Tell me about... Belfast

I’ve never been to Northern Ireland before and I’ve just found out my girlfriend is taking me on a weekend trip in May to go to Twitch, which is very exciting.

We land around 7pm on Friday and leave late on Sunday - got no plans other than the clubnight. What shall we do - eating & drinking (of the beer wanker variety) especially I guess?

Two things I would immediately recommend is St. George’s Market and the Titanic exhibition. The market has loads of food on there, so worth having lunch there


That’s a decent night alright. Belfast is a great night out.
I’d recommend doing the open top bus tour.

Titanic is decent though it is a bit pricey I think. The Ulster Museum up beside Queens/Botanic Gardens is well worth a visit if you’re up round there though and is free (or voluntary donation).

Cathedral Quarter is a good place for great little pubs: The Duke of York, The John Hewitt etc. Check to see if the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is still on when you’re there, they always have lots of good cheap shows around the Black Box and Custom House Square etc.

Couple of good record shops called Sick and Dragon, there’s also a Head in Castlecourt which is a bit like a less good Fopp.

There’s also a great little second hand bookshop called Keats & Chapman in North Street that I always recommend to people, one of those shops that’s absolutely stacked with books from floor to ceiling.

I hear the black taxi tours around the murals and all that are very good but I’ve never done it.

+1 on the recommendation for Dragon Records. Cracking shop.

I work right across the street from it now so I’ve found myself spending many a lunch break there

or else staring at guitars in Matchetts a few doors down

all great info so far, thanks all!

ah never mind, i see now that you’re there the weekend after!

I got Guided By Voices ‘The Official Ironmen Rally Song’ in there on 7" for about £2.00 a few years back. It’s a treasured possession now!

i always forget to raid the 7" section as often as i should, but they’ve a couple of GBV CDs at the minute, just picked up English Little League the other day as it happens.

hello… I’m off tomorrow… any more for any more?

just noticed you mentioned being a beer wanker so i can give you some beer wanker places.

not sure where you’re staying, but not too far from Queens where Twitch is there’s The Woodworkers, which is basically a self styled beer wanker place with rotating taps, it’s next to (and part of) Laverys on Bradbury Place/Shaftesbury Square. there’s a quite similar place called Brewbot on the Ormeau Road up by my house too but it’s likely a bit out of your way.

the best/widest beer wanker selections on tap in the city centre that i can think of are The Hudson, The Sunflower, and maybe The John Hewitt, but most places will have a decent selection of bottles at least. The Garrick and The Black Box particularly have lots of bottle choices.

The Sunflower is a bit of a gem if you can find it, got a nice big beer garden with pizza (it’s been very hot and sunny here all week but not sure if it’s gonna last into the weekend) and inside of an evening there tends to be a few lads sitting around playing a bit of folk or jazz but not too loud.

Not as beer wankery but The Duke of York is also good for outside drinking as it’s down a lovely little cobbled street with loads of benches outside, and Kelly’s Cellars is one of the oldest pubs in the city and manages the difficult feat of being ridiculously Irish (it’s even on the cover of a Dubliners album) but not particularly touristy. there’s also a place called The Crown which is a really beautiful old Victorian gin palace but is usually packed full of tourists so i tend not to go.


in terms of food i don’t go for many PROPER meals out so can never really think of good restaurants or anything but Mourne Seafood Bar beside Kelly’s Cellars is good if you’re into seafood. Otherwise there are several Boojums about which do great burritos, Bubbacue is a great BBQ type place, Little Wing is a good pizzeria, Bootleggers does good burgers and Laverys and The Garrick do good pub grub. McHughs does a good carvery on a Sunday, not sure what the rest of their food is like. French Village is a good café on Botanic near Queens as well.

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one final question… i land at around 7.30 tonight… anywhere good to watch the Chelsea match?!

The Empire is usually good when the football is on. Big screens and food and drink deals during games.

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This is what I send people in work when they ask:

The Ulster Museum (which does a bit of everything),
Botanic Gardens,
Queens Film Theatre for arty films,
Lyric Theatre for plays,
The lagan towpath and fields is a nice walk along the river too

Slightly further away but still in town there’s
the Titanic Museum (I’ve never been but I hear it’s good),
The MAC (art exhibitions and plays etc),
Western europe’s biggest glass dome in the Victoria centre (lol but true apparently),
We have bikes you can rent now apparently too!

For food I can only think of
Clement’s Coffee shops,
Boojum’s (burritos, quick and cheap and really good),
Maggie Mays on Botanic (I’m slightly hesitant about this one, it’s cheap and basic burgers etc but definitely a bit of a Belfast institution),
Little Italy (cheap, take away pizza),
Villa Italia (pasta and pizza basically, been there for as long as I can remember),
Morning Star (pub grub),
Greens Pizza

If you fancy spending a bit more $$$ for eating out
Made in Belfast

Bars and Pubs (can’t remember if you like to drink but it doesn’t matter, some of these will do food and traditional irish music too if you fancy it):
The John Hewitt, The Sunflower, The Duke of York, Muriel’s, Laverys (does pool and rock music upstairs) and The Spaniard.

This might be a bit out date/wrong because I’m not there very much these days, icarus has probably covered much of it too.


@Icarus-Smicarus @foppyish

In the Sunflower drinking a pint of Kinnegar - just went to Kelly’s for a Smithwicks (had to leave when a bloke started belting out GooGoo Dolls over the PA) - both cracking places though. Done tours of the City Hall and the jail today - doing Ulster Museum & Titanic tomorrow

Had Boojums for dinner last night. Maggie Mays for brunch. Gonna go to Woodworkers and check out the Empire just cos it looks nuts later tonight before Twitch. Great time all round so far!


Man, the Duke of York is amazing!