From traditional fish and chip shops with a modern and creative twist to a fantastic array of delicious international cuisine, Belfast is the perfect location for foodies looking to enjoy an unforgettable city break.
When it comes to foodie destinations, the capital of Northern Ireland may not be the first place that comes to mind.
However, with a thriving dining scene packed full of traditional and up-and-coming eateries, we highlight five of the most unexpectedly epic restaurants in Belfast worthy of a pilgrimage.
So, whether you’re a local looking for a delicious weekend feed with friends or are visiting the city and want to check out some of the top dining spots around, read on.
5. Fish City – for some of the most delicious seafood you’ll ever taste
When you think of fish and chips, your mind might wander to seaside images of deep-fried cod and crispy golden fried potatoes all wrapped up in old newspaper.
However, Fish City in Belfast City Centre is an award-winning restaurant redefining the meaning of this traditional comfort food dish.
Certainly one of the most unexpectedly epic restaurants in Belfast worthy of a pilgrimage, this spot specialises in delicious, sustainably-sourced seafood available for both takeaway and dining in.
You will undoubtedly be blown away by the quality of the food on offer here. And we promise you’ll never look at the humble fish and chip the same way again.
Address: 33 Ann St, Belfast BT1 4EB
4. The Welcome – not your average Chinese takeaway
Located on Stranmillis Road, The Welcome has been a Belfast favourite for almost 50 years. Opened by the Wong family in 1973, this iconic spot remains one of the best-loved Chinese restaurants in the city.
Offering a delicious range of fresh, delicious, Asian-inspired dishes, you can’t go wrong with a meal at this popular restaurant.
Open for both sit-in and takeaway dining, this is the perfect location for all occasions, whether you’re just looking to enjoy a tasty Saturday night takeaway or you’re heading out for a meal with friends.
Having won a range of awards throughout the years, including Best Belfast Restaurant, Master Chef, and Egon Ronay Awards, this is not just your standard Chinese takeaway. Rather, you will be blown away by the delicious flavours on offer!
Address: 22 Stranmillis Rd, Belfast BT9 5AA
3. Il Pirata – for some of the best Italian food in Belfast
When it comes to unexpectedly epic restaurants in Belfast worthy of a pilgrimage, Il Pirata is one fantastic spot you cannot miss.
Located just outside of the city centre on the Newtownards Road in East Belfast, this spot boasts a relatively unassuming facade, meaning you could walk by without giving it a second thought However, this is a restaurant worthy of your undivided attention.
Opened in 2011, Il Pirata is a rustic Italian spot owned and operated by talented restaurateur Sam Spain and inspired by the Italian restaurants of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Boasting dimly lit, rustic interiors featuring exposed wood and brick finishings, the atmosphere inside this place is as special as the food.
From Venetian-style cichetti, made for sharing, to flavourful Italian favourites like gnocchi and duck ragu, diners will be spoilt for choice.
They also offer many Italian-inspired cocktails and plenty of vegan and gluten-free options to suit all dietary requirements. So, if you ask us, this spot is definitely worth a trip out of the city centre!
Address: 279-281 Upper Newtownards Rd, Belfast BT4 3JF
2. Nu Delhi – for unforgettable Indian food
If you’re a fan of delicious Indian cuisine, then look no further than the much-loved Nu Delhi restaurant on Great Victoria Street.
This epic spot has a long history of keeping Belfast locals happy with its delicious curry dishes, top-class drinks, and friendly service. So, there is nowhere better to check out when you’re in the mood for some spice.
Open for both sit-in and takeaway dining, this is a great spot for all occasions and proves popular with Indian food fans of all ages and from all walks of life.
Offering a fusion of Indian flavours combined with local produce such as lamb, sea bass, and more, the food here is nothing short of exquisite. So, if you plan to visit the Northern Irish capital anytime soon, ensure that Nu Delhi Lounge is on your list.
Address: 68-72 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2 7AF
1. Holohan’s Pantry – for authentic Irish dining
Topping our list of unexpectedly epic restaurants in Belfast worthy of a pilgrimage is Holohan’s Pantry, located directly opposite Queen’s University.
With an understated and unassuming facade, you could easily walk past this fantastic restaurant without even realising it’s there. But we highly recommend you stop, take notice, and get yourself inside.
Known across the city for its warm Irish hospitality and creative yet traditional menu of Irish favourites, this is a great spot to get a taste of authentic Irish dining.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is an excellent option for delicious food at any time of the day. From their traditional Pan Boxty to a hearty eight-ounce cheeseburger, this menu really does offer something for everyone.
Address: 43 University Rd, Belfast BT7 1ND