.

A Taste of the Sea: Belfast’s Best Seafood Spots

Freshly prepared seafood dishes at Mourne Seafood Bar

Belfast’s coastal location ensures an abundance of fresh, locally-sourced seafood. If you’re looking for the best fish dishes, consider Mourne Seafood Bar and Fish City. Mourne Seafood Bar, situated in the heart of the city centre, is a must-visit for seafood enthusiasts. Renowned for its dishes featuring locally sourced seafood, this Bib Gourmand-awarded restaurant offers both prepared and uncooked delicacies, ensuring an authentic taste of the sea.

Fish City, another highly-regarded seafood spot in Belfast, is renowned for its fresh fish dishes and imaginative seafood creations. This award-winning restaurant offers a wide variety of mouth-watering options, from crispy squid to succulent shellfish, all prepared with the freshest ingredients.

With its seafood offerings, Belfast’s culinary environment certainly offers an abundance of choice.

The Ultimate Belfast Brunch Experience

For the premier Belfast brunch experience, consider Established Coffee and The Merchant Hotel. Located in the bustling Cathedral Quarter, Established Coffee has garnered a loyal following for its delicious dishes and cozy atmosphere. From indulgent Belgian waffles to poached eggs with a twist, Established Coffee offers a brunch menu that caters to every craving.

The Merchant Hotel, known for its lavish Afternoon Tea, provides another captivating brunch experience in Belfast. Served in the opulent surroundings of The Morning Star, the hotel’s Afternoon Tea features a selection of delightful treats, from delicate finger sandwiches to sumptuous pastries. Whether you prefer a laid-back coffeehouse vibe or an elegant dining affair, Belfast’s brunch scene promises to satisfy.

Vegetarian and Vegan Delights

Belfast’s dining environment accommodates various dietary preferences, with restaurants like Home Restaurant and Coppi offering vegetarian and vegan delights without compromising on taste. Home Restaurant, situated in the heart of the city, is known for its diverse menu that caters to various dietary requirements, from gluten-free options to mouth-watering vegetarian and vegan dishes. With a deep love for real food and a commitment to using locally sourced ingredients, Home Restaurant offers a dining experience that is both wholesome and satisfying.

Coppi, Belfast’s first cichetti bacari restaurant inspired by those found in Venice, also caters to vegetarians and vegans with its luxurious vegan menu. Offering a variety of options, from cichetti small plates to delectable gnocchi and risotto, Coppi ensures that every guest can enjoy a memorable meal, regardless of dietary preferences. In Belfast, vegetarian and vegan delights are never far away.

Unique Belfast Dining Experiences

A Peculiar Tea's unique themed dining experience

For diners seeking an unmatched dining experience in Belfast, A Peculiar Tea and The Muddlers Club offer something truly extraordinary. A Peculiar Tea, known for its themed six-course menus, transports diners into a world of culinary wonder. With menus inspired by ‘The Best of Roald Dahl’ and a Willy Wonka and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme, A Peculiar Tea promises a dining experience like no other.

The Muddlers Club, a hidden gem in Belfast’s dining scene, is situated in the historic back streets of the Cathedral Quarter. Established in secret in Peggy Barclay’s Tavern in Sugarhouse Entry, The Muddlers Club offers an atmosphere reminiscent of a speakeasy. With its inventive tasting menus, wine pairings, and creative cocktails, The Muddlers Club provides a truly unique dining experience in the heart of Belfast.

Belfast’s Gastro-Pub Scene

The lively gastro-pub environment in Belfast reflects the city’s deep-rooted culinary history. The Barking Dog and The Cloth Ear are prime examples of establishments that offer delicious food within a relaxed, pub-style atmosphere. The Barking Dog, located on Upper Queen Street, is known for its high-quality food and lively buzz. With an eclectic menu ranging from small plates to full meals, The Barking Dog ensures a great night out in Belfast.

The Cloth Ear, another popular gastro-pub in the city, offers traditional Irish cuisine with a modern twist. With its cozy interiors and welcoming atmosphere, The Cloth Ear is the perfect place to unwind with great drinks and good food. Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or a lively night out, Belfast’s gastro-pub scene has something for everyone.

Affordable Eats without Compromising Quality

For cost-effective yet quality dining, consider Tribal Burger and John Long’s. Tribal Burger, known for its mouth-watering burgers made from locally sourced ingredients, provides a delicious and cost-effective option for diners. With vegan options like the black bean and chickpea burger, Tribal Burger caters to a variety of dietary preferences.

John Long’s, a Belfast institution, is renowned for its inexpensive yet delectable fish and chips. Located in the city centre and within walking distance of many attractions, John Long’s provides a tasty and budget-friendly option for those looking to enjoy the best of Belfast’s culinary scene without breaking the bank.

International Flavors in Belfast

Experience the global tastes of Belfast at restaurants such as:

  • Zen: renowned for its Asian cuisine, transports diners to a world of exotic flavors with its meticulously crafted dishes and fabulous cocktails. Whether you are in the mood for sushi or a luxurious curry, Zen has you covered.

  • Bo Tree Kitchen: offers a variety of cuisines, ensuring a diverse and exciting dining experience.

  • Yügo: serves Mediterranean cuisine, providing a unique and flavorful dining experience.

These establishments offer a variety of cuisines, from Asian to Mediterranean, ensuring a diverse and exciting dining experience.

Bo Tree Kitchen, hailed as one of the most authentic Thai restaurants in Northern Ireland, offers a taste of Thailand with its selection of flavorful curries and traditional dishes. Yügo, another exceptional dining destination, brings a fusion of Asian and European flavors to the table with its adventurous menu and extensive cocktail offerings. In Belfast, a world of international flavors awaits.

Late-Night Bites and Drinks

Relax with late-night snacks and beverages at well-known Belfast bars and pubs, including:

  • Duke of York, located in the Half Bap district, offers an impressive selection of beers and an extensive collection of Irish whiskeys. With its lively atmosphere and live music, Duke of York is the perfect spot for a night out in Belfast.

  • Kelly’s Cellars

  • Babel Rooftop Bar and Garden

Kelly’s Cellars, established in 1720, is renowned for its pairing of Guinness with a delectable meat stew. Located just off James St, this historic pub offers a cozy atmosphere and traditional tunes, making it an ideal place to enjoy a late-night meal and drink.

For a more modern experience, visit Babel Rooftop Bar and beer garden, where you can sip on inventive cocktails at their impressive cocktail bar, made from plants grown on the bar’s walls. No matter your preference, Belfast’s late-night scene promises an unforgettable experience.


As we’ve journeyed through the top 10 finest restaurants Belfast has to offer, it’s clear that this vibrant city boasts a diverse and exciting culinary scene. From Michelin-starred marvels to historic eateries with modern twists, Belfast offers a gastronomic experience to suit every taste and budget. So why not embark on your own culinary adventure and discover the mouth-watering delights that await in Belfast’s bustling food scene?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Belfast known for food?

Belfast is known for its locally sourced and unique dishes such as Belfast bacon, Ulster fry, and potato bread.

What is a typical Belfast breakfast?

The Ulster fry is an iconic part of Northern Ireland’s cuisine, typically consisting of bacon, sausage, black pudding, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, soda bread and potato bread, all fried until golden and crispy.

Is it expensive in Belfast?

Rent prices in Belfast are relatively low, with a studio flat in the city centre costing around £870 per month and a three-bedroom apartment at approximately £1,400 per month. In this respect, Belfast is not particularly expensive.

What is the nicest area of Belfast?

The three best quarters to stay in while visiting Belfast as a visitor are Central Belfast, Cathedral Quarter and Queens Quarter, with the Titanic Quarter and Gaeltacht Quarter worth exploring too.

What are some Michelin-starred restaurants in Belfast?

OX and Eipic are two Michelin-starred restaurants in Belfast, providing exquisite cuisine and exceptional dining experiences.

About the author

Originally from Scotland, Colin now resides near the beautiful seaside town of Portstewart on the Causeway Coastal Route. By day he works in IT and by day off he spends much of his time travelling around the Island with his young family, writing about his experiences for many sites both locally and nationally.