Food service in an Irish restaurant

Best of Nothern IrelandFood & Drink

Nothern Ireland Food & Drink Regional Picks

With a strong history of whiskey-making, textile factories and ship building dominating the majority of Northern Ireland's industry over the past 100 plus years, it is of little wonder that it's cities are still awash with great pubs selling top quality local product. Adding to this great pub trade, is an up and coming restaurant scene. The food of Northern Ireland is similar to that in the South. There is a strong tradition of stews, breads, fry-ups and other wholesome dishes that has certainly carried through into the restaurant and chipper food trades of the region.

Food and Drink


The Northern Ireland restaurant industry, over the past two decades, is seeing something of a renaissance. This is especially true in Northern Ireland's capital, Belfast. Fresh, seasonal produce is being used in tune with a new diversity brought from an influx of people visiting and moving to the region. Throughout Northern Ireland restaurants are turning to local, grass-fed beef,just-out-of-the-water fresh seafood, and artisan cheeses and bread.

Buyers have regained their trust in local suppliers and restaurants across Northern Ireland are now looking locally rather than to the south or across the water to England for ideas. Below is a list of Northern Ireland's most exciting and best-loved restaurants.

Basil Sheils Bar and Restaurant Armagh

Deanes Belfast

Ox Belfast

Tedfords Belfast

Browns Bonds Hill Derry

The Sooty OliveDerry

Irish Pubs

As with the Northern Ireland restaurant scene, the Northern Ireland pub scene is enjoying a new lease of life. Artisan craft beer and cider are giving the more established drinks companies a run for their money. In the cities and larger towns, there is also a high demand for 'gastropubs', where table service and a full kitchen menu come as standard, and there are fashionable 'late bars' and nightclubs on every main street.

In the smaller towns and villages you will mainly find traditional Irish bars that are no-frills and that only serve drink, old favourites such as Bushmills Whiskey and pints of stout, along with a packet of 'Tayto' or a packet of bacon fries. Here is a list of our favourite Northern Ireland pubs.

The Perch Belfast

Duke of York Belfast

Lavery's Belfast

The Points Belfast

The Dirty Onion and Yardbird Belfast

Gainsborough Bar Derry

Traditional Fish and Chips

As with the rest of Ireland, Northern Ireland has no shortage of traditional fish and chip shops. Battered and fried fish, the staple of fish and chip shops everywhere, has its origins in England and, thanks to Northern Ireland's British heritage, it had the jump on the rest of Ireland when it came to getting this tasty treat out to the masses. Recently, there have been more diverse fast food options, such as kebabs and pizzas, introduced to Northern Ireland but fish and chips, for the time being anyway, is still holding firm as the nation's favourite.

Insider's Tip: Northern Ireland, as well as Scotland, are home to the only fish and chip shops where you can order a deep-fried black or white pudding and not be asked to leave. While delicious, deep-fried pudding is probably best enjoyed after a few beers.

Fish City Belfast

Howard Street Belfast

John Long’s Belfast

Romeos Derry

Donaghy's Real Fish Derry

Other Regions of Ireland & Britain