The six best eateries Bushmills has to offer.
Bushmills is a lovely, often overlooked little village in the shadow of the Giant’s Causeway. Over a million people visit the Giant’s Causeway or otherwise fly through Bushmills, without stopping, and this is a big mistake.
There over 80 listed buildings within the village, including the Presbyterian Church at the top of the village (near the Bushmills Distillery) which has a window with the date 1647 etched into it.
Many buildings are now being restored to modern glory, improving the already pretty streets into an absolute delight to walk around.
There are interesting pieces of public art, such as the Smiling Cow in the Millennium Park on the other side of the river and the Alphabet Angel on the outskirts of the Dundarave Estate – a reminder of the historical context of the village, its people and their accent, which are rooted in their Ulster-Scots heritage.
As an extra added incentive to stop here, even stay overnight, there are six amazing places to eat.
6. Mick’s Coffee Shop
This is a great place for a fry, or a ‘proper dinner’; however, it’s one of the best-kept secrets that one of the owners is from Thailand and, as such, provides regular Thai meals and a daily Thai special. Beautiful, spicy, flavoursome food in the heart of a very conservative village. Unexpected and delicious.
Address: 65 Main Street, Bushmills BT57 8QB, Northern Ireland
5. The Copper Kettle
This is a fab place for a real Ulster Fry – potato bread (fadge), soda bread, pancake, egg, bacon, sausage, and either tomato or beans.
It’s generally crowded by 9.30 on a Saturday morning with locals and cyclists. It stays this way as the morning gives way to excellent lunchtime food served up by Carol and her staff.
This is a comfortable, friendly café situated on the corner of the square on the way from Dunluce Castle to the Giant’s Causeway. Stop off and fill up for the rest of your day’s activities.
Address: 57a Main St, Bushmills BT57 8QA
4. Mini Maegden
This teeny, tiny little camper van just outside the village on the way to the Giant’s Causeway has been converted into a foodie’s heaven.
Grilled cheese sandwiches with homemade pickles and loads of local artisan fillings. YUM!
The two girls who have set it up (the ‘maidens’ of the name; the ‘mini’ will become clear when you see the van!) are ex-teachers who wanted to fill people’s stomachs instead of their heads. How glad are we that they did!
Sourdough bread, fantastic local cheeses such as Young Buck, Dart Mountain Cheeses, Cavanbert, etc. are paired with award-winning meats such as Corndale Farm charcuterie, Broughgammon Farm goat, etc.
Inventive, delicious veggie alternatives are generally served, too. The pickles range from sharp and sweet to seriously spicy – all of them a perfect match to the oozy delights of the grilled cheese.
Just what’s needed to have the strength walk to the Causeway.
3. The French Rooms
Back in the village, the French Rooms is a beautiful space now re-opened as a Guest House. Imagine waking up to Stella’s sourdough French toast and homemade scones with local jam! Unbeatable.
You can also walk in mid-afternoon and have a plate of stunningly gorgeous petit fours or a tasting plate of seriously tasty savoury delights; paired with a cup of the best-pressed coffee we’ve tasted in a long time, this will refresh and revive you for a browse in the local art galleries.
Bushmills is fast becoming known as an arts and crafts village – you need to start in the French Rooms before purchasing superb local linens, ceramics, oils, sculptures, and hand knits. In our humble opinion of course.
Address: 45 Main St, Bushmills BT57 8QA
2. Tartine at the Distillers’ Arms
Gary (the owner/head chef), Stephen (his main sidekick in the kitchen) and Paul (the restaurant manager) have created a physically beautiful space, glamorous yet welcoming, stylish yet comfortable.
The food exceeds any expectation that even this high bar sets. The food is simply some of the best along the Causeway Coastal Route and uses the local, award-winning produce in ways that bring a tear of joy to your eye and rumble of greedy anticipation to your stomach.
The chefs regularly win awards for their seafood – Gary is the current Ulster Chowder Cook-Off champion.
Take advantage of their £19 for two courses and a glass of wine Mon-Fri up until 6pm. At this price, for this calibre of food, who could resist?!
Address: 140 Main St, Bushmills BT57 8QE
1. The Bushmills Inn
If anywhere is going to persuade you to stay overnight in Bushmills, it’s the Bushmills Inn.
It’s not just Gordon McGladery’s team’s wonderful cooking, nor the best espresso martini we ever sipped, nor even the cosy bar with regular traditional music sessions; it’s the ambience, the real fire, the newly refurbished rooms, the secret library, the most fantastic staff and impeccable service…need we go on?! Come! Stay! Number one in anyone’s book.
Address: 9 Dunluce Rd, Bushmills BT57 8QG