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Belfast cuisine: pub grub to 5-star

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private snugs at the Crown Liquor saloon, Belfast

Food and drink and more

For those seeking traditional Irish food, pubs, Irish stew, Guinness and oysters, and fish and chips abound. But chefs are preparing local ingredients in innovative ways. Belfast’s culinary scene has runs the gamut from pub grub to five-star dining. There are two are Michelin-star restaurants  — Ox, on Oxford Street, and Deanes Eipic, on Howard Street.

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cozy tables at a Belfast pub

If you like, your food and drink can be enjoyed in one of the grand historic buildings that date to the golden age when  Belfast industries like linen production and ship building were the best in the world.

The Crown Liquor Saloon (1876) on Great Victoria Street is one of only two UK pubs owned by the National Trust. It was built as a Victorian Gin Palace with elaborate mosaic tile designs, and woodwork carved for the Titanic’s sister ship, Britannic.

The Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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The Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast, Northern Ireland

The stained glass windows and enclosed booths or “snugs” are designed for privacy and a cozy ambience.

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Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast

Caroline Wilson’s guided Belfast Food Tours are a good way to sample dozens of different foods and drinks in top venues around the city.

seafood platter, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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seafood platter, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Old Bushmills sign, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Old Bushmills sign, Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

champ at a pub, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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champ at a pub, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Irish coffee. Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Irish coffee. Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most authentic way to start the day is with a hearty Irish cooked breakfast—fried bacon, eggs, the sausages known as black and white pudding, tomato, beans, mushrooms, soda bread. Or try some porridge topped with honey and whiskey.

black and white puddings and mushrooms, , Ballygally Castle, Northern Ireland
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black and white pudding & mushrooms,

breakfast bacon and sausage, Ballygally Castle, Northern Ireland
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breakfast bacon and sausage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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soda bread

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For the freshest of seafood, perhaps a traditional favorite like Guinness and oysters, try Mourne’s seafood.

Guinness and oysters, Mourne's Seafood, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Guinness and oysters, Mourne’s Seafood, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Mourne Seafood, Belfast
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Mourne Seafood, Belfast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experience 5-star dining at the luxurious Merchant Hotel’s Great Room restaurant in the Cathedral Quarter. With its elaborate plasterwork, gilded frieze and the largest chandelier in Ireland, it offers ultimate elegance for breakfast, lunch, dinner or afternoon tea. It is in the restored former Ulster Bank headquarters.

Merchant Hotel building detail, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Merchant Hotel building detail, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Merchant Hotel's Great Room restaurant, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Merchant Hotel’s Great Room restaurant, Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will need a reservation for Noble, in Holywood, a local favorite with fine food that is just outside the city. The promotional prices on 2 and 3  course dinners make Noble one of the best buys in the Belfast area.

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crab appetizer, Noble , Holywood, Northern Ireland

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crayfish, Noble, Holywood, Northern Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fancy a Belfast Bap, an Ulster Fry, traditional Irish baked goods? The award-winning St. George’s Market, a Victorian Covered Market built 1890-1896, is one of the best in the UK. It is a top choice for sampling a range of local specialties all under one roof, selecting the makings of a picnic, and for browsing locally produced souvenirs.

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Ulster Fry, St. George’s Market,  Belfast, Northern Ireland

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Belfast Bap Co., St. George’s Market, Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Belfast Bellybusters, St. George’s Market, Belfast, Northern Ireland

St. George’s Market, Belfast, Noirthern Ireland
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Baked goods, St. George’s Market, Belfast, Noirthern Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a Friday Variety Market, Saturday City Food and Craft Market, and a Sunday Market, with more arts and crafts. Local music plays on weekends and a free shuttle runs from the city center.

St. George’s Market, Belfast, Noirthern Ireland
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St. George’s Market, Belfast, Northern Ireland

St. George’s Market, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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St. George’s Market, Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belfast is known for its music scene. It is Van ‘Brown Eyed Girl” Morrison’s hometown and Snow Patrol’s first gig was in Belfast’s Duke of York pub.

Duke of York Pub, Belfast
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Duke of York Pub, in the lively historic alleyway Commercial Court, Belfast.

 

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