In search of the best restaurants in Ballycastle? Our Ballycastle restaurants guide will make your belly happy!
While Ballycastle is a popular seaside getaway to explore the stunning Antrim coast, it’s also home to plenty of great places to grab a bite-to-eat.
The picturesque little town has a lively food scene with everything from very traditional pubs to fancy (and tasty!) dining experiences up for grabs.
In the guide below, you’ll find our favourite Ballycastle restaurants, with a little bit of something to tickle most tastebuds.
Our favourite restaurants in Ballycastle
The first section of our guide to the best restaurants in Ballycastle tackles our favourite places to eat in Ballycastle.
These are pubs and restaurants that we (one of the Irish Road Trip team) have munched away in at some point over the years. Dive on in!
1. Thirty Nine Steak And Seafood Restaurant
Located right on the main street in the heart of Ballycastle, Thirty Nine Steak And Seafood Restaurant has been in the business for more than 20 years.
The menu at this family-run eatery changes weekly depending on the season. Expect to find everything from starters such as nachos, chicken wings, and goat cheese to freshly caught seafood delicacies and steaks.
The stuffed pork fillet with scallops is prepared to perfection and melts in your mouth. The special, monkfish and prawn curry, hake and mussels in creamy garlic sauce is also a good option.
2. Anzac Bar and Restaurant
Welcome to the Anzac Bar and Restaurant, a traditional Irish dining establishment located on Market Street in the heart of Ballycastle.
With wooden interiors, tables, and barstools, the decor at Anzac is quite simple. On the menu, expect to find seafood delicacies, meat dishes, and homemade desserts.
Starters include dishes such as chilli chicken noodles, fish cakes, and monkfish scampi. On the main menu, expect to find options such as hake cooked in prawns and chorizo, and the house salad with Cajun chicken. If you are craving something sweet, try the honeycomb cheesecake or chocolate brownie.
3. The Central Bar
The Central Bar in Ballycastle is a stylish venue that attracts locals and tourists alike. It has an upmarket bar area, a cocktail lounge, and a chic restaurant offering both local and international cuisine.
On the menu, you will find everything from meat and pasta dishes to freshly caught seafood. The restaurant’s signature seafood chowder is delicious and the steak sandwich is also worth ordering.
After dinner, check out the extensive cocktail menu! If you’re looking for restaurants in Ballycastle for a night our with friends, get yourself here.
Places to eat in Ballycastle with excellent reviews
As you’ve probably gathered at this stage, there’s an almost endless number of great places to eat in Ballycastle on offer.
If you’re still not sold on any of the previous choices, the section below is packed with some more highly-reviewed Ballycastle restaurants.
1. The Cellar
With cute wooden booths, low hanging lights, and a layered slate fireplace, this basement restaurant in Ballycastle is a great place to try local food specialities such as Irish beef and lamb, crab claws, salmon, and prawns.
In addition to an extensive seafood and fish menu, the Cellar also offers dishes such as the oriental duck, pork belly, and rack of lamb for all you meat lovers.
The food is beautifully presented and reasonably priced (for instance, Fruit de Mer will set you back only £7.95). For dessert, order the fresh chocolate fudge cake or banoffee pie.
2. The Diamond Bar
The Diamond is a charming Irish pub/bar that offers an extensive menu. Expect to find a range of starters, mains, sweets, beers, and wine.
The fillet steak sandwich is delicious and cooked to perfection. You can also try the Thai green curry or go for the popular seafood chowder.
If planning to visit the Diamond Bar on a Sunday, make sure to order the roast beef with veggies.
3. The Salthouse Hotel
If you are looking for a memorable dining experience with magnificent views of the Ocean, make sure to pay a visit to The Salthouse (one of our favourite hotels in Ballycastle).
Situated inside the Salthouse Hotel, this fine dining establishment offers an impressive food and drinks menu. Embracing its seaside location, the restaurant offers a range of freshly caught seafood dishes such as roast loin of cod, shrimp, and charred king oysters.
There is no shortage of delicious meat dishes on the menu. Try the medium fillet of Irish beef or order the pan-roasted breast of chicken with Clonakilty black pudding and pancetta sausage. For dessert, I recommend rich chocolate and salted caramel tart.
Cafes and other great casual Ballycastle restaurants
The final section of our guide is filled with more chilled places to eat in Ballycastle, with mix of cafes and coffee shops that pack a punch.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from the brilliant Our Dolly’s to the very popular Thyme and Co Cafe and Pizzeria.
1. Thyme & Co Cafe & Pizzeria
Located just a short walk from the beach in Ballycastle, Thyme & Co Cafe & Pizzeria is an award-winning (North Antrim Business Award for Best Eating Establishment) café that focuses on locally sourced homemade foods.
Expect to find exciting dishes such as freshly made sandwiches, homemade pastries, toasted wraps, aromatic soups, and salads. Don’t leave before trying their award-winning wheaten bread.
2. Donnelly’s Bakery and Coffee Shop
Donnelly’s Bakery and Coffee Shop in Ballycastle has been around for the last 40 years. Awarded bakery of the year in 2017 and best breakfast in NI for their Ulster Fry in 2015, the venue specializes in producing a range of traditional bread and delicious pastries made with locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality.
Try Donnelly’s unique Dalriada Loaf or enjoy Fadge (potato bread). Other signature dishes include Bannocks (oven soda) and Slims (griddle tea scones). Upstairs, guests can try lunch specials and homemade soups.
3. Our Dolly’s
This lovely café offers breakfast dishes including everything from pancakes, frys, burgers, and tray bakes.
The open club sandwich is delicious and salt and chilli goujons with garlic chips are also great. The café also serves freshly made pastries and cakes.
4. The Bay Café
Last in our guide to the best places to eat in Ballycastle is the brilliant Bay Café and you’ll find it located right down by the sea.
The menu at this family-owned café is fabulous with options such as hamburgers, fish and chips, and salads. Some of the most popular dishes include Philly cheesesteak sandwich and Ulster fry.
Going off the recent reviews online, the only thing that’s better than the food in this place is the service. Get in and make your belly happy!
What tasty Ballycastle restaurants have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some other great restaurants in Ballycastle from the guide above.
If you have any favourite Ballycastle restaurants that you’d like to recommend, drop a comment into the comments section below.
FAQs about the best restaurants in Ballycastle
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what are the best restaurants in Ballycastle for a fancy feed to which Ballycastle restaurants are nice and chilled.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best places to eat in Ballycastle?
I’d argue that the best places to eat in Ballycastle are The Central Bar, Anzac Bar and Restaurant and Thirty Nine Steak And Seafood Restaurant.
What Ballycastle restaurants are good for a fancy meal?
If you’re looking for Ballycastle restaurants to mark a special occasion, it’s hard to go wrong with Thirty Nine Steak And Seafood Restaurant and the restaurant in the Salthouse.
What are the best restaurants in Ballycastle for something casual and tasty?
There are some great casual places to eat in Ballycastle, with Our Dolly’s, Thyme & Co Cafe & Pizzeria and The Bay Café the pick of the bunch, in my opinion.
A thirsty travel writer with a passion for weird street food, Aperol spritz, and tropical islands.