Belfast is one of Europe’s most exciting food destinations. Tuck in and get ready for a taste sensation!
Belfast’s food scene is buzzing. Whether it’s delis and markets laden with super-fresh local produce, sleek city centre restaurants, or old-school favourites like fish and chips and the Ulster Fry, the capital of Northern Ireland is fast becoming a true food hero. From top left: Hadskis; The Muddler's Club; Molly's Yard. Bottom from left: both images from Ox; The Muddler's Club
5. It's got the Ulster Fry
This is not just breakfast. This is one of the most delicious, most tasty, most satisfying breakfasts you’re ever going to eat. A morning delight that will set you up for the whole day: we’re talking eggs, potato farl, sausages, bacon, black pudding and tomato. And the secret to its incredible taste according to James Bell, head chef at
George’s of the Market is to cook it all in the one pan.
An Ulster Fry is not just a special treat, but also a delightful demonstration of the finery of Northern Ireland’s artisan produce.
Of course, the proof is in the eating: and you’re spoiled for choice on this one. Try a really great Ulster Fry at
Maggie May’s, George’s of the Market (middle image), Café Conor, Harlem and 26 West. Sorted.
4. It’s got Titanic eating experiences
Belfast’s most famous visitor attraction is most definitely Titanic Belfast, and if you want to take things further after visiting, you can enjoy some unique Titanic dining experiences. First up, it’s the Titanic Menu at Rayanne House guesthouse where you can dine on a recreation of the last menu served to first-class Titanic passengers. At Titanic Belfast, why not relax with the Titanic Sunday Afternoon Tea by a replica of the Grand Staircase in the Titanic Suite, or dine on Titanic-inspired heritage dishes in Bistro 401.
Rayanne House serves up a “Titanic Menu”, a recreation of the dinner served in the first-class restaurant. And yes, it's super-fancy
Also in the area, just beside the famous Harland & Woolf shipyard (builders of the Titanic), is
Cast and Crew – a good place if you’re after a lunch with less of a specific “Titanic” theme. Menus feature local produce with down-home favourites such as hot dogs, mac ’n’ cheese and chili con carne.
3. It's got an incredible food market
A good market reflects a city’s attitude to its food and
St George’s Market is one of the best around. Step inside on a Saturday and you’ll be bowled over with the incredible array of local produce. The sights, sounds, smells and tastes of this place puts it up there with the best on the planet – it’s like an endless gastronomic adventure.
St George's Market is an absolutely brilliant destination for anyone visiting Belfast. Full of great food, local products and people to watch. I can't recommend it enough!
Start off with a glorious bap from the Belfast Bap Company, traditional fresh breads filled with bacon, sausage, egg and soda farls; shop for some local rapeseed oil at Harnett’s; and check out the great local produce at Greenmount Farm, Hillstown Farm Shop, and Mullan’s Organic Farm stalls. It’s a place you could spend all day in.
2. It’s got amazing natural produce on its doorstep
We firmly believe that one reason food in Belfast tastes SO great is the incredible natural produce available. And it’s not just us. According to National Geographic Travel, "Belfast’s easy access to top-notch food products keeps the local culinary scene buzzing.” The green pastures of Northern Ireland have created so much good food that 2016 has been declared the
Northern Ireland Year of Food & Drink.
Occasionally I come across a product so good that it becomes, in effect, the starting point for a recipe. In the hills of Finnebrogue Estate near Downpatrick, Denis Lynn rears some superb-tasting venison.
Look out for amazing Glenarm Shorthorn beef, Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil, Baronscourt Sika deer venison, Leggygowan goat’s cheese, as well as local whiskeys, gins and craft beers at restaurants such as
Ox, Hadskis, James Street South and The Merchant.
1. It’s got the best fish and chips in the world
Okay, lots of places can claim to have the best fish and chips, but Belfast really does. Trust us. Incredible fresh local fish from the waters around Northern Ireland is turned into the stuff of magic at old-school chippies such as
John Long’s, a favourite of visiting celebs and local characters alike. It’s been here for over a hundred years, so it’s got to be doing something right.
Long’s chippie is what Belfast is all about
Other go-to spots such as
The Chippie and Café Fish are also casual favourites, but if you’re after something a little more upscale, try the most excellent Deanes Love Fish, the Mourne Seafood Bar and the Barking Dog.