Categories: Food & Drink

Finding romance in romantic restaurants in Northern Ireland

Music may be the food of love, though understandably there will be times when you want something more substantial. Well, you’re in luck. Throughout Belfast and Northern Ireland there are culinary treats and foodie surprises around every corner. So wherever your travels take you on your romantic getaway, you’ll be delighted to know you’ll never get away from deliciously seasonal, locally produced food.


A table for two in Belfast

Deane’s EIPIC has won a prestigious Michelin Star accolade for four years in a row. And it’s not hard to see why. Known for its subtle flavours and stunning presentation, Mourne-native Alex Green uses predominantly local produce to create magic.

The chic, yet comfortable, Café Parisien is naturally the place for a romantic, French-inspired evening. Brasserie classics take on a modern twist here. Contemporary Italian is on the menu at Coppi and Home is all about fresh, local and seasonal feel good food.

Romance will blossom too at the riverside Michelin-starred OX restaurant. Or go bistro, with a New York vibe, at local favourite James St. And as no romantic getaway is complete without oysters, try Mourne Seafood Bar - a great city centre spot for freshly-caught affordable seafood.

If you share a passion for food, Taste and Tour NI run award-winning food and drink tours across the city, introducing you to the tastes, the people and the history of Belfast.

Then, for sheer glamour and the romance of a bygone era, enjoy afternoon tea at Titanic Belfast. There’s also a photo op at a replica of the ship’s iconic staircase – not to be missed. And it’s always worth a stop at The Merchant Hotel (5*) for a cocktail – they’ve an encyclopaedic cocktail list and equally encyclopaedic knowledge.  

Loving artisan in Antrim

There’s lots to love about the traditional Irish Pub experience at Billy Andy’s, including local and contemporary fine food. Sleepy Hollow, just outside Belfast, is strong on technique, creating modern Irish food, sourced from small artisan producers. While Castello Italia brings a passion for innovative Italian cooking to Carrickfergus.

For cosy breakfasts and lunch, try The Dairy at Gleno, Or, if a romantic stroll takes you to Whitehead, pop into The Lighthouse Bistro off the colourful promenade. This small, award-winning family-run restaurant makes everything from scratch. And, of course, from local produce.

And dinner has to be at the enchanting Ballygally Castle Hotel (4*). Set within its original 17th century walls, the Garden Restaurant has a menu of delicious seasonal fare – and views all the way across the Irish Sea. 

Embracing local in Armagh

Newforge House (5*) - a historic family-run country house - delights in providing warm hospitality and local seasonal food in the most romantic of settings. Desserts are made with fresh fruit from their own orchard – well, Armagh is Orchard County. And their gin list features favourites from around the world, including Shawcross Gin from nearby Downpatrick.

The Restaurant at Ballydougan Pottery is a picturesque spot for lunch or afternoon tea, with everything prepared in-house. Even the plates are baked on site. And, just like relationships, keeping it fresh is best. At Stinton’s on the Bridge, the freshness shines through in every bite of this modern edged, traditional food. 

Mulberry Bistro sits opposite the Armagh city’s Roman Catholic St. Patrick’s Cathedral – a spectacular backdrop for any meal. Here, locally sourced produce finds its way to the menu every day. While Uluru Bar & Grill, inspired by bustling Melbourne pop up restaurants, brings an Australian flavour to the city centre.

While you’re in town, check out the Hole in the Wall pub. It’s full of local character - and local characters - a popular venue for music and, allegedly, home to a ghost.

Romantic pauses on the Causeway Coastal Route

The wonderful Tartine restaurant at The Distillers Arms is all about simplicity. It’s modern brasserie food, with a nod to Irish classics. And, it’s just three kilometres from the Giant’s Causeway – the perfect spot to sit and watch a stunning sunset. 

At the French Rooms, you’ll find French-inspired, elegant dishes. Plus cosy hideaway snugs, perfect for afternoon teas.

Tapas, of course, are made for sharing. A great opportunity to get up close and personal. Ocho Tapas Bistro in Portrush serve you up the most delicious selection of authentic tapas, then show you how to do it – if you’re staying round long enough for a cookery class.You’ll also find the Ramore here. An eclectic mix of restaurants and wine bars with something to suit every taste.

Or if romance leads you to a paddle at the water’s edge, Harry’s Shack is right beside you. On the beach, that is, serving fantastic local produce – including fish, of course. 

Dining out in Derry-Londonderry

The elegant Bishop’s Gate Hotel within the city walls is a stylish setting for a special dinner, with both the Gown Restaurant and the Wig Champagne Bar - which also hosts local music performers in its Gigs at the Wig. 

Award-winning Browns in Town is loved by both local and visiting foodies - and known for its excellent food, trendy venue and warm hospitality. It’s also a top spot for speciality cocktails. The buzzing Sooty Olive, in the Waterside area, is a favourite for couples and at Caterina’s at the Da Vinci Hotel you get a modern day bistro with a good-time feel. And for true Derry-Londonderry flavour, the multi-award winning Walled City Brewery is a must for flavoursome food and local craft beer. 

Candlelight cuisine in Down

Roaring fires and candlelight set the scene at Clenaghan’s Restaurant, a most romantic setting for incredible food and a genuinely warm welcome in this near 300 year old traditional stone building. There’s plenty of atmosphere too, at No. 14 at The Georgian House in Comber. Cosy hearths, apple trees, centuries of history and a modern take on Irish cuisine. 

Modern romance too at Noble. It’s love at first sight - or bite - in this highly-regarded and exciting restaurant, with its changing seasonal menu.  Brunel’s has a mission too. To create dishes that challenge and inspire. So, get ready for a bold and creative gourmet menu. While if seafood is close to your heart, Mourne Seafood in Dundrum is the place to be.

With Down’s golden sandy beaches on one side and the Royal Country Down Golf Links on the other, you’d be hard pushed to find a more inviting spot for a romantic dinner. The wonderful Slieve Donard Resort and Spa (4*) offers both fine dining in its elegant Oak Restaurant and a more relaxed version in its Percy French Inn.

Fine dining by the lakeside

On the border of Tyrone and Fermanagh, the glamorous Corick House Hotel & Spa (4*) does history with a decidedly modern and romantic flourish. Perfect for a special dinner for two. Its stylish Georgian Carleton Restaurant offers the best of contemporary Irish European cuisine. While the Blackwater Bar and Grill Conservatory provides lighter snacks and welcoming open fires.

Lough Erne Resort (5*) has everything you could wish for in a lakeside setting. It’s also home to the Catalina restaurant, known for its exceptionally fine dining. And ability to transform seasonal local produce into show-stopping classic and contemporary dishes.

On the shores of Upper Lough Erne, the award-winning Watermill Lodge is about as picturesque as it’s possible to be. This stunning restaurant serves up Irish cuisine with a French twist – alongside mature water gardens where you can watch the sun go down with an after-dinner Digestif. 

It’s food to fall in love with, in some of the world’s most inviting and welcoming places. And if that’s just whetted your appetite for all that Northern Ireland has to offer, it’s time to plan a return romantic getaway very, very soon.

Deanes EIPIC Restaurant
Restaurant
Deanes EIPIC Restaurant

EIPIC is the most recently opened and most sophisticated of the restaurants in the Deanes portfolio, serving top quality local ingredients cooked to the highest standard. The menu is seasonal and therefore changes weekly.

Coppi
Restaurant
Coppi

Coppi restaurant, located right in the heart of the buzzing Cathedral Quarter, is Belfast’s first cichetti bacari/restaurant inspired by those found in Venice and named after cycling legend Angelo Fausto Coppi.

OX
Restaurant
OX

OX is a Michelin starred restaurant that most recently won best restaurant (in Northern Ireland) at the National Restaurant Awards 2022. It offers relaxed dining overlooking the River Lagan, and is within walking distance of the Belfast Waterfront, Titanic Belfast, St Georges Market and Odyssey Arena.

James St.
Restaurant
James St.

James St. is the coming together of two Belfast restaurants, James Street South Restaurant and The Bar and Grill at James St. The new offering is the best of the Bar and Grill's menu with a few light touches to the fine cooking of James Street South.

Mourne Seafood Bar
Restaurant
Mourne Seafood Bar

Beside Kelly’s Cellars the Mourne Seafood Bar serves fresh local seafood at an affordable price. To ensure freshness they purchase direct from the local ports of Annalong and Kilkeel on a daily basis.

Taste and Tour NI
Food Tour
Visitors with tour guide, St. Georges Market,at fish stall sampling oysters

The multi award winning Belfast Food Tour plus six other tours to try, as well as bespoke private tours and corporate experiences. Get 'off the eaten track' in Northern Ireland with Taste and Tour NI.

Titanic Belfast
Visitor Centres & Museums
Recreation cabins in The Fit Out gallery of the Titanic Experience

Located at the very place where RMS Titanic was designed, built and launched, Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic tell the authentic story of the world-famous ship, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. Unmissable and unforgettable, just like the Titanic herself.

The Merchant Hotel
Hotel
The Merchant Hotel

Belfast's only AA five Red Star hotel, is situated in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter.

Billy Andys
Restaurant
Exterior of Billy Andys

We are ten minutes away from the ferry terminal in Larne and 30 minutes from the International and George Best Airports. We have four rooms all en-suite with tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer and flat screen T.V. Free WiFi is available.

Castello Italia
Café
Castello Italia

Italian restaurant, coffee shop and gelato emporium in Carrickfergus, ideally positioned on the Causeway Coastal route, with stunning views over Belfast Lough and an easy walk to Carrickfergus Castle.

The Dairy
Café
The Dairy

Rustic style café, butchers and farm shop set in the heart of the Gleno valley, within a few minutes walk of Gleno waterfall and an easy drive from Larne or Carrickfergus with a delicious menu and large range of local produce for sale.

The Lighthouse Bistro
Restaurant
The Lighthouse Bistro

Local seafood, cheese, steaks, coffee and freshly made desserts are available at this coastal restaurant in Whitehead. Only 10 minute drive from The Gobbins, Carrickfergus Castle. Themed Tasting Menus (such as Game of Thrones®) and Tapas available.

Ballygally Castle Hotel
Hotel
Ballygally Castle Northern Ireland Causeway Coastal Route

The Ballygally Castle Hotel faces the soft, sandy beaches of Ballygally Bay. The Castle dates back to 1625 and is unique in that it is the only 17th Century building still used as a residence in Northern Ireland.

Newforge House
Guest House
Newforge House

Luxurious Georgian 5-star Country House accommodation set in mature gardens and fields. Period features seamlessly blend with contemporary comforts. Superb food, using local suppliers and much home grown produce, is central to our offer.

Ballydougan Pottery Restaurant & Coffee Lounge
Restaurant
Ballydougan Pottery Restaurant & Coffee Lounge

At Ballydougan Pottery we offer traditional Ulster cooking with a modern twist, lovingly created by our team of chefs using the best of locally sourced fresh produce and served on our hand-made Ballydougan Pottery.

Uluru Bar & Grill
Restaurant
Uluru Bar & Grill

Uluru Bar & Grill is an award winning restaurant based in Armagh city’s historic marketplace area. Awarded for its casual dining, the Australian neighbourhood style restaurant celebrates authentic cooking with an Australian twist.

Tartine at Distillers Arms
Restaurant
Tartine at Distillers Arms

Tartine aims to provide an experience. The ambiance of the surroundings, experienced staff and quality seasonal food makes for an exceptional night out.

Giants Causeway Day Tour
Sightseeing
Giants Causeway Day Tour

Day tours to the giants causeway and Antrim coast. Private day tours to the mountains of Mourne. Private day tours to the walled city to Derry/Londonderry, Donegal town and the highest sea cliffs of Europe.

The French Rooms
Café
The French Rooms

At the heart of the village of Bushmills and just 2 miles from the Giant’s Causeway the French Rooms is described in Georgina Campbell’s Best of the Best Ireland Guide as "easily the most elegant and stylish restaurant on the Causeway Coast."

Ocho Tapas Bistro
Restaurant
Ocho Tapas Bistro

Ocho Tapas Bistro is a Spanish restaurant that serves a large variety of freshly prepared, authentic dishes using locally sourced and seasonal produce. They have a good selection of wine and beer, and offer a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

Bishop's Gate Hotel
Hotel
Bishop's Gate Hotel

The exquisite Grade B1 listed Bishop’s Gate Hotel is perfectly positioned within the historic city walls in the heart of Derry City’s Cathedral Quarter.

The Wig & Gown Champagne Bar and Restaurant
Pub / Nightclub
The Wig & Gown Champagne Bar and Restaurant

Delivering comfort, style, taste and quality as standard. Expect stunning, locally sourced, seasonal dishes presented in their own contemporary style, delivered with impeccable service.

Browns in Town
Restaurant
Browns in Town

Browns in Town is Ian Orr's second restaurant and partner to Browns Bond's Hill. 'It is a swish, iconic room, the place that Derry needed in the city centre' (John Mc Kenna - Irish food guide)

The Sooty Olive Restaurant and Winebar
Restaurant
The Sooty Olive Restaurant and Winebar

This restaurant is nestled in the heart of Spencer Road in the Waterside area of the city, with an atmosphere that is both intimate and buzzing.

Caterina's Bistro - Da Vinci's
Restaurant
Caterina's Bistro - Da Vinci's

Enjoy a foodie experience like no other at Da Vinci's Hotel, Derry. Caterina's Bistro offers award winning food & service in a stunning & modern setting.

Walled City Brewery
Restaurant
Walled City Brewery

The Walled City Brewery craft uniquely local, premium quality, fabulously flavoursome food and beer in their multi-award winning brewhouse, restaurant and new taproom. If you truly want a flavour of the North-West, it is a must-visit!

Clenaghans Restaurant
Restaurant
Image shows tables in the restaurant with lots of paintings on the walls, wooden beams and wooden flooring, stone walls

Clenaghans restaurant is brought back to life with modern comfort warming the traditional stone building.

No. 14 at The Georgian House
Restaurant
Exterior of No 14 at The Georgian House

The Award Winning 1790 Georgian building, lovingly restored with antique fireplaces, cornicing wooden floors and many more period details.

Brunel's Restaurant
Restaurant
Exterior of Brunel's Restaurant, Downs Road, Newcastle

Modern European Cuisine. Focusing on seasonal produce. A Creative menu that evolves constantly, showcasing when possible locally sourced ingredients.

Mourne Seafood Bar
Restaurant
Mourne Seafood Bar

Our aim is to provide locally sourced seafood at an affordable price. All our produce is sourced from local ports and delivered daily to ensure freshness and quality.

Slieve Donard Resort and Spa
Hotel
View of Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, Newcastle

The magnificent Slieve Donard Resort & Spa is nestled in the heart of County Down where the 'Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea'. Standing on 6 acres of private grounds, the Spa has all the facilities you need to relax and unwind.

The Oak Restaurant
Restaurant
The Oak Restaurant

Experience the finest culinary delights in the traditional restaurant with its charming beams and fabulous central fireplace. Views are spectacular, with the Mountains of Mourne sweeping down to the Irish Sea and golden sands.

Percy French
Restaurant
Percy French

For that more informal style of meal or drink why not visit The Percy French restaurant resting at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, in the grounds of the Slieve Donard. At The Percy French you are greeted with a smile and log burning fires.

The Carleton Restaurant at Corick House Hotel & Spa
Restaurant
The Carleton Restaurant at Corick House Hotel & Spa

Carleton Restaurant industry awards -Taste of Ulster, Flavour of Tyrone, Best Hotel Restaurant in Ulster–Yes Chef Awards 2016, Best Country House Dining Experience in Ireland–Yes chef Awards 2016, Best Dessert Chef–Irish Hotel Federation 2016

Corick House Hotel & Spa
Hotel
Corick House Hotel & Spa

Nestled in the heart of the Clogher Valley where style and elegance meets country hospitality, this idyllic 4* 17th Century House offers a haven of tranquillity. A warm welcome awaits you in this family owned and managed charming William and Mary.

Lough Erne Resort
Hotel
Lough Erne Resort

Lough Erne Resort is Northern Ireland's five-star countryside retreat. Dine by the lakes, walk in nature, play championship golf, pamper yourself in The Thai Spa or discover the beautiful Fermanagh attractions.

Watermill Lodge Restaurant
Restaurant
Watermill Lodge Restaurant

This very unique setting offers something special both as a culinary destination and simply a luxurious getaway spot. A place to unwind and enjoy a glass of some of the very best wines that France and the world have to offer. Relax on the shore of Lough Erne just meters away with a master chef and his team on hand to create something special.

Ramore Restaurant
Restaurant
Ramore Restaurant

Renowned for its fantastic tasting fresh food and lively atmosphere. A modern and innovative decor and menu to suit all tastes. Open seven days a week.

Blackwater Bar, Grill and Conservatory
Pub / Nightclub
Blackwater Bar, Grill and Conservatory

Our Blackwater Bistro with informal, relaxed ambience is the ideal place for something to eat. Open daily. It is the ideal location for an informal lunch, afternoon tea or evening snack with colleagues, friends or family.