The Best Restaurants In Belfast: 11 Tasty (And Pocket-Friendly!) Places To Eat

best restaurants in Belfast
Photos via the Cuban Sandwich Factory

If you’re in search of the best restaurants in Belfast, then you’ve come to the right place!

When it comes to eating out in Belfast, there are now more quality restaurants in the city than at any other point in the city’s history.

… OK – that’s a pretty big statement, but there really are an incredible number of top restaurants in Belfast that’ll make your belly happy!

The best restaurants in Belfast

Whilst the city is home to its fair share of upmarket options (as you’ll know if you read our guide to the best afternoon tea in Belfast!), the reality is that you don’t need to break the bank to eat well here.

From locally sourced seafood to Latin American-inspired sandwiches, the culinary delights on offer are as varied as they are great value.

Below, you’ll discover 11 of the best restaurants in Belfast if you’re in search of something tasty that won’t break the bank.

1. Made in Belfast

Food from Made in Belfast
Photo via Made in Belfast Restaurant

This hugely popular restaurant in the city’s Cathedral Quarter is a celebration of Belfast and the surrounding areas’ incredible produce. 

At Made in Belfast, the emphasis is totally on the food, with the surrounds largely made up of repurposed materials funkily combined.

Key dishes here include burgers, salads and sandwiches made only from local meats, cheese, vegetables and flour. The ingredients are pure Belfast but the cuisine is very much international.

Traveller tip: The Wellington St. location is a handy one to drop into if you’re visiting the Belfast Christmas market 2020 (it’s a 3-minute walk).

2. Holohan’s at the Barge

holohans restaurant in belfast
Photo via Holohan’s at the Barge

The views at Holohan’s Barge are almost as good as the food. Situated on a refurbished barge, the sea is literally right next to the dining area here.

The menu is slick, seasonal and mostly European, with offerings such as chicken liver parfait, venison with truffled mash and of course ubiquitous boxty, taken to new heights at Holohan’s.

Be sure to book a table if you’re planning to visit this spot, it can get seriously busy at certain times!

3. Pablos (one of the best restaurants in Belfast if you’re after a great burger!)

pablos burger spot
Photo via Pablo’s (one of the best restaurants in Belfast in our books!)

Pablo’s is a Mexican inspired burger joint in the Belfast centre that’s become a haven for the city’s burger lovers.

You can’t blame them either, with a smashing selection of tequila and mezcal as well as cocktails containing all manner of intriguing ingredients, this is a unique spot indeed.

The real reason people come here is for the food, though. You can expect delicious creations such as double cheeseburgers with bacon, various tacos and loaded fries. The fare at Pablo’s is perfect to line the stomach before a session!

4. The Cuban Sandwich Factory

best restaurants in Belfast
Photos via the Cuban Sandwich Factory

Cubano sandwiches have become something of a global phenomenon in recent years. There’s just something about the combination of pillowy bread, melting cheese, tangy pickles and salty meats that feels right.

At Belfast’s Cuban Sandwich Factory, they do this modern classic perfectly. Using locally sourced meats such as roast pork and ham, this spot has developed a cult following since opening and they regularly sell out, so get here early!

Related read: Check out our guide to 25 of the best things to do in Belfast. You’ll find everything from hikes and walks to tours and historical places to visit.

5. John Long’s Fish and Chips

fish and chips belfast
Photo via John Long’s

As Belfast as it gets, John Long’s has been serving up gorgeously greasy portions of fish and chips for over a century now.

A hidden gem near the Opera House, Long’s offer seating or takeaway options but the end result is always the same.

Perfectly battered fish, crispy yet gorgeously soft on the inside chips and homemade sides like tartare sauce, curry and gravy. For our money, there’s no better chippy in all of Belfast. 

6. Deanes Belfast

deanes of belfast
Photo via Deanes Restaurant Belfast

Deanes is a Belfast institution. Comprising four venues from legendary restaurateur Michael Deane, the name itself commands respect in this city.

Whether you choose Deanes Meat Locker, Deanes Love Fish, Deanes at Queens or a quick trip to Deanes Deli, you’re guaranteed quality.

We particularly love the Meat Locker, where locally sourced steaks and chops are served up no-frills style, with all the attention on the food. As far as we’re concerned, it shouldn’t be any other way.

7. Tribal Burger

one of the best burgers in Belfast
Photo via Tribal Burger Belfast

Tribal Burger makes the bold claim of being Belfast’s best burger. With homemade gourmet patties, fresh-cut chips, crispy chicken wings and rich shakes, it’s tough to disagree!

Tribal is known for being big on quality, with prime local beef, homemade sauces and premium toppings making their burgers that extra bit special.

Think balsamic onions, blue cheese sauce and freshly toasted buns and you’ll have a good idea of what this place is all about.

8. Maggie Mays Belfast Cafe

breakfast in belfast
Photo via Maggie Mays Cafe

Relaxed, traditional and absolutely no-frills, Maggie Mays is Belfast on a plate. This iconic city-centre cafe is the place to come for very tasty breakfasts, lunches, dinners and treats.

Full cooked breakfasts are generous and high-quality, their sandwiches hearty and the Belfast stew is as good as any in town.

Maggie Mays Belfast Cafe does Irish comfort food at its best and that’s exactly why we love it. This is one of the best places to eat in Belfast if you fancy good food, warm service and great value.

9. Morning Star

morning star belfast
Photo via the Morning Star

This 19th-century boozer might not look like it from the outside but they serve up some of the most delicious grub in Belfast.

With an in-house butcher and their own kitchen garden, the team at Morning Star does not mess about when it comes to quality and freshness.

Key dishes here include the Morning Star burger, crispy mackerel salad and the Artisan Cheese Board, using Fivemiletown Belfast cheese.

It is worth mentioning that the selection of wines, whiskeys and craft beers at Morning Star is one of the best in town, too.

10. Lavery’s (one of our favourite places to eat in Belfast)

one of our favourite places to eat in Belfast
Photo via Lavery’s

Lavery’s might be the city’s oldest family-owned bar, yet it’s also one of its best places to eat. Located in the centre of town, their menu is classic American bar fare done properly.

Think chicken wings in hot sauce, stacked burgers and hot sandwiches oozing with cheese and you’re on the right lines.

As far as bar food goes in Belfast, they don’t come much better than Lavery’s. Come here to watch your favourite team with a pint and a classic bar snack. Bliss!

11. Whites Tavern

one of the oldest bars in Belfast
Photo via Whites Tavern

If you read our guide to the best pubs in Belfast, you’ll recognise the absolute gem that is White’s Tavern.

Dating back to the 17th century, Whites lays claim to being the oldest tavern in Belfast. With centuries-old features remaining intact along with an ambient open fire, this remains a popular boozer for locals and visitors alike.

The food, as you might imagine, is also wonderfully traditional at Whites Tavern. That’s not to say it isn’t elegant, with Kilkeel crab on toast and seared scallops on offer, this isn’t your local pub chain.

Located within the tavern, the Oyster Room specializes in locally sourced seafood served in the freshest, most honest way imaginable. 

The best places to eat in Belfast – where have we missed?

I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant restaurants in Belfast City centre and beyond.

If you’ve eaten in a good restaurant in Belfast recently that you’d recommend, let me know in the comments below.

James Connolly is a professional writer based in London. Having lived in cities across the world including Mumbai, Medellin and Barcelona, he uses his expertise to write articles showcasing the best of global travel.