There are some restaurants in Belfast whose reputations precede them. And on the other side of the coin you’ve got a selection of cafes, diners and bars who do the most amazing food that very few people know about.

Here’s our pick of those hidden gems. If you already know about them, fair play, if not, we’d seriously recommend a visit.

1. Dinadina

52 Upper Arthur Street

Boasting authentic Italian food, cooked freshly each day and delivered in super fast time, Dinadina’s only flaw is that it’s tucked away on a street less trodden. Their must-have menu item is the Piandina (from which they derive their name).

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It’s a Northern Italian flatbread filled with a host of local delicacies including delicious hand made Italian sausage. They also do a great line in quick lunchtime bites like £1 mini pizzas and panzerotto (calzone) for £3.

To top it all of the walls are adorned with some interesting artwork and original Italian movie posters.

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2. Ruby’s

2 Montgomery St

Ruby’s is the ‘home of the two-handed sandwich’ and another lunchtime haunt that requires a bit of finding.

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From the second you walk in the door you’ll be made to feel at home, with the staff going out of their way to make sure you get a packed-full sandwich that is tailored exactly to your needs.

The double decker Ruby’s Club is simply unbelievable and great value at £5.25 considering it will do you for lunch and dinner.

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This is an old-style establishment with an emphasis on face-to-face customer service. Anybody who’s been won’t be surprised to learn Ruby’s doesn’t have a website, Facebook page or a Twitter account. We’d love it if they started up on Instagram.

3. Cuban Sandwich Factory

40 Church Ln

The very definition of hidden gem, the Cuban Sandwich Factory can be found in the back of Lecky’s Newsagents in Church Lane and also at weekends at St George’s Market.

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Their hot pressed sandwiches are a sight to behold with a taste to match. Check out the Cuban Reuben – hot pressed salted beef, caramelised onion, gherkins and Irish Cheddar…

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4. Hotplate Noshery

34 King Street

Located above Cosgroves bar in King Street, this isn’t the easiest place to find for first timers, but once you’ve been you’ll make a point of finding your way back. It’s a ‘pig out’ style eaterie which boasts a number of challenges including the Man V Food burger pictured below.

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5. Folktown Market

Bank Sq

Every Thursday a host of artisan food producers sell their wares from a pitch in Bank Square, right in front of Kelly’s Cellars bar. It also opens in the evenings for special occasions such as Culture Night. Any market in Belfast will inevitably play second fiddle to St George’s but we can’t recommend enough some of the tasty treats on sale at this exclusive site. Our top pick is the goat burger from Broughgammon follow by a dessert from Doughzy Doughnuts.

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6. Woodworkers

20-22 Bradbury Place

Known primarily as a pub for beer geeks with its rotating selection of craft beer on tap, Woodworkers also does a mean line in food. Being part of the Lavery’s family it carries much of the same food as its big brother. The seafood platter is superb although it’s hard to look past the burgers.

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7. Kurrito

26 Botanic Ave

A fine example of fusion cooking, Kurrito combines some of the best tasting and best value Kashmiri delicacies you’ll find in the city with our insatiable appetite for burritos. As a bonus for non meat eaters, a large number of the fillings are vegetarian friendly.

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8. Spences

Beersbridge Rd

You’ll notice in the picture below that Spence’s is shut. That’s the major flaw with this legendary chippy. It’s not open very much hence the regular rumours in east Belfast that it’s shut for good. Which makes it all the more special when you pass by and catch a whiff of fish and chips. Its exclusive marketing strategy means you simply have to go in, just in case this is the last time it ever opens its doors.

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