With lush green agricultural land, as well as lakes and seas teeming with fish, you won’t be surprised to discover that Northern Ireland is home to some of the freshest and tastiest food and drinks.
Chefs and producers in Northern Ireland make the most out of local produce and are renowned for stand-out dishes and delights such as goat or Lough Neagh eel.
The food industry is booming in Northern Ireland and at every corner, exciting restaurants and unique food trails are offering giant gastronomical experiences. Putting new twists on old favourites like fish and chips, soda farls, whiskey-smoked meats and home-baked breads, local food professionals are flavouring their menus with an extra element of surprise.
Awaken your tastebuds with this list of new food hotspots and delectable dining experiences, served up by Discover Northern Ireland.
Hinch Distillery, Ballynahinch, Co. Down
A new 30,000 sq. ft. distillery in Ballynahinch is now open for tours where trained guides will bring visitors on an interactive journey that gives insight into both the history of Irish whiskey and its unique distilling process with tutored tasting at the conclusion of the tour. The Hinch Brasserie, led by Head Chef Leo Small, serves up dishes flavoured with the distillery’s already famed whiskeys and gins. Featuring classic dishes with a twist followed by masterpieces such as Whiskey Cask Smoke Cured Beef Short Rib with malt roast onion, whipped potato king and mushroom butter kale, you will be lost for words. https://www.hinchdistillery.com
The Rabbit Hotel, Templepatrick, Co. Antrim
Opened in May 2021 and located just 20 minutes from Belfast, Galgorm's sassy little sister, The Rabbit, exudes a free spirit attitude with a sleek, modern environment. The Rabbit Restaurant and Hunters Bar is the perfect spot to get stuck into inspiring menus that boast fresh, local, and most importantly, delicious dishes to savour. A grill room menu with an Italian-American influence, features appetisers to pique your interest, pizzas for a slice of comfort and sharing options for two. https://www.rabbithotel.com
Waterman Cookery School, Belfast
James St restaurant owner and award-winning chef Niall McKenna has opened his fresh, new-look Waterman House Cookery School located in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. Occupying the ground floor space of the Grade B-listed old Bushmills bonded warehouse, the expansive new cookery school will safely accommodate larger groups of up to 18 with state-of-the-art workstations and the latest kitchen equipment. www.cookinbelfast.co.uk
Le Four, Belfast
Along with the new cookery school opening, Niall and his team will launch a new street food offering. Le Four will serve up fresh, made-to-order stone-baked pizzas from a converted Land Rover Defender and will incorporate an outdoor dining space in the building’s courtyard. Keep an eye on what is coming soon. www.cookinbelfast.co.uk
The Cuan, Strangford, Co. Down
Under new ownership after extensive renovations, The Cuan is a relaxed dining experience and a cosy bar with overnight accommodation. Being on the coast they have a regular supply of excellent fresh seafood from the award-winning East Coast Seafoods and also serve Authentic Neapolitan pizzas prepared in a wood fired oven. https://thecuan.com/dining/
The Copper Tap & Café 1806, Omagh, Co. Tyrone
A new bar and restaurant revamped during lockdown on the former site of 'The Hogs Head' in Omagh opens its doors for the first time with a coffee and food experience. The restaurant, 1806, believe in exceptional service and hospitality, sourcing local food and, wherever possible, from farmers and producers they know and trust. https://www.thecoppertap.co.uk/
Food Tours, Trails & Experiences
Taste and Tour NI, Belfast
Nothing takes you to the heart of a place like its food and experiencing it through local eyes is even better. Taste and Tour NI promises to take you ‘off the eaten’ track on a fun and four-hour walk-through Belfast’s city centre in the company of a very knowledgeable local guide to experience the true flavours of the city. https://tasteandtour.co.uk/
Causeway Foodie Tours, Causeway Coast
Wendy Gallagher from Causeway Foodie Tours offers experiences that showcase the best of the region’s artisan produce - including the unique ‘Catch and Sea’ tour. You will set sail at dawn, see the extraordinary Causeway coastline from a new angle and catch your own breakfast, which will be cooked for you back on dry land. https://causewaycoastfoodietours.com/our-tours/
The Enniskillen Taste Experience, Co. Fermanagh
A unique guided walking tour, pit-stopping along the way to try seasonal fare from local food producers and food businesses. Among them, Joe the Baker's sourdough, Pat O’Doherty’s famous black bacon, Tickety Moo Ice cream, Boatyard Gin, Sharon’s mouth-watering scones and Innishmacsaint beer. https://www.enniskillentasteexperience.com/
For more inspirational places to visit in Northern Ireland, visit www.discovernorthernireland.com. Northern Ireland’s giant welcome will be here for you when the time is right.