23rd May 2022 in Food & Drink

​​The Cathedral Quarter has a wide range of bars and clubs that imbue the story of Belfast, with historic elements, speakeasy, live music and more.

If you’re planning a night out in Belfast, why not consider some of these fantastic pubs and clubs throughout the area?

1. Duke of York

7-11 Commercial Ct, Belfast, BT1 2NB

With indoor and outdoor seating available, there’s the option to enjoy the street art that adorns the street including murals on the walls of the bar which were completed by a guest artist. If you choose indoor seating you could view the bric-a-brac on display whilst savouring your pint.

As a 200 year pub that was bombed by terrorists in 1972, Duke of York was rebuilt to what it has become today: a riot of colour and enjoyment.

To find out more, go to https://dukeofyorkbelfast.com/

2. The Dirty Onion

3 Hill St, Belfast, BT1 2LA

Entertainment is offered daily with emphasis on acoustic performances and contemporary live bands with free entry. Animals are also permitted on the premises, so you can bring your furry friend to revel in the entertainment. 

This is the ultimate party destination, renowned for its popularity which comes as no surprise considering The Dirty Onion has one of the largest beer gardens in the entirety of Northern Ireland.

To find out more, go to http://www.thedirtyonion.com/

3. The Spaniard

3 Skipper St, Belfast, BT1 2DZ

This cosy venue is spread across two floors, exhibiting an intimate yet thriving ambiance. There are often impromptu jazz sessions, 80s music or sometimes it’s even intermixed with comedy.

The bar may be small but it’s the quintessential space to gather your friends and revel in the charm of lively characters you’re sure to meet.

To find out more, go to https://www.facebook.com/SpaniardBelfast/

4. Bittles Bar

70 Upper Church Ln, Belfast, BT1 4QL

If looking for a freshly poured pint of Guinness, Bittles is the bar for you. The natural sugars in the barley may make Guinness appear black but hold it up to the light and it’s ruby red.

You can expect to lounge in comfort whilst joining in with raffles and other events that are hosted regularly on the premises, including music nights. Considering Bittles is within walking distance of bars and shops, it’s the idyll location to enjoy a pint with friends.

To find out more, go to https://www.bittlesbar.com/

5. The Tipsy Bird

90-100 Ann St, Belfast, BT1 3HH

Upbeat music alongside a variety of cocktails courtesy of expert mixologists provides an upscale experience. You never know what to expect with live music at the forefront of the bar, heightening the luxury atmosphere. Drawing influence from the old-world sophistication of drawing rooms the decor centres around marble statues with rustic elements that provide a space of comfort accentuated by the warm lighting.

To find out more, go to https://www.thetipsybird-belfast.co.uk/

6. The Thirsty Goat

1 Hill St, Belfast, BT1 2LA

Located on the corner of Hill Street, formerly known as Foundary Lane until 1790, The Thirsty Goat has become quite the local legend since opening partly for the quirky surroundings and also the warm reception of exceptional staff.

Trad sessions are core to the celebration of their location with live music performed by local artists and sing along evenings.

To find out more, go to https://thethirstygoat.co.uk/

7. The National

62 High St, Belfast, BT1 2BE

An incorporation of minimalistic aesthetics alongside industrial design showcases the contemporary revitalisation of a Victorian Building. The spacious area is a sophisticated haven of cocktail menus and craft beers/ales that change monthly.

To find out more, go to https://www.thenationalbelfast.com/

8. Raob Buff Club

17 Church St, Belfast, BT1 1PG

Cost efficient drinks and a selection of beers and spirits showcases this bar as of local interest, although it has been known to cater only to men 18+ who are a part of what is essentially a working mans club.

To find out more, go to https://www.raobgle.org.uk/#About-Us

9. McHughs Bar

29-31 Queen’s Square, Belfast, BT1 3FG

As the oldest surviving bar in Belfast, 1711, this bar is the quintessential must see. From day to night, McHughs Bar provides both food and drink that is sure to make you a regular. The building maintains a majority of its original features including the expansive oak beams that are a centrepiece of the interior.

To find out more, go to https://mchughsbar.com/

10. The Maverick

1 Union St, Belfast, BT1 2JF

At the heart of Belfast’s LGBTQ+ quarter, there’s an extensive selection of cocktails, gin and house draught amongst some of the alcohol available. There are even jugs of Electric Long Island and Candy Fantasy amongst many alcoholic options.

To find out more, go to https://www.themaverickbelfast.com/

11. Bert’s Jazz Bar, The Merchant

16 Skipper St, Belfast, BT1 2DZ

The stage offers live jazz every day of the week including nighttime sessions on Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations from 8:30pm are £10 which ensures you have a table, as it’s sure to sell out fast. Watch the show from the comfort of your reserved seat and revel in the sophistication with a superb French bistro style menu and bespoke cocktail selection.

To find out more, go to https://www.themerchanthotel.com/

12. The John Hewitt

51 Donegall St, Belfast, BT1 2FH

Celebrated poet, socialist and Freeman John Hewitt opened The Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre in 1999 which later became a bar to generate revenue. Marble counters, an open fire and high ceiling offer a welcoming atmosphere. There’s even jazz nights on Monday’s and live music available in the remainder of the week.

To find out more, go to http://www.thejohnhewitt.com/find-us/

13. Sunflower Public House

65 Union St, Belfast, BT1 2JG

There’s something for everyone at Sunflower with its outside seating area, cages and live music. Mirroring the city’s storied past, the inside area hasn’t been decorated since the 1900’s and prides itself on its cultural celebration.

Sunflower is the last caged bar in the city and if wondering as to why there’s a caged bar it’s due to the Troubles which left pubs as targets for bombs and as such cages were placed to protect patrons. The cage has since been adorned with hanging baskets and a comedic insight into the people of Belfast with the sign: ‘‘no topless bathing, Ulster has suffered enough’.

To find out more, go to http://www.sunflowerbelfast.com/conta

14. Kremlin

96 Donegall St, Belfast, BT1 2GW

Kremlin Nightclub is one of Northern Ireland’s most popular gay and friendliest gay bars. As a draw for both locals and tourists, the Kremlin offers a colourful atmosphere of fun filled wonder.

To find out more, go to http://www.kremlin-belfast.com/

15. The Reporter Bar

Union St, Belfast, BT1 2JF

Inspired by the history of the newspaper industry, The Reporter is a dog-friendly bar that pays homage to Belfast’s printing and publishing heritage.  With a dedication to serving local beers and spirits, guests will be sure to find Beer Hut, Bullhouse and Lacada, Belfast Vodka, Hinch Whiskey and Ninth Wave Gin.

To find out more, go to https://www.facebook.com/TheReporter.Bar 

16. The Harp Bar

35 Hill St, Belfast, BT1 2NB

For a plush evening filled with decadence, The Harp Bar is the place to be. Adorned with red velvet fabrics and antique furnishings reminiscent of Victorian Belfast, The Harp Bar is decorated with items inspired by the headquarters of The Old Bushmills Distillery Company – the building’s origins.

To find out more, go to https://dukeofyorkbelfast.com/venues/harp-bar/ 

17. 39 Gordon Street

39 Gordon St, Belfast, BT1 2LG

Reflected in the quality of their Mexican food, 39 Gordon Street offers quesadillas, tacos, burgers, buffalo chicken wings and much more. With a variety of options to choose from at your fingertips, it’s never been easier to order their sumptuous dishes or dine in. 

To find out more, go to https://www.facebook.com/39gordonstreetbelfast 

18. Union Street

8-14 Union St, Belfast, BT1 2JF

With a downstairs area as a bar and upstairs for eating, you have the option to eat whilst enjoying an alcoholic beverage of your choice. If looking for wholesome dishes then this is the restaurant for you with a wide selection of dishes including cured meat with feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes which is a predominantly Mediterranean dish. The cosy atmosphere creates an ambience of relaxation and comfort, so get ready to dine with an excellent dining experience.

To find out more, go to http://www.unionstreetbar.com/ 

19. Common Market

16-20 Dunbar St, Belfast, BT1 2LH

With a bustling atmosphere, Common Market has been quick to establish itself as the go to place for eating, drinking and socialising. Alongside a wide variety of the tastiest street food around, guests are welcomed to taste the range of beer, wine, spirits and carefully crafted cocktails from the three fully-stocked bars onsite.

To find out more, go to https://commonmarketbelfast.com/



By Jade Hamill, Excalibur Press

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