Great restaurants in Belfast boast creative and delicious dishes, ranging from cosy Irish cuisine to modern Asian fusion. Each eatery has its own unique characteristics, but all pride themselves on offering excellent hospitality and high-quality local ingredients.  

    Seafood, especially shellfish, is arguably Belfast's speciality, but don't miss out on classic dishes like Irish stew, colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage), and white pudding. Whether you’re looking for a bespoke tasting menu or a casual meal, we can help you choose the right spot for a special dinner in Belfast.


    The Great Room Restaurant

    A memorable dinner in a lavish Victorian setting

    The Great Room Restaurant at The Merchant Hotel is exactly what you’d imagine for a special night out in Belfast. Its grandiose Victorian décor immediately lets you know you’re in for a treat. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner, making it great for any occasion. 

    Menus make the most of high-quality seasonal ingredients and have been awarded 2 AA rosettes. A la carte options might include poached native lobster or Irish beef fillet, sometimes even whimsical swan-shaped profiteroles.

    Location: Floor 1, The Merchant Hotel, 16 Skipper St, Belfast BT1 2DY, UK

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 7 am to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from 7 am to 10.30 pm, Sunday from 7 am to 8.30 pm



    A Michelin-starred restaurant offering excellent wine pairings

    OX is a modern restaurant that serves dishes in a sophisticated yet creative style. The simple wood-and-brick design and large windows make the restaurant feel spacious and welcoming.

    OX is committed to its relationship with local suppliers, which results in top-quality meat and fish, alongside seasonal vegetables. The menu changes seasonally, keeping things interesting for loyal diners. Do ask for wine pairings, as OX's drinks list features local breweries and up-and-coming wineries.

    Location: 1 Oxford St, Belfast BT1 3LA, UK

    Open: Wednesday from 6 pm to 9.30 pm, Thursday–Monday from noon to 2.30 pm and from 6 pm to 9.30 pm (closed Sundays to Tuesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9031 4121


    James St

    A comfortable and award-winning modern bistro

    James St is a modern bistro specialising in char-grilled and aged steaks. The atmosphere is not in the least bit pretentious, but still creates the air of a special night out in Belfast. 

    Its charcoal grill takes the spotlight, on which expert chefs cook up Northern Irish prime cuts as well as other meats, fish, and seasonal vegetables. James St offers a set menu and a la carte menu, paired with delicious treats like brownies, and panna cotta.

    Location: 19 James St S, Belfast BT2 7GA, UK

    Open: Monday and Thursday from 5 pm to 9.30 pm, Friday–Saturday from 1 pm to 9.30 pm, Sunday from 1 pm to 8 pm (closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9560 0700


    The Muddlers Club

    Unfussy European cuisine in a moody setting

    The Muddlers Club gets its name from a 200-year-old secret society, but its delicious food and drinks are widely known among Belfast locals. The industrial aesthetic and dark décor make a great setting for its creative and modern European cuisine.

    The restaurant prides itself on using top-quality ingredients, mainly from Ireland. There are only 2 menus: tasting and vegetarian. Make sure you have room for dessert as the head chef creates a wide range of elegant pastries. 

    Location: 1 Warehouse Ln, Belfast BT1 2DX, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Thursday from 5 pm to 9.30 pm, Friday–Saturday from 12.30 pm to 1 pm and from 5 pm to 9.30 pm (closed Sundays to Tuesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9031 3199



    Venetian-style tapas using fresh local ingredients

    Coppi is a chic Italian restaurant decorated with dark wood and white tiles, plus intimate booths and large tables. The restaurant specialises in Venetian-style tapas known as cicchetti using local Belfast produce and flavours wherever possible.

    The menu caters to all kinds of preferences and restrictions. Expect a full vegan menu and gluten-free options, alongside various fish and meat dishes. Coppi has a regular dinner menu, with lunch available only on weekends. There's even a Sunday roast, featuring the likes of Sicilian roast lamb and roast porchetta. Round off your meal with a glass of wine or an expertly crafted cocktail.

    Location: Saint Anne's Square, 11 Edward St, Belfast BT1 2LR, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Thursday from 5 pm to 9 pm, Friday–Saturday from noon to 9 pm, Sunday from noon to 8 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9031 1959



    Award-winning Asian fusion cuisine

    Yügo is an Asian fusion, Michelin-starred restaurant with an elegant interior and dishes to match. Take a seat at the counter and watch the chefs do their magic, or at the tables under the atmospheric decorations. 

    The menu consists of small dishes similar to tapas, making it great for sharing. Its Iberico ham with Japanese shishito peppers is a popular choice. But if you’re feeling something more substantial, Yügo has larger plates like massaman curry. Don't miss out on its Asian-inspired cocktails.

    Location: 3 Wellington St, Belfast BT1 6HT, UK

    Open: Tuesday from 5 pm to 9.30 pm, Wednesday–Saturday from noon to 2.30 pm and from 5 pm to 9.30 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9694 7265


    Deanes Love Fish

    A delightful seafood restaurant in Belfast

    Deanes Love Fish is one of 3 award-winning restaurants in Belfast, each of which specialises in a different cuisine. As its name suggests, this particular eatery serves some of the best seafood dishes in the city. It has a conservatory-style roof that lets in a lot of light, making for a bright and cheery meal that might remind you of a day on the beach.

    Deanes Love Fish consists of lunch, dinner, and vegetarian menus. You can expect decadent dishes like salt and chilli squid or tempura prawns, as well as a lunchtime dish of the day. There are a few desserts, cocktails and wines to round off your meal.

    Location: 28-40 Howard St, Belfast BT1 6PF, UK

    Open: Tuesday from 5 pm to 9.30 pm, Wednesday–Friday from noon to 3 pm and from 5 pm to 9.30 pm, Saturday from noon to 10 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9033 1134


    photo by Mx. Granger (CC0 1.0) modified


    Il Pirata

    Delicious Italian dishes in a quirky, laidback setting

    Il Pirata’s warehouse-style exterior and quirky décor set you up for a fun and laidback evening of Michelin-starred cuisine. With dishes like pizzetti (pizza spaghetti casserole), spiced venison meatballs, and arancini, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Italy. 

    Its wine list includes both Italian and imported wines, making sure you have ample choice to complement your meal. Not a fan of meat? Check out Il Pirata’s decadent vegan options. 

    Location: 279-281 Upper Newtownards Rd, Belfast BT4 3JF, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Thursday from 5 pm to 9 pm, Friday from 5 pm to 9.30 pm, Saturday from noon to 9.30 pm, Sunday from 12.30 pm to 8 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9065 9612


    Stock Kitchen and Bar

    Award-winning Irish cuisine in the lively St George’s Market

    Stock Kitchen and Bar is the place to go if you are looking for some seriously good Irish food in Belfast. The airy brasserie is set inside St George’s Market, which is part of what makes it welcoming and easy to visit. 

    The restaurant works to make memorable dishes using high-quality Irish ingredients. Its 'sourbake' pizza is a longstanding favourite, but come for dinner to enjoy delicious takes on classics like cote de boef (rib steak) with proper chips or roast duck breast with potato gnocchi. 

    Location: St George's Market, 1st, Oxford St, Belfast BT1 4FG, UK

    Open: Thursday from 5 pm to 9 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm (closed Mondays to Wednesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9024 0014


    Holohan’s Pantry

    Modern takes on Irish cuisine

    Holohan’s Pantry is a family-owned restaurant with a tasteful atmosphere and homely Irish food to match. Its attentive staff pride themselves on their great hospitality, treating every diner as they would a guest in their own home. 

    Seasonality is an important part of its menu, where you can find modernised Irish recipes. Alongside seasonal ingredients, there are some mainstays like potato boxty. Also, it almost wouldn’t be right to miss out on sticky toffee pudding, a speciality of Holohan’s Pantry.

    Location: 43 University Rd, Belfast BT7 1ND, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from noon to 4 pm and from 5 pm to 11 pm, Sunday from 1 pm to 9 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9029 1103

    Cassandra Lord | Compulsive Traveller

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