Top 5 best restaurants on the Strangford Peninsula

Exploring the sights of the Strangford Peninsula is sure to work up an appetite. Thankfully, there are plenty of great places to eat.

Strangford, once the refuge of pirates, smugglers, and scallywags alike, is still an area steeped in myth, scenic beauty, and, thankfully, quality scran!

With plenty to explore around this scenic area, you will no doubt quickly work up quite the appetite when adventuring.

So today, we delve into the best restaurants on the Strangford Peninsula to satisfy the hungry day tripper. Beware: mouthwatering food pics to come…

5. Farina Pizza, Donaghadee ‒ for freshly baked pizza like none you’ve tasted before

Farina Pizza is one of the best restaurants on the Strangford Peninsula.
Credit: Facebook / @farinapizzadonaghadee

We kick off our countdown with the cornerstone of any balanced diet, crafted from the pillows of angels: pizza. As most aficionados know, the good stuff is few and far between on the island of Ireland.

Mercifully, pizzaiolo Daniel Cozzo has set up his new venture in the coastal town of Donaghadee on the northern tip of the Strangford Peninsula.

In the smartly finished surroundings of his new shop, observe fresh pizza being created in front of you using excellent quality ingredients and baked in the humongous, brightly tiled oven.

You will be able to appease your pizza cravings from Tuesday through to Sunday from 5 pm to 11 pm. On a sunny evening, grab your pie and head for the pier or sit on the wall overlooking the harbour, soaking up those coastal vibes.

Top tip: Capra pizza, sweet potato fries, and garlic mayo is our pick to keep the vampires at bay.

Address: 21 High St, Donaghadee BT21 0AH

4. The Lobster Pot, Strangford Village ‒ one of the best restaurants on the Strangford Peninsula

Don't miss the Lobster Pot in Strangford Village.
Credit: Facebook / @lobsterpotstrangford

Located in a small historic village at the mouth of Strangford Lough, The Lobster Pot is worth a trip for no other reason than the chance to sail in on the short ferry ride from neighbouring Portaferry.

A no-nonsense old-fashioned pub, it serves up some great favourites from fish and chips and seafood chowder to local mussels and, as the name suggests, lobsters.

Don’t expect too many frills. However, do expect good local fresh produce prepared in a delicious manner and at a reasonable price. Therefore, making this a perfect pit stop as you wait on the ferry or fuel up for your next leg of the trip.

The village has seen a rise in footfall due to the filming of Game of Thrones locally. Bus tours occasionally swing by with ‘Winterfell’ a mere stone’s throw away located at Castle Ward. So, sit back, sip your Guinness, and plot your rise to the throne.

Address: 9-11 The Square, Strangford, Downpatrick BT30 7ND

3. Picnic Delicatessen, Killyleagh ‒ a popular local deli

Picnic Delicatessen is one of the best restaurants on the Strangford Peninsula.
Credit: Facebook / @picnicdelicatessen

A real hidden gem that should not be missed. Set in the shadow of the beautiful 12th-century Killyleagh Castle, Picnic Delicatessen occupies a picturesque building on the corner of High Street just off the main road through the town.

In their own words, the name of the game here is “hearty, homemade, deli-style food”. Need we say anymore? This is a great spot for breakfast or lunch, sit-in or takeaway, with an all too tempting selection of buns, quiche, focaccia, and treats at the counter.

There is a real focus on the quality of food at Picnic with a cosy interior and friendly atmosphere. You will always see regulars popping in and out, which is a testament to the regard in which it is held in the town.

Top tip: loosen the belt buckle; you may find yourself ordering a sausage roll on the side.

Address: 47 High St, Killyleagh, Downpatrick BT30 9QF

2. The Poacher’s Pocket, Lisbane ‒ offering something for everyone

Don't miss the Poacher's Pocket.
Credit: Instagram / @PoachersPocketLisbane

Within the walls of a 19th-century coaching inn, The Poacher’s Pocket has become a stalwart of the culinary scene on the shores of Strangford Lough and for good reason.

This is a great option for a family outing with our four-legged friends even being catered for in certain dog-friendly sections of the building.

They describe their fayre as “modern Irish pub food using the finest locally sourced seasonal produce”. The menu offers good variety with a consistent level of quality being delivered. There is also a wood-fired pizza oven dishing out sourdough pizza for sit-in and takeaway.

The Poacher's Pocket is one of the best restaurants on the Strangford Peninsula.
Credit: Facebook / @PoachersPocketLisbane

Want to watch the rugby? They have been known to wheel out a buffet free of charge at halftime during Six Nations matches. This is a generous gesture for the patrons that require some of the Guinness to be absorbed before making it to the full-time whistle.

If you are only passing by, be sure to nip into the Poacher’s Pantry at the front of the building. Here, you can peruse the freshly baked breads and pastries, cook-at-home meals, and shelves of artisan ingredients. You can even discover a refined selection of tipples to pair with the cured meats and cheeses on display.

The sheer variety of this establishment stakes its claim as one of the best restaurants on the Strangford Peninsula.

Address: 181 Killinchy Rd, Lisbane, Newtownards BT23 5NE

1. Overwood, Balloo House, Balloo ‒ a truly unique dining experience

Enjoy a delicious bite to eat at Overwood.
Credit: Facebook / @Overwoodgrill

There could be only one, and we feel that this is the one. Located on the west shore of Strangford Lough, Overwood is only available for dining on a Friday and Saturday from early evening and Sunday lunch. However, the lack of availability should only whet your appetite for what awaits.

The restaurant itself is situated on the first floor above the old charm pub, one that may feel hard done by not making our list.

Upon entry, we don’t go directly to our table. Instead, we must first be escorted to the heated terrace to relax in front of the glass surround fire pit. Here, you can enjoy a finely crafted cocktail and study the delights that the menu has to offer that evening.

Overwood is one of the best restaurants on the Strangford Peninsula.
Credit: Facebook / @Overwoodgrill

This is the first hint of the overall dining experience that Overwood strives to create. As the name suggests, charcoal and woodfire are harnessed to create a unique aroma and taste for the quality cuts and seafood offered.

They also offer some exciting flavour combinations and some delicately plated starters. All of which seek to engage the visual element of the dining experience. There is also an excellent wine selection with knowledgeable staff eager to suggest what will pair well with your chosen main.

These are priced fairly, encouraging a correct choice of pairing rather than one based solely on cost. The surroundings are tasteful and welcoming, as are the staff. Therefore, the overall experience combines to take the crown on our list of the best restaurants on the Strangford Peninsula.

Top tip: if the chateaubriand is on the menu, look no further!

Address: 1 Comber Rd, Killinchy, Balloo, Newtownards BT23 6PA

By Patrick Hudson

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