There’s some incredible places to eat in Newcastle Co Down.
On the edge of Northern Ireland’s coastline, this seaside town benefits from the best of all culinary worlds; fields, seas, and sensational local producers.
The town’s thriving foodie scene boasts everything from dive cafes and fine dining to hearty pub grub.
Below, you’ll find the best restaurants in Newcastle Co Down, with a mix of our favourites and places that have racked up rave reviews onlin!
Our favourite places to eat in Newcastle Co Down
The first section of our guide is packed with our favourite restaurants in Newcastle Co Down.
These are places that one or more of The Irish Road Trip Team have been to and loved!
1. Villa Vinci
Expect a charming Italian-style restaurant with wooden tables with matching green and gold leather stud-lined chairs and bright down lighting when you enter Villa Vinci.
Order a drink from the in-house bar; they have a host of Italian wines and beers to choose from. There’s no shortage of tempting dishes on their menu, with traditional Antipasto Misto a popular choice for couples.
When it comes to your main dish, you’ll be torn between lots of choices, so be prepared! If it helps, the succulent roast cod with new potatoes is a sure-fire winner! This is one of our favourite places to eat in Newcastle Co Down for good reason!
2. Quinns Bar
From midday to midnight, Quinns Bar serves up quality food and beverages to all who grace the restaurant. With its central door that opens onto the street corner, Quinns iconic green and gold entrance draws you in instantly.
Once inside, you’ll step back in time to the height of 19th-century elegance and style. Just like the bar, the menu is filled with pub food classics, so order yourself a pint of Guinness and get ready for some incredible flavours!
Choose the crispy chicken wings or pulled pork spring rolls to get the party started, then move on to the venison burger.
3. Great Jones
Another of our go-to restaurants in Newcastle Co Down is the brilliant Great Jones. A smooth balance of modern industrial styling with wooden tabletops, warehouse lighting, and metal cafe chairs, Great Jones is a chilled place to enjoy a great meal with friends and family.
Grab a menu with a beverage from the drinks list, and check out the eclectic artworks while you wait for your food to arrive.
Coming highly recommended, the goat’s cheese and beetroot starter is a great way to wake up your appetite, or share some pulled pork tacos before your mains appear.
Do try the salt-cured Barbary duck or the grilled Sea Bass for something a little bit different.
4. Golf Links House
Winning awards since 2000, the Golf Links House restaurant has set diner’s palettes alight with the flavours of old and new alike.
Set on the grounds of the hotel, this restaurant is open to residents and visitors and prides itself in excellence in all things.
Primarily a fine dining experience, you can take advantage of the Afternoon Tea menu, which is a nice way to enjoy the sumptuous surroundings, the dessert tier of the menu is decidedly seductive.
If you manage to save yourself for the main event, do take the time to enjoy the warm chocolate fudge cake, or the Malteser cheesecake, as they’re both delicious.
This is one of the more popular places to eat in Newcastle Co Down for good reason!
5. Maghera Inn
The 200-year-old Maghera Inn Pub is one of those places that I wish was my local. Cosy, top-notch service and gorgeous food – a fine combination!
We’ve only every had lunch here, usually after tackling one of the Mourne Mountains walks, and it never fails to disappoint.
For starters, there’s everything from homemade soup and sweet chilli chicken strips to seafood chowder and ribs. For mains, you’ve your choice of burgers, steaks, a roast of the day and more.
More great restaurants in Newcastle Co Down
Now that we have our favourite places to eat in Newcastle Co Down out of the way, it’s time to see what else the town has to offer.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from Piccolo Kitchen and Brunel’s to some of the most highly reviewed restaurants in Newcastle Co Down.
1. Piccolo Kitchen
Easily one of the most relaxed and chilled pizza places you’ll discover, the ambience at Piccolo will have you whiling away the hours in great company with excellent food.
Wood and metal tables, reminiscent of old school tables, with industrial downlights creates a rustic urban feel in which to enjoy the restaurant’s delectable menu.
Order up some barbeque chicken wings, or the hot pepper chicken wings and a few drinks to get your evening going. When you’re ready, it’s time for the main show; the wood-fired pizza!
If you’re looking for laid-back restaurants in Newcastle Co Down, Piccolo is well worth considering.
2. Brunel’s Restaurant
From weekend lunches through to intimate late dinners, the kitchen at Brunel’s will have you chomping at the bit to pull up a seat and get stuck into their picture-perfect menu.
It’s a richly decorated atmosphere, with slate-blue velvet bench seating and rustic timber tables contrasting against the polished silverware and long-stemmed glasses; sophistication and temptation all in one.
Don’t hold back on this award-winning menu, each dish is every bit as good as it looks. Of special note is the Magret duck breast with beetroot, and celeriac puree, or if you’re dining with that special someone, slash out on the memorable Cote de beouf.
3. Macken’s Bar
If you’re after places to eat in Newcastle Co Down where you can make a night of it, head to Macken’s. Come for a pint, enjoy a dinner out, and stay on for the craic, this bar has it all for a great night out!
It’s a rare combination; a proper bar with all the favourite drinks on tap, combined with an intimate dining room that oozes charm and a warm welcome to locals and visitors alike.
Don’t mess around and waste your time umming and ahhing, it’s the 12oz salt aged Sirloin you want if steak is your go-to.
Of course, if you’re feeling nostalgic, it’s hard to go past the Glenarm silverside with creamy potatoes, gravy and roasted vegetables.
4. The Burrendale Hotel
Just northeast of the town, this hotel and country club’s in-house restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Newcastle Co Down for fine dining.
Crisp linens, long-stemmed glassware, and highly polished silverware that reflect the gleaming chandeliers all help create the right atmosphere that showcases the impeccable menu.
Although the menu changes frequently, as ingredients are sourced seasonally from local producers, you can expect exceptional dishes like Fivemiletown goat’s cheese mousse or local panko-crusted fish cakes with chunky tartare.
But, it’s dishes like the flavour-loaded triple-cooked Begney Hill pork belly with Clonakilty black pudding, and the succulent Carnbrooke slow-braised Irish beef that really steals the limelight.
Lovely casual places to eat in Newcastle Co Down
The final section of our guide takes a look at some excellent casual places to eat in Newcastle Co Down.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from Railway St. and Shimna Café to some often missed restaurants in Newcastle Co Down.
1. Nikis Kitchen Cafe
Super popular with locals, this small cafe serves up everything from coffees with a kick, teas that soothe and revive, and baked goods that refuel with lip-smacking satisfaction.
There are only a few tables, so a wait is possible, but it is worth doing just that. Grab a spot when you can, and get your order in for; a drink of your choosing and whichever of Niki’s cakes or slices calls your name the loudest.
Want something a bit more substantial? No worries, there’s also cooked breakfasts, sausage baps, poached eggs on smashed avocado toast, or lasagne with garlic bread to stoke you up.
Although Nikis is a cafe, it could go toe-to-toe with some of the best restaurants in Newcastle Co Down – it’s well worth a try!
2. Railway St. Cafe & Brew Bar
Railway St. is a peach of a spot. The only thing better than the food here is the way that it’s presented (see above!).
Whether it’s a stack of waffles with ice cream, a full cooked breakfast with potato scones and black pudding, or a plateful of loaded tacos with chicken goujons.
If you’re not looking for a meal, or if you’re just passing through and thirsty, the Railway St. Cafe is also a great spot to grab a coffee or cold drink in its rustic and unassuming atmosphere; reclaimed timber tables, neutral tones, and ambient lighting.
3. Shimna Café
An all-day cafe, from breakfast until late afternoon, Shimna Café is friendly and welcoming that’s just a stone’s throw away from the waterfront – making it a great spot to enjoy a reviving hot drink or refuel with something tasty.
There are plenty of tables and chairs for those who want to linger, and quick service for those on foot or powering through on pedals. Stop in for a fully cooked Irish breakfast, or just some scrambled eggs and toast.
If it’s lunchtime, you want to try one of their toasted paninis with a side salad and some crisps, or just grab a muffin and coffee-to-go, the choice is yours.
4. The Anchor Bar
Located at the south end of Newcastle, and with a tiny spot of grass and sandy beach in front of it, the Anchor Bar is a cosy spot that dishes up a fine bit of grub.
Walk in here and you’ll find long dark wooden bar with a bevy of pumps, plenty of proper bar stools, and several low tables and chair propping up locals and visitors as they enjoy a great pub meal.
That’s what you’ll find here, proper tasty and filling gastropub food, like burgers with a healthy serve of chips and sauce, battered fish and chips with mushy peas, even the iconic cob-loaf with soup inside!
FAQs about the best places to eat in Newcastle
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where’s good for Sunday lunch?’ to ‘Where does fine dining?’.
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 restaurants in Newcastle Co Down?
In our opinion, it’s hard to beat Golf Links House, Great Jones, Quinns Bar and the brilliant Villa Vinci.
What are good casual places to eat in Newcastle Co Down?
Nikis, Railway St., Shimna Café and The Anchor Bar are great casual restaurants in Newcastle.
I was born in a quiet corner of a Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula. Over the years, I’ve explored Ireland far and wide, from the wilds of West Clare to the shores of Sherkin. Particularly fond of heritage, history and hikes (and words beginning with ‘H’, apparently…).