The beautiful bar at Belfast's most buzzed-about restaurant, Ox Cave on Oxford Street.
Belfast is having a foodie moment. While the rest of the North has been lauded for its serene scenery and Game of Thrones connections, buzzing, friendly Belfast is fast emerging as a foodie mecca. For the good of our readers, we sampled the best of the fare and selected our favourites…
Home to some of the best chefs on the island, Belfast acts as a centre to sample the incredible produce being made throughout the North, and in the city itself. From Michelin-star whispers to buzzworthy bistros, hipster pulled-pork joints and coffee that’s hot in every sense of the word, join us as we go behind the scenes on Northern Ireland’s foodie revolution in search of the best bites.
1. Slow-roast pork, apple and prune chutney, and mustard mayo sandwich at Established, 54 Hill Street. With its glass walls, polished concrete floor, communal seating and free wi-fi, former civil servant Mark Ashbridge’s coffee shop has quickly, well, established itself as the best place for a perk-up in the city. Their artisan sandwiches are incredible, and 3FE coffee is the house brew.
2. Braised Sicilian goat pizzetta at Coppi, 2 St Anne’s Square. This cool Cathedral Quarter restaurant is the last stop on the Belfast Food Tour – and a place foodies want to linger. Their honey-drizzled Silician braised goat pizzetta has to be tasted to be believed and the homemade pasta is perfection.
3. Madagascan chocolate whiskey truffles at CoCouture, 7 Chichester Street. Tyrone woman Deirdre McCanny studied with legendary Catalan chocolatier Ramon Morat?; her unmissable basement chocolate shop is brimming with beautifully textured brownies and delectable whiskey truffles.
4. Seaweed and crispy onion soda bread from Barley Cove Artisan Bakery at St George’s Market, 12-20 East Bridge Street. Baked in Belfast and as good as it sounds. Enjoy it at the award-winning St George’s Market (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) and selected Belfast delis. (Image: Barley Cove Artisan Bakery)
5. Belfast Blonde by the Hilden Brewing Company at The Garrick, 29 Chichester Street. A natural blonde from Ireland’s oldest independent brewery with a clean, refreshing character, derived from the use of lager malt along with a small proportion of maize. Savour it at one of Belfast’s oldest, most character-filled pubs.
6. Pulled-pork bap at Bubbacue, 12 Callender Street. An authentic barbecue joint offering long, slow-smoked pork, ribs, brisket and sausage. Order the pulled pork in a bun or the beef brisket. You won’t be sorry.
Hungry now? Check out the 5 best Dublin spots for brunch in the sun.