Belfast is a vibrant city, heaving with the kind of foodie scene that you might not necessarily expect from a little city in the north of Ireland. In reality these days, most cities in the UK and Ireland are teeming with fantastic restaurants, both new and old, in a bid to follow London food trends.
Deane’s is something of an institution in Belfast; think classic, sophisticated gourmet with an Irish twist. Excellent service and attention to detail make this an ideal destination for a special dinner if you’re in the mood for fine dining and a great atmosphere. Capitalising on the success of the main restaurant, Chef Michael Deane has opened other ventures across the city in recent years. Our favourite? Deane’s Love Fish (right next door to the original Deane’s on Howard Street) offers a great value menu, teeming with fresh seafood and delicious sides. The setting is just as pleasing as the produce; a bright, white dining room flooded with light thanks to the beautiful conservatory-style roof.
For the best Asian fusion in the city and beyond, a trip to Zen is highly recommended. A well-established joint, known for consistency in both food and service, Zen offers the best of Asia; sushi, curries, satays and the rest. In the mood to party? Try their infamous cocktail masterclass!
If casual, affordable dining is your thing, Made in Belfast is an eclectic gem at the heart of the city, with what has to be one of the city’s funkiest interiors. Made in Belfast prides itself on making use of the freshest, local produce, and the menu is seasonally altered to reflect this. Recently, MIB have also established a second restaurant; Le Coop on Hill St has caught on to the rotisserie chicken trend, serving free-range Fermanagh chicken with a diverse range of sides in a relaxed setting.
For a fun, casual meal, be sure to check out Alley Cat. The location (just behind the Victoria Square shopping centre) makes for an ideal laid-back, post-shopping dinner spot – dump your bags on the roomy seats and dig into a feast of American diner fare; mac and cheese, pulled pork and juicy burgers are all on offer. For cocktail lovers, Alley Cat offers a fun twist on the traditional, serving quirky cocktails for two in a teapot!0