Best Restaurants in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is full of great restaurants and rich local produce. Belfast encapsulates the strong food culture and wealth of Northern Irish food specialities with superb produce on the doorstep.

Whether you are heading to a traditional Belfast pub or a Michelin starred restaurant, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this fascinating city.

Where to eat in Belfast on the water

Holohans at the Barge has the novelty of being located on the upper deck of a Dutch barge and serves the freshest and most authentic Irish food. This includes the famous ‘boxty’ an Irish potato pancake filled with food.

The family business offers traditional Irish hospitality and a warm and friendly atmosphere. The view into the micro-kitchen allows you to see the staff manage a seamless service, producing exquisite food in a small space.

Holohans at the Barge is ideal for a romantic dinner date – enjoy your meal looking out on the city’s twinkling lights as they reflect on the water of the River Lagan.

Where to eat in Belfast for fish and chips

For the best fish and chips in town, head to John Long’s, which has been open for business since 1914.

This popular chippie – which is hidden away behind a car park with  metal mesh grills on the windows which make it look like it is closed – even has many celebrity fans.

Where to eat in Belfast for a special graduation meal

Molly’s Yard is just a stone’s throw away from Queen’s University so it is an ideal location for a celebratory graduation meal. This restaurant offers fine dining with a friendly, fun and relaxed vibe.

Choose from County Antrim dry aged ribeye, whiskey sauce, air dried tomato and chunky chips or Belfast Hills kid goat shoulder, colcannon gnocchi, ratatouille dressing and Belfast blonde jus.

The desserts are no afterthought here with Uachter na Mara (Cream of the Sea), rhubarb soup, gingernut biscuit and hazelnut praline or a tasty bag of Abernethy all butter artisan fudge for those with a sweet tooth.

Where to eat in Belfast for seafood chowder

The Mourne Seafood Bar is a household name in Northern Ireland. They source all their shellfish from their very own shellfish beds in Carlingford Lough.

Their seafood chowder with wheaten bread is a delicious and comforting favourite and the oysters and pan-fried crab claws are also popular dishes.

If you want unfussy, affordable seafood, this Belfast institution is the place to come.

Where to eat in Belfast for students

‘All you can eat’ buffets have won the hearts and stomachs of students across the UK and COSMO Belfast is no exception. COSMO Belfast offers so much more than the usual Chinese or carvery, because you don’t have to choose a single type of food when there is so much choice available from our all you can eat buffet.

Here you can eat sushi, curry or pizza – all at an affordable price – in sleek and stylish surroundings. In fact, COSMO Belfast was voted second place for Best World Buffet in the Food Awards Northern Ireland 2018.

COSMO Belfast is the perfect place to go to eat a hearty lunch in between lectures or for dinner before a night out. After a sports match, bring the whole team here to celebrate a win, or bring your rowing team here to carb-load before a race.

Where to eat in Belfast for a charcoal grill

The Mibrasa charcoal grill is a central feature of Deanes at Queen’s. This bustling brasserie is part of Queen’s University and offers a relaxed atmosphere and world-class food.

Chef Chris Fearon- of Great British Menu fame – serves up dishes using local produce. You can choose from whole sea  bass cooked over charcoal, grilled coley or butter basted sweet cured pork cutlet, grilled pear and pancetta salad.

The desserts are just as flavoursome with warm brown butter almond cake, poached apple and elderflower custard or wild honey panna cotta, banana bread pudding, toffee and pecan fudge.

This is also a beautiful venue for wedding receptions, boasting a pretty south facing terrace, adjacent to the Botanical Gardens.