Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Belfast
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Belfast restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 68 restaurants in Belfast and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Belfast restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Belfast Restaurants
1. Ox Irish restaurant in Belfast 1 Oxford St - BT1
“The heavenly tasting menu is the way to go” at chef Stephen Toman’s understated riverside operation, which focuses on seasonal food, and which in March 2019 the Irish Times hailed as the best on the island of Ireland. The adjacent Ox Cave is also “a thoroughly genuine wine bar”, combining “excellent charcuterie and cheeses and a full selection of wine by the glass”.
2. Zen Japanese restaurant in Belfast 55-59 Adelaide St - BT2
2017 Review: This spacious, trendy Japanese has been satisfying the crowds for over a decade, and continues to elicit glowing (if limited) feedback.
3. James Street French restaurant in Belfast 19-21 James Street South - BT2
Solidly good marks last year for Niall and Joanne McKenna’s “understated and classy” venue, which last year incorporated its neighbouring ‘bar and grill’ and fine dining operations into a single more brasserie-style set-up, complete with cocktail bar: many of the dishes, including steaks, come from the charcoal grill.
4. The Muddlers Club British, Modern restaurant in Belfast 1 Warehouse Lane - BT1
“Amazing food” and “prestige wines” are “delivered with a bit of ‘craic’” at former Ox chef Gareth McCaughey’s increasingly well-known open-kitchen venue in the Cathedral Quarter, named after a revolutionary secret society in the 1790s, which is celebrating its fifth year of operation last year. “The surprise tasting menu always feels like a real treat” and delivers “outstanding” results.
5. Saphyre restaurant in Belfast 135 Lisburn Road - BT9
2018 Review: “Renowned and inventive chef Joery Castel, who moved recently from the multi-award-winning Boathouse in Bangor” has set up Belfast’s most “luxurious” new eatery, in a “beautiful old church” plushly converted by celeb designer Kris Turnbull. Enter through an interior design shop and be rewarded with “wonderful food, including a not-too-expensive tasting menu”.
6. Edo Spanish restaurant in Belfast 3 Capital House, Unit 2 Upper Queen Street - BT1
A “bustling” operation from Johnny Elliott, who learnt the ropes with Gordon Ramsay and Gary Rhodes, before setting up on his own in the city-centre two years back; choose between “brilliant tapas” or meaty dishes cooked on the rare Bertha oven, which uses apple and pear wood for a smoky flavour.
7. Deanes At Queens British, Modern restaurant in Belfast 1 College Gdns - BT9
2017 Review: “A relaxed dining experience that always provides a tempting menu and an excellent wine list”; Michael Deane’s large, popular bar/brasserie (with outside terrace), in the University Quarter, won consistently high ratings across the board this year, especially for business entertaining.
8. Molly’s Yard Irish restaurant in Belfast 1 College Green Mews, Botanic Ave - BT7
2018 Review: “Small but with big ambitions” – this “tiny but amazing” courtyard eatery in converted Victorian stables turns “good locally-sourced produce into solid, tasty cooking” (“goat’s cheese pannacotta anyone?)”.
9. Hadskis International restaurant in Belfast Commercial Ct - BT1
2018 Review: A chic Cathedral Quarter two-year-old, set in a former 1760s iron foundry, from James Street South luminary Niall McKenna; the set lunch includes some “great culinary delights”, and is a bit of a steal.
10. Mourne Seafood Bar Fish & seafood restaurant in Belfast 34 - 36 Bank Street - BT1
“Good fish in down-to-earth surroundings” has won renown for this simple haunt (which has an offshoot in Dundrum) serving its own shellfish direct from the owners’ beds.
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