Whether you live in Belfast or are going for a weekend, check out our roundup of the best places to go...

Words By Thea Babington-Stitt

Give Dublin a miss and head to Northern Ireland for a weekend away. Whether you live in the area or you're planning a visit, check out our roundup of where to go in the city...

 

PLACES TO GO



Filthy McNastys, 45 Dublin Road

It may have a name that’s either cool or cringe depending on your mood, but Filthy’s is unanimously one of the best bars in Belfast. With 3 bars set around the ‘Secret Garden’, there’s a place for everyone. A stone’s throw from club ‘The Stiff Kitten’, with it’s own cocktail bar attached.

The Spaniard, 3 Skipper Street

Tucked away down a side street beside in the buzzing Cathedral Quarter, The Spaniard is pop-rock meets Spain. Think religious paraphernalia, an extensive bar list and good food. Word of warning – it’s tiny, so arrive early if you want a table.

Love and Death Inc, 10a Ann Street

Self-described as a ‘cocktail speakeasy’, Love and Death has a cocktail for everyone. Above a pizza restaurant, it’s easy to miss – but you really shouldn’t. The top floor turns into a club at night and the steak sandwiches at lunches are worth a try, too.

 

PLACES TO EAT



Teatro, 17 Botanic Avenue

An intimate cabaret dining joint in walking distance from Queen’s University and it’s student nightlife scene. With live music every night, often played by the owners, and its small, cozy feeling, it’s a good location for a date.

Zen, 55-59 Adelaide Street

Leave Wagamamas behind and walk around the City Hall to find Zen, which serves some of the best Japanese in the city. Noodles, sushi and tempura all taste so much better when in the dimly lit, relaxed vibe of this restaurant.

The Potted Hen, Edward Street

For a guaranteed good dinner, head to The Potted Hen in the Cathedral Quarter.  The French, bistro-style is perfect for filling up on before heading to all the nearby bars or Hill Street’s The Black Box for some live music.

 

PLACES TO SHOP



The Rusty Zip, 28 Botanic Avenue

For cool vintage at low process, The Rusty Zip is the only place to go. We have it on good authority that they don’t mind if you spend the whole afternoon in there trying on ridiculous outfits. Win.

Avoca, 10 Bedford Street

A treasure trove for buying gifts, Avoca has an awesome Men’s section. It’s one of those places that no matter which way you turn, there’s something you’ll want to buy. The upstairs food hall is unmissable for local and international treats.

St George’s Market, 12-20 E Bridge Street

Head here on a Saturday morning for a proper Ulster fry and stay until lunch. A huge market, with stalls selling traditional Irish wares, alongside vintage clothing and art, St George’s is worth a visit. The main section is taken over by the food stalls. Work your way around as many as you can.