Food & Drink

Foodie Finds: Villa Italia, Smash Bros, Coan and Rhika’s Kitchen

From coffee shops with a view to takeaways with a kick we have your guide to the best food spots in Belfast and (occasionally) beyond

Smash Bros. Picture by Mal McCann
Smash Bros. Picture by Mal McCann Smash Bros. Picture by Mal McCann
Orto – Belfast

Orto had big shoes to fill when it replaced café Conor on Stranmillis back in 2022. Two years on its popularity is unparalleled with the company having to open another two sites – one in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and on Bedford Street.

Using woodfired ovens to perfect their pies Orto has quickly become the place to beat when it comes to pizza – it was the first place I ever tried hot honey and it was a total game changer…

House of Zen – Belfast

The feel of a venue adds a lot to the dining experience – something House of Zen understands very well. One of Eddie Fung’s ‘babies’, the restaurant combines dark, moody and elegant décor with a unique and extensive Chinese fusion menu. Popular dishes include slowly barbecued tender ribs, chicken fillets, wild mushrooms or asparagus and succulent steaks. However, the star of the show is their marinated strips of fillet beef cooked to order.

Villa Italia – Belfast

There’s a very simple reason Villa Italia has been on the go for 35 years – because it’s good. Just stepping inside makes you feel like you’re in some kind of rustic restaurant in Italy. The menu is traditional but extensive and the general vibe lends itself to all occasions – always a solid shout.


Friday date night @villa_italia i am truly speachless i cannot find the words… #foodie #food #italianfood #viral #foryoupage #sogood

♬ original sound - Danielle🌸
Broker – Belfast

Located on the Upper Newtownards Road is a stunning tapas and wine bar. Broker is the latest venture from barber turned entrepreneur Peter McCloskey.

McCloskey started in the hospitality trade eight years ago with a coffee shop on the Belmont Road in east Belfast named Oliver’s Coffee, then came Oliver’s Deli, another coffee shop on the Lisburn Road and Oliver’s restaurant on the Upper Newtownards Road.

Now, he is making his way into the fine dining market. Broker, a nod to Abbey Autoline which was one of the tenants of the units he acquired for the restaurants, is serving up some serious small plates. From pan seared scallops to jerk chicken there is a fantastic amount of choice and flavours on offer.

Coan – Newtownards

Situated on the shores of Strangford Lough in the quaint village of Kircubbin, Coan is the perfect place to grab a cuppa and relax. Staff are friendly, the coffee is class and they offer a vast selection of locally sourced sweet and savoury snacks – all whilst you look out at the beautiful views of the lough.


the perfect view & amazing selection of goodies to watch the world go by <3 #northernireland #coancoffee #coan #coffeetiktok #ardspeninsula #exploreni

♬ som original - Vênus
cHILL – Belfast

Specialising in ice cream and coffee cHILL on the Cavehill Road has got you covered whether you are in the mood for something hot or cold.

Or if you like unusual sweet treats they have just launched their new dessert – Crepaghetti – a large crepe chopped into spaghetti pieces and served with Nutella, strawberries, chocolate sauce and white buttons. Perfect for pancake Tuesday.

Trait – Belfast and Comber

Known for their coffee and tray bakes Trait is shaking it up when it comes to traditional coffee shop treats. Most notably their fifteens-inspired triple baked croissant – different, daring and delightful.


Is this the best coffee spot in NI? Personally, I think its up there… really good coffee… giving it a solid 9.2/10. Let us know your fave coffee spots in the comments ☕️ #nifoodreviews #nifood #nifoodie #northernireland #nifoodblog #nifoodfinds #belfast #belfastcity #comber #belfastfoodie #belfastcoffee #coffee #belfastfoodblog #belfastfoodblogger #belfastfoodbloggers

♬ Icytwat X Ethereal Type Beat "Stars" - Bvtter
Neighbourhood Café – Belfast

Probably one of the most popular brunch spots in Belfast and for good reason. Supplying customers with specialty coffee and quality brunch offerings in a space that feels light and airy – a classic hipster haunt if you will.

Smash Bros – Belfast

Known for their smashed patties, Smash Bros based in Common Market pulverize their burgers to ensure they develop a crispy, flavoursome crust making them not just unique but also a little bit special. The menu is small with just a few variations on their classic smash burger, fries with various toppings and their chicken wings. They don’t need to do anything else when what they’re putting out is already so good.

TAQUITOS – Belfast

Originally a serving up authentic Mexican street food in a van parked beside the big fish in Belfast Taquitos has branched out, opening up an new venue on Springfield Road.

Brought to life by Gary Quinn who had originally flew off to Florida in 2016 to hone his skills as a chef by learning from two 3 star Michelin trained chefs. However, due to complications with his visa extension Gary found himself back in Belfast.


Try this Mexican spot in Belfast: Taquitos

♬ original sound - Food Featured • NI’s Best Food

Already inspired by Mexican food Taquitos was born offering up soft taco, burritos and rice bowls to those who like a kick when it comes to their takeaway.

Rhika’s Kitchen - Portadown

By far the coolest takeout you’ve never heard of. Rhika’s Kitchen is run by a husband-and-wife duo out of their house…

Send them a WhatsApp to view the menu or place an order and then you go to their house in Portadown to pick it up.

The food is fresh, and the portions are huge making this massive value for money – the most expensive item on the menu is around £10.

They make their own sauces, cut their own chips, batter their own chicken with the meat coming from a butcher down the road from where they live. It is as wholesome and homemade as a takeout can possibly be.