I arrived in downtown Belfast just about 12. I needed lunch.
I went into almost the first place I came to. The menu look promising.
I had marinated fresh sardines on French bread toast, served with rocket & Parmesan salad and French fries. A glass of Pinot Grigio to wash it down.
Then vanilla ice cream with honeycomb, and a cappuccino.
All delicious. The cost - £26 including a (compulsory) 10% tip.
When I got back to the hotel I checked it out on the internet - it has had a Michelin star for 12 years.
Yep, my lucky day.
Favorite Dish: The sardines. Delicious!
Before my most recent visit to the city of my birth in November 2012, if you had told me there was a restaurant offering 10,888,869,450,418, 352,160,768,000,000 menu options I would have said you were mad. If you had further told me that the same establishment served spicy chicken wings that would break me out is a sweat, I would have been sure of your insanity. However, such a place is not actually the stuff of legend, it exists, I have been there and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The place in question is Build-a-Burger on Botanic Avenue, right in the heart of studentland.
OK, let me explain. The staggering number of options is simply a matter of maths and undoubtedly a statistician or mathematician could explain it much better than I will. It all revelves, as the name suggests, around the building of burgers. You start off with a choice of four buns, then choose from four burgers (beef, chicken, venison or veggie) and a further four choices of cheese and then it gets interesting. You are presented with 27 toppings and 17 sauces of which the most bizarre for me was "gummy bears". On a burger? You then have a further choice of seven other additional toppings including the slightly improbable nutella or even peanut butter and there you go. Multiply all the permutations together and you come up with the apparently ludicrous figure above. You simply chooes as few or as many as you like. My choice (as I remember it) is reproduced in the favourite dish section of this tip.
Normally a burger and chips would have been enough for me. I am ot a big eater but it had been a long day and I was ravenous. Naturally, when I saw "Hammer Wings" offered in a choice of mild / medium / hot / dynamite, that was a challenge I could not resist. Five dynamite wings and proper Belfast chips (not French fries) was ordered for a starter. Whilst waiting for my meal to be served (the place is self-service) I got talking to the boss, a very friendly American chap. This period also gave me the opportunity to examine the extensive photo board on the wall including some complete lunatics who had atempted, and in some cases finished, the "Big Lad" challenge. Perhaps due to the American influence of the boss, this is one of these idiotic and undoubtedly injurious eating challenges. It is effectively a 36 ounce burger with a shedload of toppings. Should you be interested in attempting it, it will cost you £20.
Back to the meal and it is not often I am asked to sign a legal waiver before eating. This one states that I would not sue the place if I burnt my guts out. Undoubtedly a bit of a publicity stunt but after the first wing, I could see some sort of logic behind it, the were volcanic. I eat a lot of curry, my favourite Thai dish is Isaan jungle curry (hot) and so on, but this really was a challenge. Apologies for the image but I had torn into the meal before I remembered to take one. It is not a pleasant image I know if you are reading a restaurant tip, but I had broken a bit of a sweat by the time I had finished and my eyes were watering a bit. As far as I could see through my teared eyes, at least one of the staff was giving me a knowing look.
I eventually negotiated the chillifest that constituted the starters and took into the burger. I suppose you cannot really complain if you don't like it as you have designed it yourself but, if I say so myself, it was rather good. I had watched the burger being cooked from scratch, the whole thing was finished off double quick and I left a happy and well-fed man.
Certainly, this place is not haute cuisine, it is not meant to be. As alluded to above, the main portion of the clientele seem to be students and younger people. It is not licensed but if you want a good, honest, fun and relatively inexpensive feed, this could well be the place for you.
Favorite Dish: The hammer wings, as mentioned in the main text, were brilliant but to be treated with great respect. The burger (my own creation obviously) was lovely. as best I can rmemeber it was a Belfast floury bap, beef patty, fried egg, jalapeno and chilli sauce. Delicious.
The owner is inviting, the friendly chef cooks in front of you and the food is tasty as well as healthy! What a great restaurant. The interesting thing is that they do not have an alcohol license, but are virtually across a narrow lane from a very cheap and well stocked off-license (alcohol shop). I purchased a fabulous bottle of wine and the restaurant does not charge a corkage fee. My food was wonderful and the price was pretty good too. I would recommend this restaurant highly. The décor and bathrooms are as bright and inviting as the owner. She is a nice lady from Scotland who started Byblos a few years ago when there were very few restaurants in Belfast. It's still here and getting good reviews. With a freshly grilled meat and your own wine - you just can't beat it.
A must eat!
Haloumi cheese and a mixed kebab with my own selected wine!
Of course I ate here! How could I not? Well, it’s not actually a bar and they don’t do the other thing in their name either, but they do have good noodles. It’s an all you can eat Chinese buffet and there are some excellent dishes. Everything is hot and fresh. You can actually watch them cooking more in their open plan kitchen. Rice or noodles, meat or veggie, they have it. Wash it down with a nice cold pint of beer and you have a filling meal.
Please note: This is a BYO restaurant. So brink your own beer or bottle of wine from one of the local shops nearby.
Cayenne is owned by a famous Irish chef named Paul Rankin. (He has appeared numerous times on Ready, Steady, Cook).
Most probably one of the most famous and well known restaurants in Belfast, indeed throughout N.Ireland/Ireland.
Very stylish city centre café attributed to a local celebrity chef. Probably I was tempted in by having seen another celebrity chef (Gordon Ramsay) at Galway market the previous day.
Extensive menu but café type food as apposed to what you expect in a full restaurant. I had Texan style beef chilli with potato wedges. Very good. With designer water, £7.80.
Friendly & quick service
Favorite Dish: Chilli!
I LOOOOOOVED their home-made bread, it was thick, chewy and just a little sweet.
I had the vegetable soup for a starter, the chicken pasta for my main course and (for once) skipped dessert.... though I'm sure that would have been fabulous too!!
Suzanne_M had booked it for my visit to Belfast, if you ever go there with her, the staff all know her now and you're guaranteed a wonderful friendly service.
We were going to eat at a fancier restaurant but the parking ticket put me in a foul mood and when we passed by the restaurant there was a sign saying no open toe shoes or trainers (tennis shoes) and we would have had to return to the car to change our shoes. So we found another restaurant that we recommended to us that didn't have a dress code, the Kitchen Bar.
It turned out to be a nice choice, there was live music playing and the musicians were very good and the atmosphere lively without being too noisy. There was also some outdoor seating but it was cool enough that we wanted to be indoors. Sunday is an odd day for dining and just about everything else in Belfast, a lot of places don't open until after noon and they close up around 6pm or 7pm, Sunday dinner here was served from 12pm-7pm.
Favorite Dish: They had a special Sunday menu-1, 2 or 3 courses for £7.95, 9.95 or 11.95. We both started off with fried mushrooms and I had fish & chips while David had a steak and vegetable pie and all of it was good.
We got to Belfast much later than I expected so we were in a bit of a rush to get lunch. We were approached by someone selling discounted tickets for the Belfast City Tour bus and they offered a 25% off coupon for The Streat which was just a couple of blocks away so we decided to grab a quick bite before getting on the bus.
Favorite Dish: I had a Big Smoke panini with bacon, pineapple and BBQ sauce, it was a good sandwich and filling and only £4.25 before the 25% discount.
We visited Robinsons on both nights we stayed in Belfast, it was just across the street from the Europa Hotel where we were staying. We ate at the Bistro upstairs and found the food good but wished for traditional Irish fare.
Somehow we missed the basement loos I understand are legendary and we didn’t visit the Roxy Nightclub the top-floor disco.
Firstly, allow me to explain the title of this tip. I am not referring to a small biscuit to put cheese on or even a diminutive novelty to adorn your Christmas tree, rather it is a Belfast expression to denote something or someone that you approve of. Use of the word "wee" (small) is no indication of size, a hulking 6'5" rugby player would be referred to thus. But I digress.
Belfast in recent years has seen the opening of a plethora of extremely good restaurants serving haute cuisine and dishes from all around the globe. Ena's Plaice (not a typo) is not one of these. It is a good old-fashioned Belfast chippy and none the worse for that. It serves the usual run of fish and chips and the things you would normally expect from a place like this but my tip, especially if you have not tried it before, is to go for the Ulster Fry. This consists of egg, bacon, sausage, fried bread, fried soda bread, and fried potato bread. It really is a filling and delicious meal, even if not designed to please your cardiologist and is a complete steal at £3. Add a cup of good strong coffee for £1 and you have a feed that will keep you going all day.
The place is no-frills but spotless, the service typically Belfast friendly and it is a great place to soak up a slice of Belfast life if you are visiting.
Favorite Dish: The escellent Ulster Fry as described above.
If you like seafood, you will have nothing to cry about here. The Mourne Seafood Bar is a classy restaurant located next to the historical Kelly Cellars serving up freshly caught fish and other seafood from the Irish Sea. The interior is an interesting mix of an open kitchen and a romantically dark upscale restaurant. Between their daily chalkboard specials and large menu – there is something mouth-watering for everyone. The staff are professional, the wine list well stocked and your meal freshly prepared with quality ingredients. All that’s need now is you.
Their fish are brought to them from 2 local ports daily. Their mussels, oysters and cockles are also sourced from local shellfish beds as well. If it was any fresher you would have to get wet.
If the food doesn’t complete your experience you can go out on their fast inflatable boat (rib) as they offer tours of the coast. Details of this exciting day out can be found on their website. If you entertainment needs are a bit more immediate, step outside to hear live authentic Irish music outside Kelly Cellars next door. All and all a great night out.
In addition to seafood they also offer vegetarian options, large Irish beef steaks and children’s’ portions.
I would recommend a reservation by either telephone or email on their website!
Favorite Dish: Start with Salt and chilli squid with napa slaw and chilli jam followed by a large pot of Mourne Mussels steamed with white wine, garlic and cream (also available with korma sauce). Washed down with a good bottle of red wine.
Alternatively try the Potstickers and a glass of white wine.
A damp and cold Sunday evening, a good time for a curry!
All the usual dishes plus a few unusual ones to tempt us in a friendly, comfortable and busy restaurant.
Both happy with our tasty meals and the reasonable price.
Upstairs so try for a window seat, good place to people watch while eating.
Good place to visit.
Enticed in here by the selection of real ales advertised, sadly none on offer the day we visited - just a very temporary blip we were assured, some interesting bottled beers to amuse us though.
Anyway, not just the beer we were after, food here was excellent and reasonably priced, enjoyed our meal here.
Plenty of live music on offer here too.
We struggled to find somewhere to eat in Belfast centre at 8pm on a Sunday evening, but fortunately the waitress in a restaurant that was just closing when we arrived pointed us in the direction of the nearby Ten Square Hotel Bar & Grill.
We sat in the bar area where there's a good menu at reasonable prices with several vegetarian choices also available. You can look at the menu on the website.
Nice relaxing surroundings in the colonal style bar. The night we visited there was a mixture of tourists and locals. Easy to find at the back of Belfast City Hall (1 mins walk from the Belfast Wheel). Would definitely go here again.
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