24 Hours in Belfast – The Best Places to Eat, Drink and Sleep
There’s so much to see in Belfast, from the iconic Titanic Exhibition to the thought-provoking murals and the city’s impressive shopping district.
With Michelin starred restaurants and an enviable nightlife, you’ll be spoiled for choice when you visit the historic city, which was recently named Lonely Planet’s number one region to visit in 2018.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to eat, drink and sleep in Belfast, so you can spend more time deciding on the attractions you want to visit.
Gallery Café Breakfast
Situated on the ground floor of the award-winning Gallery Apartment, The Gallery Café has a contemporary metropolitan style, with floor to ceiling windows, chalkboard menus and stunning crystal chandeliers.
A vibrant spot for breakfast, diners are spoiled for choice with homemade stacked pancakes, tapas and a New York breakfast all on offer, as well as a freshly made patisserie selection. There’a also a separate vegetarian and vegan menu and gluten free options.
District is an independently owned coffee shop and deli, serving fine coffee and delicious food in the heart of Belfast. Open for breakfast and lunch, District has two locations across the city (Ormeau Road and Stranmillis Road).
Catering for those in search of a healthy or indulgent treat and a good cup of coffee, you can’t go wrong with District.
This cosy coffee shop has become a favourite among brunch lovers, with some truly beautiful food options on the menu. With everything from classic eggs to roast garlic potato and much more, you won’t leave this all-day dining venue hungry.
Make sure to grab cup of coffee while enjoying your breakfast. 5A use The Barn as their roaster for espresso and batch brew coffee, with retail bags available to purchase in store.
James St. South
Opened by Chef Niall McKenna in 2003, James St. South offers a tasty and exciting dining experience in the heart of Belfast city centre.
Utilising the best of local produce, including fresh game and venison, along with a wide array of wines and classic cocktails, a meal at James St. South will stay with you long after you take your last bite. Open for both lunch and dinner, lunch is served from 12.30pm – 2.30pm every Wednesday to Saturday.
Salt Bistro’s intimate dining space serves lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks in its chic, yet casual surroundings.
Salt Bistro’s lunch menu includes dishes like Goat’s Cheese and Vegetable Tartare with Pesto Bruschetta, Venison Terrine with Brie, Pickles and Red Currant Jelly and a Rib Beef Burger on a Glazed Brioche Bun with Tomato and Dill Relish.
Taste an ever-changing menu at Hadskis, which is brilliantly located right in the centre of Belfast’s cathedral quarter. The friendly and welcoming service ensures that a trip to this vibrant dining room will be unforgettable.
Not to mention that Hadskis also boasts an impressive drinks menu, with a great range of European wines available by the glass and bottle.
Ox is a Michelin Star restaurant in Belfast that aims to bring the best possible dining experience to guests. Showcasing excellent meats and sustainably sourced fish, Ox also pays special attention to its seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Overlooking the water, guests visiting Ox are in great hands with Chef owner Stephen Toman’s and co-owner Alain Kerloc’h’s extensive experience.
Eipic is inspired by the word Epicurean, which means “a person devoted to sensual enjoyment, especially that derived from fine food and drink”.
Delivering on that promise, Michelin starred Eipic prides itself on creating beautifully presented dishes that burst with subtle flavours. They use the best local and seasonal produce to ensure that every bite is a truly satisfying food experience.
The Muddlers Club
Tucked away between Waring Street and Exchange Place in Belfast’s cathedral quarter, The Muddlers Club has been named after the secret society that met there more than 200 years ago.
Head chef and owner Gareth McCaughey’s open kitchen provides a sense of theatre by allowing diners to watch as the handpicked ingredients are transformed into beautiful dishes right in front of them.
Whether you’re in search of a light bite to eat or a delightfully crafted cocktail, Rita’s is the place for you. Sit back and enjoy the ambience in this lavish Belfast bar, which is located in the city’s historic Linen Quarter.
With decor paying homage to the life of a 1940s ‘It Girl’, Rita’s is open 7 days a week, with table bookings available for groups of 5 or more. Rita’s also has a number of seasonal events including live music, cocktail happy hours and bartender specials.
Established in 2006, The Spaniard Bar in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter is an intimate spot for a cosy drink. With its quirky nature, The Spaniard is a haven for those who love a bit of rum in a truly unique spot.
The Perch, located in the city’s Linen Quarter, is Belfast’s highest rooftop bar. With cocktails and sangria on offer during summer, visitors can get cosy at The Perch in winter with hot cider, blankets and winter warmers all on offer.
If you can brave the cold weather, the views of Belfast are incredible to behold from the rooftop.
The Merchant Hotel
Housed in the former headquarters of Ulster Bank, The Merchant Hotel is the ultimate in luxury in Belfast, with the hotel oozing opulence from the moment you enter the front door.
With stunning rooms, incredible dining in The Great Room and an impressive selection of cocktails, a stay at The Merchant Hotel would seriously upgrade your Belfast holiday.
Located in the heart of Belfast, Bullitt is a stylish new addition to the Belfast hotel scene. Having opened its doors in October 2016, the hotel is so much more than a place to rest your head at night.
Bullitt is as quirky as it is chic, with one of a kind touches throughout, not to mention three bars and a fabulous in-house grill, Taylor & Clay.
The Fitzwilliam Hotel
Experience 5-star elegance in Belfast city centre with a stay at The Fitzwilliam Hotel on Great Victoria Street.
With fabulous accommodation and sumptuous dining options, this boutique hotel utilises local ingredients in a contemporary fashion.
The Stormont Hotel Belfast
Located just minutes from Belfast city centre, the 4-star Hastings Stormont Hotel Belfast overlooks the stunning grounds of Stormont Estate.
Perfectly situated for either a business or leisurely trip to Belfast, the hotel boasts a number of luxurious facilities, including 105 beautifully decorated bedrooms, a cocktail lounge, Afternoon Tea and more.
Sarah has always had a great love of travel, food and photography. Following her journalism degree at DCU, she developed a passion for travel writing while living in Spain.
Sarah loves exploring new places and sampling the local cuisine. Working with TheTaste.ie combines her love of food and travel.
A big people person, especially when it comes to hearing other people’s stories, Sarah loves interviewing chefs, food producers and more.