Belfast has everything to quench any appetite, and best of all, eating meat on a Friday during Lent is no longer regarded as an expression of anti-Nationalism.
BoojumBotanic AvePrice: 4.50-5.50Opened in 2008, this Mexican grill offers superb burritos, fajitsa and tacos. Similar in style, and layout to the U.S. chain Chipolte. All ingredients are sourced direct from Mexico. A delicious, reasonable and very satisfying alternative.
Bright's Restaurant41-43 Castle St and 23-25 High StPhone: +44 28 9024 5688Two locations in the city centre known for serving the best traditional breakfast in town for only 2.95 before 11AM. Large portions and good service. Can be very busy at times. Crown Dining Rooms46 Great Victoria StPhone: +44 28 9027 9901Above the Crown Liquor Saloon, this is a great place to eat local food in cosy surroundings. Ticks all the boxes for a warming meal on a cold day, but can be a little crowded with tourists: don't be surprised if you hear more American accents than Northern Irish. Delaney's19 Lombard StPhone: +44 28 9023 1572A diner with a cosy, old fashioned interior Cooked breakfast from 1.50 and lunches from 2.95. A local favourite. Doorsteps Sandwiches455 Lisburn RdPhone: +44 28 9068 1645A good place for sandwiches, which are large enough to justify the name of the caf, and which are exceptionally good value. The John Hewitt51 Donegall StPhone: +44 28 9023 3768Decently priced meals are available during the day and until 9PM in this popular Cathedral Quarter pub. Big plates with well sourced local ingredients and traditional meals. One of the best pubs for lunch in the city. Little Italy Pizza13 Amelia StPhone: +44 28 9031 4914If you're out on the town, this is the perfect place for something to soak up the booze. Just around the corner from the Crown Bar, this place does the very best (and the cheapest) pizza in Belfast. Loaf CafeMaureen Sheehan Centre, 106 Albert StPhone: +44 28 9090 0071Hours: M-F 8:30AM-3PMPrice: Lunch 3.50This lovely little cafe which serves a great range of breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea options. Check out their lovely lunch specials and pizza meal deal for 2 on a Wednesday! Profits from Loaf are used to support local people with learning disabilities. Maggie Mays50 Botanic AvePhone: +44 28 9032 2662Anyone who has had a hangover in Belfast has had Maggie Mays' Ulster fry. Serves a hefty, but far from the best, traditional Ulster breakfast (bacon, sausage, egg, fried bread, soda bread etc). The cosy interior is decorated with paintings and street signs from around Belfast. Service can be patchy, but the main reason to come here is the food. Often difficult to get a table, but well worth it if you can! Avoid more than weekly visits, your heart will thank you. Moghul Restaurant62a, Botanic AvePhone: +44 28 9032 6677This fine Indian restaurant has good value lunch deals, and is a handy starting point for a night out on the Golden Mile. Try for the special Friday lunch buffet.
Nex D'Or34 Castle St and 13 Rosemary StOh, Belfast, where did you go? Proof that some parts of this city are resisting the onslaught of urban renewal, caf latts and trendification. When you really need classless comfort food in a smokey low level diner, nowhere is better than the two branches of Nex D'Or. Don't expect the world's finest food, but do expect fond memories of what this town used to be like. Cheap as hell, and that's not just the menu.
SPUDS37 Bradbury PlLong established (since 1971) and very popular traditional diner and take-away serving an array of local specialities. Known for its baked potatoes, served with pretty much anything you can imagine. Serves the best 'champ' in the city (a local dish consisting of creamed potatoes, butter and spring onion).
The Bridge House (J.D. Wetherspoon)35-43 Bedford StreetUbiquitous chain pub found in almost every UK town. Serves undeniably good value food, though quality is sometimes sacrificed for price. Many meals served with free pint.
Apartment2 Donegall Square WPhone: +44 28 9050 9777Belfast's most stylish venue with amazing views over City Hall. Raised above Belfast's bustling streets this cosmopolitan bar & restaurant has it all to offer - whether its coffee & croissants, lunch & cocktails or wine & dinner. At night Apartment transforms from a modern eatery to a busy lounge bar with cool urban beats from some of Belfast's top DJ's. Apartment's ever evolving Cocktail List is the most extensive in Belfast with some of the city's finest & most original blends. Lee Garden14-18 Botanic AvePhone: +44 28 90278882Popular during the day, mainly due to its 6.95 lunch specials. Evening meals are of average quality and are quite expensive. Little Wing Pizzeria10 Ann StreetPhone: +44 28 9024 7000Belfast's trendiest pizzeria serves some fantastic quality food in comfortable surroundings. Ideally located near Victoria Square, bookings sometimes necessary at peak times. Scalini85 Botanic AvePhone: +44 28 9032 0303A very good Italian restaurant located in the trendy Botanic area of the city and close to Queen's University. Food and drink is very well priced and the portions are generous. Reservations not always required apart from on peak nights.
Aldens Restaurant229 Upper Newtownards RdPhone: +44 28 9065 0079This restaurant is further out of town but serves excellent food with great service. Cayenne Restaurant7 Ascot House, Shaftsbury SqPhone: +44 28 9033 1532Famous chefs Paul & Jeanne Rankin's Cayenne is a well established place for quality and funky food. Pre-theater menus cost 12. The King's Head829 Lisburn RdPhone: +44 28 9050 9950A recent, major refurbishment has seen The King's Head re-open and quickly become one of the Lisburn Road's finest venues, combining both fresh food and local character. A 120 seater restaurant, dedicated Live Lounge, Gastro Pub & beer garden allow you to have the complete entertainment experience under one roof. All the luxury touches with excellent customer service without the formality. The Merchant HotelBelfast's most opulent hotel. A sumptuous, intimate and welcoming hotel in the heart of The Cathedral Quarter, in Belfasts city centre. The Merchant Hotel offers unrivalled service in a luxurious, historically significant building. Restaurant Michael Deane1F 36-40 Howard St (Brasserie on ground floor)Phone: +44 28 9033 1134Belfast's only Michelin Star restaurant, ideal for all the frills dining but despite the accolades it is not overly stuffy.
ShuOn the lower Lisburn Road, this perenially popular restaurant is a must-visit for a special occasion. You can expect not only great food and excellent service, but also great craic and a real buzz in the modern and stylish dining room.
RBG Belfast4 Clarence Street West, Off Bedford Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland. BT2 7GPPhone: +44 2890677707Hours: All day diningAll day dining in a relaxing atmostphere located at the heart of the city. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights.