Belfast is experiencing something of a food and drink renaissance – which is particularly befitting considering it’s the Year of Food and Drink.

With the aptly dubbed ‘Cafe Culture’ reaching new levels of success, it’s exciting to see even more different businesses bursting onto the scene.

From world-renowned patisseries who are venturing into Belfast for the first time, new standalone stores, vibrant bars, and even an up and coming fashion shop keen to make a name for itself in popular Victoria Square – it’s clearly all going on in Belfast right now.

New businesses to check out in Belfast

1. Vandal

3 Winecellar Entry – Website

Belfastvibe attended the opening of Vandal last weekend – and were treated to some serious Drink Porn – literally.

With a cocktail menu so seriously delicious it boarders on dangerous, there could truly be no name better fitting.

Vandal definitely specialises in serving up drinks with a difference – think delicious cocktail meets milkshake and you’re halfway there.

In even better news, you can enjoy some serious Food Porn too. Choose from the incredibly moreish pizza subs or individual pizzas with sides and dips to be washed down with Freak Jar Desserts.

Check out our full fun review of the opening here.

2. Doughzy Donuts

34 Smithfield Market – Website

Our favourite source of mouth-watering doughnuts has opened its very first standalone store!

Situated in one of the external shops of Smithfield, this cosy shop has been selling out almost every day since it opened! To be fair, we’re not that surprised. With flavours like Raspberry & Marshmallow Puddles, Chocolate & Salted Caramel Rings, and Chocolate & Crunchy Peanut Butter Puddles – you’ll definitely struggle to narrow down your favourite!

Speaking ahead of the new store opening, owner Alan Wilson told us: “We’re really excited about our new venture starting this Saturday – it has always been the aim to open our own shop.

“Touring different markets and providing deliveries has been great, but there’s nothing quite like walking into a shop with the aroma of ground coffee and fresh doughnuts.”

@thefirst47

Alan aims to provide an impressive 14 varieties each day, out of a current repertoire of about 21 – which he is constantly adding new flavours to. Whilst he expects most custom to be takeaway, there are currently three tables and eight chairs for sit-in, with tables to be added outside in the coming weeks.

3. Patisserie Valerie

11 Donegall Square West – Website

Founded in 1926, Patisserie Valerie specialises in ‘lovingly’ handmade cakes, pastries, gateau, breakfast and a to-die-for lunch menu.

The chain, which has around 90 shops across the UK and is valued at £320m, made its debut at the former Jaeger store in the Scottish Provident Building at Donegall Square West in the city centre.

Patisserie Valerie - Belfast

Open every morning from 7.30am – 7.30pm during the busy working week, Patisserie Valerie has been doing a roaring trade since its opening!

4. Ecco

Victoria Square – Website

Victoria Square

Gorgeous shoe shop Ecco has opened a new store at Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast after relocating from nearby Castle Lane to its new site.

The specialist shoe retailer has taken a 1,500 sq ft unit on the lower ground floor of the centre.

It’s the latest acquisition by Ecco as it tries to increase its high street reach across Ireland as part of a £1m investment.

Mystery New Store

5. #GuesswhoCQ

70-74 Donegall Street – Website

#GuesswhoCQ has everyone guessing what is coming to the buzzing Cathedral Quarter of our wee city – with anyone who guesses correctly promised a cheeky free lunch when it opens its doors.

With a menu that will include pulled beef burritos, southern fried chicken, sweet potato fries, Hot Boxes, ribs – and even bacon & egg muffins (that are allegedly better than Ronald’s) – all we know is, we’ll definitely be up for trying it when it opens!

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