Whether you’re in Belfast for work or for play, when you need to refuel and take a break, the choice of lunch venues is abundant.
Scores of grumbling stomachs roam the streets daily. And the volume, variety, and most importantly, the standard are pulling people into coffee shops, bistros, bars, and restaurants throughout the city centre.
Here are just a handful of the best lunches in Belfast for you to try out.
Yugo is Asian Fusion in its best, and most intimate of forms. Just off Donegall Square West beside the stunning City Hall, Yugo is a snug sized dining room with warm decor touching on rustic. My favourite feature is the open kitchen area (almost always a winner with me) and high bench alongside, to sit and watch your food being prepared.
A simple menu, with plenty for veggies and vegans, influenced by the chef’s time spent living and working in Asia. It changes regularly so will satisfy repeat customers (of which I’m sure there are many) looking to try something different.
Pick from the menu: crispy pork dumplings w/ hot chilli, soy & garlic.
Deanes Love Fish
Sitting along Howard Street in quite a competitive little part of town, Love Fish is probably my favourite of local restaurateur Michael Deane’s empire. I do enjoy my seafood, and Love Fish delivers one of the most memorable eating experiences you will find in Belfast. The decor is perfectly balanced between casual and classy, an the ambience is bright (thanks to the conservatory roof), friendly and welcoming.
The food presentation is striking and it tastes even better than it looks. But the best thing about Love Fish, is the price. The £6.50 lunch menu is incredible value. On it you’ll find Haddock Goujons & Fries, Salt ‘n’ Chilli Squid, Seafood Chowder and Prawn Open Sandwich & Fries among the options, easily making this one of the best lunches in Belfast.
Pick from the menu: smoked salmon, Guinness wheaten & horseradish (but anything from the £6.50 menu will not disappoint).
Hadski’s opened in October 2014 and sits in Commercial Court, in among the hubbub of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, one of the most vibrant areas of the city
This stylish bistro is part of the group of eateries owned by Niall McKenna, The others being James Street and Cast & Crew, along with the James Street Cookery School.
Lunch at Hadski’s can be a speedy £6.50 risotto or a sit and savour steak frites with garlic butter at £12.50. The black pudding here is the best i’ve ever tasted and also features on the lunch menu.
Coco Bar & Restaurant is in Belfast’s Linen Quarter. The streets directly behind City Hall have seen much development and a new buzz recently with the opening of
several new hotels and bars in the area.
This makes Coco part of the old guard really, and it’s been successfully rejuvenated and continues to compete with the new kids on the block (remember them?!).
The inside of Coco is very intimate and distinct. Moody lighting and somewhat freakish circus/cabaret style artwork on the walls give it a very quirky attractive quality.
For lunch in Coco you can get a £5 starter or small plate, express lunch for less than £8. Mains including steak for a very reasonable price, and desserts for £6.
Pick from the menu: sirloin, chop house butter, rocket & shallot salad & chips for £19.50, an absolute steal.
Back to the Cathedral Quarter for our last stop and to Coppi. One of the most reputed restaurants around, Coppi is fine and fabulous Italian dining in St Anne’s Square, which, given the right climate, could be mistaken for a piazza in a modern Italian city.
Coppi have made a name for doing everything right. From the comfortable, cool interior to slick service, and of course, outstanding Italian cooking. The small ‘cicchetti’ are perfect plates for sharing, try the ‘pizzetta’ for a quick bite. Or, you can stick around and savour a full feast. The 4-8-4 lunch offer is exceptional value also.
As all Italians should be, eating in Coppi is an utterly relaxing and fulfilling experience. Revelling in fantastic food in a wonderful setting, and surrounding by a room full of people doing the same.
Pick from the menu: it’s so tough to choose one, so I’ve picked two. Smoked chicken raviolini with pancetta, leek, and parmesan cream. And the florentine for two. A massive kilo of salt aged ribs on the bone, roast vine tomatoes and 2 sides. Enjoy!