We’ve known it for years, but at last it’s official: Belfast is ‘cool’. That’s according to the National Geographic, which recently added the city to its ‘Cool List’ for 2024, making it one of the 30 most exciting destinations to visit next year.
But why wait ‘til then? With Christmas and New Year fast approaching, now’s the perfect time to make a trip to our wee city to indulge in the very best Belfast has to offer – not least its incredible food and drink options for a festive treat to remember.
Whether you’re planning a romantic night under the fairy lights, a yuletide feast with pals or a festive brunch on the move, the city has a long and ever-growing list of top-class eateries to suit you and your budget.
Check out Visit Belfast’s list of some of the best spots in Belfast for a fabulous festive feast…
Feeding and watering the people of Belfast since 1901, the iconic pub was restored and launched in 2019, embracing its historic roots with great local grub drinks and live traditional music. Getting in the Christmas spirit, the festive menu features a Roast Turkey Dinner, Sprout & Chestnut Risotto and a mouth-watering Christmas Pudding Sundae. Find out more at www.fountainlanebelfast.com.
Serving good food at moderate prices, this home from home in the heart of the city is a huge hit with a wide range of diners from locals and tourists to die-hard foodies. The team has created an extensive menu of all-time favourites using fresh and seasonal produce, with a scrumptious Christmas menu offering classics like Duck Pate, Turkey and Ham and Home Christmas Pudding – as well as a long list of other options. To find out more visit www.homebelfast.co.uk.
Delicious Home Food Brilliant Belfast restaurant HOME michelinbibgourmand the best food in lovely surroundings. meze, beef, pork, super salad, parmesan fries, chocolate fondant, cheesecake #delicious #tastyfood #placestoeatinbelfast #foodontiktok #belfastfoodiereviews #belfastfoodiemo #homerestaurant #michelinbibgourmand #bestrestaurants #foodbloggertiktok #dinning #eatingout♬ Food Vlog - Sound_Force
The Muddlers Club
Tucked away between Waring Street and Exchange Place in the Cathedral Quarter, The Muddlers Club delivers jaw-dropping seasonal tasting menus and punchy dishes with style that rests on outstanding local ingredients. The restaurant’s open kitchen offers a magic touch of drama as diners watch ingredients transform into stunning dishes before their eyes. For more information, visit www.themuddlersclubbelfast.com.
For a special seasonal treat with loved ones, indulge in a Festive Afternoon Tea at The Merchant. With a three-tiered silver stand boasting finger sandwiches and scones as well as mince pies and Christmas cake, this festive feast also comes with a glass of house white or rose Champagne – all served in the stunning surroundings of one of the city’s best-loved luxury hotels. Visit www.themerchanthotel.com to find out more and to book.
Theres nothing more boujee than lunch at the great room in the merchant 💖. That cheese souffle is always gonna be my fav 😍. #belfast #themerchant #themerchanthotel #themerchantbelfast #merchanthotelbelfast #thegreatroom #finedining #lunch #belfastfoodie #belfasttiktok #nifoodblogger #nifoodie #belfastfoodbloggers #discoverni #northernireland♬ Woop Baby - Letherette
Embrace the spirit of sharing this Christmas at 2Taps in the bustling Cathedral Quarter. The tapas restaurant, boasting one of the city’s largest outdoor heated terraces, offers a brilliantly relaxed dining experience, and is the perfect spot to do Christmas dinner with a tapas twist with options like turkey roulades, chicken liver pate, stuffed brie balls and camembert sharing boards on the menu. For more information visit www.2taps-winebar.com.
Try something a little bit different with a trip to Belfast’s new outdoor street-food and retail market right in the heart of the city. With an incredible selection of delicious food and drink as well as
some super shopping, it’s the perfect spot to stop off and fill up as part of your festive day out in town. To find out more visit trademarketbelfast.com.
Perfectly placed opposite Belfast City Hall in fabulously chic surroundings, the former ‘Café Parisien’ offers a great choice of menu options – including brunch and afternoon tea. Brasserie-style, the team prioritises local ingredients and classic French cooking, from Moules Mariniere to Croque Madame and frites. There’s a stunning cocktail list and a selection of wines too – not to mention Champagne by the glass or bottle. Perfect for a Christmas treat. Visit www.cafeparisienbelfast.com for more.
Bank Square Brasserie
Keeping the brasserie style, this red brick-walled casual diner offers a fine range of traditional Irish and European-style dishes – and a great value pre-theatre menu from 5pm to 7pm. You can even BYO too, so you get to choose and save the pennies. From goat’s cheese fritters to chilli squid, sirloin steaks, pork belly and Thai green curry, the trouble will be picking your favourite from this mouth-watering menu. Find out more at www.banksqbrasserie.co.uk.
The Bank Sq Brasserie Lunch Deal is a STEAL! I was invited down to to check out their lunch menu in Belfast City Centre and guys, we were super impressed. If you are looking for somewhere in town for lunch that isn’t a coffee shop then this is definitely the place for you! They have a full starters/mains/desserts menu similar to their dinner but also have a £10 Lunch Deal Mon-Fri for people just popping in for a quick lunch whilst in town and it’s an absolute BARGAIN! I made sure to start with a cocktail as I know from experience these guys know their way around a drink. We ordered the Lobster Dumplings and Thai Crispy Beef for starters from the full menu which were both so tasty! We then had the Burger and Salt & Chilli Squid from the £10 lunch deal which were both great and also very generous portions! From the food and drinks to the service and atmosphere, this place is an absolute gem! If you are with an appetite pleeeease get the burger and fries, you won’t regret it 😋 #belfast #belfasttiktok #belfasthiddengems #belfastfood #belfastfoodplaces #belfastlunch #nifood #nifoodreviews #nifoodspots #nitiktok #belfastfoodspots♬ Fighter (Instrumental) - ROKKA
A huge hit since it opened in 2012, Coppi’s popular menu is made up of contemporary Italian inspired dishes, showcasing the best of local produce. From fresh handmade pasta to stunning seafood dishes and desserts made fresh in the restaurant each day, there’s an option for everyone at the Cathedral Quarter eatery. The cichetti – scrumptious savoury snacks traditionally served in Bacari Bars in Venice – are a must. Visit www.coppi.co.uk for more information.
You have to visit this modern #Italianrestaurant in #Belfast when you visit the city! The food is delicious and they have a great cocktail menu too 🍹🥵 📍 @Coppi Belfast #CoppiBelfast #belfastfoodplaces #belfastfoodbloggers #belfastfoodie #belfastcathedralquarter #belfastfoodfinds #fyp #travelblogger #kristatheexplorer #northernireland♬ originalljud - 🎶❤️
One of the city’s newest and most popular offerings is Waterman, a lively restaurant and cookery school located in Belfast’s thriving Cathedral Quarter. Added to this year’s Michelin Guide, it offers surprisingly good value, a la carte and set menus. This big and bold spot with a no-frills approach serving classic European fayre is owned and operated by award-winning chef Niall McKenna - the name behind the popular James Street South. Visit www.waterman.house.
BELFAST DATE NIGHT IDEA: wining & dining at Waterman Restaurant 🍷 Located right in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter, you can watch the world go by on the bustling streets whilst having yourself a great meal. And you won’t have to go too far for a post dinner drink either. This place is special. I recommend booking for the next special occasion you have coming up. Or for the next time you fancy a nice meal out. Anytime really. #belfast #belfasttiktok #belfastrestaurants #belfastfood #belfastfoodplaces #datenight #datenightideas #nitiktok #nifoodreviews #belfastcity #belfastgirls♬ Dreamy Vibes - Ocean Bay Jazz
Located in Belfast’s Linen Quarter, this modern and vibrant restaurant is a great option for festive theatre-goers, just a short step away from the Ground Opera House, the Ulster Hall and lots of Belfast’s hotels. Serving traditional Northern Irish cuisine, the family-run restaurant has a sterling Christmas offering this year too, with delicious desserts including Chocolate Profiteroles, Pear & Almond Tart and Sticky Toffee Pudding on the menu. For more information visit www.actonandsons.com.
Push the boat out in Belfast’s gorgeous OX restaurant, it is the season after all! But don’t forget to book first as the Michelin-starred restaurant is in great demand, or pop next door to OX CAVE where a vast range of wine-by-the-glass, carafe or bottles are on offer to accompany drinks and small plates in warm, atmospheric surroundings. We could stay here all day – and night. For more, visit www.oxbelfast.com.
For more information and ideas on how to get to Belfast, things to do, places to stay, eat and drink, jump into www.visitbelfast.com.