It may be the start of August and the summer holidays might be coming to an end in the next couple of weeks, but there is still time to take advantage of the (reasonably) good weather and enjoy a drink with family or friends outside.
From beer gardens to rooftop bars, the city of Belfast has a huge selection of watering holes to chill out in that stock an array of award-winning Northern Ireland craft beer, cider, gin and whiskey.
From the chic National Grande Cafe to rooftop bar, The Perch, offering spectacular views of the city’s skyline and a garden complete with a stone pizza oven, Food NI has put together a list of some of the best beer gardens in the city serving Northern Ireland craft drink.
The National Grande Cafe
With an intentionally unfinished industrial interior of exposed brickwork, beams and concrete floors, in the former National Bank Building on High Street, lies the National Grand Cafe.
Home to one of the biggest beer gardens in the city, and the first in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter, the garden comes complete with its very own apple tree!
From morning until early evening, customers can relax in the airy contemporary space, enjoying breakfast, lunch and dinner before the cafe ‘transforms’ in one of the Cathedral Quarter’s liveliest bars in the evening.
Locals and tourists alike can enjoy local craft beer tipples such as Farmageddon, Lacada and Hilden, whilst those who favour shorts can enjoy a refreshing Shortcross Gin, Jawbox Gin or Ruby Blu Vodka.
Offering panoramic views of the city skyline, The Perch has a beer garden like no other. Found on the fifth floor of an old red brick building in the city’s Linen Quarter the garden can be enjoyed both on a warm summer’s day with a cold beer or a chilly evening snuggled up together under blankets with a hot cider.
Duke of York
Bit of a cheat here as it’s technically not a beer garden, but who wouldn’t want to enjoy a drink on a warm summer’s day on a cobbled street surrounded by vibrant street art nestled in the historic Cathedral Quarter? The Duke of York offers a traditional Belfast welcome of craic, music and humour and hosts regular traditional music sessions.
Why not call in for a session and tantalise your tastebuds with some Quietman or Dunville Whiskey or a bottle of Hilden or Yardsman.
Located on the third floor of Victoria Square’s House of Fraser store, The Ivory is a perfect spot for a quick bite to eat after shopping until you’ve dropped, whether it be lunch or dinner. Come evening, you can relax over pre and post dinner drinks while looking out over the bright lights of the city whilst sitting outside on the restaurant’s veranda. There’s something about a rooftop restaurant that feels really decadent!
The Dirty Onion
Formerly used as a warehouse, trading items such as fish, tea, whiskey and much more, the facade of The Dirty Onion was originally constructed in 1680 and is Belfast’s oldest intact timber-framed building.
Home to one of Belfast’s largest beer gardens and a cozy peat fire inside, The Dirty Onion has got you covered all year round with live entertainment provided seven nights a week including some of the best traditional Irish music in town!
The bar has recently become dog friendly so if you want to go for a drink with your canine best mate this is the place to be.
Locals and tourists alike can enjoy local craft beer tipples such as Farmageddon, Lacada and Hilden whilst those who favour shorts can enjoy a refreshing Shortcross Gin, Jawbox Gin, Ruby Blu Vodka or a cool MacIvors Cider.
The Filthy Quarter
It may be called The Secret Garden but the beer garden at The Filthy Quarter is one of the worst kept secrets in Belfast and for good reasons. With fairy lights, open fires and mesmerising water features, let the surroundings of The Secret Garden transport you to a magical outdoor area away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Perfect for casual catch ups with mates, parties on the terrace and summer BBQs, patrons can enjoy a local glass from Hilden Brewery or MacIvors Cider.
The Sunflower takes al fresco drinking to a whole new level with the inclusion of an outdoor pizza oven in its beer garden in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. South facing, it is hard to beat on a summer’s afternoon with a cold beer, a pizza and good conversation with friends or maybe even strangers!
Hollywood actor, Jamie Dornan has even been spotted at the bar on occasions when he’s home in Northern Ireland.
With its multi level bars and rooms, Lavery’s offers up a magnitude of spots to catch the sun and enjoy a cold one against the backdrop of regular live music. The only difficulty will be settling on a spot. Once you have settled on a spot, you can choose from a wide range including Farmageddon, Hillstown, Shortcross and Jawbox. The bar also hosts special guest drafts on a regular basis with some of Northern Ireland’s much loved ales, beers and stouts being featured.
For more information on local craft beers, ales, ciders and spirits check out our Producer Section.